“Day 0.” I was filled with relief, terror, and clinging to hope when our allergy results came. I cried walking aisles at the store. Like any great journey, it began with taking the first step and plodding every day toward one goal: reclaiming our health.
And then there was the response. There were a few that were supportive. Others dismissed it as “junk science”, made-up hypochondriac tendencies, or our attempt to jump on a “fad diet.” I had a doctor on social media tell me there was no medical need for us to eliminate our allergen. Finding support is sometimes hard to come by.
So, I am often asked now, how is the best way to support people with food allergies?
Always Be Prepared! Before we had gluten issues, my kids had friends who did. I wanted them to love coming to my house. That means having snacks. I asked for a list of their favorites to keep in my house. That eliminates the possibility of getting yucky GF treats and contamination.
Get educated. By asking lots of questions, you will get the information you want and make the people you are learning for feel loved. Figure out the rules to play by. And make friends with Google!
Gear up. There are things you can do to avoid cross-contamination from your kitchen to their mouths. Use tinfoil on cookie sheets and baking dishes. Throw a slow cooker liner in mixing bowls. Wash everything! And, when in doubt, use disposable utensils. Use separate areas and utensils to prepare GF food.
Be not offended. After having a friend whose son has anaphylactic reactions, they had no room error. Even though I knew how to cook GF, my friend insisted on sending food for her child. So, you know what I did? I let her. And, I smiled at her when she dropped it off. It is less stress on me and more peace of mind for her.
Supporting people with food allergies is hard. It takes time and intentional effort. The people who support us hold the dearest spot in my heart. Their small efforts mean a little break for me. That is one moment of not having to carry the burden by myself. One break does help when “Day 0” turns in to every minute of every day of the rest of your life.
This post brought to you by my go to gal Kendra Smith, Gluten Free EXTRAORDINAIRE!