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Sharing With Food Allergies

November 16, 2011

One of the oddest things about having a son with food allergies is telling my son he can’t share. We work hard to teach our kids to share their toys. And when other people offer their foods, it’s well-meaning. Before Joseph went to nursery at church, he would sit with other infants, and they would go through the things that the other parents had bought. When Joseph found the other kid’s food, I would take it away, only to have the parent say “It’s ok. He can have some.” Then I would have to say again, “No, he can’t. He’s allergic.” And then I feel very protective of Joseph’s snacks as well. They are about 3 times as expensive as other people’s snacks, and usually I only bring enough for Joseph. So when other kids see what Joseph is eating and ask if they can have some too, I say no.

Even though people are understanding, it does feel standoff-ish. And there is the fact that if I’m not watching Joseph like a hawk, he will try to snag other kids’ snacks. That is why I have tried to find foods that I don’t mind sharing, and that other people can share with him without buying specialty items. That way, while he can’t eat everything, he is still participating and contributing. Fruits are excellent, because they’re also healthy. When I’ve taken Joseph to parties, I bring an entire pan of Rice Krispy Treats that he can eat and share. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten, but I’m sure as I learn, I will find more things I can add to the list. And when Joseph starts making specific requests, I may even relax a bit about the cost of feeding people who don’t care about the specialty ingredients.

What allergy-friendly foods do you share? Feel free to leave links to recipes in the comments.

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