The world wasn’t exactly designed for food allergies. Well, that might be a bit harsh. Our society isn’t set-up for food allergies. Maybe that’s better? Maybe not. It still sounds pretty harsh. I don’t intend to be harsh. I really don’t.
But take a moment to think about it. Really think about your week. What did you do this week? What activities did you attend? Was there food involved those activities? Did you rush from event to event? Did you run through fast food or stop by your favorite spot to grab a quick bite? Did you cook at home? Run to the grocery store?
Do you see where I’m going with this? Everything in American society seems to include and/or revolve around food. This isn’t a BAD thing by no means. Part of what I love about being invited to go to parties or events is the food. I’ll be honest, I LOVE food. LOVE food. Let me say that one more time….I. LOVE. Food. Part of what makes me love food is the same thing that has me loving coffee. Well, beyond the caffeine.
I love the bond that comes with food. A party isn’t a party without food. No food, its like a quick drop-by to drop something off. Certainly not a party. Meeting friends at a resteraunt is way more enjoyable. Grabbing a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop, has to be fun. Right?
Society and tradition has us believing we can’t get together without food. But you see, what happens if you’re allergic to food. That one little thing everyone serves? Yeah. Depending on the circumstance, you get left out. Life changes immensely.
My challenge to anyone stumbling upon this little, insignificant entry is consider doing your next event without food. OR better yet, if you serve food. ASK about food allergies. Invite that person/family that NEVER gets invited to things because of their food allergies. MAKE a point to serve as much “safe food” as possible.
Because if you do, you will have made someone’s day a little easier. That person who you did just a little for, will be forever grateful. The emotional response is hard to explain, but TRUST me IT is 100% worth it.. To help someone feel less like the outsider, the problem, lonely, and all those other feelings you get when you’re the only one (or family) not invited. I promise, once you’ve done it once, you’ll realize its a simple task that has a HUGE impact.
Let’s all make the world a better place, one event at a time.
A few weeks ago, The Little Guy had his follow-up appointment with his allergist. It really was an incredible appointment. We did the usual history and answering questions about recent allergic reactions. We discussed the BIG wins of being able to go on vacation and actually eat out EVERY meal. That was HUGE for us. We actually vacationed like a typical/normal family.
After all the housekeeping, we talked about expectations and goals. We talked about one of The Little Guy’s goals was to be able to get wheat back. We talked about how far The Little Guy had come. She also stated for the first time EVER that she felt pretty positive he would outgrow ALL of his allergies. Yes you read that correct. My little allergic baby, may some day NOT be an allergic baby!
Following his appointment we got even better news! He will be doing a wheat challenge in December! He was very excited but disappointed. Disappointed because he wanted to do it earlier! We will be impatiently, patiently waiting for this day to come. We will also be praying that it goes well and he has a safe and successful wheat challenge.
I have two kids, one with food allergies and one without. My eldest has no food allergies and my youngest allergies have improved greatly. He is now down to only two main allergies: Wheat and Nuts/Peanuts. Its amazing to have seen his progress.
I often talk about our food allergies and the struggles with food and finding food when away from home. I try to share a balance of struggles and successes. Sometimes I find this balance hard. Its easy to look at the negatives and a bit harder some days to find a positive.
We were out and about earlier this week and it was lunch time. We’d stopped by Target for the ICE waters, they were on sale for $1.00 and my kids were asking for one. I was starving so thought I’d look for something quick we could eat that would save me from cooking. Unfortunately, the Target wasn’t a Super Target so it wasn’t looking overly hopeful.
As we wandered, we found ourselves in the Lunchables aisle. My daughter suggested we get one. I gave my usual reply, “No. We need to find something Little Guy safe”. She excitedly said, “Mommie there’s a Lunchables he can have!” After a few times back and forth, I processed what she said. And, she was correct! He can have exactly 1 Lunchables.
The Nacho Lunchables is safe. It does not contain wheat or nuts. Its basically corn tortilla chips and salsa with cheese dip. So it works for his allergies. We were all super excited. Little Guy was excited to try out something new. He wanted to wait to eat until he got home while his sister ate in the car. After eating it, he decided the salsa was better than the cheese sauce.
I know, to the average kid, eating a Lunchables isn’t a huge deal. Its hardly blog worthy. For some its even a monthly, weekly, or daily substitution for school lunch. But for a little guy who has grown up with many limitations its exciting to eat something other kids eat and enjoy.
You see a simple Lunchables is so much more than a Lunchables. Its an opportunity to be a typical (because I’m trying hard to stop using normal) kid. To blend into the background instead of to stick out. To be like his friends. A Lunchables is also freedom. If we’re out and about and lunch time hits. We now have another option to run into any grocery store and grab him lunch. Prior to this, we had to be selective which grocery stores we stopped at in order to increase our chances of finding food for him. Then, we had to search for something that would work. This is simplified. This is easier and faster.
So yeah, this is so much more than a Lunchables. And we are beyond excited about this.