Monday, January 25, 2010

Food Allergies and Birthday Parties

Kids with food allergies and birthday parties don’t always go hand in hand, in my opinion. Most parents who have children with no food allergies don’t worry when they plan the menu. They tend to think about what their child likes to eat and serves it. Nothing against it, it is totally understandable, but it does cause some problems for parents with kids who can’t eat everything.

 My daughter was recently invited to a birthday party. Luckily they served cheese pizza and not regular food. I have noticed, in the past, some parents would get a little offended when I asked them where their food came from and how it was prepared. I would have to explain that she has food allergies and I have to be careful what she eats. Some understood, yet others weren’t so understand. So I try to plan now and bring food for my daughter depending on what they are serving. Even if she has her own food, I still have to watch how the other kids are eating around her. She is still young and doesn’t know how to keep an eye out for flying food or shared napkins. Or as nasty as this may sound, kids who talk with food in their mouths and spit it across the table.

Now, when it comes to the birthday cake and ice cream….. I have to say, I really feel for kids who are allergic to milk and eggs. That has to be hard to deal with. I can get around the ice cream sometimes with my daughter, but most of the time I avoid it. The cake, she can never have. Most bakeries have the warning on the boxes regarding nuts and tree nuts and even if it is homemade it could come from box cake mix, which we cannot do. I have asked my daughter if she wanted me to bring her a cupcake or slice of cake to eat when they sit down to have theirs, but she refuses. When she was younger it was easier to deal with, but as she gets older she seems to want to eat exactly what the other kids are eating.

 So, birthday parties for me aren’t always fun to attend. I spend most of my time looking to see if she is okay. Sometimes when kids carry food around or spill it near her, I have to make sure she doesn’t get any on her. I know I probably sound overbearing, but I have never had to use her epi pen and I plan on never having to use it. If that means watching her like I hawk, then that is what I will have to do.

 As I dropped my daughter off to school today a parent handed me an envelope. I opened it up. Guess what, another birthday party. Here we go again…..