You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:05 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

Are your family gatherings allergy free?
yes, our family gatherings are always allergy free 32%  32%  [ 6 ]
sometimes, we prefer to be allergy free but not always done 42%  42%  [ 8 ]
no, but we would rather they were 26%  26%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 19
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:08 pm
Posts: 41
Hi again,

I just posted about Zachary's suspected new allergen but have another question.

We just had Thanksgiving, and well my husband and I hope to have family gatherings as allergy free (no dairy, sesame or peanuts), to ensure a safe and relaxed event. However, I know that some of our family although trying to be accomodating struggle with this. They feel that it is not risky to have the allergenic foods out for those who can indulge as long as those eating the allergens know they have to decontaminant before coming near our son (who is contact sensitive as well). We obviously disagree and that only zero allergens present makes for zero risk, and that is why our household is allergen free.

We know we have to face being in environments with the allergens on many other occassions and can't avoid it all the time, but for family gatherings would hope our family would be on board (which they say they are now but it has come at a struggle).

So my question, or I would like to do a poll but not sure if it would work since I'm new to this, is what rules do you have for your family gatherings when they are not at your house? Do you request that all the allergens not be present? I understand that if it was just peanuts that we were avoiding we would have much better success, but when its dairy it becomes harder to avoid and try to make people understand that it comes with the same severity.

One of my arguements was that could they image having a friend over who's peanut allergic and serving peanut butter to the other guests, putting the peanut butter treat on the same table as the other foods? People seem to understand now with peanut bans that wouldn't be right, but when it comes to having to do this for dairy & sesame seeds as well it becomes harder for people to want to have that same compassion and extend that same safety parameter.

So what do you all do??? Do you not attend family gatherings if they aren't allergy free? Are we asking to much (cause we don't think so), but I'm curious to see what you other allergy moms do.

Thanks everyone in advance for your thoughts. :)

Cheers,

Jodi :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:08 pm
Posts: 41
sorry i tried adding another option for "no, and it doesn't bother us" but it didn't show up. hope the poll works, just a curiousity thing to see if our thinking as allergy parents is shared.

Thanks for the help! :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
I don't expect family gatherings to be allergen free. My son has waaay too many allergies for that. I just make sure to bring along food for him, including some treats like cookies and a cupcake. I also make sure we have his asthma and allergy meds on hand.

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
I made up special shirts that said on them "Please Don't Feed Me, I Have Food Allergies" so that everyone was aware of his allergies.

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Montreal, QC
Family gatherings are definitely NOT allergen-free! My daughter has too many allergies to deal with (even for us at home)! But there are not that many little kids (3 under 5, including DD), we always have wipes on hand, and we "hassle" everyone about cleaning their hands. And all allergenic foods are out of her reach. It might change as she grows older, but it works for now.

_________________
Me - Kim - No allergies
DH Ben - 31 - Allergic to nuts and peanuts, lots of environmental allergies.
DD Anne - 4 - Asthma. Allergic to dairy, eggs, mustard, kiwi, peanuts, wheat and barley... for now...
DS Francois - 1 - No allergies so far...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 684
Location: Cobourg, ON
We are often the hosts of holiday gatherings. At our home, the gatherings are always allergen free. We have collected a good variety of recipes for appetizers, salads and desserts that are free of milk, eggs and nuts. I just feel that our daughter is excluded and not able to fully participate in so many other gatherings at school and extracurriculars that when she is with family, she is not singled out as different. It takes extra work on our part but we feel that it is important. My mom also serves allergen free foods at holidays.

When we go to our relatives or friends for dinner, we bring her own food and a side dish and a dessert to share that she likes. We have trained our extended family to wash hands. I do not let anyone else serve her food. I bring her own dishes and cutlery. We watch her quite closely during the evening too.

We have avoided some holiday parties because it is just too much effort to prepare for them and to manage to keep a safe environment. Especially if there are too many children running around. However, this doesn't happen too often. We generally bring wipes along with us wherever we go at holiday time.

