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Happy 2023 MOCHA Family!


The MOCHA team would like to share our gratitude to all of our incredible partners, advocates, and friends. It is an honor and privilege to work alongside such passionate individuals who share our commitment to improve the lives of children and families with allergic conditions. We thank you all for your support and look forward to all our exciting collaborations this 2023!

We hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday season. We love helping you! Here is how you can help us, be sure to follow MOCHA on Facebook and Instagram, to keep up-to-date on all the exciting things happening.

Stay Safe!

Denise, Anne, and the MOCHA Interns 💜



Learn more and Register Here!

  • The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) will be hosting their annual conference in San Antonio, Texas from February 24-27, 2023.
  • The 2023 AAAAI Annual Meeting will include the option to attend either virtually or in person. We hope you can attend!

Camp Blue Spruce Virtual Allergy Pals Program

  • Participants in grades two through eighth gather with trained peer mentors every Sunday. Using a vetted, guided curriculum, mentors lead kids in discussions and games, creating a space where kids can share freely about their challenges and successes living with food allergies!
  • Conversations range from telling bad “dad” jokes to how it feels to go to a birthday party where you have to bring your own food and strategies for managing those situations. The program runs from Jan. 22 to March 12, 2023, and registration is now open on the Camp Blue Spruce website.

Questions? Contact Hawkeye at

FASI: Food For Thought January Webinar

Stephanie Eisenbarth, M.D., Ph.D. is Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine will discuss "Understanding Why Some People Develop Food Allergies, and Others Do Not." The webinar will be held January 19th at 12:00pm CT. Register here!



2023 FARE Summit

Food Allergy Summit 2023 Speaker Proposal Submission Form.

FARE is now accepting proposals to speak at the FARE Food Allergy Summit at the JW Marriott in Orlando, FL on October 13 to 15, 2023.


Teen Advisory Group (TAG) Viewing My Food Allergies in a Positive Light

"It’s quite easy to talk about how lousy they are, but at this point, my food allergies are a part of who I am, and to remove them would be to remove a part of my identity and something that has brought me close to some of the most important people in my life." Read more.

Teen Advisory Group Applications Now Open!

Are you aged 11 to 22 and living with food allergy? You are not alone! FARE’s Teen Advisory Group, or TAG for short, represents YOU and is FARE’s voice for the teen and young adult food allergy community. TAG members write articles for the FARE Blog and other publications, offer support for other teens who are seeking guidance, and lead independent projects to further the food allergy cause. Applications for 2023 membership are open, click here to learn more.

Only Half of Adult Food Allergy Patients Surveyed Report Being Prescribed Epinephrine Auto-Injectors 

At the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting, FARE and the Food Allergy Collaborative focus attention on barriers to epinephrine access. Read more.

FARE Talks

FARE hosts moderated virtual talks for youth and young adults who have food allergies and would like to connect with their peers. Find the FARE talk that's right for you and see upcoming talks. Learn more here!

"I love how understanding and supportive the community is!"
 -Teen Talk Participant

Check Out Our New Video on the Fare Community Access Program!


Calling all College Students, Graduate Students, & Medical Students!

The CFAAR Scholars program is a 6-week paid internship opportunity that affords undergraduate, graduate, and medical students an opportunity to strengthen their skills in epidemiological, clinical, and community-based research topics. Students will attend weekly didactic sessions and journal clubs to learn from and be in conversation with CFAAR faculty, staff, and research collaborators. Students will gain hands on skills including conducting literature reviews, interpreting data, recruiting study participants, and developing public speaking skills. Apply now!

  • Applications close on Friday, January 13th, 2023!
  • Dates of program: June 21st- July 28th, 2023.

The CFAAR and CPS Student Health Leaders Program: High school students will attend 4 weekend workshops at Northwestern's Chicago campus & learn about community advocacy, public health, and research. Students will gather for a networking session and present their ideas to peers and our CFAAR community. Please consider sharing this excellent program with local CPS schools and high school students. Apply now!

