Kudos to a Mom and her son who are taking on food allergies in a practical

way. Life with food allergies is described and delivers determination and

confidence! The story is told in a “matter of fact” fashion by an “allergy

mom” showing that a child with food allergies does not have to do without

birthday parties, sports clubs and other social activities. The one constant

was her son would not eat the event cake and would prevent allergic

reaction by bringing allergy appropriate foods/snacks. It is encouraging

and motivational read for all parents and children with food allergies!

NNMG Food Allergic Families Forum

Janet Gorman Zappe  · 53m  · As school starts in less than a month in many areas, wanted to share how we have successfully navigated this journey. Every family needs to make the decisions best for their family. This is how we have handled allergies in public school. Son has peanut, tree nuts (all except pistachio) and shellfish since 13 months. We took the approach that allergies were simply a part of his life. Wasn’t fair but life isn’t fair. He went to birthday parties starting around 3 or 4. He didn’t eat any dessert and we didn’t supply an extra treat. Over time, I will say that I he definitely doesn’t like to stand out and it was easier (and still is) to simply go without. Bothered the other parents way more than it did him. I never asked for anything special as it wasn’t his birthday. The first party I left him was probably around 8 with a family I trusted who would give Epi should the worse happen. By Kindergarten we decided against a 504 opting to talk with his teacher and the principal. My thought is we need them on our side and forcing them to a plan wasn’t the best way to get them on our side. Our school limited food and by talking with teachers, they made a rule of no kid treats. At class parties, I tended to be a room mom just to know what food was being planned. The school sent an allergy list out and parents stuck with it. The 504 was always on my radar but we never needed it. By late elementary school we made the decision to get him to start self carrying his epi. All went well initially and then he “lost the pen”. After this happened a couple times, I said “he is not emotionally ready to carry that burden” and stopped. Within a year he was ready and rarely forgets to this day. Middle school came and sports. He self carried and had managed extremely well. I didn’t speak to any teachers. Next month he enters HS. This summer he has been going to the pool with friends once a week. He has sleepovers here and at other homes. He speaks up at restaurants since elementary school. Pre-Covid, we fly at least once and often twice a year. As someone with strong aviation interests, the earling boarding afforded some over the top time with the pilots! One time he was up there so long , I thought they were keeping him! His blood levels are sky high. He was diagnosed after a massive anaphylactic reaction to touching PB. Do I worry? Yes. He is my world. Am I proud of this 14 soon to be 15 year old and living life in his terms, 100%. So parents, it’s ok to be scared. Just wanted to share that in nearly 14 years, not a single reaction since the anaphylaxis. Best of luck to each of you in your journey. Photo from this summer!

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