Kung Food App
Thanks to your donations to the Children’s Hospital, the innovative app, Kung Food, is helping children and teens navigate the responsibility of living with a food allergy in a new and exciting way!
In Canada, 6-8% of children have a food allergy. Living food allergy involves strictly avoiding your food allergy, careful label reading and having an epinephrine auto-injector. For young children, parents must make the correct decisions to reduce the risk of their child having a severe allergic reaction. As children grow older and gain more independence, they need to develop these skills on their own.
“Parents work hard to help their children to learn these skills and take responsibility,” says Nancy Ross RN, BN, CAE (Certified Asthma Educator), HSC Winnipeg. “As children get older they need to navigate many situations on their own. With this in mind, the Children’s Allergy & Asthma Education Centre (CAAEC) at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg has developed food allergy education programs and resources to help parents, school age children and teens to better manage their food allergy.”
Thanks to financial support from the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba (CHFM), the CAAEC was able to partner with AllerGen and Food Allergy Canada and a local multimedia company, Tactica Interactive to develop a food allergy app for youth.
“Kung Food was developed by nurse educators and allergists, with input from youth with food allergy,” explains Nancy. “Users will test their Food Allergy I.Q. as they navigate through different food allergy scenarios to challenge their decision making skills. Scenario examples include being bullied, eating in restaurants, going out with friends, managing stress and dealing with an allergic reaction.” The app was created to help youth with food allergy gain skills and knowledge to help them manage their condition.
“Another feature within the app allows the user to personalize an Allergy Alert message to friends or family,” says Nancy. “With this feature, youth can text a reminder of which foods they must strictly avoid as well as add in their favorite foods before going over to eat. This Alert message also provides parent contact information and links to food allergy resources. So when they go out for dinner there is a heads up on what they must avoid as well as what they like to eat.”
“When we began to develop a food allergy education program for adolescents we conducted focus groups and a large survey for teens with food allergy,” recalls Nancy. “These sources showed that teens are interested in mobile based learning and key topics around food allergy were identified. We are very grateful for the funding from the CHFM, AllerGen and support from Food Allergy Canada, to build the Kung Food app.”
Thanks to donors like you, amazing innovations are making the world safer for children and adolescents living with food allergy.
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