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I think the toughest thing about allergies is dealing with social situations. It’s not the everyday, because my kids and I do fine day to day. It is when we go out to eat, or we are invited to a party. That there are problems.
My mantra lately is be prepared! When you are dealing with food allergies, especially gluten, you have to be prepared. You need to know where you are going, and what they serve. It isn’t always convenient, but it is the truth. I have had to learn what my kids can order from certain fast food places that they aren’t allergic to. Did you know that even the French fries at McDonalds aren’t considered Dairy free. It has been 3 years since I have had McDonalds. Ok, Shh…I had a small fry once when I was out by myself. But nothing else, I swear. 🙂
We have learned that if we go through the drive through at burger king my son will get a hamburger with no bun, and a drink. Funny thing is, he is happy with that. He knows what he can have, and he is ok with it.
School and Team events
We don’t have the school issue because I homeschool, but we do participate in team sports. Snacks are served at practice and after games. I have found it easiest to keep allergy friendly snacks with me at all times. That way if something is offered that my kids can’t have, I am quick on the drawl with an alternative. They don’t feel left out because they have their favorite snacks, and can eat with their friends.
For school, I recommend talking to a teacher and letting them know the situation. Offer a package of your child’s favorite snacks to be kept in the classroom. That way when a snack is passed out there is an alternative available for you child.
For kids that are too young to understand, I am in love with Safety Tats. They are a temporary tattoo that you can stick on your child until the teacher or other professional knows them well enough to know what they can eat. You can mark them Gluten Allergy, Dairy Allergy, whatever the case may be. This way, even if the child doesn’t say something, it can be clearly seen what the allergy is.
I can’t tell you how many times there has been a birthday party with pizza, cake, and ice cream where my kids walk away without eating anything. The host feels bad that they couldn’t eat. The kids feel bad that they missed out. Just miserable the whole way around.
My suggestion is this. Take something that they can eat. Pack lunch, or a treat in a special “party only” lunch box. That way they can still eat with everyone else, but be safe at the same time.
I love baking Gluten free cupcakes in large batches. I then freeze them, so when there is a party, or special occasion. I can just pull one of those bad boys right out of the freezer, put some icing on it, and we are good to go. They thaw out quickly, and it saves a lot of problems that way.
Again, my mantra is be prepared. No matter where you travel there is a grocery store, promise! When we went to Disney in February for Disney Social Media Moms I was panicked! That was our first family vacation since all the allergies started flying. I called ahead to Disney, and with in a couple hours was emailed a list of every gluten free and dairy free food in all the restaurants in all their parks. You wouldn’t believe the lists of foods available! I was amazed! Disney is the best when it comes to customer service.
We also requested a microwave and fridge in the room. This was a life saver. I packed non-perishable groceries, and sent my husband out of the park to a Publix after we got settled the first night. He bought things like milk, and hot dogs that we could just pop in the microwave. Although, Disney was so allergy friendly, we rarely ate at the park. We saved a ton of money by bringing our own snacks, and allergen free food. It was a life saver.
Although life isn’t as easy when you have allergies, it isn’t impossible either. There is a simple solution to every problem. You just have to put a little more effort into it, and be a little more prepared, but you can enjoy life just as much as everyone else.