Sorry, I’m a little excited. I didn’t even know such a thing existed until a few weeks ago when I received an e-mail from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). May 12-18th is officially considered Food Allergy Awareness Week, a time to educate the nation on the 32 million Americans living with food allergies, including my 3 sons Mason, Carter and Winston. This is totally my JAM!
First I wanted to find a way to spread the word to our community about the seriousness of food allergies. So I did a little research and found this awesome handout from FARE about their Be a PAL program: Protect A Life.
Unless you are living with food allergies, most people don’t think it’s a big deal. The truth is, you can DIE from food allergies, so it’s a very big deal. Fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it) my kids have EoE so they are not anaphylactic, and Mason’s strawberry allergy is pretty mild, so the life-threatening aspect doesn’t apply to them as much. But I know there are kids at our elementary school who are anaphylactic; we even have an allergy-free table in our cafeteria. I can’t imagine how nervous those kids (or their parents) are on a daily basis. So I e-mailed the principal and she was on board! We printed 400 copies and brought them up to school.
Then we participated in #tealtakeover Day on May 16th… a day to wear teal, the color of food allergy awareness. I obviously had to get some t-shirts! [HUGE selection on Amazon.] My kids were so excited to wear them! I think the last time all three of them smiled at the same time was when they opened their Christmas presents.
Even our Grandma D joined in the fun! She wore teal around the Chicago Ohare Airport, on her BIRTHDAY nonetheless. She spread the word of food allergies all the way to NYC!
Then to wrap it all up, Friday was our elementary school’s Spring Carnival – a crazy fun evening full of hot dogs, games, a bounce house and… a bake sale. As with any social gathering, my kiddos are always left out when it comes to sweet treats they can eat. So we decided to contribute some Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free and Soy-Free Rice Krispies Treats and Puppy Chow.
Look how exited Carter was to buy something! Makes this allergy mom’s heart so happy.
And since the ice cream that came with our hot dog dinners was off limits, we had our own special treat at home: soy-free ice cream cones for all and dairy-free ice cream for Winn.
All in all, it was a great Food Allergy Awareness Week and we can’t wait for next year!
FARE – Food Allergy Awareness Week
Kids With Food Allergies
FAACT – Food Allergy Awareness Initiatives