  • Applications close on Friday, January 13th, 2023!
  • Dates of program: January 21st, 22nd, 28th, and February 4th, 2023.

CFAAR Airline Survey

Have you participated in the CFAAR airline survey? The team at CFAAR is working to gather data that helps policy makers move the needle forward in safe air travel for food allergic individuals. Your voice is needed! Participate in the airline survey today!

GFAPS 2023

CFAAR invites you to attend the 2023 Global Food Allergy Prevention Summit! The 2023 GFAPS meeting will showcase a variety of topics like early food introduction, immune development, and diet diversity. The summit will foster global partnerships to alleviate the impacts of allergic disease with a focus on food allergy prevention. We invite clinicians, researchers, scientists, key thought leaders and industry partners to attend. SAVE THE DATE, we hope you’ll join us in Chicago! Stay-tuned for updates on the 2023 Global Food Allergy Prevention Summit. Learn more!


For the start of 2023, get FREE training and CE credits!

The Food Allergy Education for Early Childhood Years is FREE online training hosted by FARE, the Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research at Northwestern University, and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. It is appropriate for all adults working with young children in any setting. It provides necessary information, strategies, and resources to address food allergies in early childhood spaces. CE credit is available for early childhood professionals. Learn more!


Our Innovative FACET Center

The UChicago FACET (Food Allergy Care, Education and Translational Research) Center provides comprehensive care for adults, infants, children and teens with food allergies or intolerances. Food allergy is an epidemic that grows larger each year in the US and can be a source of constant anxiety for patients and their families. UChicago Medicine is leading the way in addressing this crisis.

We are the only institution in the Midwest pursuing research and conducting trials to improve diagnostics and revolutionize treatment for food allergies.

Diagnosing Pediatric Food Allergies, Intolerances and Sensitivities:

  • We take an expansive look at your child’s medical history, perform a physical exam and may use a skin prick test and/or blood test to check for food allergies.
  • If your child has a food allergy, we will work with you to develop a management plan focusing on strategies and emergency plans. Your provider may discuss experimental treatments for food allergy. If you are interested in learning more about FACET, clinical trials, and oral food challenges learn more here.

Continued Study: The SEAL Study (Stopping Eczema and Allergy Study)

  • The goal of the SEAL study is to see if a proactive investigational skin treatment in early infancy (Aveeno or EpiCeram) can reduce the occurrence and severity of eczema (red, itchy rash) and thereby prevent food allergy. Proactive in this case means that you will apply creams to your child’s body every day instead of waiting for skin problems to appear. For the study, subjects will be randomized (just like the toss of a coin) to one of these three groups: 1) Control arm, 2) Intervention arm with EpiCeram: 3) Intervention arm with Aveeno Moisturizer. If your child is eligible, participation may include clinic visits, sample collection, questionnaires as well as weekly check in calls. Compensation and valet parking will be provided. If you should have any interest or questions regarding this study, please feel free to contact our research coordinator at

New Year's resolutions for healthy kids and families.

New Year’s resolutions are a healthy, positive way to influence our lives and those of our family. Resolutions also teach children that adults work on becoming better people. If your family is interested in making resolutions this year, don’t forget to make them specific, measurable and realistic. Here are some starter suggestions. Check out more of UChicago's health and wellness related articles here.

Food Allergy Support & Education (FASE) Program

  • Food Allergy Support and Education (FASE) Program educates and supports our patients and families affected by food protein-induced immune disorders. We focus in particular on patients and families affected by IgE-mediated food allergy, but also food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). We aim to help patients and their families gain a more complete understanding of food allergy, and how they can live successfully despite it. Learn more!

We are currently recruiting patients for numerous food allergy studies:

  • POSEIDON- Peanut Oral Immunotherapy Study of Early Intervention for Desensitization: This study looks at the long term safety of peanut desensitization using AR101 in children 1 to 3 years old. Click here for the full study information or call 312. 227.6474 for more information.

