A MyFoodAllergyTeam Member
how do deal with family members who think some of your child's allergies are not that bad, or say, a little wont hurt them, or act like your killing them because you tell them they cant give your child something because he is allergic to it? my son is allergic to honey, milk, tomato, peanuts, tree nuts and cocnut,
Try all the good ideas but if you have family that isn't willing to try to be safe around your child, well I learned to be a witch. No she will not eat anything that doesn't have a label. She will not touch your pie because we both know that baking pan was used for a pecan pie last time! It stinks being labeled the difficult, hyper-aware mom but my child has made it to 15 by being vigilant. I kinda lost support from my family but at least my daughter was safe.
The hardest question was how to explain "why did grandma not read the package. She nearly killed me, mom."
Educate them. Ask your child's doctor for a copy of the diagnosis and any literature they may have on your child's allergies. Print off articles from the internet. Anything you can find that describes the nature of the allergy and the reactions, plus descriptions of what the allergen and the reaction to it does to the body, including long-term affects. Put it all in a packet and include a copy of the doctor/hospital bill from the last time he had a reaction. Give a packet to each family member. Our extended family did not understand our children's food allergies until we explained several times, they witnessed a reaction, and we walked them through preventing cross-contamination.
I also let them know when I get sick after bad encounters.
Luckily I am old enough to put boundaries up & not go to every dining event when they go places that don't offer safe options. I am starting to feel less guilty about declining invites.
I have an aunt who always said," It's all in your head." I never had a reaction around her. I just never ate anything that I was allergic to around her.
Try a little extra virgin olive oil drizzled with fresh basil on sweet potatoes with diced mango
I develop food allergies later in life. It has been a real challenge. It started with a soy allergy which blossomed into legumes, peanut, tree nut and now 10 years later the top eight allergens. I also have started struggling with environmental allergies such as perfumes, strong soaps, detergents, hairspray etc.
I let my company know years ago about the allergies and how I couldn’t attend certain events that were being catered because they usually have seafood and the airborne shellfish seafood smell makes me violently ill.
I’ve always managed to avoid it to a degree in the workplaces I travel to. However recently one of my bosses was the worst offender even after politely being reminded to please not to wear fragrance to our meeting he not only wore strong cologne and hair product he came in and sat right next to me. I politely moved in a small room with poor ventilation Within an hour I had a migraine and was vomiting.
When I removed myself I was later told they do not have anything on record stating that I have this allergy. So I went to the Dr for a script that I emailed to them. The ironic part of all this is I work for a company who advocates for peoples ADA rights on behalf of their disabilities. And my company is the worst offender!
I find this the most difficult as I have explained to my extended family and they agree with me. I then find out from my son when he is either in pain or breaking out in hives that he was given gluten and told it was gluten free. Two weeks ago he ended up in hospital so there is now an understanding!!
I still argue w my fam. They just can't get it that I can't eat certain things mashed potatoes gravy ( usually milk n butter in them) brown sugar on sweet potatoes heck sweet potatoes any sugar
I am the child who's family thinks it's not that bad... my dad frequently asks if I'm over the peanut allergy hahah... it's only funny to me now because I know he's kidding, but we used to fight about it a lot until I gave him a nice reality check on the situation.
But dch05 is right, you have to stand up to your family. Typically people have no idea what it is like until they get a good talking to. I find that educating people is ideal. I tend to eat before family events or bring an already prepared plate and just heat it up while I'm there. No one really thinks twice about it anymore. One of my cousins actually developed allergies later in life so eating with her family is great because they get it and everyone is super careful!