Family, Food Allergies

So we’ve all heard the horror stories: grandparents sneaking your tree-nut allergic child a walnut brownie saying, “A little can’t hurt.”

I’m looking for some stories of families who support your dietary restrictions.

Whether parents, sibs, grands, in-laws, please share!

With Thanksgiving soon approaching, we could all use some great supportive family stories.


~M said…
My parents bought me pots and pans for their home so I'll feel comfortable cooking my gf food for them.

My 21-year-old brother started buying Tinkyada pasta and keeps Pamela's mix (note: contains nuts and dairy) to keep in his freezer. He uses these items, and always has something on hand to feed me. In fact, since I've been teaching him how to cook, I would say that 90%+ of his dinners are naturally gf: protein + brown rice + vegetable/salad. He's lost 30 lbs in the process too, and looks fantastic! He's making my parents, husband, and me Shabbat dinner tonight; I know it'll be tasty!
Allergic Girl® said…
i love this story! thank you for sharing. gut shabbos!
TF said…
My parents have three allergic grand children (of the four kids). It's the little things they think of that let me know my kids are safe eating at their home. For example,when they open a jar of jelly, if it has been used in making a pb&j they mark the lid with a X if it's just the kids it gets a :) Very simple and everyone knows what it means!
Gab said…
My mom has been ana. to shellfish her whole adult life. Growing up it was normal for us to practice avoidance and watch out for cross contamination so she wouldn't get sick and end up in the hospital (which has happened on more than one occasion even after being diligent). Who knew that it would prepare me so well for being a PA parent?

Needless to say, my mom and dad's home is one place where I don't worry AT ALL about my daughter. And should she somehow have a reaction while with them, they know exactly what to do (based on their own experience). Sure they have nutty stuff at there house, but they 'get it' and take the proper precautions - so I don't worry. It's a relief.
Allergic Girl® said…
terri what a great idea! thanks!

gab: love this. may i go your parents house? :-)
Diana said…
My family is still completely confused by the whole food allergy thing. But I've had three other really great experiences:

1. At work, my coworkers keep a candy bowl full of candy that is safe for me to snack on. They're also very good about not handling unsafe food before using communal computers, pens, etc.

2. A friend of mine is getting married next month. Because two of us have nut allergies, she's planning the menu around us because she wants all of us to have a good time.

3. I recently went to a conference. I called the catering group ahead of time. The head of catering triple-checked all of the ingredients, gave me a list of what was safe, and identified me at the conference to reassure me that that list was still accurate.
Marty said…
DH's family is totally made up of fantastic cooks. There are four of us in the extended family that have significant multiple allergies. My SIL Norma works so hard to make sure that I can actually have a fairly balanced dinner at her house when the fam gets together. I have the largest number of allergies and sometimes only get one or two things to eat at gatherings, so I REALLY appreciate this. Kudos to Norma!!
Unknown said…
My 6 y.o. is allergic to peanuts. Ever since the diagnosis, my parents have kept a peanut-free house. No peanuts or peanut butter, ever. They even try to use all the same exact brands of foods (including olive oils and canola oil, everything!) we do so he can easily eat whenever he visits their home.
Rose said…
Last christmas my sister-in-law decided to make homemade chocolates and homemade granola as gifts. At the time my 3y old was highly intolerant to corn which is in EVERYTHING. SIL got the link to the corn free list from me. She then called me from whole foods and went over any ingredient she wasn't sure of. When she was done at least one of the granola's and half the chocolates were totally corn free so daughter could safely enjoy the treats too. I love my sister-in-law! :)
Allergic Girl® said…
fantastic stories-keep them coming!
Unknown said…
My mother had a party in Toronto for about 50 relatives. She made calls to stores all around town and was able to source an entirely nut-free meal, with no previous experience. Because of her, we learned about Richmond's Bakery, and she frequently picks up items from there and brings them to us when she comes to visit. I'm very impressed with how seriously she took matters, the effort she made, and how well she pulled things off.
Elizabeth Goldenberg, President
Onespot Allergy
sarah said…
we are very lucky that the vast majority of our family understand the whole allergy issue (it did take a while though!) and they are good at reading labels, and making safe food.

whats really nice now is that they ask our son , rather than me, as he is nearly 14 and old enough to explain.
its gives him more of a chance to gain confidance when communicating his allergies.

and i learn to step back, because thats my problem at the moment, i have to recognise that he can do more, and its safer in the long run that he does!
SKU said…
Our local homeschool group goes above and beyond to include my pa daughter in the food side of activities. They bring labels, check with me on ingredients, etc so that she can participate too. They have even gone so far as to make 2 completely separate batches of treats so that one is safe for her. They've been wonderful!

When we get together with extended family for meals they also read or provide labels. While the meals aren't always completely safe they don't ever use peanuts and try to let us know the menu in advance so we can fill in the gaps by bringing her own food.
Jenny said…
My mom made her house nut-free as soon as she found out about my daughter's allergy. She's extremely careful.

My sister also went nut-free and asks me about foods and provides the safe ones each time we visit. She is 100% for her niece.

