If you have been reading this blog for some time you have read about my food allergies. I have had food allergies since I was 4 years old to raw fruits and vegetables. Just recently I found out I have a peanut allergy. It's a mild reaction but I think it was contributing to other issues as well.
Since I found out about the peanut allergy I have avoided "commercial" chocolate. I have tried M&Ms and Milky Way candy since finding out about my peanut allergy just to see what might happen. Sometimes nothing, sometimes a sneeze, sometimes a coughing fit. Interesting. So instead of the gamble I eliminated it all together. Now I am a huge chocolate lover and this was very challenging to give up. Not to stop eating it because when something you eat hurts you, you don't like it (even if you really do love the flavor). That part of it was easy. Just accepting a good alternative was a challenge (mostly because of cost). I found Enjoy Life chocoolate chips and Boom Choco Boom bars to be a very acceptable replacement. It so odd to me to eat a piece of chocolate and to feel such a "clean" taste. I never noticed it before until I took the peanut out of my body.
Yesterday I was watching a commercial for Dairy Queen Blizzards. A part of me got a little sad. I may never eat one of those again. They showed a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Again I thought about how I used to enjoy eating those and probably won't again. But the other part of me said "thank goodness you figured out what may be causing the problems and it's really no big deal." That made me think about comments I hear about children with food allergies.
I often hear people say they feel sorry that their children can't have a certain food because of an allergy or that adults shouldn't eat foods in front of allergic kids who can't eat them. But I'm telling you it's no big deal. We don't want to eat what you have. What you have makes us itch, sneeze, hurt, rash or worse. We don't want that, ever. Our daughter recently tested out some milk-based chocolate pudding (she loves chocolate, too). After she had a mild reaction, I asked her if she liked the pudding and she very clearly shook her head and said "NO." Even though I know she loves the flavor of chocolate, she did not like the reaction it gave her. And again she's not even 3 years old.
To sum up, those of us with food allergies are used to it. We know what we can have and what we can't. Having alternatives available is fine. But I'll just skip over the food I can't eat if at a party or gathering. It's really no big deal. Children are the same. I think the only time they might feel some jealousy is if they don't have something to eat when everyone else does and there is no safe alternative, such as at a birthday party where cake and ice cream is served. But as parents we make sure those situations don't happen too often or at all. In that case I just bring along a chocolate snack bar or make a plate of brownies to share and all is well.
A little update
3 years ago