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Feeling Like a Social "Wet Blanket" When Your Child Has Food Allergies
By Linda Marienhoff Coss
All of the precautions that you need to take and all of the questions that you need to ask before taking your child to another person's home are bound to start to make you feel like a social "wet blanket". My best advice (which, unfortunately, is fairly harsh) is to get over it. Your child has food allergies and therefore, has special needs. You cannot force your family into the same mode of living that other families (who are not dealing with the challenge of life-threatening food allergies) enjoy. What you can do is to create a new life for you and your family that is both joyous and as "normal" as possible. Accept the fact that you can no longer take a carefree approach to life and just do your best to maintain a positive and upbeat attitude.
As parents we may feel sad that we are always sending our children to social events with a lunchbox of food. We feel they are missing out on a wonderful aspect of life. Food is very much a part of our culture, and social events are associated with an opportunity to eat "special" food. Try to keep in mind, though, that if your child has spent his entire life not eating the food at parties, he might not feel left out at all. Given a choice, he may even prefer the favorites that you have packed for him to the "strange" food that everyone else is eating.
Copyright (c) 2004, Linda Marienhoff Coss, all rights reserved.
Excerpted with permission from "How to Manage Your Child's Life-Threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips for Everyday Life" by Linda Marienhoff Coss.
More information about this book can be found in KFA's Allergy Book Shop.
Reviewed by KFA Medical Advisory Team August 2005