Ask Harambe

img_7659-By Harambe

I have recently been diagnosed with a dairy allergy.  I’m having trouble coping with the fact that I can no longer enjoy many of the foods I used to, and have to now purchase “special” and “different” food.  I’m feeling left out and would like some advice.

-Lactose Intolerant and distressed

Do not be distressed, young one!  Having allergies and dietary restrictions is something that many children and adults alike struggle with. In fact, approximately 15 million people in our country have food allergies, milk being the second most common.  You can start off by reading labels on all food packaging.  A lot of foods actually don’t contain dairy even if you think they do, but then again a lot of foods you DON’T think contain dairy actually might, so it never hurts to double check.

A safe place to go would be the organic section of your local grocery store, such as the Nature’s Promise area in Stop and Shop.  They will have lots of snacks that will be clearly labeled with any allergens such as milk, nuts, and gluten.  One thing you can do is buy some dairy-free foods and share them with your friends.You won’t feel left out and odds are, your friends won’t even realize the snack is any different.  Most allergy-friendly foods taste pretty close to the original, if not better!  Good luck with your dairy-free journey. Be safe and don’t forget to have fun!



Frequently during the school day, I have a problem with my stomach audibly grumbling.  I make sure to eat breakfast every morning, however I never seem quite fulfilled.  What are some tips for keeping my stomach satisfied throughout the day?

-Hungry and Embarrassed

Do not fret, hunger is a sensation that strikes us all!  When you rise in the morning and eat breakfast, make sure you are eating foods that will keep you feeling full, and keep your brain stimulated and ready to learn.  Whole grain cereals and granola are perfect examples, and should keep you full until break.  In school, most teachers allow you to eat during break time. A small but nutritious snack should be sufficient at that time, perhaps a granola bar, an apple, or peanut  butter crackers.  Next comes lunch, which can be completed with a sandwich, juice box, veggies and maybe even a sweet treat!  If you play a sport, eating something such as a protein bar or fruit before your practice or game is never a bad option.  Stay hydrated, stay healthy, and never stay hungry!

– “Hambre Harambe”


What are some activities I could do around town with my friends to stay active and fit while having fun?

-Not-So Happy and Healthy

Living in such a tech-savvy world, even I can understand how it may be hard to find something that’s fun and keeps you active.  Luckily, in your area there are various options.  One place you could go with friends is the bike path in Cumberland.  Kids and adults alike can be found biking, walking dogs, running and rollerblading.  There are convenient parking lots every few miles on the path and it is easily accessible and completely free.  There are also many gyms located around the area such as Answer Is Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and the local YMCA.  Most are affordable, and with a membership, guests are normally admitted with a small payment.  This way, you and your friends can go to the gym, listen to some music, and motivate each other while working out!  One more place that is fun are the many other activities at the YMCA.  I’d suggest getting a group of friends together, heading to the Y and finding something that interests you.   Many classes are offered, such as yoga or zumba.  You can also use the indoor or outdoor basketball courts, indoor or outdoor swimming pools, and even the lesser-known gagaball pit, which is always a hit!


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