I was hanging out on Twitter a while back and came across this article about how Pot Lucks make this blogger panic. The title of the article caught my attention because, well, they make me panic too. Although it’s for a different reason than the other blogger.
Pot luck dinners are always so stressful for us as a family dealing with food allergies. There are several issues we have to confront when facing a pot luck. To the non-food allergic parents I look like a crazy overprotective parent who doesn’t think everyone else’s food is good enough for MY child. To the parents of children who have food allergies – well, you understand don’t you? I’d rather look like a nut than have my child accidentally eat one and possibly…Die!
Here are my top reasons to avoid Pot Luck Dinners when dealing with a food allergy.
- Pot Luck Convenience is non-existent - I can’t just make one dish and bring it like everyone else. Why? Well, that’s the only thing my allergic kids will be able to eat, and who can only eat one thing at a Pot Luck??!!?? I have to make atleast an entree, side, and dessert.
- I have to be the spoon monitor – Even if I exercise due diligence and make food that my kiddos can eat that is all null and void once a spoon from one dish is used in my allergy-safe dish. I have to watch my dishes like a mama hawk to make sure that doesn’t happen before their plates are fixed.
- No Yummy, New, Exciting Dishes for My Kiddos – This is more difficult for my 10 yr old than his younger brother because he’s into more foods, but it’s really a bummer for him when he loves to try new things.
- I risk hurting people’s feelings – If I went to a larger church this might not be such an ordeal since no one pays attention to what you’re putting on your (or your kid’s) plate in a larger environment. However, I often have very dear, well meaning people coming up to let me know that their dish is safe for my kids. They’ll say things like “It’s ok, it doesn’t have milk, only cheese” 0r some variation like that. Call me paranoid, but if I haven’t read it for myself then they aren’t eating it. I explain this as nicely as possible.
So what can you do as a food allergy parent to make pot luck easier?
- Definitely go! Don’t just stay home due to food allergies. We have to teach our little ones to experience life safely with their food allergies – not avoid it!
- Bring “Safe” dishes for your child to eat so they can still eat from the pot luck, but avoid allergens.
- Have your “speech” ready so you can easily give an answer to others who are only trying to help by offering their dishes to your allergic child.
- Enjoy & try to relax!