Kristin’s coaching and consulting is highly expert, knowledgable, realistic, honest, and filled with genuine cheer and an amazing sense of humor. I would highly recommend her as a resource for all things food-allergy-knowledge-related, and especially suggest that schools, childcare providers, newly diagnosed families, and more, reach out to learn about her guidance and care. Working with Kristin has been both fact-based and heart opening simultaneously. She provides a custom tailored set of “tools” to cope with food allergies and stress in the real world!
~ Khrysti N., Boca Raton, FL
Writing and implementing a thorough 504 plan can be a daunting task. We knew our child needed a 504 plan due to his life-threatening food allergies. And since this plan is supposed to keep him safe, it needed to be thorough and complete. After all, his life depended on it. That added a lot of stress to the process and we knew we needed help.
Thankfully, with our online research, we came across Kristin’s website and contacted her. It was a blessing to find an advocate who was not only an expert in writing 504 plans, but she had a child of her own with food allergies. So she knew exactly how we were feeling and what our fears were. She was truly an answer to prayer. She took a process that was overwhelming and stressful – and made it painless.
With the first phone call, her calm demeanor, empathy, professionalism, skill, and confidence made our anxiety and stress disappear. She took the reins immediately – and we were more than happy to give them to her! Kristin obtained the information that she needed from us as far as what we thought was necessary to put in the plan, and she discussed and included strategies for many things we hadn’t thought about including hidden ingredients in class projects, Epinephrine transfers, staff training, student training to educate and prevent teasing and bullying, classroom signage, and effective and positive parent letters. She educated us on what we could expect from the meeting and what was reasonable to request in the 504. Kristin wrote an amazing 504 plan specific to our child and his needs within this particular school. Kristin set up the meeting with school personnel, and during the meeting she was nothing short of remarkable. She was firm, but diplomatic as she advocated for everything we felt was needed in the 504. And she was instrumental in fostering a great relationship with the staff at our son’s school. We couldn’t be happier with the dedicated educators that our son deals with on a daily basis and his 504 plan that they follow – and he’s having a fantastic year.
We can’t imagine anyone going through this process without Kristin as their advocate. She is worth her weight in gold. And we recommend her wholeheartedly to anyone who is in the position of needing a strong advocate for their child. You will be so happy and so relieved that she is there for you, making sure everything goes smoothly. Having Kristin on your team could very well be the best decision you ever make for your child.
~ Solomon and Mary, Big Lake, Minnesota
With our son newly diagnosed with a peanut allergy and starting kindergarten in the fall, we were very worried about how to keep him safe. A friend of mine forwarded an Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota newsletter to me and so I gave Kristin a call. We took advantage of her free, 30-minute consult where she took the time to listen to our worries. Toward the end, she explained how our planning meetings would be structured and reassured us every step of the way that having proper accommodations in place and a good relationship with school staff was attainable. I was so relieved when I found out that Kristin would attend our school meetings and advocate for our son, I no longer felt alone! We have a great 504 plan in place and have a strong and friendly relationship with our principal. I’m so glad that we contacted Kristin and got the ball rolling in the spring; now we’re able spend our summer relaxing!
~ Daniella and Paul, Minneapolis, MN
Kristin is a natural at advocacy work. My husband and I had discussions with our school prior to the start of the year, but things started to get a little dicey. I hired Kristin to assist me with getting a 504 in place at my daughter’s school and had the added bonus of her help in managing my stress while doing it.
First, she clearly knows her stuff, i.e., the process of 504 and how to write a plan, what are reasonable accommodations, and most of all, how to have a child taken care of at school.
Second, Kristin is a great negotiator. She was able to communicate the essential accommodations to the school, all while explaining to me what ones were unrealistic. The process was long and tedious, and Kristin is on top of every aspect from beginning to end, maintaining a respectful manner with the school and me, a situation that can sometimes become truly tense.
In my first conversation with Kristin she told me that her approach is that of a partner, she delivered nothing less and I will not hesitate in bringing her back at each 504 review to ensure that my daughter is safe as she grows in her academic life.
~ Elizabeth, Minneapolis, MN
My youngest daughter has multiple food allergies and was stressing out about the holidays. I knew she needed some help beyond what I could give her, so I contacted Kristin to see if she could help us. I was so glad I did! Kristin is easy to talk to and asked the right questions to help me get to the real source of our issue. My daughter and I quickly felt relieved, and for that I will forever be grateful to Kristin!
