One thing I’ve learned about having a child with food allergies/sensitivities is that the most challenging part is keeping OTHER people from feeding her things that are harmful to her. Not everyone is going to take the time to read labels, send off emails and call companies to check ingredients (ok, so when you say “natural flavoring” you mean….?). Grabbing an “unwich” from Jimmy Johns or just an order of fries from McDonald’s for your tot might sound like a great idea to a caregiver. No bread = no wheat/gluten right? Super wrong. The cheese at Jimmy John’s contains gluten and the fries from McDonalds contain both wheat and milk. Neither of these choices takes into account cross contamination either.
I’m getting used to the “can she eat this?” question (sometimes totally well-meaning and appreciated and sometimes, unfortunately, accompanied by the ‘does she have YOUR permission to eat this totally delicious treat I took the time to pick out for her’ look. Like I’m the one preventing my little girl from enjoying that candy bar, not her body or immune system right?! So silly.). As diligent as I try to be about keeping “no” foods out of the hands of my 3-year old, however, there will always be that substitute dance teacher with very yummy, but very dangerous “goodies.”
So I can’t tell you how much I absolutely appreciate these free printable labels over at Paper and Pigtails (found via this post at the Frugal Family Fun Blog). There are cards reminding adults to Stop! before handing your child food that may be harmful with information on the back on what to do in case of an emergency and labels indicating “safe” or “not safe.”
Along the the same line, if you have or know a child with food sensitivities or allergies, the current (August/September 2011) issue of Living Without magazine highlights ’10 Things Every child with food allergies wishes you knew.’ The original source of this information is located here at Allergymoms.com.