Have you ever taken your kids to a birthday party or family gathering, only to spend the whole time worrying about whether someone will give them something they’re allergic to?
I’ll never forget the first time Aunt She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named tried to feed my then 2-year old daughter some chocolate.
Like any aunt, she wanted to love on my little girl but she just couldn’t understand how a 2-year old could be allergic to anything — let alone CHOCOLATE.
Yes, I’m THAT Parent at Parties.
Clammy. Sweaty. Worried. Somewhere between paranoia, schizophrenia, and murder.
There was this one time I swear I jumped across the room like I was LeBron James going up for a dunk when I saw someone handle my kids, after eating without washing their hands.
I’d like to think I’ve gotten better. Honestly, I couldn’t have been more paranoid.
I’d freak out whenever my family or friends would try feeding her milk-laced candies, baked goods, or anything dairy.
She wasn’t the only one — my son is allergic to eggs, milk, and nuts as well. It’s as if my kids can’t eat anything (right now) that any grandparent, aunt, or uncle wants to feed them.
I used to feel bad because I thought my kids were the only one with these challenges, and that no one would ever understand.
Leaving my daughter alone during a huge family gathering — even if I had to go to the bathroom — gave me anxiety that I swear I set world records for shortest pee by any woman in history.
It was like I had 911 on speed dial.
Moms, It’s Our Job to Make People Around Our Kids Aware of Their Allergies
Here are four things I did that you might find helpful the next time you take the little ones (and their allergies) to a party.
#1. Show-and-Tell the Epinephrine Injector, Baby.
There’s nothing more effective than waving around a big freakin’ needle to everyone at a party saying, “Hey everyone, here is where the big needle that will save [enter child’s name] life if any of you happen to feed her chocolate, okayyyyy?”
I would even show them exactly where to inject the needle into her left thigh … a la John Travolta trying to make sure Uma Thurman didn’t OD in Pulp Fiction.
But seriously, this created an “Oh my gosh, I’m too scared to feed that kid anything” moment. Fear works, people.
#2. Describe What Your Child’s Face Will Look Like During A Reaction
This sounds dramatic, but I really don’t mean it to be. Don’t be afraid to use words like hives, vomiting, coughing, choking, blue-in-the-face, and shortness of breath to get the point across.
This makes everyone at the party a watchdog for your little ones (and apparently some people need the additional fear of death to make sure they don’t feed your kids).
#3. Always Come Prepared with Meals, Snacks, Beverages and other Safe Foods
When I travel with the kiddos, I always have an ample supply of [FOODS FOR THE KIDS].
You never know what kind of food will be served wherever you’re going (even if it’s to your mother’s) — and this way there’s zero chance the kids will go hungry on account of being allergic to certain foods.
#4. Teach the Kids to Say “No, Thank You.”
No matter how hard someone tries to offer food to my kids, I can have at least a little peace of mind knowing they won’t eat something they’re allergic to. This took a lot of work, but it was well worth it.
Not Sure How to Teach the Kids to Say “No”?
I have a free guide here that will help you teach the kids how to say no to whatever they’re allergic to — especially that cookie that could kill them.
If you’re anything like me, keeping your kids from something they enjoy is one of the hardest things about being a parent. But I’ve learned a few things that have worked will with my kids for the last 9 years and they’re all in this free guide:
How To Teach Your Kids to Say NO! to the Cookie that Could Kill Them.