Food allergies don’t only affect the person with them, but the entire family. Their closest friends and family all need to be educated and sensitive in order to ensure their safety. However, when coming into a relationship with a person with food allergies, there can be a lot of confusion. It can be difficult to navigate the beginnings of a romance or even a committed marriage when dealing with food allergies for the first time. So, what does it take to be a good partner to someone with food allergies?
As with any other aspect of relationships, communication is key. We don’t expect you to be a mind reader. We want you to want to learn about us and love that you’re making an effort to understand our lives. Asking questions is a really great way to open up the floor and start an honest conversation. All we ask is that you do so sensitively. Asking questions is especially important in the beginning of a relationship. In the start, while the relationship is still uncertain, we want to make sure that nothing gets misunderstood. So, just ask before you buy that box of chocolates and we’ll make sure to let you know which treats are our favorites!
We know how upsetting it is to force the group to get pizza instead of sushi because of our fish allergy. We also know how isolating it can feel when we choose to sit events out instead of asking our friends to change their plans. We have struggled with fitting in all our lives and are now looking for a partner that can be understanding. We’re not asking that you stop liking peanut butter sandwiches, we’re just asking that you don’t bring them to our picnic. Relationships are based off trust, and for us, trusting you will put our safety first is fundamental.
We are here for any questions you may have, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love a partner that takes the time to educate themselves. There are so many blogs and websites floating around, it shouldn’t be too hard to find some content you can relate too. Food allergies aren’t just a part of our lives, they are a terrifying aspect of our reality. Having a partner take the time to educate themselves so they know they’re being safe is the biggest gift we can ask for.
Every person with food allergies has a game plan. They have a bag where they keep their EpiPen, a strategy for remembering not to leave it at home and a doctor that they trust going to. If you are going to take up permanent residence in this person’s life, it is important that you know their plan. Familiarize yourself with an EpiPen and how to use it, have the name and number of their doctor, and learn about the signs to identifying an anaphylactic reaction. If you play a role in their life, then know the role you play in their allergy plan too.
There are more people than you realize that minimize the severity of food allergies. It may seem outlandish to you that people would ask your partner to “give a peanut a try” or “just have one small bite” but trust us when we say that it happens. Worst of all, it sometimes happens with people were close with. As our partner, we need you to be on our side. If your mother doesn’t get it, take the time to explain it to her. If our friend isn’t being sensitive, show us that you’re on our side. Food allergies are silent, and we always appreciate a partner who uses their voice.
Many people with food allergies, especially those who have had allergies since they were young children, feel defined by their allergies. It has played such a large role in their lives and has dictated so many relationships that it’s hard not to let it define them. But we want you to be our partner, not our allergies partner. We are so much more than our food allergies. Being cautious doesn’t mean having it control our lives. Just like anyone else, we are looking for a loving, supportive and empathetic partner to be by our side.
Food allergies are a major part of life for many people. Millions of people around the world live with food allergies and still it is one of the things most misunderstood. Having a partner with food allergies doesn’t mean working any harder or learning any more, it just means being a supportive partner the same way you would with anyone else. We aren’t looking for someone to come in and take away our problems, just someone who will come in and help us carry the burden.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA