Food Allergy Dads

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In honor of Father’s Day, we’re celebrating a few food allergy dads who embody the true spirit of Spokin. As everyday heroes, these men get the job done. They lead by example to ensure that their children are safe and thriving while generously sharing their experiences on the Spokin App for all of our benefit.

 
 

 
 

Adam Seidler

Adam, @amseidler, manages peanut, tree nut, milk, egg, and garlic allergies for both of his children. He’s not only an active reviewer on the app with a speciality in hot dogs, he’s also actively involved in FARE Chicago.

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

Having children with multiple food allergies has allowed our family to become more conscious of what we put in our bodies.  We are constantly reading labels, and because of this, we not only have a deeper understanding of the ingredients that make up the foods we eat, but how they impact our overall health.  On top of this, I believe our children will be increasingly self-sufficient and empathetic as they grow older. The heavy burden we face as food allergy parents and children is immense, and unknown, for the most part, to the general public.  No parent chooses to put that weight on their children as they grow older, but teaching them to care for themselves as well as others that have visible/invisible disabilities (food related or not) gives me a sense of confidence that we as a community have each others backs.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Appreciate every second.

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

The overall mission of Spokin to make life easier and a little more "normal" for individuals and families living with food allergies.   


 
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Anurag Chandra

Anurag, @anurag, and his Stanford-bound son @aidanchandra manage tree nut and pectin allergies. While Aidan towers his dad in height, Anurag beats him by a few reviews shared on the app! Some of our favorite reviews include local favorites in California as well as several gems from their travels visiting colleges.

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

It has taught my son resilience and responsibility. It has forced him to mature a lot faster because food allergies have made him think through the consequences of not planning ahead or being prepared.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Affection, involved, cheerleader

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

Favorite thing about Spokin - very close call. I love the ability to check out safe restaurants, but it’s the community of people following each other that makes us realize we’re not alone. Aidan stands out as the “other” with his food allergies, but on Spokin we have a community that empathizes.


 
 

Chris Hultquist

Chris, @adamwood, the better half to Spokin’s Founder, plays the role of lead chef and baker to his peanut and most but not all tree nut allergic daughter, @natalie. He is also the Co-Founder of FARE Chicago and his side hustle is his food blog @hubby_candy (naturally peanut and most tree nuts free). He and his daughter are true foodies and their restaurant reviews are numerous.

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

Forced to manage food allergies as a small child, I now see a young teen unafraid to speak up, ask questions, and self advocate. Characteristics which will carry her far in life.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

No. Maybe. OK.

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

I have two. I love the the weekly emails and the ability to find reviews on the app using the map feature no matter where we are.


 
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Eric Hodson

Eric, @chupapres, is a father to Daytona, a high-schooler managing a peanut allergy. While Spokin users are likely familiar with Daytona Hodson, Eric is quickly making a name for himself with 50 reviews shared on the app. If you are looking for great reviews in Kansas, we’ve found your source!

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

Our son's severe allergy to peanuts has brought us closer together as a family. We take on more challenges together and are always there to support each other. We're not afraid of facing a difficult situation or challenge because we know we can get through it. The food allergy management challenges we have faced in the past, while frustrating and emotional, have given us the strength and resolve to face similar issues with more confidence and courage. We have each other's back.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Quirky, respectful, and engaged. We have been so blessed with our two children. They are so low-maintenance it's made our job as parents easy. They are our closest friends. I would say this to other dads - "Get involved with your kids. Don't let your wife or children fight the food allergy battles alone.”

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

The searchable map. When we travel, the searchable map quickly makes it easy for me to find food-allergy friendly places to eat.


 
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Jordan Humphrey

Jordan, @jordanhumphrey, wins the award for some of the highest quality and funniest reviews. They are very detailed on how he manages peanut, tree nut, milk, and egg allergies for his son. Have review envy and see his comments of Sticky Fingers Sweets + Eats! . We bow down.

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

My son, who has multiple food allergies, has learned to be a strong self-advocate and speaks up when he needs to, even to strangers.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Love, encourage, travel

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

The search by location feature!


