Photo Source: Euro Magic
Once upon a time, salty, peanuts were a fun snack at our house. However, a recent allergy test for FishChick2 has banned the noble peanut from our home. I had suspected a peanut allergy in her, and now it’s been confirmed. Peanuts, many tree nuts, and egg whites have been distinguished as allergens for her, so we are learning a whole new way of life in eliminating those from our household.
As a food allergy newbie, I’m thankful to have my friend Lynn to go to for advice. I’ve called her several times from the grocery store for help! Today she shares with us how we can bless our friends who have food allergies or other food-related sensitivities.
The following is written by LifeasMOM contributor, Lynn.
The world of food allergies brings on many challenges. One of the most challenging things is controlling what food your child with the allergy eats.
When you or someone you love is dealing with a food allergy reading labels and questioning food becomes second nature. You do it without much thought. It becomes part of what you do and who you are.
This is hard for those without food allergies to understand. People often get offended when I won’t let my daughter eat the food they are offering her, or they look at me strange when I want a detailed list of what a certain dish or recipe contains.
It is hard for others to understand that one simple mix up or cross contamination has the potential to threaten my daughter’s life. They think they have been careful, but all too often we just cannot take the risk.
Photo Source: Delicious Magazine
If you don’t have a food allergy, but know someone who does, here are things you can do.
Please be patient and understanding with those that have an allergy. Don’t get offended or hurt if we won’t eat the food you are trying to serve us. Please understand that going hungry or passing up a dessert or snack is far better than being sick for days or having an emergency trip to the hospital. Our saying, “No thank you,” is not personal in any way.
If you will be taking food to an event or function and you know someone with a specific allergy, like nut or peanut, will be there, please label the food accordingly. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate this little step. A simple label makes our life so much easier. The label not only warns the person with the allergy to stay away from it, it warns family members too. We have to always be aware of the risk of cross contamination. A label lets us know to also be careful with that item.
If you are having company over for a meal, ask if there are food allergies in the family. It is often not hard to adapt a meal for a food allergy.
Please don’t be afraid to invite that person with a food allergy over. Most people with food allergies understand how overwhelming it is. We understand it can be a challenge to cook for us, and we don’t mind helping out by bringing a dish or two that we can have.
Include the kids
It is very important to consider kids with food alleries and how they feel when dealing with social events. Kids often feel left out because they have a food allergy. So, invite that child with a food allergy to your house or party and feel free to ask the mom how you can help make it work so that they can come. Often times the mom is more than willing to bring food that her child can eat.
(FishMama here: I’ve known of moms baking up lots of allergy-free cupcakes in advance and stashing them in the freezer so their kids could have birthday cake, too.)
These are just a few of the things that can help make social events easier for those of us with food allergies.
What are YOUR tips for dealing with this issue?
— Lynn loves to cook and try new recipes. She lives in Oklahoma on 43 acres with her husband and three children. She blogs at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, sharing recipes, tips, and ideas to help you me blend a love of cooking with a busy life. She also blogs at Lynn’s Recipe Adventures where she writes about the challenges of food allergies.