In today’s culture, party food is a central part of any social event, especially holiday events. Here’ s five things you can do to make your family and yourself a part of these events without feeling like outcasts:
1. Get Involved: Offer to help with planning of the event and make sure there is more to do than just talk and eat. Offer to plan or bring a fun activity so the entire event isn’t focused around food.
2. Contribute: Offer to bring food to the party that is safe for your family to eat. If multiple people are bringing food to the event, volunteer to bring something that wouldn’t be as natural or easy for other people to make your way and let them bring the soda pop, chips, and fresh fruit and vegetable trays. If others insist on bringing another dish, offer to provide them with ingredients or an alternative recipe that is safe for you so that you can eat the dish too.
3. Eat Before You Go: If you are attending an event where it isn’t possible for you to be involved in the food preparation, make sure the food allergic people in your family get something to eat before you go. Expect to skip out on the food at the event, and if there happens to be something there that you can eat, consider it a nice bonus!
4. Pack Food: As a food allergic family, it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks that you can eat anytime you are on the go. For social events, include a few treats in your bag so you can get them out when everyone else is having dessert. This will be especially nice for your kids who may or may not understand why everyone else gets treats and they don’t.
5. Prepare Your Kids: Realize that because of your condition, not every social event is going to be able to accommodate you the way you would like. Prepare your kids by letting them know what they can expect at the event, informing them in advance what foods to look for that are safe and keep them in the loop on whatever plan you have in place to accommodate them.