Advice for Party needed

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 8:30am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

I have a 3yo who was just diagnosed PA 3 weeks ago. Thanks to this board I have learned a lot and been able to adjust our diet and lifestyle very quickly.

We have been invited to a brunch on Sunday at a close friends house. She has a PA nephew and emailed me that she would coordinate the menu to accomidate DS's allergy. I trust her she is a super caring and careful person.

But I think I am going to tell her not to bother (except not serving nuts and making sure counters are clean, etc.) because I think I would be a nervous wreck if he was eating food that someone else prepared. Even if I gave her a list of safe products and reviewed the menu, etc. And I am thinking that it would be a great opportunity to help teach him that he can't eat the food that other people serve, even good friends - while he is with people who love and care about him and who "get it" too. This keeps the message to him simple and consistant. And I just don't want the hostess to have to go to a lot of trouble. But I really want to hear others thoughts on what if she serves a fruit salad...would it be too confusing for ds if I let him eat that?

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 9:11am
kandomom's picture
Joined: 01/12/2006 - 09:00

My thoughts:
I think this is a good opportunity to model to your DS what to do in social situations.
Thank your friend for making the effort to provide safe food for your child- even though you aren't yet comfortable w/ your child eating food prepared by others. (This will eventually happen, at least for me it did). Make clear that you appreciate the effort and are fine w/ just having no nuts/peanuts in any of the food.
Tell your DS what your friend is doing, but let him know that you aren't comfortable w/ him eating the items, and tell him why. I.E. you are still learning about the allergy, you are still trying to decide what rules work etc.
He may not totally understand, but this is a learning experience for both of you, and he has to see how you handle the situation, so he will have a point of reference for the future.
Let him know it is wonderful that your friend is willing to do what she can to keep him safe.
Maybe you can bring a dish to share, that your son can eat, so he isn't eating something no one else is.
Perhaps after you talk to your friend about preventing cross contamination (good opportunity to educate her about this) you will feel OK to have your son eat the fruit. Of course you would be giving him permission to eat the food, that is different than him deciding to eat the food on his own. Make sure he knows that.
Managing PA does get 'easier' over time. You have a friend willing to learn and who wants to support you, how great is that?
Enjoy the brunch!

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 9:15am
Lindajo's picture
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

She sounds like she knows about PA from her nephew but she's not dealing with it first hand. I feel the same way about other people's food. Especially if I don't know them very well. If they are my close friends, I'm OK with it. I think the fruit salad would be OK as long as their is no sauce on it. I usually let my DD have the fruit.
I never go to someone's house empty handed. Bring over a dessert or a dish (or both!) that you know your DS likes and is safe. If he eats both, he's probably set and wouldn't want to eat anything else. Also, I don't mind asking the host about labels to double check before letting my DD eat something.
Have a great time!

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 9:51am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

My dd had a reaction to a fruit drink prepared by someone else. I watched her make it. The ingredients were all fine. Clearly something wasn`t clean enough (knife, blender, cutting surface).

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 9:59am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

In these situations, I usually bring along my own similar foods(or if I know he won't eat any of it, just something he does like). It's hard because the hostess will feel bad. Tell her you appreciate her serving nut-free foods, but because labels vary so much and cross contamination is very hard to feel better bringing his pwn plate of food(something easy you can just reheat in the microwave or something??) I usually travel with our own milk too(for the 2 that drink rice milk) but that will enforce your rule of him eating his own food that mommy brought. I do also liek the idea of you bringing a dish or dessert, something again, that he can enjoy as well. I think the hardest part of this situation will be reminding your friend that this is how you deal with his allergies everyday and it's nothing she is doing. Good luck!!
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 10:23am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Thank you ...for the responses...
I am going to bring some some homemade baked good for the kids to enjoy...
(edited)...I have read your story - I have no's heartbreaking and reality and thank you for responding to my thread.
I am afraid that the hostess might be "hurt" but I think I can explain it to her.....just keeping it consistant for him.
DH suggested that we bring food for us too....and I don't think we need to do that.
I am hosting Easter for the first time to avoid all of this.
Thank you all for helping me manuever through all of this new ground!

