My sweet little girl is sooo sad

Posted on: Mon, 09/17/2007 - 7:32pm
toomanynuts's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2003 - 09:00

We had a busy and fun summer. Then school started all is well with that. But an issue just came up today. She asked me why if something looked so good to eat why she couldn't just eat it even if there are nuts in it? (I went through the whole reaction ordeals that she has had and a recent one too) She was crying because we had just walked through the market and she saw all these delicious desserts and treats that were all manufactured in facilities with nut or contained nuts. There wasn't one nut free cookie, cracker or snack that she could have and it upset her so much. SO - the statement about eating something even with nuts in it triggered even more emotion. (to long to post) Now in our little talk I told her that I would order her anything from our safe on line stores and any treats that we could make at home we would make. Didn't work. She is generally happy and very mature on handling her allergy but lately it has been so sad for her. I have found her new safe treats in the market and she has been delighted and I have even expanded her eat out places with in my comfort zone for her and still this sadness. She asks me what would make you comfortable if it say nut free is that enough. I remind her how blessed she is and how many safe treats she has but it is not working. What am I missing and what can I do to help her? What do others of you use for store bought cookies and store bought crackers? Where do you eat out that is fast food and safe? She has eaten at Wendy's, Spagetti Factory and some Pizza Places and Krispy Creme. That is all I know of in our area that is safe. Any ideas. She is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts soy and other fruits and veges. She is 7. Her best friend stopped eating nuts before
play dates but just the other day wanted a nut ice cream in front of her while on a play date which the other mom said no to because of her allergies. Still her best friend. Who is always careful. Hurt her though because there was nothing for her. She says she is really happy when she finds safe treats and really happy when she eats somewhere that is safe. She shines. What am I to do to encourage her and walk her through this time. I too have severe food allergies and have had them all my life so I understand. But I didn't have the blessing of all the online stores or safe treats in stores.
Thanks for listening
toomanynuts

Posted on: Mon, 09/17/2007 - 7:41pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I think the only thing to do with this is to make fun out of the whole thing for her.
Take her through a cookbook and find things you and her can bake together. Just try and make similar treats that she sees in the book. If they call for nuts you can just leave them out.
I always found that just having fun with Chris was the way to go.
He is having a hard time finding foods he can have right now for some reason and i am still trying to make up for it by baking for him.
Don't let her little friend upset you or her because she wanted nut products. She is only a small child and that is what they do. when they want something to eat they think of themselves in a lot of ways. They are still young.
Even though it may bother you teach her that there are better things to do.
I would grab a bag of cookies that looks good to her and tell her lets go home and make them and see if they look like the picture on the bag. Then of course tease her and tell her they do. Make it fun and she will be ok.
Don't ever let them know how it drives us crazy because they may feel like burden to us.
I have been known to bake at the strangest hours but Hey if it keeps him happy we did it.
Chris is 21 and yes gets frustrated but he has been like this all of his life and he knows he doesn't want a reaction.
The best thing I did was order from Vermont for Chris and noone else can have his food. It still makes him happy when he has his own special food in special box for a holiday.
Tell you Dd it will be ok and make it all fun for her.

Posted on: Mon, 09/17/2007 - 8:41pm
Sarahfran1's picture
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Joined: 12/01/2006 - 09:00

I think what you're missing is that this isn't about her food allergies, but about her struggling with growing up and learning her own limitations. The food allergies are just a handy and obvious culprit. If she didn't have food allergies, something else would trigger the same sort of angst--she'd feel like a failure because of her inability to learn to play the piano like a pro after two weeks of lessons, or she'd be angry that she's an only child (or one of six kids) so she doesn't have anyone to play with at home (or doesn't get enough parental attention). She's at the age when she's learning that life isn't fair and there's nothing she or you can do about it and it stinks.
Really, I think the best thing to do is to acknowledge what she's feeling--don't try to comfort her by telling her what she CAN have or how blessed she is. Let her gripe and tell her that she's absolutely right and it's just not fair that she has to deal with this and that you wish you could get out your magic wand and *poof* make her allergies go away, but you can't so instead the two of you just have to learn how to deal.
I think if she knows that you know how difficult this is for her, it'll make the struggle not so difficult for her!
Good luck!
Sarah

Posted on: Mon, 09/17/2007 - 10:06pm
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Sometimes it's okay to be sad. When my son used to get like this I'd usually just hug him and say something like "it makes me feel sad sometimes, too."
Because it does. Acknowledging grief doesn't mean we can't also count our blessings, too.

