Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Fun, Food Allergy-Free!

Summer means more play dates, visiting more relatives and friends, and can generally be more risky. We've already run into some unexpected circumstances, so I figure that many of you will as well. However, that risk can be minimized and managed with a few simple precautions.

Here are a few of my top tips for dealing with food allergies at summer parties and play dates:

Always assume food will be present. It always is, so have an allergy-free alternative on hand for your child. I'm putting together a couple of "treat bags" that my daughter can grab as she heads over to a friend's house. The last thing you want is for parents to give your child an unsafe food just because the kid is starving. Make up some of your own treat bags and have them ready near the front door.

Educate other parents. What does a reaction look like? How do you read a label? What are your kids permitted to eat or not eat? All of these questions need to be answered, so be prepared to answer them. It will ease your mind as well as theirs.

Become the hostess (or host) with the mostess. If possible, host the play dates at your home where you control the food, especially if your child is very young. It's often the best way to ensure safety when kids are too young to take responsibility for their allergy themselves.

Give them the tools. If your child is older and can understand more, make sure they understand that they only eat approved foods. Teach them to read labels and "when in doubt, do without." When they learn to politely refuse foods and go about playing, you're giving them confidence to handle themselves in the world without you.


Kelly Lynn said...

Hi! I'm SO glad I recently found your blog...I have read tons of great information and tips already. Thank you, thank you for making me feel a little less anxious about my almost 3-year-old's peanut allergy!

I was just wondering what kinds of things you include in your treat bags. That's a neat idea.

Tricia @Hodgepodge said...

So important! I've found that hosting myself is the easiest but you are right in educating others.

I sure appreciate all you do. I'm passing along a Blog With Substance Award to you

Diane said...

Hi I just wanted to let you know that I've been following your blog and think its great and has been very helpful! So helpful that I'm passing the Versatile Blogger award to you and mentioned you on my blog Thanks for sharing your peanut allergy challenges and advise.


Maria said...

Hi! I saw your entry on Enjoy Life and was wondering if I could use your real life experience in a fiction story. Thanks!

Jenny said...

Thanks everybody for the comments, awards and such!

Kelly Lynn, Regarding treat bags, I usually pack some things that I know are safe like Enjoy Life Foods or something I have home-baked. So usually it's some "safe" crackers or cookies, etc.

Thanks, Diane, for the Versatile Blogger award. I will post that right away!

Maria, thanks for asking but I will respectfully ask you to refrain from using my material for your own creative use. Since you're a writer like me I'm sure you can understand why I want to keep my stories and work for my own.

Jenny said...

Oh and Tricia, thanks for the Blog with Substance award! I appreciate it so much. :)