Monday, 3 February 2014
What? NO NUTS????????????
A couple of friends have recently posted questions and comments onto FB about how to deal with their little ones starting school and keeping them safe in terms of their food allergies.
The kids know they are allergic, and to ask questions and not share food, or eat someone else's lunch.
But still - we want to keep our kids safe especially when the consequences can be so harmful, life threatening in some cases.
My cousin, who is in his early 30's has a serious allergy to nuts. He's been hospitalized several times AS AN ADULT when a waiter in a restaurant has assured him 'no nuts' and they were wrong.
Mum is allergic to kiwi fruit - even the knife that's cut the kiwi fruit if it touches other fruit will set her off. My brother, to oats. Cheese used to make me sneeze but thank goodness I grew out of that one.
MrsH is allergic to strawberries and frangapani's. She won't have either in the house. We don't serve strawberry anything while she visits with us.
I can't drink red wine (shame, eh?) but port is fine (yeah). Friends are welcome to drink as much red wine as they like, and I'm very happy with my white or Prosecco.
MissM's friend is allergic to dairy. We simply made sure when she visited, we had non dairy foods for EVERYONE to eat, not just her. In fact, for MissM's birthday party, the birthday cake was non dairy, as was all the party food. MissG said it was the first party besides her own that she could eat all the food with the kids, and not have a 'special plate' waiting for her.
It was easy to organize.
Another buddy has an epipen and her mum gave me a quick lesson in how to use it. OK. Probably won't ever have to, but hey just in case now I know.
Another friend of ours is allergic to Fish - so guess what? When they come over, we don't eat fish.
I hosted a coffee morning for the IWCD, and one lady mentioned she'd love to come but needed gluten free food. So, I bought a couple of packs of gluten free cookies which we all shared, served a platter of fruit, and cheese'n'crackers. No one knew any differently.
We've had house guests who are vegetarian, pescatarian - doesn't matter so long as we know, we'll shop and cook accordingly.
It's really easy to be considerate of friends needs without it impacting on you.
We eat all the fish we want when our friend's not with us.
MissM has lashings of strawberry jam on her toast, when her godmother isn't visiting.
We eat dairy, just not when MissG visits.
It's easy and the right thing to do.
MissM's schools have all been nut free zones.
In fact, her school in UK had photos of the kids with allergies, and their specific one/s hanging on the walls of the kitchen and dining rooms at school so that EVERYONE was aware. All meals were prepared and served by school, for everyone. Even the kids with allergies did not have dispensation. School was a nut free zone, but dairy and gluten etc were omitted from specific kids meals.
MissM's current school is a nut free zone, and has also banned crisps, popcorn, sweet drinks, soda pops, lollies, chocolate and breakfast bars from home made lunches. They have a canteen that serves hot food and it's a healthy kitchen. The only thing that we've had to stop putting into MissM's home made lunches are the odd serving of popcorn (organic of course) and the handy snack bar. But apparently some parents went bonkers!
It astounds me that 'some' people find it shocking that THEY should pack a different lunch when it's not their kid who has the allergy?
What are we teaching our kids?
We are the role models here - by showing consideration of others, by thinking of our friends needs, by being a good friend, caring for others and yes, sometimes even putting ourselves last is way more important than a nut.