What about birthday parties? She can't eat the birthday cake? Will she have to take her own cake to every party?
What about trips and vacations? Where will we eat and what will we do? What about places that don't allow outside food?
Thanksgiving??? Christmas?? Valentine candy!! Halloween treats!! We won't be able to accept anything!
What about everything other holiday function or party or gathering that all revolve around food?
At the time I was too overwhelmed to even begin to think about how we would cope. I still don't have answers to all the questions but I'm learning a few things.
This past weekend we took our first family trip with Baby Bee in tow. We stayed at a fun resort and my mom had called ahead to speak with the restaurants there. The chefs spoke with her on the phone and were knowledgeable about food allergies. They even had suggestions for what Bee could eat at the restaurant and they planned to make some special items just for her.
Well, I was still a little nervous, so we arrived with our ice chest full of things for Bee to snack on...just in case. We swam, we played, and then we headed to dinner. Our server did not act shocked and confused when we brought up food allergies (most servers look dazed and panicked when we bring it up). That was a pleasant surprise. The chef came out to talk with us. When we mentioned our name he pulled a piece of paper from his pocket, on it he had the list of all of Bee's allergies from when my mom called. He read through the list and asked if that was our list, and then made suggestions for what she could eat. Our table was served food a little bit later and Bee enjoyed her meal with us.
Can I just say how rare this is? That the chefs and staff would be familiar with food allergies and actually be helpful and willing to make adjustments to meals? Why can't more restaurants train their staff and chefs to understand food allergies and know how to make substitutions?
Eating out felt so normal for a change. And for our next trip, I've already called ahead, and while this place can't do special cooking for Bee, I already have permission to arrive with an ice chest full of meals for Bee. Vacations...we can do this.