_________________
11 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
9 year old son - no allergies


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:24 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2942
Location: Toronto
As the person with the allergies, I prefer doing the hosting because then I know things are safe. With the combination of my schedule and the desire of others to host, however, that's not always possible.

With either friends or family, I'll offer to bring the dessert - one of the main minefields. Also, when possible, I'll bring a salad - then what's in the dressing isn't a mystery.

A week ahead of time, I'll send a note by e-mail (so it's in writing, not counting on anyone's memory) that is a friendly reminder and lists my allergies. It also explains to watch for "may contains".

I stress that while I really appreciate their care with the main dish, that they don't have to worry about sidedishes that "may contain" or do contain soy (the most likely problem for me, as it's in everything). As long as they let me know what I need to avoid (and are careful with their kitchen tools), I'm not trying to "dictate" the menu.

Frankly, if I eat a little light for one evening, it's no big deal. I'm there for the socializing.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:37 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
I don't expect that gatherings outside of my home will be allergy free. I do expect that they be allergy reduced and that my daughter will feel safe and included.

When my mother hosts, all food served at dinner is safe. There will be safe versions of the appetisers and desserts. These are kept separate and identified as for her.

At other gatherings I will choose to bring safe foods. I gently allow others to know that I am happy to share what I know about allergies and in time I may trust more family and friends.

I want the focus to be on the event we are celebrating and not on the allergy. I want to teach my daughter how to navigate in the world which is full of her allergies and these times are an opportunity to do this.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:08 pm
Posts: 41
Thanks everyone for their thoughts on this issue, its very interesting to be able to hear what other allergic families are doing about their family gathering situations, especially with Christmas around the corner! As I just said in another post, I really hope there's a cure really soon, my son just got fish added to his allergies today. Anyways, thanks again everyone!

Cheers,


Jodi :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 796
Location: Vancouver, BC
I also try to host so it's easier. I ask people who are coming over, if it's potluck, not to bring anything with tree nuts or peanuts, which are the most severe of our allergies. I'm OK with them bringing may contains (for nuts) and our other allergens (egg, dairy) because they are harder to avoid and also less severe allergens for my children.

It's the same when we go to someone else's house. We ask them to put away any nuts or peanuts while we are there, and I always bring back-up food for my kids in case there are people who aren't allergy-aware or they aren't sure of ingredients. In fact, since they are picky eaters, they rarely will eat what other people cook anyway, and i only let them if they are allergy-aware and trusted, like my mom.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Ontario
When I hear a distant relative declare that all the goodies on the table are safe for Cayley, I just cringe because I know what's going to happen - happens every time.

Me: "That buffet table looks lovely but we brought some dessert for Cayley because of her peanut allergy"

Them: "Oh, but there are no peanuts in anything!"

Me: Thanks but sometimes there's a chance that things are cross-contaminated. Besides, Cayley likes KitKat bars!"

Them: "No really, I knew about Cayley's allergy so I asked the baker to specially bake things peanut-free. Cayley dear, come over here and let me show you all the things that are safe for you. Don't they look YUMMY?!"

(Cayley throws a desperate look my way as she gets hauled over to the table. I quietly grit my teeth...)

Me: "OK, let's have a look."

Them: "These apple turnovers and chocolate chunk cookies are nut-free - they weren't even baked with the nutty ones"

(No, they're just sitting on the same plate as the nutty ones - but this is my 'out')

Me: "But see, she can't have anything that may have come into contact with peanuts or nuts. It's a chance we just can't take, but we really REALLY appreciate your trouble."

(I smile and haul Cayley away from the table before the relative can formulate a reply)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I wish I would have hauled Cayley away, anyway... This actually happened at a recent family wedding, except guess what? I fell for the "our baker made it all completely safe" line - our aunt told me NONE of the cookies had nuts in them - and I actually let Cayley eat some things. I was tired of the predictable "food gets offered, we refuse, they insist, we refuse, they get insulted" routine. :(

Cayley was fine, so we took home a bag with more goodies in it. The next day I took out a cookie to sample and it was full of walnuts... That cookie was obviously a red flag and a free pass to remind me not to compromise our rules or trust folks who don't truly understand. I broke many of my own rules - no strange food in a hotel room in a strange city where you don't even know how far away the hospital is. But you sometimes get tired of fighting the battles all the time, especially if it's been a long time since the last reaction. How lucky it was that Cayley didn't suffer a reaction for me to remember that you do have to keep fighting the good fight all the time.

