Two of Emily Cunningham's three children have food allergies. And protecting her kids is taking toll on the family budget.
When she was nine months old, Cunningham's four-year-old daughter Elena ate a spoonful of yogurt and broke out in hives. Elena is allergic to eggs, tree nuts, dairy and peanuts, and even brief contact with one of the these hard-to-avoid items is all it takes to set off a potentially life-threatening immune reaction.
Cunningham's eight-month-old son Wyatt has a bad dairy allergy too.
But that protection comes at a high price. Between breathing medications and epipens of epinephrine, a drug used to treat anaphylactic shock, the Cunninghams spend about $1,000 a month to safeguard their children from their allergies, and that's before the grocery bill. Emily estimates her family spends $80 a month just on rice milk.