~ Lisa, Houston, TX
Kristin, thank you sharing your wealth of information and experiences with our St. Paul area au pairs. Your presentation was lively, humorous and above all informative on the issues surrounding food allergies and sensitivities. As live-in child care providers, our au pairs are taught about first aid, car seat safety and fire safety in their formal training but they don’t learn about the potential life threatening issues surrounding food unless they are directly exposed to it with their host families. They now know how important this issue can be for the host children they care for and/or their host children’s classmates/friends.
I feel very comfortable referring host families to you for consultation and guidance, you are a great resource!
~ Sandy Zarembinski, Area Director for AuPairCare
Kristin Beltaos served as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota (AFAA), a statewide 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is food allergy education, advocacy, and research.
As both a board member and as a trained educator, Kristin accomplished a great deal in her time on the Board. In addition to teaching food allergy classes, conducting training for allergy clinic nurses, and presenting to support groups, she has volunteered at educational outreach events (for example the Allergy and Asthma Conference hosted by Allergy & Asthma Specialists and Clinical Research Institute). She developed a support group leader program to strengthen and support the work that groups undertake in their communities.
On behalf of AFAA, she improved the board application, screened potential board members, undertaken market and fundraising planning and was a speaker at the 2010 AFAA Medical Conference.
Kristin’s communication skills, education, and depth of knowledge in her fields make her an outstanding educator.
~ Nona Narvaez, AFAA Executive Director, St. Paul, MN
Kristin Beltaos was a guest speaker at our local support group, West Metro Food Allergy Connection. Kristin spoke to us about how to handle the day-to-day stresses of child food allergies. Life with food allergies is challenging and many times we as parents forget how to add humor to our days. Kristin taught us how to put together a daily self-care plan and encouraged us to see our days through different eyes, especially on the difficult days. One especially humorous story was about her two-year-old and his ‘WHOO HOO’ moments; we too can seize these types of moments in our life! Kristin has a great sense of humor that will help you discover new ways to view life with food allergies along with tips and tools to deal with general stress. We are grateful for the evening spent with Kristin. Thanks so much for making a great meeting for us!
~ Mary Schlief, WMFA Connection, Howard Lake, MN
Recently, we had the pleasure of Kristin Beltaos as a guest speaker at our local support group, Food Allergy Awareness Supporters (FAAS). Her genuine spirit and engaging personality generated meaningful discussions about managing stress related to food allergies and finding a healthier balance. As a fellow parent of a child with food allergies, her credibility was strengthened by each personal story and insight that she shared. In addition to the practical tips and coping strategies addressed at the meeting, she provided a handout with a list of additional resources for our reference. Laughter and hope were constant themes and her message of self-care resonated in each one of us. Thank you for sharing your gift with our group!
~ Jodi Raidt, Food Allergy Awareness Supporters, Waconia, MN
Kristin was a godsend to me when my grandson was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy at 2 months of age. He was even allergic to my daughter’s breast milk! Because Kristin’s son had the same milk allergy, as well as other food allergies, she had already done tons of research on the subject and was very willing to share that wealth of information with me. I have contacted Kristin frequently during these last three years with questions regarding food and milk allergies, and she has always had numerous suggestions, hints and ideas that have been so helpful. I am sure that I will continue to tap into her skills as he grows.
~ Emilie, Bloomington, MN
We were brand new parents whose daughter scream-cried A LOT! The only time that she wasn’t crying, was when she was breastfeeding.
The doctors really couldn’t tell us anything – maybe it’s colic, maybe reflux, maybe a dairy allergy. A dairy allergy?! We can’t do anything about the colic, reflux we got a prescription for, but what are we supposed to do about a dairy allergy?
That’s where Kristin came in! She had all the answers and provided us with so much information. Her help turned what could have been a horrible experience, for parents who enjoy their pizza and dessert, into something that we could totally work with.
Kristin provided us with a suggested shopping list of dairy foods and their non-dairy equivalents, along with door-to-door directions to two grocery stores that carried the items on our list. She also gave us recommendations for what we could eat at nearby restaurants, and even a long list of recipes.
What a relief! We stayed true to Kristin’s plan and it resulted in a much happier baby – which equals less stress and MORE SLEEP! Thank you for everything!
~ Brandon, Leah & baby London, Minneapolis, MN