- Plan ahead!
- Make sure to speak with the host explaining to them how to lessen the chances of an allergic reaction. That would be to make sure that the allergic person can eat the food or that there will be no cross contamination.
- Bring back-up food. Even if you believe that there will be food for you/your child to eat, sometimes others will misread an ingredient list and end up contaminating any safe foods. (I would ask them to leave any labels out for you to read yourself as well)
- Be sure that everyone washes their hands after eating and that food will not come in contact with the allergic person.
While out of town this weekend, we packed our son some food to have for dinner that night. We had planned on feeding him a safe breakfast that she specifically bought for him, then we planned on heading out before lunch. We ended up staying through dinner without food planned for the kids. They had chicken nuggets, that were safe, left over from the last time they were there. She had bought tater-tots to go with it. So, for dinner she pulled out the chicken nuggets and tots and put them on the plate to be cooked. I saw that the tots were Ore-Ida and knew they were safe but read it anyway. After reading it I realized that the bag was unopened yet there were tots on the plates. So, I asked her about it and she said that she had another bag she used. I asked if it was the same brand and she said "No, but they are the same." I asked if I could see the package so she pulled it out of the garbage. As soon as I saw the brand I knew they would not be safe. They were the Walmart brand which almost every time may contain all or most of his allergens. I read the package and it said in bold writing that it may contain milk and egg. She starts to take the tater-tots off the plate when I inform her that now the nuggets are contaminated. So, she starts to pour them off the plate and then realizes that I would want new plates since they have now been contaminated as well. It takes time and experience for people to really understand the severity of a food allergy and the cleanliness needed when it comes to foods and kitchen utensils/dishes.
After some time with us, she really started to see the seriousness of the allergy. I was making pancake batter for my kids when her husband walked up with a gallon of milk to pour into his coffee. His coffee was very close to my batter so I picked it up and moved it for the few moments. When she saw this, I think she really saw the severity because she said "You must see so many things as poison. I see a gallon of milk and think Yummy!. You see a gallon of milk and think its poison to your kids." That was what we allergy parents try to explain to people. These foods are poisons to our children.