Guest Blog Post: Tips For Friends Who Have Friends Living with Food Allergies

I am so excited to be having clinical social worker/ author/ allergy mom/ super women, Kristen Kauke as a guest blogger! A while back I wrote this review  on Kristen’s book. The blog post Kristen has written offers some fabulous advice for those who have friends with food allergies. Thank you Kristen for your help! Enjoy the post everyone 🙂

So True!

So True!

It is said that “a friend can double our joy, and divide our grief.”

If you are a friend to a peer with a food allergy, or a friend to a parent of a child with food allergies, the following are a few simple ways you can enhance their life:

  1. Ask about their experience.  Hear the story of their allergic reaction.  Understand their experience of living with a food allergy.  Maybe there are times they feel they’ve missed out.  But maybe they’ve found blessings along the way too!
  2. Try substitutes.  Sip some rice milk, take a bit of gluten-free bread, sample sunbutter.  You might be pleasantly surprised!
  3. Offer to assist.  Volunteer to go shopping with your friend and help to read labels.  Or invite them to help you prep an allergy-friendly dinner.
  4. Share their story with others.  Parker J. Palmer notes that “The more we learn about other people’s stories, the less possible it is for us to dislike them, distrust them, or dismiss them.  Anything we can do to help people form relational ‘habits of the heart’ will help.”  Sharing our friend’s story with others helps towards creating greater awareness that might one day lead to competent cultural consciousness and warmth in response to those with food allergies.
  5. Be aware in their presence.  Refrain from eating their allergen around them.  There’s never really a way for the allergic person to bring that to your attention without everyone feeling a bit awkward.

To feel accepted and understood is of utmost importance to all humans, but especially to children and adolescents.  And as a parent, anytime someone extends love to your child, that someone wins a space in that parent’s heart.

Take a risk to double a friend’s joy or divide their grief today!


3 thoughts on “Guest Blog Post: Tips For Friends Who Have Friends Living with Food Allergies

  1. I became much more aware of my peanut-allergic friend’s feelings once I learned more about how tough it is to be fully gluten-free. Before, I would of course not offer him foods with nuts, but I didn’t worry much about having them around him. At our recent housewarming party, though, I made sure nothing had nuts in it and also worked to exclude any possibly cross-contaminated ingredients from my pantry. He always says we don’t need to, but knowing how I feel when people eat bread in my vicinity, I DEFINITELY need to.

  2. Pingback: Tips for Friends Who Have Friends Living with Food Allergies (via Epipen Princess) | allergyepisodes

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