Have You Had to “Defend” the Way You Eat?

You’re heading to a birthday that your child can’t eat at because of an allergy. What do you do?

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I was reading an article this morning, and must admit I’ve been in the author’s shoes when it comes to feeding my daughter “differently.” The article is “Defending My Daughter’s Special Diet” found HERE, and it’s written by Eden Strong.

Have you ever been at a special event where you had to explain why you or your children must eat a certain way? It’s not because you don’t want to have fun, or that you don’t think your Kids should be able to “enjoy the party.” It’s because you (or them) has Celiac disease. It is interesting that a peanut allergy is generally understood as a severe event, with some people suffering anaphylaxis when exposed to even trace particles of peanuts, but that Celiac disease is rarely taken seriously. Yeah… my body attacks itself when I, or my daughter, eat Gluten. When I get “glutened,” I suffer for days with indigestion, vomiting, muscle aches, and headaches. My daughter gets a rash and cries because her stomach hurts. Is letting a child eat “like the other kids” at a birthday party really worth her being in excruciating pain? No. Absolutely not.

Here’s my other question to those that feel like I’m slighting my child by not letting her eat a gluten-filled cupcake: Do my food choices really harm you, or anyone else? I bring my own food to places where I know I cannot eat safely. I also bring my daughter her own cupcake at special events where I know she’ll be excluded if I don’t. She has never once expressed that she wants to eat the other cupcakes. Let’s be honest, my cupcakes are better tasting anyway. 🙂

Strong states it best during this statement: “For medical reasons, my daughter’s on a special diet. To add to that, I’ve chosen to limit and diversify her diet in other ways that I feel are important for reasons I don’t feel the need to explain. Certainly, I don’t expect anyone to cater to her dietary needs or go out of their way to accommodate her, but I DO expect to be respected for the ways that I choose to feed my child.”

With Celiac disease diagnosis’ on the rise, it really is important to note that not all kids can afford to eat the same foods. What may be “harmless” eats for one child, may be essentially toxic to another. Let’s be considerate (of other allergies and dietary needs too)! Would you ask a diabetic child eat a cupcake full of sugar if they cannot eat one safely?

What do you find frustrating at special events when it comes to food?

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