  • PARK - Preventing Asthma in High Risk Kids: This study is trying to determine if giving a medicine called omalizumab to high risk children will decrease their chance of getting asthma or decrease the severity of their asthma. Click here for the full study information or call 312.227.6474 for more information.

  • Infants with Moderate-Severe Eczema and/or Egg Allergy and Peanut Allergy: Discovering a Significant Genotype: This study of children 4 - 11 months with moderate to severe eczema or egg allergy looks to find biomarkers to help tell us whether or not a child will develop a peanut allergy and how severe a peanut allergy might be. Click here for the full study information or call 312.227.5391 for more information.

Celiac Disease vs. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Many people experience digestive problems like bloating or constipation after consuming gluten-rich foods. This reaction is different from a wheat allergy, which can be a life-threatening response to ingesting or even inhaling wheat. Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) are two conditions that can cause similar gastrointestinal symptoms but have distinct differences. Dr. Natalie Hoffmann, an attending physician in Lurie Children's Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about celiac disease and gluten intolerances. Read more and check out the Lurie Children's Blog!


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Food Sensitivity and Allergy Testing

Finding the appropriate care is one of the most important steps when your child is diagnosed with a food allergy. The Food Allergy Program is led by Amal H. Assa'ad, MD, Director of Clinical Services, Division of Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Assa’ad is recognized internationally for her expertise in the care of patients with food allergies. Our team consists of physicians, nurses, dieticians and other team members experienced in the care of patients with food allergies. The goal of the Food Allergy Program is to improve the lives of patients with food allergies and their family members by providing expert care, innovative treatments and cutting-edge research. Patients in the Food Allergy Program are seen through the Allergy Clinic and Oral Immunotherapy Clinic. Learn more.

Blog Posts

How to Talk to Party Hosts About Kids' Nut Allergies

Somewhere along the way, someone decided that in order for foods to be “holiday worthy” they need to have nuts in them.I have learned that it is possible for us to safely attend parties with friends and family. The key is to have an open conversation with the host prior to the event. Here are a few things I’ve found useful to touch on during the discussion. Read the blog post here. Check out more blog posts here.

Ongoing Clinical Studies-

  • Peanut Vaccine Study
  • Multiple Food Allergies
  • Peanut Allergy Medication Study

Check out more studies here.

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The FASTER Act: What you need to know!
New federal law affects food labeling regulations:
  • Effective January 1, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will add sesame to its list of major food allergens.
  • That’s one result of the 2021 Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, which requires the first major change to food allergen related labeling since 2004, according to FARE.
  • In the latest MHWFAC video webinar, moderator Kim Menzel, LMSW, a food-allergy informed social worker, is joined by Steven M. Gendel, PhD, who has more than 30 years of experience working to protect food safety and public health. Together, they discuss the FASTER Act provisions and other food labeling information for individuals and families coping with food allergy.
  • It's been a busy and productive year at the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center, check out the center's annual magazine for details on our scientific projects, new faculty appointments, and much more.


Engagement key to peanut oral immunotherapy compliance among adolescents.

Read the Healio Article Here!

Food Allergies are on the rise but new treatments are on the horizon.

Read more Here!

Food is Medicine

A big part of treating food as medicine is expanding nutrition education. Learn More Here!

Tips for navigating a mustard allergy

Mustard allergy sufferers in the U.S. may have a challenging time navigating their allergy because it hasn’t yet been recognized as a major food allergen in the U.S. Read more.

Sesame the ninth major allergen, on January 1, 2023.

Learn More!

New label law has unintended effect: Sesame in more foods.

Read more.

The Best Airports for Traveling with Food Allergies ✈️

Check out this guide for safe airports See the full list here!


Food Allergy Prevention

Speaker: John M. James, MD

Watch here!

6 Stages of Food Allergy Parenting

Speaker: Tamara Hubbard, MA LCPC

Watch here!

