I’m an adult with food allergies. This is what I’ve known my whole life. So while the way I eat and manage food for my family may look very different to a lot of people, it’s what I’ve learned over the years that I need to do to keep myself healthy. When I was a kid in school I was the only one who had allergies. That was back in the day when parents could bring in any food, teachers could give out candy, and schools could serve anything. I had a lot of reactions during those years. I have learned the hard way how to be cautious. As a Registered Dietitian I always enjoyed helping patients with food allergies learn the best way to have a healthy, safe, and well-rounded diet. So many kids have food allergies these days that it’s become important for everyone to be aware of them.
It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week, so it’s the perfect time to talk about food allergies. And where better than a mom’s blog.
Food Allergy Research and Education is a fantastic place to find out information about food allergies. This has been one of my very favorite resources for many years. The resources they offer are fantastic! Here you can find tools to help when going to school, eating out, how to educate family members and those around you about new allergies.
Here are a few thoughts from someone with food allergies:
— I’m not missing out on anything. Peanut butter may be your favorite thing in the world but I’m not sad I can’t eat it.
— Waving your candy bar with nuts in it in front of someone’s face who is allergic to it and saying “Does this bother you? How about this?” is not helpful nor supportive.
— I always feel really badly about inconveniencing people who have to work around my allergies. Having people around me who are supportive and want to have the foods I can have makes me feel much better.
— I know that it takes a lot of effort to work around my allergies, and I really appreciate it when people do.
— Don’t be offended if I don’t eat your food. It’s not personal — I’m just really picky and very careful about what I eat.
— The things I do to shop for food, eat at restaurants or peoples’ houses may seem thorough, but it’s what works for me.
Now that I have children of my own, my food allergies are taking on a whole new dynamic as I have to learn how to handle new situations. Things are always changing and with food allergies it’s always important to stay alert and pay attention.