One thing I have noticed as a food allergy parent is the struggle with how to approach a new dinner invitation. Something that used to be so normal, until food is considered a danger in yours or your childs life, now turns into a plan of action. Of course, you would love nothing more than to join in on the fun and all of the social gatherings that revolve around the dinner table! Being an advocate can be a bit scary when you are first starting this journey, though, because you have to be on the look out for anything and everything food allergy. And you have to be THAT parent…
I was unaware of how many people didn’t understand food allergies until I was an allergy mom myself. I used to be one of those clueless beings who didn’t know a thing about allergies until my son got diagnosed. I get it. So don’t feel bad or beat yourself up for not stressing about it on a regular basis.
It’s now second nature for me to ask if anyone has a food allergy when invited to my house for dinner! Not all will know to do this, but chances are if someone you’ve invited has one, you will soon find out. Here are a few helpful tips that can be done on both ends when a dinner invitation is presented.
There are a lot of ways to make inviting someone with food allergies over a success, and from my experience, the key is communication. And remember, if there is ever a doubt that your meal may not be safe for the one with food allergies, be honest. It takes a lot of attention to detail to get it right and most of us in the allergy community would appreciate the honesty 🙂
There are a few steps we take with Blake if extended an invitation to a dinner party. First, we have to think about whether or not there are left overs in the fridge to pack him a dinner. If there are, then my work is done and we can enjoy an evening out. If not, then we have to consider how much time there is to make him a meal and if we can have it ready in time. It’s always nice to have the last minute dinner invitation, but in this world of being an allergy mom, spontaneity can be a little tougher. Most invites we get ahead of time are easy to accept. Keeping freezer meals on hand is helpful for these moments, and if we don’t have those stashed away, then we try to plan ahead by either saving leftovers for him or having a quick meal (like his favorite hotdogs) ready to go!
Another wonderful consideration for eating at someones house you go to frequently is to buy and assemble a to-go kitchen kit! Both my parents and my husbands parents were kind enough to help us with this because we were visiting them so frequently. They went out and bought a plastic storage bin (the kind you pack away christmas stuff in) and filled it with the typical kitchen supplies one would need to make a meal! This is something that could easily store in a trunk that is ready to go when you are. Ours stays at Grandmas house so now when we go see her, we don’t have to pack our entire kitchen. (THANK YOU!) We only need to bring groceries to cook and the other 500 bags it takes to travel with children!
These are just some of what I consider to be helpful tips. I hope they helped!! Let me also take a second to extend my gratitude to those who don’t have food allergies, but are kind enough to make the effort for a friend who does!
Thanks for stopping by!