It seems like someone says something about food allergies at every class party or food day at school. "OMG, why do we have to bring pre-packaged food? When I was a kid my mom baked cupcakes for school." I also hear the, "Why can't my kid bring PB&J to school? That's all she will eat," question, too. Sometimes I hear, "Yeah, right, I bet she's not actually allergic." But as a mom to kids with food allergies, there are so many things I want you to know.
First off, hearing those comments hurts. The idea that some people think my kids' right to be safe at school is less important than their child's ability to eat what they want or like is pretty unbelievable. And it's not like I don't understand, either. In my experience, meal time is one of the hardest parts of parenting. But as a mom to both kids with food allergies and kids who will eat almost anything, I can tell you that food allergies make meal time so much harder. So it annoys the hell out of me to have to explain their medical conditions to strangers and, as a result, receive unsolicited advice about how to "cure them" or comments that their allergies might not be real.
My kids' food allergies are not only real, they could kill them. It's terrifying. With help from my daughter's teachers, administrators, and doctors, we've come up with an allergy plan to help keep her safe, but despite all of our efforts she's still had allergic reactions when I wasn't there. Then, there's my youngest. As of now, the list of foods he can't have is almost as long as the list of foods he'll actually eat.
So believe me when I say there are so many things food allergy moms want you to know, including the following: