When we chose our daughter's preschool for next fall, I realized that I needed to give her some education on what her food allergies actually are. I can't expect her to be responsible for food intake when she's 3 years old, but I can give her the tools so she can express to the teachers the best way she can. She has known for a long time that she can't eat Mommy or Daddy's milk or cheese because she will get "itchies." But that was the extent of what we had told her. And frankly for a toddler that's about all you can do. Now that she's getting older and understanding more and more, we decided to take it to the next step.
The best resources for her have been books (as with just about everything we do). We read them and then discuss what she can and can't have. It's really helped her understand and she now will use the words "food allergies" instead of "itchies." It has been really helpful when testing her with food cooked with dairy. I'll ask her to try some food because we want to see if there are food allergies. She gets excited with us when we see no reactions. The other day I gave her an Italian Breadsticks saturated made with butter (I could have used dairy-free or olive oil, but I wanted to test). She took some bites before I made it to my seat for dinner. She told me that she had food allergies. I didn't see any hives on her face, but she told me that it was on her lips. She didn't eat anymore of the breadstick, so I believe her. Wow, talk about progress. It's nice to know that she understands and can communicate it so that we all understand.
Just a reminder that all children develop at different rates. Also we have been discussing and reading more about food allergies for almost two months. This wasn't overnight success.
A little update
3 years ago