"Why is Everyone Getting Food Allergies?"

In the past few decades, the rate of food allergies in both children and adults has dramatically increased. What’s causing this rise, and what can we do about it?

Listen here!

Mental Health Anxieties and Conditions Related to Severe Allergic Reaction.

Instagram Live with MOCHA Interns and CFAAR's Dr. Ruchi Gupta!

Watch it here!

Learn How to Manage Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Watch here!

Ask the Insider- Inside Alyssa's Component Testing Journey

Watch it here!


Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research

GAPS Study: CFAAR is conducting interviews looking at need/use of psychological services among individuals with food allergies. To be eligible to participate, individuals must either be adults aged 18 years or older, with a clinically diagnosed food allergy, or parents of children aged 0-17 years, with a clinically diagnosed food allergy. Although this is not a clinical intervention, some people may find it interesting to speak with Dr. Lombard (a licensed clinical psychologist) as they clarify their ideas and track their experiences. Sign up here.

Natural Scalp Mask: CFAAR is looking for children 1-17 years old with dry scalp to participate in our study by using a natural and gentle scalp mask. $80 incentive for participants who complete the full 14 day regimen. For more information or to register, please e-mail Jennifer Long at

Lurie Children's Hospital 

PARK - Preventing Asthma in High Risk Kids:  

  • This study is looking at whether giving a medication called omalizumab to high-risk young children may stop progression to asthma and/or decrease asthma severity. 

Eligibility criteria include: 

  • - Age range: 24 to 47 months of age. 
  • - 2 to 4 wheezing episodes in the past year documented on physical examination by a health care provider. 
  • - A first degree relative with a diagnosis of asthma or allergy by a medical professional, or a positive test for allergy (skin test or serum test) 


ADORED – Allergic Disease Onset Prevention Study:  

We are screening pregnant women and newborns for a study to prevent allergic disease in babies. This study will assess whether new oral treatment of beneficial bacteria given to neonates and infants for 336 days followed by a 336-day observation period works to prevent the development of allergic disease. 

Eligibility criteria include: 

  • Neonates ≤7 days of life 
  • born at ≥ 35 weeks’ gestation 
  • birthweight ≥ 2.5 kg and ≤ 4.5 kg 
  • Biological mother and/or biological father and/or full sibling(s), have a history of asthma, atopic dermatitis, food allergy, or allergic rhinitis 
  • Subject cannot be given probiotics (including infant formula containing probiotics) from the time of birth to the end of the trial 

Potentially eligible neonates will be identified during pregnancy or during the first week after birth.  


Novartis Peanut Allergy study (CQGE031G12301): 

This study is a study of a new injected anti-IgE medication (Ligelizumab 240 mg or 120 mg) given every 4 weeks helps treat peanut allergy.   

Eligibility criteria include: 

  • Age range: 6 years - 55 years of age* 
  • Documented medical history of allergy to peanuts or peanut-containing foods  
  • Participants must weigh ≥ 20 kg 

For further information about these studies, please contact the Food Allergy Research Study Team at 312-227-6474 or 



FARE’s online tool simplifies your search for clinical trials to treat food allergy and some related conditions.

A service of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this website is a registry and database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies.


Enjoy Life Chocolate Minis

Enjoy Life's dairy-free chocolate minis are perfect for making this winter season even sweeter. Enjoy all 3 of our gluten-free, nut-free chocolate bar minis

Buy Here!

88 Acres

Organic Vanilla Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut-Free. A great alternative to hazelnut spread!

Buy Here!

Simple Mills

A gluten free chocolate muffin and cake mix thats dairy-free and perfect for winter treats! Make some yummy desserts this holiday season!

Buy Here!


Protein shakes with allergen-friendly ingredients, a multi-source plant protein blend, superfood greens, and vegan omega-3s. Rich & decadent in flavor, ideal for on-the-go.

Try All the Flavors!
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Safer Plate

Safer Plate is a simple and delicious mealtime solution for people with food allergies! Check out all these dishes here and enjoy!

