Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My child is about to return home from college and some friends and I were chatting over this long holiday weekend as the question came up: while he w  as away, did we eat all the foods he can't? It's a good question -- so why do I say it in hushed tones.  Did we or didn't we and if we did --was it wrong?   For years we have all adhered to strict avoidance, kept foods out of our homes, not cooked certain items. So when the barn doors are opened-- do we run?  I think there's a certain amount of guilt accompanying eating foods your kids can't. Foods that you may have yearned for. Foods that were family traditions. Foods that easy to find in a train station or easy to pick up after work.    We've all had that moment: the wouldn't- it -be -so -easy. But we all stop and regroup. And hope our food allergic kid didn't see the wistfulness in our eyes. Because they don't get the choice.  They have to do the right thing every minute of every day, so it feels wrong for us adults to wish for something different for ourselves.     So did we eat foods my kid can't eat-- yes. We went out to dinner for Thai. I made spaghetti at home.  Did we feel guilty-- not exactly. But certainly we felt odd, out of practice in some way, and we found what we had always believed in, mantra like: it's not the food that makes the meal it's the people around the table. 

Monday, May 14, 2012


FAAN and FAI merge!

Great news that FAAN and FAI will merge-- I mean why not have one premiere organization that we can all support: FAAN can be the education and information branch and FAI can find funds to support research and legislation. We should all be singing with one voice--especially in Washington and with State regulators. So I am all on board.

And aside from this news, i hope you all are doing well. It's time for summer plans and camp decisions and that means health forms and long talks with camp dining services and the like.

Thinking about food does take up much of our time, and as the latest FAAN blogger mom notes-- it's worth the smile on our kids' faces.
But let's acknowledge too that it's time consuming and stressful. Not only do we have to think about what to bring, but we have to do the shopping, the preparation, and the planning for the event itself.

I had this realization again, recently. Since my son's at college and dealing with his allergies on his own, I've not been in the thick of it. But I went for a visit and had gotten tickets to a baseball game. I knew the French fries were safe, as were a couple of the bratwurst/hot dog items--but I know my son isn't that comfortable trying new items at a ball park. So I found a supermarket near my hotel and bought cold cuts, and cut up veggies-- which were great for the ride home from the game, since no kid --nobody really--wants to eat carrot sticks when everyone else is eating nachos...

But this one little trip to the grocery reminded me, again, that food allergies are a full-time job. For us, for our kids. It helps to know we're not alone, and that we don't have to re-invent the wheel each day. But we should also remember to reach out for support, step back and get some perspective, and try not to feel isolated by the everyday work of it all.

And--coming soon to this blog-- RECIPE BUILDER-- after all this time cooking without the Big Eight, I am ready to help build easy, family friendly recipes for other families. Email me at or leave a comment for more information.