Staring at the delicious spread of snacks and treats laid out across the classroom counter, my son Carter began to fill his plate.
“Momma, can I have those crackers?”
“Sorry bud, those have soy so you can’t have them. You can have your crackers when we get home.”
“But everyone has them and I want some!”
There’s nothing more devastating than watching your 4-year-old sob his little eyes out at the school holiday party because everyone around him is eating something he can’t have. I learned my lesson in October at Halloween. I thought bringing him a homemade gooey Rice Krispie treat would suffice, but it didn’t. He wanted a Ritz cracker like everybody else.
Although Carter is beginning to understand the concept of food allergies and that he can’t eat things with soy, at his age the reality of it is still upsetting at times. As a mother I always do my best to have substitutes on hand to avoid situations where he would feel left out. Fortunately, his teacher uses an online sign-up sheet for parents and more often than not people will give a little description of the “salty snack” or “sweet treat” they plan to contribute. This makes it easier for me to plan ahead.
For Valentine’s Day this year his preschool class threw a little celebration full of food, crafts and adorable games. As I scrolled through the sign-up sheet, I made a mental note of what Carter would and would not be able to eat.
- Pretzel Sticks – Probably OK.
- Cheese & Crackers – Nope. Pack our own.
- Valentine’s Cookies – Homemade? Store-bought? There’s no way to know.
- Fruit – Always soy free! We’ll bring this.
Then we got to baking. Soy-free Valentine cookies coming right up! Not only did we enjoy an afternoon activity together, but having Carter involved in the process gets him even more excited at the party to eat his “special” cookies. My husband joined the festivities and said the party was a success!