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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Focusing on what you CAN HAVE or CAN'T? It's ALL About ATTITUDE

Valentines Day. St. Patty's Day. Easter. Tired of feeling left out because of your dietary restrictions? Frustrated you can't eat what you really want to? Wish people would be more accomodating to your needs?

'LET YOUR ATTITUDE GO'. Focus on what you CAN HAVE rather than what you CAN'T HAVE. You and your friends JUST may have an absolutely amazing time!

Imagine the disaster Valentines Day could have been; 5 kids with multiple allergies, classroom parties with food included and Valentines Day chocolate grams sent from parents. Instead, it was a truly delightful time for them all.

Focusing on Food Allergy Fun - Smart Allergy~Friendly Education

Our simple strategy will work for anyone.
  1. Talk to people – Find out what activities are being planned; will food be included? Don't worry about being an inconvenience. Communication helps everyone.
  2. Get involved – Ask how you can help out. Most others will love extra hands, particularly when planning for those with food allergies.
  3. Offer alternatives – Whether providing for yourself or others, know you are creating an inclusive environment for everyone. Need I say more?
Although it took a bit of pre-planning, the results were fabulous.
  • 4 dozen allergy~friendly cookies provided for 2 classrooms in which everyone enjoyed~
  • EF, DF, NF Sugar Cookies from Smart Allergy~Friendly Education

    Watermelon hearts and orange arrows for a class of 22. Healthy, fun and NOT ENOUGH. Go figure!
  • Valentines Candy Grams with chocolates? Alternative chocolates were pre-made, pre-wrapped and sent in.
In my opinion, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to NOT be a part of the celebration fun. We are fortunate to be managing food allergies during a time where there are so many options available, and allergy awareness and education are rampant. Food alternatives are everywhere!

Can't have milk? You may consider soy, coconut or flax milk. No eggs? Replacers include applesauce, gelatin or flax meal. No wheat or gluten? Grocery stores are carrying a multitude of gluten-free products.  The biggest challenge is figuring out which ones are best for you!

Celebrating with food? Provide alternatives everyone can enjoy. Dying to eat some Reeses Peanut Butter cups but you're allergic to milk and/or chocolate? Make your own. Want to be a part of the Candy Gram fun? Find out who is in charge, and send alternatives!

Your ATTITUDE really is everything! 

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