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 10:37am
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I have done what others have suggested. We often bring a baked treat to share, so there is a plate that our children can safely choose something from. Though that backfired at preschool last time when the cookies were all combined during the chapel service, so as to allow more access to variety at all ends of the table. I had thought of it and always would keep a few out and in a baggie in my purse too! I needed it that time!
Also, at age 3, with a new diagnosis, I would simply explain you are still learning and would rather have your child trained, at least for now, to accept no food from anyone other than you or immediate family(or whatever you want your policy to be). That it is part of teaching the child consistency until old enough to make some decsisions and read labels.
That worked very well for dd, once I stayed firm and had it figured out for myself! At first, I was wishy-washy, as I was still learning. Gradually, friends here and there have adjusted and do well cooking for dd. But very few.
She is 7 now and does make alot of choices for herself now. Asking an adult to read the label, however, and only for very familiar items she has all the time(like choosing a packaged snack at her school snack shop). She has a list she is allowed to pick from, and I have her bring that and use it, and if she cannot find those items, she asks a grwonup for help(and someone I know very well happens to be there each time as well)!
You will find a "zone" and adjust. Play it close for now, and just bring your own. Who wants to ruin a perfectly nice outing with an emergency, anyway?! That's what I say, too. Better to try new things at home, on a day when you have time to go to the ER if need be(hopefully not, but you KWIM)? becca
[This message has been edited by becca (edited February 12, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 11:30am
cam's picture
Joined: 11/16/2006 - 09:00

Sarahb - I just want to say that what you have accomplished in just a few weeks is truly impressive (where you are at with having defined your comfort zone and how you handle things is amazing, not to mention what you accomplished with the preschool). As another newbie, I just wanted to say that where you are at is very impressive!

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 1:07pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

If you're concerned about giving your child a consistent message not to take food made outside your home, I think you should skip the fruit salad. Otherwise, you'll have to explain why that's an exception.
If you want it to be an exception, I personally would want to ask some questions first about where and how the fruit salad is prepared and stored: Did you cut it on a cutting board where you make PBJ sandwiches or anything else with peanuts (I'm fine with that if they put the cutting board in the dishwasher)? Do you cut the fruit with a knife that has touched PB or peanuts (again, that's OK if it's been through the dishwasher)? Do you store the fruit salad in a container that's had peanuts or PB in it (again, that's OK if it's been through the dishwasher)? Even if answer to all these things is no, it's still possible that a "may contains" was on that cutting board/knife/container and residues still remain---but that scenario seems really remote.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 10:06pm
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

I had an allergic reaction eating grapes that were contaminated with peanuts traces. I wouldn't eat the fruit unless it was separate individual fruits that you can wash. Just my advice. My son easily got used to not eating any food from other people. There was a time in pre-school where sometimes he was allowed and other times not and that got confusing and mistakes were made. Some people mean well but may easily miss something that could cause an allergic reaction. Then how do you say yes to someone's cooking and no to someone else that may know that you allow your son to eat from the other person. I have a friend who baked safe cupcakes (we're close and she double checks everything with me) and when they put out the cupcakes at the party, there were other things unsafe next to them, all around them and different people touching everything. After all the trouble she went through calling me and reading labels I didn't let my son eat them because I was afraid that they were contaminated after being put on the table.
I think you are doing great for just 3 weeks. It took me longer to figure out my comfort zone for my son and I've been allergic for 10 years. They didn't have all this info 10 years ago.

Posted on: Tue, 02/13/2007 - 1:26am
lalow's picture
Joined: 03/24/2004 - 09:00

i thinkif you explain that you are still new to all this. you dont know your comfort zone yet. you are still learning etc. she will understand. we actually do eat at other peoples houses now but that is because as time has gone by I have found that in certain situations we can. but when we were first dealing with this allergy I brought all his food and i dont think it offended anybody.
James 5 yrs, NKA
Ben 4 yrs, PA and MA


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