Is your child on a special diet? Is it difficult to manage? Does it take a lot of extra work on your part?
Our son is on a special diet. He does not eat gluten, dairy, soy or sugar.
Sometimes when I am driving, all I see is fast food places – McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Pizza, Mr. Sub. You name it, these are on every corner.
Then I start thinking about all of the places our son can’t go or eat and the list is very long. When you watch TV, all you see is ads for all of these things as well. The other night, when I was watching TV, almost every commercial was about food.
I started thinking that we are surrounded by food, dessert, candy, holidays that focus on all of this stuff. Why aren’t there more healthy places? Why is everything always so focused on food? You just finish one holiday like Halloween and then you are onto Christmas. The candy and the desserts – there is no escape from it.
I know that in every day life, our son is excluded from things where food is involved. Church, school, scouts to name a few. In fact, the other day we were leaving church and this very nice lady asked me why I didn’t go and have a snack. I told her that my son could not eat anything here. I never eat at church either just because I don’t feel right about doing this when he can’t. That’s just the way it is. I don’t even give it a second thought anymore. I always bring his own snack with me wherever we go and he’s fine with it.
But sometimes I honestly get mad and sad about this. Why is our world and our life so much about food? Why can’t there by more inclusion when people have allergies?
I don’t have the answers. For me, it’s just an observation. I also wish it wasn’t like this, but I am also not risking our son’s health and the progress he has made with healing his body by letting him participate in things that will make him ill.
It’s too bad because kids are just kids and they shouldn’t be segregated by what they can’t eat, but it happens every day.
Another example is school. The school wonders why our son doesn’t stay for lunch. Every time there is a field trip that is going to be all day, one thing I have to consider is his lunch. Because he eats gluten and dairy free bread, the only way it tastes good is to toast it. So I have to consider the food aspect when signing him up for a trip. What will he eat? Since his diet is somewhat limited it makes things more complicated and sometimes he is not able to participate because of this.
How can we make positive changes and change the mindset of people? How can we avoid exclusion from social activities because of food? Right now I don’t have the answer. I have some ideas, but I will need to work on this one for sure!