Before every visit, my MIL asks me about ingredients and foods. She's a great cook and told me at our last visit that she appreciated less eating out and eating and preparing "good simple food" when we visit.

In some cases, we've had a few relatives not take it as seriously but close family members are on board. Oh, and our friends are HUGELY supportive. Makes life a lot easier.
Maria H said…
We're lucky to have a lot of support from both my parents and in laws, but since we live the closest to my parents they've had to make the most changes and they have happy to do it! It's been an education process for everybody and unfortunately we have had a severe reaction at their house, but it was an incredible learning process for them that ingredients and cross contamination can't be overlooked. Positively, they are now nut free and garlic free, and even have very limited cow's milk as well. My Brother and Sister in Law have made significant changes in the way they want to feed themselves and their kids too, so all of our family events and meals are coordinated around being almost completely allergy safe. My sister in law is originally from Europe so she has embraced going back to her whole and fresh foodie roots! It's been such a blessing to enjoy these times again.
suz said…
My parents are being fantastically supportive and letting me cook an all nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free Thanksgiving extravaganza. In return, I've eliminated all the dairy from my meal to support my parents being Kosher (not mixing milk and meat,) even though I'm not. My dad is also a nut allergy sufferer so I'm lucky I've never had to worry about that.

The great thing about family is that they are supposed to love you and help you when you need them to. I'm very lucky to have people around me who are willing to do that.
We've had lots of negative family issues but we've also had a few positives.
My mother desperately wants to cook for my son. She really tried to buy things that I tell her are safe and she always keeps them in the house. She also goes out of her way to go to the special grocery to get all of his gluten free cookies and pretzels so that she can give him special treats at her house (I send food, but she wants things to come from Grandma).
We are still working on label reading but she always tries to be as careful as possible.
This year, due to our Halloween incident, I've asked that NO outside food be brought into my house. My mother has agreed and sadly her famous pierogis will not be part of our dinner this year, but she didn't take offense and for that I am grateful.
Anonymous said…
Is it too late to "share"? I have a first cousin who came up with this "solidarity" phrase so when her kids and mine, for example, eat in a diner or do something special they don't get something like french fires out of "cousin solidarity" since my son can't have them. It brings tears to my eyes. Imagine a ten and six year old being so inwardly beautiful...
Katie Lou said…
My own mother and father have been a huge help to us in regards to the childrens food allergies. Both of my kiddos have multipile severe FA's. My Mom and Dad are their only babysiters.

My mom, bless her heart, makes a safe meal for my children every single Sunday, and makes extra so that they can have enough for lunch 1 or 2 days through the week. I can not tell you what it means to not have to cook just 1 day a week, and still know that my children are being feed safe foods!

We live in the country about a 2 hour drive away from any organic/food allergy friendly grocery stores. I can't count how many times Mom has shown up at my house with grocery bags full of specialty products for the kids. She researches right along with me, and is always trying to find new fun treats to make for them.
the Rich girl said…
My older sister recently found out that she is allergic to the following food items: wheat, milk, corn, beef, chicken, peas, green beans, squash, coconut, and cherries.

I know she's pretty bummed out about all of this, especially because she is starting to feel like she can't eat anything anymore.

Where can we go to find ideas for foods that she can eat?

Thanks for your help, and I'll be sending her your blog so she can follow on blogspot if she wants.
Anonymous said…
Thanks so much for this post. This was a real help to me as I used to to help explain this exact concern and my wife and I have as we enter the holiday season to our families.
My parents always have special food for my son that is safe, no contamination, everything from healthy to desserts!

I also have a dear friend who, when her son has a birthday party, makes at least some of the party food safe for my son, even though I've volunteered to bring our own (not a big deal to us).

But my favorite stories to tell are those from school. Of classmates who "police" who gets to sit near my son based on their lunch, to the ones who want to bring in safe snacks that he can eat too, and this year, his new best friend (he's at a new school) who changed from eating PBJs so he could sit next to him at lunch.

It really brings tears to my eyes when his friends "get it" and do whatever they can to keep him company--AND keep him safe.
kristen said…
I'm new to this blog but had to comment. How can people NOT be sensitive to allergies? I just don't get it. Do they want to be responsible for making someone really sick (or worse)?
My husband is allergic to nuts and my sister has celiac disease (diagnosed last year) so maybe I'm a little more sensitive to it now than I was say 10 years ago, but as a kid I always had friends with allergies so it was just a part of life.
Maybe I'm of the "generation" that is used to allergies and that's why I don't get it? Because seriously, I don't understand how people would sneak a walnut filled brownie to a kid because "a little doesn't hurt".
Anonymous said…
My sister and in laws are not very accommodating my sons dairy, egg, peanut, beef,and pork allergies.

My 76 year old Mom is the best. When we visit from out of town she ALWAYS has safe foods on hand and makes sure to serve awesome allergen free dinners. She has even found some foods that were allergen free that I had not thought of. She is the best.

My sons preschool teacher has food allergies. I love that he is in her class. She goes out of her way to make sure he can be included in the food activities in school. During the school's feast day for Thanksgiving they made sure to have a plate for my son. they had his allergy list in the kitchen and referred to it. I was touched.

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