Socially Awkward Moments

End of the school year, and the end of the T-Ball season is upon us here. My son’s T-Ball team won a pizza party for selling the most fund-raising raffle tickets; [mostly due to my husbands efforts]. But Caleb is allergic to Dairy and wont be able to have any. So I need to plan to bring something separate for him, or feed him beforehand.  They plan to have something for dessert Friday night too.  So I get to make for the whole team, or make and bring something special for him again. Last weekend one of the parents brought cupcakes for all the kids, and Caleb could not have any. I hate feeling like he is left out, or that he might be sad about not getting to do things that his friends can; and in truth, I think it probably bothers me more than him. He seems to just accept that is the way of it, and I do encourage that attitude; but there is that part of me that still feels- what? I guess a little insulted that his food allergies are not taken into consideration by others. It goes back to the fact that unless a person has to deal with it, or knows someone who does; the idea that food can make someone sick, or kill them- is just abstract.

SO how to deal with these socially awkward moments? My best advice is to establish good communication with the people in your life: the teachers, coaches, parents, and clubs. Let them know about the food allergies in the beginning, and ask for advance notice of parties and such so you have time to prepare food, treats, or snacks as the function demands. I try to keep a stash of “Safe” cupcakes [and cookies], in the freezer for just such occasions, that I can pull out and frost, for parties.  I also keep a supply of Enjoy Life chocolate bars stashed away that can be offered as special treats in a pinch! But the best tool in my kit is -by far- the wonderful positive attitude my son always has.  We talk about his allergies, he knows he can’t eat some things, and that food can make him very sick. He accepts it and is great about telling anyone who will listen about his allergies, and his medic alert bracelet.  We do role-plays where I will ask him what to do if someone offers him unfamiliar food, or any food- what should he say? How should he respond if friends offer him snacks or teachers? What should he do if he starts feeling sick, or has trouble breathing or his throat or mouth hurts? I also have taken pictures when my boys have allergic reactions, this helps my allergist see what the reactions were, but also helps my boys see it. I don’t pretend to know all the answers here. I fully admit it. It is definitely trial by fire when it comes to dealing with food allergies!

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6 Responses to Socially Awkward Moments

  1. Aurea June 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Its a hard one, I grew up allergic to milk as well – but not anaphylactic. There are times when I feel left out but its funny, becasue as I got older it was people around me who used to feel worse for me..which was really sweet. Caleb sounds like a great kid and very understanding! I don’t know the cross-contamination issues for his allergies, but we used to order a cheeseless pizza (with a bit of extra sauce) so I could take part and it can actually taste really great… but like I say, maybe that wouldn’t suit…just a thought 🙂

    • Multiplefoodallergyhelp~Jenny June 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

      When I make pizza at home for us I make his cheese-less! Thank you for your comments, I am just having one of those moments of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted! 🙂 best to you! Jenny

  2. LF June 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    My daughter had her first cry about not being the same the other day. She has always handled it well, however we had atopy patch testing last week, and it brought out some anxities for her. At 4.5 years old she finally looked at me and asked why she can not be like others and have soy items. She knew the answer, however it was the first time she did a “why me?”. We talked about other people and children who have much worse allergies/intolerances, and children who have grown out of them. She never mentioned it, but for the first time we walked out to go to a birthday party the day before and I forgot to bring her cake. She never said a word when they cut the cake, and she just took a ball and continued playing. As a mom, my heart sunk as I realized what I did. The next night is when she had the “why me?”.
    I hope that at the school they will allow you to put cupcakes and such in the freezer for those surprises that come up. It happens to us all the time too.
    I do find communicating with people is the best way. Notifications to the dance class, karate class and 4h clubs she is in does help when given at the start of the season, however as you said…many that do not live with it do not understand. Our children will be the ones who love everyone for who they are not just because they conform to what society asks them to be. The will have great self esteem!

  3. Jen McE August 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    My son would rather starve at a party (and still have fun) than put anything in his mouth that he *thinks* may have nuts in it or potatoes. The way he feels after eating those foods is so horrible that he doesn’t think of not eating food as ‘being left out’. for him, he’s ensuring that he’ll be ‘left in’ the good times by feeling at the top of his game! He’s only 6, and I’m proud of him!

    • Multiplefoodallergyhelp~Jenny August 6, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

      Hi Jen, Thanks for checking out the website and your comments! I love your son’s attitude! My son is exhibiting similar traits! It makes me really proud when I hear people offer him treats and he is casually ‘No, thanks, it’s not my-safe”! He even had the foresight to ask about the soap he was going to use at my Aunts before he washed his hands!~As many have almond or milk, etc! Love the confidence they are being raised with! ~Best to you! Jenny

  4. paniced2 April 13, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    Enjoy life bars have been our savior. I always have one in the diaper bag for such occasions. However; our endocrine doesn’t want him to have any carbs now- still haven’t figured that out. My son is allergic to soy and milk and he is avoiding the other major allergins- no he can’t have carbs, kind of stuck on what to feed my very picky 3 year old:)

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