 
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Josh Franklin

Josh, @jfranklin1217, manages peanut and egg allergies for his son. His reviews are balanced, detailed and so helpful. If you are looking to explore San Diego, he’s a great local source.

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

My food allergy kid, Jack, eats WAY healthier than kids without allergies. We eat at home more often and have much fewer sugary foods.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

My #parentgoals are 1) to be completely present, 2) to be completely understanding and caring and 3) weird (that one was from Jack).

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

There are so many things I love about Spokin. I love being able to connect with others in my area to get new ideas, I love the aggregated “best” lists, and I especially love the packaged/perishable food recommendations.


 
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Lee Freitag

Lee, @leefriday, is the self-declared restaurant lead in his household - calling it his “small part” —acknowledging how much his wife does. Between his two teenage sons, he manages peanuts, tree nuts, milk and egg.

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

The silver lining of having children with food allergies is that we are always challenged to make better food choices as we have to know every ingredient.  It also lets us meet great people with similar circumstances and discover restaurants we may not have normally tried, such as vegan diners.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Don’t tell mom.

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

Restaurant reviews!


 
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Manny Masangcay

Manny, @ezra, manages a tree nut allergy for his son and is our very own iOS Developer at Spokin! “Having a son with food allergies, as well as being Autistic, has definitely driven me to work at Spokin and to help the community.”

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

Being more conscious, helps us discover healthier and a variety of options for my son.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Be Like Water

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

Chat because being able to reach out and communicate with other users on Spokin brings more sense of a community , shared knowledge and experience to users.


 
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Matt Payne

Matt, @mattyp, is a Michigan-based dad with a daughter who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, sesame, and chickpeas who also just recently passed her milk challenge! As one of the newer fathers to join the app, he is passionate and has a particular interest in non-top eight allergens like sesame!

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

Silver linings are hard to find at first, but as we started to navigate the allergy world, a couple things stood out to my wife and me. First, the community support! The Facebook groups, the friends and family, and apps like Spokin (I swear nobody put me up that!). The fact is, without the ability to connect with people who have similar allergies and needs I don’t know how we would even be able to take care of our daughter.

The second is the family time we have gained from all of this. We don’t go out to dinner; everything is cooked at home and we have a lot of time to play with our daughter and really enjoy family time that we may have missed if we didn’t have to police her food intake. It’s not always easy and I can certainly say it’s overwhelming, but we do our best everyday!”

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Love that kid

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

My favorite Spokin app feature (or thing about Spokin) is following people with similar profiles and finding additional foods you can add to the list of safe foods has been, quite literally, a life saver!


 
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Thomas Silvera

Thomas, @silverafish, is near and dear to us and the whole food allergy community. He is the Co-Founder and Vice President of the Elija-Alvali Foundation— committed to raising awareness of the importance of severe food allergy/anaphylaxis, asthma with allergies. Thomas’s sweet three-year-old son had a life-threatening dairy allergy and tragically passed away at school after being given a grilled cheese sandwich. They have another son who also has life-threatening allergies. Elija-Alvali Foundation is working hard in its efforts, passing a law in the Senate, and has aided in the Amendment of the NYC Department of Health Codes. Our love and support goes out to Thomas and his huge efforts in promoting food allergy/anaphylaxis and asthma awareness and safety.

1. Silver lining of having a child with food allergies?

I don't know if it's silver but I can say it more to be a TEAL color.  Having a child/children with food allergies heightens your awareness to everything, from foods, family, and friends, etc. It keeps me very vigilant while advocating for my child. I have high hopes within the Teal lining that my other son Elijah-Alavi who passed away in 2017, that his Law will echo and create the awareness not just for his brother, Sebastin, but for all other children who suffer from food allergies by providing the protection they need.

2. Describe your fathering style in three words

Loving, Strength, and Vigilance

3. What is your favorite feature on the Spokin App?

I have been traveling a lot lately and being a parent who is a vegan and has food allergies as well, the Spokin app has been my Magellan. The app has guided me to go into the search section for specific restaurants, look for whats allergy-friendly and vegan. What's very helpful from the Spokin app is the feedback from other users. Their feedback is vital for you to make a sound decision on your choice of eats.