Food Allergies and Necessary Life Skills

Food Allergies and Necessary Life Skills

Mac and cheese. Pizza. Chicken tenders. String cheese. These are staples of childhood. And they are things my son can’t have. In fact, these foods could make him very sick — or worse. 

His food allergies aren’t the end of the world, but they do make life harder — for us as parents trying to find foods he’ll eat, yes, but mostly for him. We remain hopeful that he’ll grow out of them, but we’re also keenly aware he might not. And if he doesn’t? Well, he’s going to need certain skills when he gets older.

It’s Not Someone Else’s Job to Feed My Kid — But It Sure Is Nice

It’s Not Someone Else’s Job to Feed My Kid — But It Sure Is Nice

Weddings, birthday parties, family gatherings and neighborhood picnics. These are events that should be fun, right? But for parents of children with food energies, they can be stressful — from both a safety perspective and a social graces standpoint. 

Here’s what goes through my mind pre-event: Should I call and ask what they’ll be serving? Should I bring food for my son? Will they think we’re rude if we bring our own food? Would it be rude to call and ask? Will they feel like I’m pressuring them to change their menu? It doesn't matter; I just want to plan. Will they understand?

Then, at the event: Is that cheese on the floor? Is my son reaching for a doughnut? Does that bread have egg? I wonder if the host made these meatballs? Should I ask her what’s in them? Did I remember the EpiPen?

Our Food Allergy Journey, Year 3

Our Food Allergy Journey, Year 3

In just over a month, my husband and I will take our son to the allergist. It will be his third time having a skin test. I’ve been dreading the appointment since I scheduled it. I know it’s uncomfortable for him to have his skin pricked and scratched with a needle (for starters) — never mind the itching on his back that results from the allergic reactions he experiences. (Though he's always been so brave during these appointments.)

But I’m also dreading the appointment because I’m not very optimistic.

Today Is Mac & Cheese Day

Today Is Mac & Cheese Day

One of the hardest things about being the parent of a child with food allergies is worrying about how he feels when he sees other people eating things he can’t have. When his friends at school have cheese-and-cracker snacks, for example, is he jealous? Is he confused? Does he think his mom is cruel for sending apple slices and organic graham crackers … AGAIN?

Navigating Junk Food Holidays When You Have Food Allergies

Navigating Junk Food Holidays When You Have Food Allergies

One upside to food allergies is that we're not tempted by a lot of sweets — because he can't have a lot of sweets. But on the other hand, food holidays (and in particular, junk food holidays like Valentine's Day, Easter and Halloween) contribute to allergy parents' anxiety.

New Year's Resolutions for Cooking with Kids

New Year's Resolutions for Cooking with Kids

Well, here's something kind of cool — when you cook with your kids, you can tackle parenting and health together. I've been thinking about some things I want to accomplish in the kitchen with my son this year, and I thought I'd share some ideas on New Year's resolutions as they relate to cooking.

Yes, It's Time to Think About Next Thanksgiving

Congratulations! You have hosted a glorious and delicious Thanksgiving meal. (Or, hey, maybe you just barely survived — that deserves props too.) And hopefully, the dishes are almost done. If you are like us, it takes a few days to get caught up on all the dishes and cleaning  and leftovers.

But you're not quite "done" with Thanksgiving.

If you hosted or cooked anything at all for Thanksgiving, there is one additional task that I'd like to recommend from one home cook to another.

The Upsides to Hosting Thanksgiving

I feel like I need to come clean: I've never really loved Thanksgiving foods. I like cooking, and I love to eat. But turkey? Blah. Cranberry sauce? Nope. Potatoes? I can live without 'em. Gravy? Please, go away.

So, yeah, I'm probably not your obvious choice for Thanksgiving dinner host.