Posted on: Tue, 09/18/2007 - 2:11am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

My son is 22 and he so longs for a kit kat bar. He'll gobble up the peanut free stuff but he yearns for what he cannot have. It's part of his being pi$$&* off at his PA and I know it's all to be expected. He follows his guidelines strictly and would never stray but he hates it all the same.
However he is independent, well educated, well traveled, smart, kind and a decent MAN.
His PA helped all of those things by making him focus on what he could do well and making the things he cannnot do/eat secondary in importance.
Peg

Posted on: Tue, 09/18/2007 - 6:25am
katiee's picture
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Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

Peg, I could send your son some peanut free KitKat bars from Canada? What do you think?
Katiee

Posted on: Tue, 09/18/2007 - 9:44am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Wow really? Email me with details I'm in.
[email]Peg541@gmail.com[/email]
Thanks so much.
Peg

Posted on: Tue, 09/18/2007 - 12:38pm
falcon's picture
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Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

My son is 10 now and has been getting very upset in these situations lately as well and the "substitutions" - NO MATTER HOW YUMMY- just don't take the frustration and anger away from the situation. I have tried many ways to ease the "pain" but when I finally asked him what really bothered him, since it was clearly not the particular food...he said that the issue is that he doesn't have a choice in the matter. It wouldn't bother him if he just didn't like it and so didn't eat it even though everyone else was...that person has the choice to avoid the food item. So I came up with two things that he really likes and have offered him to make a choice between those options anytime he finds himself in a food restricted situation like a party or a friend going to get ice cream from the ice cream man. This has been working so far as the choices are more interesting to him than the food anyway. He prefers extra allowance, extra video time, a book, or a piece for one of his hobbies...to the food. So now he actually perks up when we encounter situations where he can't eat the stuff that other folks are eating.

Posted on: Tue, 09/18/2007 - 12:51pm
falcon's picture
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Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by falcon:
[b]My son is 10 now and has been getting very upset in these situations lately as well and the "substitutions" - NO MATTER HOW YUMMY- just don't take the frustration and anger away from the situation. I have tried many ways to ease the "pain" but when I finally asked him what really bothered him, since it was clearly not the particular food...he said that the issue is that he doesn't have a choice in the matter. It wouldn't bother him if he just didn't like it and so didn't eat it even though everyone else was...that person has the choice to avoid the food item.
So I came up with two things that he really likes and have offered him to make a choice between those options anytime he finds himself in a food restricted situation like a party or a friend going to get ice cream from the ice cream man. This has been working so far as the choices are more interesting to him than the food anyway. He prefers extra allowance, extra video time, a book, or a piece for one of his hobbies...to the food. So now he actually perks up when we encounter situations where he can't eat the stuff that other folks are eating.[/b]
I obsessed on the food and have done everything possible to provide special treats, etc focusing totally on the food. In retrospect, I think that it would have been more helpful to my son, if I had focused more on down playing food in these situations rather than support the notion that food was so important...teach him that there is more to socializing than enjoying the food served. To be honest, my husband and I generally do not eat much, if anything, when we are at a party or gathering...not because of allergies... just because it is often awkward to eat while standing or trying to have a conversation. Again, we have the choice and he does not, but I don't find that it detracts from the enjoyment of the evening. Once he learns to take his focus off food and directs it toward other things happening wherever he is, perhaps the frustration of not having the choice will dissipate.
I sometimes think that by going crazy with all the baking, etc. I have been emphasizing rather than de-emphasizing food. Empathy and redirection may be a better way to go...I don't know...

Posted on: Wed, 09/19/2007 - 5:08am
Kelly H's picture
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Joined: 09/11/2007 - 09:00

I know, I feel soo bad when my so goes with me to the supermarket and we pass the bakery and all the other kids are getting their free cookies and he can't. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] That's why I always try to have something baked at home like chocolate chip cookie bars, etc. and in freezer bags in the freezer just for that purpose. So I can say to him, why don't we go home and get you one of mom's homemade cookies that she baked with love! He usually then smiles and can't wait to get home.
------------------
Kelly H

Posted on: Wed, 09/19/2007 - 5:43am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

My dd is just a year older and the past year has been the most emotional with the allergies.
I hug her and agree that allergies stink. Let her cry, but we discuss how everyone has something that is hard, whenther we can see it or not. We have many friends with more allergies, and worse hurdles in life.
It does not minimize her struggles, but as Sarah says, everyone has something. I was fat and had glasses and brutally teased at that age or slightly older. Dd is super popular, agile, athletic, and has tons of friends. I try to remind her of all the good stuff in her life.
But eating is such a requirement of life! I do think it is especially hard because you cannot avoid eating. You have to do it, so every meal is a reminder to those with food allergies in their lives. It gets to be a drag.
Even as a mom, I envy the carefree lifestyle of being able to just jump in a car and go, eat on the run, have lunch with the kids or one of them at a special place. Everything has to micromanaged for food, safety, meds, where is EMS, etc....
Big hugs for your little girl. becca

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