'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Living the "Food Allergy Lifestyle"

You are probably wondering what the 'food allergy lifestyle' is? Most people don't know - have no need to know. Yet once you or your child receive a food allergy diagnosis, you will begin living the 'food allergy lifestyle'. Not by choice, but by necessity.

Here is a prime example of a situation that happened to my family recently that demonstrates living the 'food allergy lifestyle. My in-laws invited us to participate in a breakfast/children's bike parade held at their church to celebrate the 4th of July. Nothing special about that, right? Things like this happen often. Here is where it became tricky: the breakfast of choice was pancakes and scrambled eggs. Obviously being allergic to eggs, The Princess can't eat either. That left us with 3 choices:

1, We could just not attend (but that wasn't a very fun option because who wants to spend the 4th without family?)

2, We could send our sons to eat with their grandparents while we fed The Princess at at their house and than joined them afterwards for the bike parade. This meant we would not be able to eat together and enjoy each others company.

Or 3, I could make egg-less pancakes to take so The Princess would have something to eat. This meant I would need to pack the needed ingredients and take them with us and get up extra early for my morning run so I would have time to make the pancakes (so they would be warm and yummy for my Princess).

We chose the third option. I'm sure people at the breakfast were wondering why I was carrying a tinfoil covered plate while standing in line, and we did get a few stares. It works for us now, but as The Princess gets older, I'm sure she will realize that she isn't eating the same thing as everyone else. Will that bother her? Sometimes it already does. She is a very smart princess. Will she complain? Will she feel bad about herself because she will be labeled as "different" in certain situations? Will she willingly choose to not attend certain things so as not to stand out?

When invited to parties, family events or anything that involves food, we are forced into the "food allergy lifestyle". We have to debate whether the event is worth the stress and headache. There are some events that we simply don't attend because we don't want to deal with it. Others require us to call the host and ask questions about what food will be served to see if it will be safe for The Princess. Sometime we have to bring separate food just for her. It always requires advanced planning and thought.

While life with food allergies is crazy and stressful, we are very blessed to have family and friends who are so supportive. Our family and friends are still willing to invite us to dinner and allow us to stay the weekend at their homes, even though it means they will have to accommodate The Princess. I have friends who were willing to become educated on food allergies and trained on the epi-pen so they could babysit occasionally. This is a HUGE blessing because finding "trained" babysitters in a home I feel comfortable sending The Princess to is very hard.

Don't think that I am just ranting and complaining about my difficult life. We all have situations in life that are challenging and sometimes no fun. The key is to realize the situation, accept it for what it is and move on. This is easy for me to say though, since I am on the outside. But what about The Princess... she has to live it every day.

Sometimes I wonder what the future will bring for her and hope that she is secure enough in herself to not care that she might be "different" or what others think or say about her. I hope that she is accepting of what life has dealt her and can learn from every situation and challenge. I hope that we have prepared her well enough and that she will always be surrounded by people who love and support her.



  1. My "princess" and I decided to skip our church breakfast this morning! I did not feel like making her something different to bring and we both had headaches. I feel your pain, peanut and egg allergy mom!

  2. Jenny - you are so funny! You understand why we didn't feel too bad about missing it yesterday too. One can only take so much. :) Thanks for your comment. We peanut and egg allergy moms need to stick together! :)

  3. As far as how she will feel about her allergies as she ages, I can say from experience that I find no shame neglecting the fresh produce at any gathering. My plate always looks the least healthy becuase its so rare that people serve the fruit I *can eat, or without touching the ones I cannot. If someone comments on my "poor" food choices, I simply say I'm allergic and that ends the teasing.
    Also, she knows (or she soon will) that eating the wrong foods can make her feel miserable, and even be life threatening, and she won't want to risk it. I have a freind whose child has severe milk allergies, and from the time the girl was about 2yrs old, she wouldn't take any food her mom or dad didn't give her becuase she didn't want to be sick. As she got older she would ask her mom to double check that any food was safe. They attend functions and bring their own food and her daughter has no problem with that, becuase it allows her to have fun and still be safe.
    I am sure your princess will choose to feel well and happy over being like every one else, even when she's 13. :)

  4. Thanks Tanya for your insights!! I remember now that you are allergic to certain fruit. Bummer!