Author Topic: Food allergies and family "doings"  (Read 4510 times)

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SunnyDays09

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Food allergies and family "doings"
« on: April 18, 2011, 08:25:24 AM »
  How would you handle a family "doing" that you are invited to, let's say a wedding shower, where your family is aware of your food sensitivity/allergy and you find they have done nothing?  They send you an invitation, knowing full well that you cant have certain foods.  You send in your rsvp saying you will attend.  You arrive, gift in hand and find you can only eat plain carrot sticks and celery stalks?  Why would close family do this?  The food was prepared by sister inlaw and the bride? 

Now, what about the wedding itself?  Should the person who can't eat the food be allowed to bring a packaged meal from home?  Or just not go?  Would seem like the invitee was "starting something." 

The MOB had reassured this guest that the menu was planned with her in mind, knowing she couldn't eat bread.  But they only had sandwiches and pasta salads, cookies, cakes, dips, that were NOT gluten free??!!?!

Should I have dd send sil an email? Should I call her?  Should anything be done?  I mean to sit at a family shower and be able to eat nothing after being told there would be something just seems wrong.  What to do?

Offline pam1

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 08:31:40 AM »
To be honest, I'd probably leave if it was that bad.  Not make a big deal or anything, just say I've got to get going.  I do have a situation with my in laws that is similar and I've come to figure out I need to eat before I get there. 
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LaurieS

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 08:50:50 AM »
It is possible that they did not know how to meet her diet requirements.... if someone told me that they had to have a Gluten free diet I'd have to do a lot of research.  For anyone with very stringent requirements I would think that they are always thinking about Plan B when it came to eating out or with a large group.

Offline Pen

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 08:56:01 AM »
DH & I have similar issues. We eat beforehand and/or bring our own food. I choose not to see it as a P-A move on the host's part but it might well be in some cases. A lot of times it's just ignorance. Most people don't know that there is gluten in soy sauce for example, or don't have a clue how to accomodate food allergies/other dietary restrictions as Laurie said. It seems to bother others that we're not partaking more than it bothers us, actually.

I know there is some anger out there as well; some people can't tolerate what they see as a food allergy "trend" and do some mean things like slip the forbidden food in just to see if we're faking it or not. When they don't see an immediate reaction it validates their narrow-minded belief that it's all bunk. Hence, I often don't tell my hosts/server about my allergy; I do my research and avoid ordering/choosing items that would be likely culprits. I just don't make a big deal out of it since it really freaks people out.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
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seasage

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 09:00:39 AM »
  How would you handle a family "doing" that you are invited to, let's say a wedding shower, where your family is aware of your food sensitivity/allergy and you find they have done nothing?  They send you an invitation, knowing full well that you cant have certain foods.  You send in your rsvp saying you will attend.  You arrive, gift in hand and find you can only eat plain carrot sticks and celery stalks?  Why would close family do this?

When this happens to me, this is how I hope I will "handle" my family.  I hope I will be able to calm down my incensed brain, quietly eat my carrot sticks, tell myself that the shower is for the bride not me, and enjoy my family and friends.  I hope I will be able to forgive them within the first 5 minutes.  I pray I can be that classy.  (Note that I am not absolutely sure I can do this, but I will try).

SunnyDays09

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 09:20:05 AM »
She did and she has.  It really has nothing to do with the bride at all but her M O T H E R. aarrgh.  I should just be happy it isn't a peanut allergy I suppose? 

But, my dd has become ill from just touching the stuff - to where she is laying on the bathroom floor writhing in pain begging God to make it stop--or those after being glutened times when she cannot wake up.  *She was at work after they had a pizza party and everything was full of crumbs and grease and beer and all the stuff she can't touch - which is why she came a bit later to try to avoid it.

It's hard enough on the person that is aware of limitations, trying to explain it away to family is even more difficult.  She couldn't just not go, but to sit there with a carrot and celery stalk and a bottle of water while everyone around you at a table of eight is slopping up pasta salads, chicken salad on crescents, turkey on rolls, etc then here comes triple layer chocolate cake and all those cookies is just unfathomable, imo.  Then all the questions as to why she has no food. 

I won't insist she go to any of the things anymore.  She has no health insurance.  Is trying to get her health back.  And to say anything just might anger someone.   We can do the food before the event, she can even eat while in the car -  and can sit at the table with a blank plate smiling at everyone else while they get to share in the food fest.  I don't know.  My dd has been so good about the family home parties and picnics and all that.  She can't do many of the parties at work and now this. 

