The Gift of Food Allergies

Most parents feel nervous sending their child to school at the start of a new year.  I was worried about how my daughter's first day was going to go.  If I am really honest with myself, I was a ball of nerves all day.  Many worries and fears were swirling through my head. Does she have friends in her class?  Is her teacher nice?  Does she have a friend to sit with at lunch? Does she have someone to play with at recess?  Add food allergies to the mix and there is even more anxiety over sending your child to school. Would my daughter eat something she is allergic to and have an anaphylactic reaction?



Lauren on her first day of First Grade


This is my daughter's first year eating lunch at school.  We are fortunate to have a school that takes food allergies seriously and doesn't allow any food into the school for parties or activities during the day.  Even so, there is still the matter of lunch.  I have taught my daughter well over the years so I am confident she knows not to eat or touch other children's food. Despite this knowledge, there is still a part of me that worries like crazy about Lauren while she is at school.  I worry about things such as will my child be teased at school for having food allergies? Or worse, bullied for having food allergies?  Will she be left out because she has food allergies? Then there is the unthinkable. Will she eat or touch something she is allergic to?  Will Lauren have an anaphylactic reaction at school?


I managed to get through Lauren's first day of school (although I did a lot of clock watching during the day).  I couldn't wait to hear all about her first day. How did it go?  Did she like it?  Was her teacher nice? Who did you eat with at lunch?  But what I really wanted to ask her was how was it eating lunch with food allergies?  Did she feel safe?  Did everything go okay?


School lunch
Packed lunch for school


Needless to say, it warmed my heart to hear that Lauren did have a great first day of school. Yes, her teacher was nice. Yes, she did like school. And yes, she did have friends to eat with at lunch.  Infact, Lauren told me that her friend she sat with at lunch actually offered to skip eating her own peanut butter sandwich because Lauren is allergic to peanut butter.  I thought, wow, what a thoughtful little girl.  It made me smile to learn that Lauren had friends that were so kind and thoughtful. 


From that point on, I felt a little more relaxed about Lauren eating lunch at school.  


Every time another person shows concern for Lauren's food allergies, I am reminded about how caring and kind the world can be.  Any time someone shows kindness or thoughtfulness about my children's food allergies, it is a blessed reminder that someone cares about them.  For me that is the best gift I could ever receive. This is the gift of food allergies.


How was your child's first day of school?




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