How do you live a “normal” life with food allergies? Well, what is normal anyway? To me, normal means that my kids don’t feel excluded, left out, or weird.
I’ve always made a point to tell them that their allergies make them special. Everyone has something. My kids just happen to have food allergies. Why? Hopefully we will know one day.
No matter what we say or do, there is some level of anxiety in new situations for all of us. From the first day of school to birthday parties to trying out a new restaurant, the stress can be completely overwhelming. It just oozes out of their little bodies.
Here are some strategies that work for us:
– Find out as many details as you can before you go.
– Brainstorm possible situations and be ready.
– Bring safe food with you. I try to match what the hostess is serving.
– Always keep cupcakes in the freezer. These are also for me, weekdays at 9pm. Shhh!
If we’re lucky, no one even notices that my kids are eating something different. Sometimes the other kids think what my kids have is better. The most important thing is that their allergies don’t define them and that they are comfortable being themselves.
Bean is off to a 10th Birthday Party today at Funny Girl Designs. Armed with her gluten free cupcake and the fixin’s for make your own pizza, she’s ready to celebrate just like everyone else.
That which doesn’t kill us, makes us strongest. Bean and Sweet Pea are tough cookies. Even when life gets the better of them, they make me proud. Who wants to be normal anyway? Not me.
Anyone can develop an allergy at any time, no matter if you’re a baby or a grown-up. I only knew two people with food allergies when I was in school. Now there are sometimes two kids in each class
Here are some articles and videos if you’d like to understand food allergies better:
What’s a food allergy?
Robyn O’Brien’s Ted Talks: “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?”
Allergic Living article: New Blood Tests for Food Allergies
CNN article: Allergy Bullying, When Food is a Weapon