Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away– no, no no, wrong story. Actually, way back in 2003, an adorable little baby named Madeline Rose was born. She grew and grew, as babies do, and smiled and played and did all of that other baby stuff. While Madeline was still a baby, she developed food allergies. Her mom, Ann, who is very organized and who is very good at researching things found tons and tons of information, resources and support for her and Madeline’s dad, which was great.
Once Madeline got older, Ann wanted to find kid-friendly activities and information that her daughter could use to learn about her food allergies in order to become more independent and confident. Because Madeline (and her brother, Zachary, as well as most kids) love the computer, Ann looked online to find these resources. When she could not find anything, Ann decided to start her own company, Food Allergy Kid SPoT, LLC, to develop a kid-centric website as well as educational materials for kids and adults dealing with kids with food allergies.
She enlisted her friend, Leslie, who has three children of her own and who coincidentally really wanted to start a business with Ann, and they got to work, creating a dynamic innovative web site that would appeal to children. Their website, www.foodallergykidspot.com, is a place where children with food allergies, as well as their siblings and friends, can be entertained, educated, and empowered.
Ann and Leslie plan to continue with their mission of entertaining, educating and empowering as they expand their website to become a food allergy community for kids, with an eye toward a social networking component for older children. They also plan to create materials to educate schools, camps, and coaches, as well as provide character education about and for children living with food allergies.
Ann S. Ginsberg is the founder and CEO of Food Allergy Kid SPoT, LLC. An attorney, she has two children – a daughter with multiple food allergies and a son. As her daughter entered school, Ann struggled with how to teach her about her food allergies. Because both of her children love using the computer, Ann decided to create a website that could teach children about food allergies through the use of games and other activities. Ann also wanted to create a food allergy community specifically for kids so her daughter and others with food allergies wouldn’t feel so isolated. She lives in northern New Jersey with her husband, kids and bearded dragon, Spike.
Leslie A. Perlmutter is the Chief Operating Officer of Food Allergy Kid SPoT, LLC. Also an attorney, Leslie has three children of her own: Jake, Ethan and Rebecca. Although her own children have no food allergies, Leslie is committed to the company’s mission, and she is thrilled at the opportunity to work with Ann. She lives in northern New Jersey with her husband, kids, and no pet (yet).
Neil I. Minikes, MD is Food Allergy Kid SPoT’s consulting physician. Dr. Minikes is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and an attending physician at Columbia University Medical Center, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and the Hackensack University Medical Center. He is Past President of the New Jersey Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Society and currently serves on its Executive Committee. His practice, Allergy and Asthma Center of Northern New Jersey, is located in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Serafin Vazquez is the Creative and User Experience Director for Food Allergy Kid SPoT. He has worked for companies such as MTV, InterActiveCorp, AOL, Ask.com and The College Media Network. Serafin is very passionate about creating experiences for a variety of demographics and jumped at the chance to contribute to Ann’s cause.
Food Allergy Kid SPoT’s mission is to entertain, empower and educate children with food allergies and adults by providing knowledge in several different formats. The first format is a website aimed at children which features games and activities, a blog, an animated character representing a doctor answering kids’ questions about food allergies, a weekly poll, and great, kid-friendly recipes. In addition, the site will be highly interactive with the ability to submit questions to be answered by a doctor, as well as recipes and stories to be posted on the website. Future plans include a social networking component with the creation of virtual characters customized by food allergy.
We also intend to produce a character education DVD to instill a sense of understanding and tolerance among classmates and a community-based education DVD to educate schools, camps, and other community-based organizations about the basics of food allergy awareness.