It's almost like asking the only Kosher person you know to a hogroast.




holliberri

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 09:20:19 AM »
My friend has landed in the hospital b/c her mother cooked her non-gluten free food that she insisted was gluten free (my friend feels her mother blatantly lied to her). Her mother simply does not believe in gluten intolerance or food allergies.  :(

I don't think my friend has any choice but to not trust anyone else with her diet ever again. I think she is planning on bringing her own food wherever she goes from now on.

I also know many diabetics that have to do the same. As well as vegans. People just don't consider the needs of one person when cooking for many; which is kind of sad, considering this problem is more prevalent than most people think. I'm very sorry. 

SunnyDays09

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 09:41:22 AM »
Oh Holly that is awful! 

  I had no idea how bad it can be until I saw dd laying on the floor barely breathing saying over and over "God, please make it stop, God, please make it stop. Please. Please."  I so wanted to call an ambulance.  She worried that she would then have the  ER visit to pay while paying off student loans?  All I could do was try to calm her down.  We did deep breathing.  Then,  I started talking about how relaxing the swimming pool was and for her to go back there in her mind and remember the warm sun, the breezes and floating in the water.  She calmed enough at this point to get off the floor and back into bed.

Then I put a cool washcloth on her head and she fell asleep.  This was at 430 am and she didn't wake up until 2pm!!  It was the worst time for me for I had no idea what to do to comfort her or take away the pain.  She was lethargic for days after this and she feels it was from work and cross contamination. 

I worry about the damage to her intestines and how that carries that not so wonderful non-Hogkins lymphoma possibility.

LaurieS

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 09:47:42 AM »
See I would be the one to invite the kosher person to a hogroast, because I didn't know you shouldn't.  Parties typically have party style food.. which also includes all the things your  daughter can not eat.  You shouldn't expect others to do without and I'm sure that is the last thing your  daughter would  want... instead there should be something in addition to all that stuff that she can have... and if in fear of someone not recognizing that ahead of time then by all means she should kick back onto plan b and either have eaten or brought something with her. 

My mil is a diabetic, but I'm not, not going to make that big yummy carrot cake... I just made sure I also had something I thought she could eat.. fruit.. then I found out that she can't eat the fruit.. I said oh here I have potatoes.. surprise she can't eat those either... it would be much easier if I knew what she could eat and plan accordingly.  I learned recently that depending on blood types people with diabetes can tolerate different types of food.. wow if I had to also know their blood type I'd really be lost.

I would hope that people wouldn't challenge and test someone's special needs, that seems rather insensitive.

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 10:03:31 AM »
I certainly wouldn't jump to the conclusion that they did it on purpose. Gluten-Free cooking is, well, a royal pain in the you know where. When DH was given his diagnosis, I started reading. I couldn't believe the all the things that have gluten in them It is unreal! So, I would chalk it up to them just not knowing what gluten is in.

It is pathetic when soy sauce, some BBQ sauces, pie filling, etc. have gluten in....

Incidentally, :-) I do have a fabulous gluten-free dessert that DH LOVES.

It is a frozen rice krispy (need to get the gluten free ones) dessert. 2 cups rice crispies, mixed with a tbsp. of butter, quarter cup brown sugar, and cup of coconut (you can add nuts too, I like to add almonds). Press half in the bottom of a cake pan, put a layer of vanilla ice cream, then the other half. FREEZE, serve topped with cherry pie filling (The Walmart Brand is Gluten Free!!!!).

SunnyDays09

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 10:06:13 AM »
That's exactly how I feel Laurie!   :)  Those family members have been aware for two years now. She attends the birthdays, the whatevers, brings a card, or a gift and either has eaten before and leaves quickly or just sends a card and doesn't go.  But there are some functions this is not so easy to carry out.  Like this wedding of a first cousin she grew up with and truly loves.  My dd did just there at the table smiling and being a good guest with her carrots on her plate while everyone else "dug in." 

She recently had a bride to be tell her to write on the response card about her requests and she will have the hall accommodate her for she has friends/family that are sensitive as well and she has totally eliminated anything with tree nuts for added measure, although there will be no children at the reception.

I have been making parties a bit more accessible for most, lately.  Organic, gluten free and as unprocessed as possible.  Only because of my awareness now and what these allergies can do to the person afflicted.  You try as best as you can - but most of the time I have been unaware of restrictions. 

My family IS aware.  Dd is just written off as being hard to please. 


free_at_last

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 10:10:17 AM »
This was a rotten thing for them to do and it may or may not have been intentional. 

