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Every year around this time our family has a family reunion at the park. I have to bring one covered dish and a lot of family members who don't know about Jamie's milk allergy will be bringing food. There is no ingredients listed anywhere. There is always a lot of cross contamination. I am going to be packing Jamie's plate before we go this year but I know my family and I know she is going to end up getting food off the tables. Do you all have any ideas on how to teach a three year old not to just go grab food? I know they are family but they will give her anything because " a little milk won't hurt her.
First I would put her in a shirt that says she has a severe milk allergy or get the write on-stick on name tags and put one of the front and back of her shirt that says that she has food allergies and not to feed her. Also, what we had to do with Danny was teach him that other people didn't know what could make him sick so unless mommy gave it to him it would probably make him sick. After one or two times of getting sick and one VERY close call with an Epipen he learned his lesson and only takes food if I give it to him or tell him he can have it. He went a little overboard at one point and made my mom call me when she was watching him because I wasn't there to tell him it was okay. I would much rather that than he take it and then everyone has a bad day though...
Talk to her about her allergy... you would be surprised. Hugo at 14 mos. could wave his finger back and forth and say, "No peanuts! No peanuts!" and could recognize wrappers of nut products. He's just turned 4 and is very aware and articulate about his allergy. Like, someone offered him a candy bar the other day and he said, "No thank you, that was processed in a facility with peanuts and I am allergic to all nuts."
For potlucks- which, in all honesty we try to avoid, but have one a year that we can't- we pack his meal including a safe dessert. We do NOT let him have ANYTHING off the tables unless it is something clearly marked like Lay's chips that he can have, and even with that, we get it for him on a new, clean plate. The hardest thing to resist is the desserts. That is why we bring pre-packaged cookies, candy or a safe cupcake for him.
We talk a lot about his allergy at picnics/potlucks just so people are aware and people do NOT feed him. Luckily, everyone in our circle knows well by now although mistakes are made time to time (godmother brought a cheese ball with nuts for Memorial Day, we did not open the package). You have to watch out like a hawk and most times, people will join you in watching out for the child too. Make sure to spread the word that if someone sees your child trying to eat something, to notify you right away and stop the child so you can check it out first.