I can't recall a single cinematic scene in which a person with food allergies expresses their feelings of guilt about their allergies' negative impact on their loved ones' lives. Family, close friends, classmates, or co-workers may not be allowed to eat certain foods around them, or they may have to ask they are significant others to change an aspect of their diet so that intimate contact will not expose them to dangerous allergens. This is a crucial aspect of having food allergies that nobody discusses and of which the public (allergy-free individuals) may aa be aware.
Having a food allergy, and living safely with one, requires numerous special accommodations. It is hard for the allergic individual to feel bad for others or guilty when your allergy impacts their life.
The guilt of inconveniencing parents
Parents who have children with food allergies must make severe accommodations to ensure their children's safety. The parents need to get acquainted with safe ingredients vs. dangerous ones and change their entire family's diets to accommodate their children. This can cause children to feel very guilty about having food allergies, knowing that they have made their parents' lives more difficult.
Here are some tips for parents who have kids with food allergies:
As parents, it is essential not to let your children feel like they are an inconvenience. It is crucial to remind them that it's not a problem and that you love them!
Think of how your child would feel
My worst anaphylactic reaction to date occurred on the morning of a holiday! I felt a little bad about 'ruining' a special moment, but of course, I would have opted out of an allergic reaction altogether if it were up to me.
Additionally, I have felt guilty just about having a reaction. My mind automatically enters the 'should've, could've, would've' mode. It's important to reflect on each situation individually to see if there are any areas where you could change your management strategy to be more successful.
A boyfriend or girlfriend of someone with food allergies will have to make a few adjustments. While they can eat whatever they want while alone, they must be cautious before getting together.
Depending on the allergy situation, a boyfriend/girlfriend may need to shower, brush their teeth (and wash out their mouth), change their clothes, and make sure not to eat any allergens before the date. You are also restricted as to where you go out. You have to make sure that you are going to a safe restaurant or are eating safe food.
People who have allergies know this and feel very guilty about the situation they are putting their partners in. As the partner, it is essential to remind your loved ones that you love them and that it's critical to keep them safe!
It is my kid who is the reason the teacher sent home that note in your beginning-of-the-school-year packet. The one that says, "Due to an allergy in the classroom, please do not send your child with any peanuts or tree nuts in their lunch. This includes peanut butter."
People think my kid should learn to deal with it because, hey, that's life, and the world doesn't revolve around them. They think I should teach him better and not rely on others to parent for me. They think it's not fair to their kid, who is normal. They believe that because they read some studies suggesting parents expose kids to peanuts earlier, my kid shouldn't avoid peanuts anyway. The child with allergies usually is aware of how others feel. They know what it is inconvenient for everyone, which adds to the level of guilt they feel.
Children who suffer from food allergies are aware that it is very inconvenient for those around them. They wish that they could change things, but they have no choice. It is crucial to think of it from their perspective and try to be sympathetic. Their lives are hard enough as it is, and they can use all the support they can get.
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
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.