Vegetarians and vegans deal with this issue on a daily basis (although I realize the situation is not the same since having an allergy isn't a choice like vegetarianism/veganism is). The way I personally deal with this is like Pam, eat something before I go so I'm not starving and then pick a few things I can eat while I'm there, even if it is just carrot & celery sticks.  I've never said anything to the host/hostess because if it was unintentional it will only make them feel bad when it's really not their fault that I won't/can't eat their food, and if it was intentional it will just give them the satisfaction of knowing it bothered me.  You do always have to be on the lookout for those that will try to sneak things in and tell you that the food is OK for your diet needs, I've learned to stick to simple things like fresh fruit & veggies except when I completely trust that the host/hostess wouldn't lie about ingredients (such as my Mom, siblings, and closest friends). 

SunnyDays09

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 10:15:22 AM »
I certainly wouldn't jump to the conclusion that they did it on purpose. Gluten-Free cooking is, well, a royal pain in the you know where. When DH was given his diagnosis, I started reading. I couldn't believe the all the things that have gluten in them It is unreal! So, I would chalk it up to them just not knowing what gluten is in.

It is pathetic when soy sauce, some BBQ sauces, pie filling, etc. have gluten in....

Incidentally, :-) I do have a fabulous gluten-free dessert that DH LOVES.

It is a frozen rice krispy (need to get the gluten free ones) dessert. 2 cups rice crispies, mixed with a tbsp. of butter, quarter cup brown sugar, and cup of coconut (you can add nuts too, I like to add almonds). Press half in the bottom of a cake pan, put a layer of vanilla ice cream, then the other half. FREEZE, serve topped with cherry pie filling (The Walmart Brand is Gluten Free!!!!).

I can agree if I haven't - and she hasn't - been asked a hundred times at the other family get togethers what she can and cannot eat.  And we tell them:  no wheat, no rye, no barley (some oats).  The food we purchase says GLUTEN FREE right on them!  What she can eat:  Gluten free rolls, pizza, bread, crackers, cookies, soups, rice, cereal, fruits, veggies, turkey, beef ham.  For the past two years. 

It's a package of GF rolls purchased pretty much at every store *even the ones I have seen the family shopping at ;)* some turkey/cheese, plain old salad, maybe some plain rice, etc.  I don't understand.  These two kids were very close growing up.   Their dads are brothers.   We live less than five miles apart.   The girls were together so much when younger.   What should she do for the actual wedding?  Bring her own?  Fill up before and sit in front of an empty plate?  Not go? 

  Oh, even her shampoo/soaps, etc must be gluten free. 

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 10:26:42 AM »
  Oh, even her shampoo/soaps, etc must be gluten free.

Holey Moley! I had no idea that shampoos/soaps ever had gluten in them. WHY would they put gluten in that?! That is sooooooo weird!

I'm glad DH's isn't as severe. I'd be constantly paranoid that I am accidentally going to "poison" him. He doesn't have the cross-contamination problems and can tolerate a "little" gluten. Like if a marinade happens to have some in, he will be okay.

Are they really close now? My cousin and I were practically inseparable as kids, but we went through a phase in the early 20's where we didn't see each other at all. She has Chrone's and was gluten free for a while and can't eat onions, but I forget everytime I invite her over.  :-[ She usually asks what I am going to make and then reminds me of her allergies. When you aren't the one who has the allergy, it is very easy to forget. If you don't live day-in, day-out preparing gluten free, you might not think about it.

My family knows of DH's Celiac's (although, not nearly as severe as your DD's), but they don't do anything "special" to be gluten-free for him. We aren't offended by it. I usually offer to take the dessert to places so I can make a gluten free cake or what-have-you so he won't be left out.

Offline Scoop

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Re: Food allergies and family "doings"
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2011, 10:43:47 AM »
We have a kid at DD's daycare who is so gluten sensitive that they had to check the play dough and have all the children wash their hands before coming into the class.  Most people think of gluten sensitivity as "Oh, she'll get a tummy-ache, wah." but it can be really serious.

Happy, what did they say when they saw that DD wasn't eating?  Did anyone at least apologize?  Because I can understand 'forgetting' or 'not realizing', but with no apology, it becomes 'not caring' and that sucks.

Seeing as how these people can't or won't accommodate your DD, then I think she should bring something to eat at the wedding.  I think she should be gracious about it and say that she's had bad experiences before with restaurants and she doesn't want to take any chances.  She can even bring something for the servers to warm up, so that she's enjoying a hot meal like everyone else.