Buy here!

Hungry Harry's

Hungry Harry's is on a mission to produce foods free from the 14 food groups that account for over 90% of food allergies - while crafting them to taste better than anything else out there. Our manufacturing facility is 100% free of the Top 14 too. 

Buy Here!

Safe and Fair

Try Safe and Fair's chocolate chip cookie dough granola pack!This crispy gluten-free granola is vegan and eggless, made with wholesome whole ancient grains and rolled oats, real dairy-free chocolate chips, and lightly baked to crispy perfection.

Try All the Flavors!

Allergy-Friendly Donut Shops

Spokin shared their guide featuring 64 allergy-friendly donut shops, which covers 26 states and 3 countries. See the reviews that showcase these sweet spots, from dedicated allergen-free bakeries.

Check it out!


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Allergic Living

Link here!


Allergy Amulet

Link here!

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Allergy Force

Link here!



Link here!


Link here!

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Camp Blue Spruce

Link here!


Link here!

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Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Link here!

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Link here!

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Link here!

Food Allergy Fund

Link here!

Food Allergy Science Initiative

Link here!

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Food Equality Initiative

Link here!

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Link here!

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Link here!


We hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and the new year with your friends and family! 


As a part of MOCHA whether it's managing severe allergies and dietary restrictions personally, or having family members with allergies, we all have our own significant experiences navigating this complex challenge. We've learned how to advocate for ourselves, and we are all passionate about supporting others with food allergies. 


Denise and Anne at MOCHA both have allowed us to learn even more about the food allergy community, and further explore allergy-related opportunities. This past year, some of our favorite food allergy-related experiences have been writing for the MOCHA E-News, working on research with the Center for Allergy & Asthma Research at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and participating in an Instagram Live. Be sure to check out the allergy-friendly treats listed above and enjoy winter activities with your loved ones. 


Thanks for reading through our 2023 Winter E-News!


-The MOCHA Interns 💜

MOCHA Interns and the Holidays!

Susan Tatelli 

Allergic to peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and soy.

My favorite holiday tradition is that on Christmas Eve everyone in my family gets new Christmas pj’s that we wear to bed and in the morning when we open presents!  

Ryan Smith

Allergic to tree nuts.

My favorite food allergy friendly holiday tradition is shopping for presents with my family!

Leo Auerbach

Intolerant to dairy, and my sister has severe food allergies.

My favorite food allergy holiday tradition is making latkes with my family.

Kethan Bajaj

Allergic to nothing, but my brother has food allergies!

My favorite food allergy friendly holiday tradition is making allergen-free holiday cookies with my family.

Katelyn Chu

Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, soy, beans, and peas.

My favorite food allergy friendly holiday tradition is drinking allergy friendly hot chocolate

(enjoy life chocolate is wonderful!) and

driving around with my family to look at holiday lights!

Julia Auerbach

Celiac Disease

My favorite food allergy friendly holiday tradition is watching movies with my friends and family!


Check out the Food Allergy Awareness Tree by @nutfreementality!

MOCHA offers support, education, and friendship, to help make managing your child’s food allergies just a little bit easier. 

It is our job as parents to give our children the



Experience and


To get out there and live their lives to the fullest - safely.


MOCHA is a group of parents sharing information and supporting each other. Check out our website for the most current news, support and resources. Click the sign up link to be added to our email distribution!

Helpful links!

Sign up for our e-news!

Follow us on social media!


Have suggestions?

Do you have amazing content we should add to our e-news or website? Please let us know! Connect with us on facebook @MOCHAallergies and Instagram @MOCHAllergies!

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Disclaimer: M.O.C.H.A. is not a professional or medical organization. It is a group of parents sharing information and supporting each other. The discussions, meeting minutes, handouts, speakers, agendas, and other products of our support group do not constitute medical and/or legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Always discuss individual health questions and medical issues with a qualified personal physician.