Your kid has food allergies? OMG! What are you going to do?? Your kid can’t eat ANYTHING!! How are you all going to survive?? What are you going to eat? Simple. You’re going to eat rice and water for the rest of your life (that is, if you’re not allergic to rice).
No, not really. But it certainly feels that way in the beginning. I really thought we were going to have to eat bland horrible food the rest of our lives. Our hearts had sunk. Not only for our daughter and this life-threatening diagnosis, but also for our stomachs, who were now holding memorial services for all our favorite foods.
I remember that first trip to the grocery store after being told we couldn’t eat dairy, eggs or nuts. It took forever to read each and every label. It seemed that everything I picked up had dairy or eggs in it, and if it didn’t it was manufactured on shared equipment with nuts. I wanted to punch the shopping cart but quickly realized that would make me look like a crazy lady (not that I didn’t already reading every single ingredient).
Luckily a law passed in 2004 that requires food manufacturers to list the common allergens in bold print or at the end of the ingredient list. Listed below that should tell you if the food was made on shared equipment with a common allergen.
And you have to read the labels EVERY TIME. I’m not kidding. Case in point: our favorite bread now says it is being made on shared equipment with nuts. Soooo frustrating!
After your child is first diagnosed with food allergies it feels like you won’t be able to eat anything ever again. But hang in there! You will most likely eat several meals of plain white rice and cry a lot. But it does get better. Like anything we try to do that we’ve never done before, it just takes practice, practice, practice. Humor and a good bottle of wine never hurt either.