Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Candy Denial



Valentine's Day is usually a fun time for most people, but for a parent of a child who can only eat certain foods, it is not.

On Friday, my daughter had an impromptu Valentine's Day party at her school. Normally this is fine, but when I went to drop her off, I saw a ton of candy filled bags and cupcakes. Her teacher proceeded to come over and asked me if she was allowed to have anything. I let her know that she couldn't, but she could bring everything home. Well, to my amazement, when I picked her up she was sucking on a lollipop. I know most of you are thinking, what is wrong with a lollipop? For my daughter, a small lollipop could set off a chain of reactions. One reason being, she is allergic to blue dye.

My weekend was spent going through bags of candy (not only from the party on Friday, but also from a birthday party on Sunday). First, I had to take out all the chocolate candy for nut reasons. Then the hard candy was divided up depending on color (blue or purple (we all know red and blue make purple)). And last but not least, anything that had blue dye #1 in it but wasn't the color blue, I also put aside. If you are thinking that she wasn't left with a lot of candy choices, you are right.

As sad as it is, she is use to being denied certain foods. It doesn't get any easier explaining to her that she can't eat what the other kids are eating because of her food allergies. She thinks that all we have to do is stick her with her epipen and she will be all right. I have explained to her that if it comes to that point, it would be a serious matter. Maybe it will get easier for her and maybe it won't. One thing I do know is that I am the one who has to watch what goes into her mouth and until she is able to use discretion, I will be the candy separator.

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