author of Feeding Eden

Back To School? No Promises

The online food allergy world has been blogging and twittering about "back to school" allergy issues for most of August. After reading multiple posts and briefly stopping in at a Twitter "Food Allergy Party" (topic: Back To School) I've come to the brilliant conclusion that most of us very quietly freaking out.

Sure we can advise other parents with our personal checklists and precautions or plan to spend the upcoming school year shadowing our child under the guise of "classroom volunteer." Sure, some of our children attend to schools that are institutionally helpful while others need parents who will advocate fiercely for their child's safety, but in our hearts we all know that when the alarm clock rings that first day it's "Game on!"
And so begins another year of feeding our children out in that big bad toxic world of . . . food . . . utterly normal, seemingly harmless, tasty, alluring, crispy, sweet and colorful food.
In years past I have made various promises to myself like...I won't let see Eden see my tears (i.e. when the teacher can't "find" his treat in time for the candle blowing and causes him tidal waves of unexpressed angst he doesn't need to see me cry) AND I won't fantasize about making voodoo dolls of the mothers who decide to throw "make your own sundae" parties AND I won't fret that when my son takes out his olive oil sandwich from his lunch bag with exactly one bit taken out of it and then waxes profane over the "yummy looking" macaroni and cheese the other kids ate that day AND I won't get worked up over his potential for calcium deficiencies and future bone mass loss AND so on.
This year I have decided to yield to my anxiety, to my ridiculous or not so ridiculous fears, to stop telling myself "It's just food" and to admit this --
Yes. It's just food. It matters. And at some point this year being allergic to it will suck for our kids.