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7 Things You Should NEVER Say to the Parent of Kids With Food Allergies/Intolerances

By Devan McGuinness |

My kids don’t have food allergies. I do have a child who has an intolerance and another child who has celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder), so when it comes to food safety and our kids, I can understand.

Raru goes to school with a totally gluten-filled school. Lunches all around her, craft projects with gluten, field trips and parents bringing in gluten-filled snacks. I have to advocate hard for her to ensure she is safe while at school and it’s stressful for both of us.

My kids school is, however a “nut-free” school and while many of you may assume that it’s an inconvenience to make a lunch for my kids that is now gluten free and nut-free when she LOVES her peanut butter, I am thankful it’s nut-free.

I can put myself in the shoes of those parents who have kids with severe immediate-reaction allergies. My daughter’s celiac disease is serious; she will be sick for weeks from a small cross-contamination and every reaction increases her chances for more trouble down the road. However, when I send her to school I don’t have to fear that I will be called to go to the emergency room due to a reaction that could kill her. I am glad our school takes those allergies seriously and helps protect the children, giving them a safe school to attend and some peace of mind for the parents.

There are many who don’t agree with nut-free schools — those parents I can bet don’t have to worry about their children when it comes to food. They may not understand the differences between a true allergy and a sensitivity and perhaps downplay the seriousness of it all. They likely can’t step outside themselves for a moment and put themselves in the shoes of that parent who does have to worry.

Click through to read the phrases you should never say to the parent of kids with food-related issues:

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What Not To Say to Parents of Kids With Food Issues

"You're Exaggerating" / "It's Not That Bad"

How do you know? When I say that my daughter can't come into contact with one bread crumb, I mean it. If another parent says if their child even smells peanuts they will have a reaction, it's true. I encourage you to read up on the differences between allergy/intolerant/sensitivity because too many treat allergies as sensitivities. There are huge differences.
Photo credit: Bruce Tuten on Flickr

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photo credit: Bruce Tuten on Flickr

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About Devan McGuinness


Devan McGuinness

Devan McGuinness is the writer of the lifestyle blog Accustomed Chaos. After surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan founded Unspoken Grief, a resource and support site for perinatal and neonatal loss. Read bio and latest posts → Read Devan's latest posts →

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One thought on “7 Things You Should NEVER Say to the Parent of Kids With Food Allergies/Intolerances

  1. Emma Cate says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, I think more people need to read it and understand what people with allergies or intolerances go through.

    I found out about a year ago that I have a severe dairy intolerance, and since becoming dairy-free my quality of life has greatly improved. But still, it never fails to surprise me when the people around me act like THEY’RE the ones suffering when I can’t eat a meal they made, ask detailed questions at restaurants, or read every ingredient on a package.
    It’s incredibly unfortunate, because it’s the people with food restrictions who suffer most of all. We know we’re different, or “weird” or complicated. We often feel isolated or lonely because we can’t join in. We’re often the butt of jokes, or teased, even as adults. I wish there was a way to help people see what the other side is like, and gain a little more support and understanding.

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