You know who we are. We are those who constantly ask what is in that and say we can’t eat that. There was a time in my life where I had just the one food allergy. It was glorious. Along the way I have built a nice collection of allergies that completely altered my diet, care routine, and trust. It affects everything. And its nothing compared to my stepson who has bakers dozens of food and environmental allergies. Then we have intolerances of the ridiculous kind that might as well be allergies. We are well stocked in antihistamines.
We DO NOT wish to be these people.
At Holiday functions we must be these people. On Halloween our children will say thank you politely and bring their bags home to meticulously inspected. It kinda sucks the fun out of it. Except for parent taxes. If you have food allergies then you are our people. I have hard learned suggestions for those holiday gatherings for us. If you do not have food allergies then I have some hard learned suggestions on how to handle us in these gatherings.
Holiday Gatherings with Food Allergies
For the food allergy people-
- Ask. Ask. Ask and apologize once for inconvenience it might cause. It’s just being polite but not apologetic for doing what you must to survive. Ask what is being served, if their are alternatives (don’t expect it), etc. You give kindness in your situation, usually your host reciprocates it.
- Plan ahead. When you can bring food. My bag, my kids’s bags, and travel bags have food that accommodate our allergies. It is your and our responsibility to be sure you have what you need and work within your food issues, not someone’s else. You can always ASK (see number one), but ultimately it is up to you. Our families and friends are great at working with us.
- Be proactive and offer a dish or two that you know you can eat and share. It is helpful to you and your host.
- Get ingredient list and read labels. Ahead of time when possible and if available.
- Have a medical plan and supplies in case of an oops or emergency. Know where the nearest hospital is and be well stocked. Epi pens only buy you time and you may need more than one pen to make it.
For the non- food allergy people
- Please do not be insulted by our questions. We have to ask. To survive. It is not a reflection on your cooking skills (we haven’t eaten it yet) or hosting skills. I’m sure you are lovely.
- Please do not take offense if we bring food or offer to bring a dish. We are trying to help you help us. It’s really awkward when we can’t eat anything or just the one thing.
- Please be gracious as our bruised ego has to be meticulous in ingredients. We are trying not to use our number five.
A little goes a long way when our food allergy people are prepared and our non-food allergy people are accommodating. It can be enjoyable with flexibility and understanding on both sides. Join Teal Pumpkin Project for your trick or treaters that are “those people.” Your kindness will be returned to you.
Namaste and Share for Foodies of All Types