When kids have food allergens or food sensitivities, there can be a difficult acceptance stage and a difficult adjustment stage for some parents.  Let’s delve into why:


Parents will now have an additional thing to be mindful of and carry out for their children.  This can involve new recipes, new foods, more cooking (or if you want to be more efficient, get the whole family on board instead of cooking separately for one child), talking to school and daycare staff to make sure they are not feeding your child something they cannot have, instilling in your child that they cannot eat a certain food and making sure they psychologically are okay with it.


I had a few significant allergies when I was younger and my parents did what they needed to do to make sure I avoided them completely, at home, school, daycare, other people’s homes, etc.


All this extra work can potentially make some parents want to almost deny that their child has an issue with a food.  But a child’s body is more persistent than anyone’s denial.


Another thing that can be an obstacle for parents is that they do not want to deprive their child of the joy of whatever food they now seemingly have to avoid.  What comes to mind for me here is wondering if the only or main type of joy that the parent has is food-based.  If this is the case, I say to parents: do not discard all the other things that you have noticed make other people happy.  Just because they do not make you happy does not mean that they won’t make your child happy.  Introduce them to all types of activities that others enjoy, and see what they like.  It is important to have other joys besides food.  It is important to have other coping mechanisms besides food.


Another thing to discuss is culture.  Many cultures get together over food.  But the thing you have to remember here is that the ‘getting together’ part – which is really the gold of why these events happen – does not actually require food to occur.  Getting together is helpful for overall health, particularly mental health, and child development (the idea of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’).


Due to me being from a city that is well known for a particular food group in their cuisine and me simultaneously being allergic to it, not only did my immediate family adjust meals for this, but also my extended family.  My aunt’s birthday is on July 4th and she would have big annual parties where she prepared all the food.  She made sure I always had more than enough to eat despite that other things were there that I could not eat.  ’It takes a village.’


It is the memories of what my family did that let me know what can be done to accommodate dietary differences, and I aim to relay this potential and instill the courage and tenacity within my clients to make it happen.


Lastly, sometimes it does not always click right away for new parents that common foods that they grew up on are now problematic for their children.  To this I say, YES it is true.  The quicker you accept and adjust, the more quickly your child gets better.  Life can have a lot of changes.  Do not deny this one; do not deny your child good health.  Compared to so many other things, this one can be easier to deal with.