The mix of food, relatives and food allergies is a total land mine waiting to blow up in your face at every gathering - whether that potential blow up is about hurt feelings or an actual reaction. Your relatives mean well, they really do, but they just don't understand all the ways the food has to be safe, nor should they have to be that savvy. Food safety is OUR job (or our child's job, if the child is old enough). Relatives will get insulted and we will feel really badly about it but I guess if we just make a few solid ground rules for each gathering then they'll get used to us refusing food (politely :) ). Consistency is key, I think.

Safe and happy holidays to everyone.

Carolyn


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Oakville, Ontario
With our immediate family and very close friends, we are very fortunate to have many allergen-free foods being served (although, not everything is safe, so we bring substitutes). I always call in advance to find out what is being served, and of course we always bring along a large contribution so our son can eat the same food as others. This kind of support did not happen overnight... it was a lot of education and discussion to bring this to where it is today. However, we do attend other events with extended family, friends or kid's birthday parties where there are many many foods containing our son's allergens, so we bring absolutely everything with us, all of his food, and even a plate & cutlery & a large napkin as a placement for him when necessary, and of course, lots of wipes!! I will also bring his drink, and a straw if I feel it's necessary. I also keep a stash of "emergency" treats in the trunk of the car in case the other kid's are having some of treat I didn't anticipate (I'll keep small cans of Pringles, and Betty Crocker Scooby Snacks (gummie snacks), as well as few other safe packaged foods for these unanticipated things.) With Christmas coming, turkey is always served, and our son cannot eat store-bought bread (due to his sesame allergy), so we always drive over a loaf of homemade bread before the event so the stuffing can be made with safe bread. Of course, when we are hosting, we don't have to worry about any of this, so we host whenever we can!!

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:14 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2942
Location: Toronto
Carolyn - very good anecdote and then scary story of 'trying' to trust someone else's food choices.

Re this:
Quote:
I broke many of my own rules


Hope you don't beat yourself up too badly. I can't speak as a parent of an f.a. child, but can certainly imagine the pressure. We adults with allergies always give something a try now and again when persuaded by these types of assurances. It's not always easy to decide - though I certainly err on the side of "no desserts when out" these days.

One of things I now try to impress upon my family is this - don't push any guest to eat something if he or she declines it. They might be allergic, or celiac or diabetic or perhaps just not like a food. Food is meant to be offered to guests, but they shouldn't be made to feel obliged to eat or like they're committing a transgression if they decline.

I can remember witnessing a former colleague being badgered at parties to have an alcoholic drink. I knew, but she didn't broadcast, that she'd stopped drinking due to not obvious alcoholism. Sometimes I feel it's the same about allergies - people act like you're not being part of the gang if you don't belly up to the buffet.

Hard to resist the social pressure, but resist we must.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
I guess we're pretty lucky. I wasn't insisting that holiday gatherings be allergy free, just making sure my sons' foods were safe, keeping the allergen containing ones separate and out of reach and being a pain in the neck about hand washing, but one of my sons had a contact reaction anyway several years ago (of course!). It wasn't anything too serious, but looked scary with some pretty dramatic hives. This was enough to really put the fear into my family (and ourselves) and we decided unanimously that it would be way less stressful for everyone if we made holidays completely free of my sons' allergens. What a relief! It was sad to give up some of our traditional foods, but it makes holidays way more enjoyable for all of us.
My mom and I do all the baking, and she has become a master at preventing cross contamination, even keeps a separate set of bakeware for making treats for holidays. I feel really lucky to have such great support.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group