10 Things Never to Say to a Mom of a Kid With Food Allergies

what not to say to a mom with a kid with food allergiesWhether they're minor or severe, food allergies and aversions can be threatening to a child's safety or health. Any child with serious allergies, and their parents, know how important it is to keep them protected from anything that can trigger an allergic reaction. If that means changing the whole family's diet or shopping for exclusively allergen-free products, families will often make changes in their habits to make sure that kids are kept healthy and are able to avoid irritants.

However, plenty of people are ignorant and insensitive to those who suffer incredibly serious, even life-threatening, allergies to certain foods. And unfortunately, when people lack understanding, they tend to make not-so-nice comments to parents of kids with food allergies. We can all do better to understand what these families deal with on a daily basis. Here is a list of 10 things you should never say to a mom of a child with allergies:

1. "I'm sorry." For what? No apologies are necessary.

2. "She'll grow out of it." Actually, sorry to break it to you, but this isn't just a phase. She won't wake up one day and suddenly be clear.

3. "A little bit won't hurt." Seriously, have you never seen what happens during an allergic reaction? Breakouts, nasal congestion, and breathing difficulties are not painless.

4. "He is just too picky." There's a lil-bit-o'-difference between not liking a food and not being able to eat it.

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5. "How can a child ever go without [X item]? That's just mean!" The child will be absolutely fine without melons, peanuts, and broccoli. And moms aren't being mean by not giving the child the restricted foods. Hint: they're actually saving them.

6. "It's your fault that he is allergic to all those things." Yes, some allergies are genetic, but it is not a parent's fault that a child has developed an allergy. Let's be serious here.

7. "Keep your son home during holiday parties so my kid and the other kids can enjoy the party and eat what they want!" You must be joking. Your child can't go one day without a PB&J sandwich?! I think you can find plenty of alternate holiday foods that don't contain items that'll actually harm children.

8. "If you give him tiny bits over time, he'll build up a tolerance for it!" Yeah, that's not how that works ...

9. "Are you sure she has allergies? No one in our family has allergies." No, you're right. All the doctor tests and the overwhelming reactions to very particular items are just fake because allergies only come from the family tree.

10. "I'm glad I was blessed with a 'healthy' child." First of all, children who have allergies are not 'unhealthy,' and they're not 'sick.' Second of all, congratulations, you're so #blessed.

Does your child have allergies? What's the craziest thing anyone's ever said to you?


Image via Peter Reali/Corbis

food, kid health, kids nutrition, allergies, asthma


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Wyatt... WyattsMom772

My son has a severe milk allergy.. I once got into an arguement with a room mom who had an ice cream party for the class and told my son to go to the cafeteria for an ice beverage. I was so mad! I took him home because he couldnt even be around milk! It was awful.

lilinae lilinae

I have 3 kids and my middle daughter is the only one with crazy food allergies! She cant eat anything with eggs or egg whites,all dairy,soy,peanuts,treenuts the list goes on and on.. So its very hard to "let" my other kids eat the stuff she cant. So i have been told that its not fair to do that to my other kids!! Also she has severe eczema, i had a class mom make a comment about her being contagious, and that she told her daughter not to touch her!!

nonmember avatar kati

I hear all of these. Im pretty lax and dont want our school to be peanut free, its something my son will have to learn to be cautious of his entire life so might as well start now. But I do ask that all classmates wash their hands after lunch and they not bring shared peanut snacks. My word you would think having kids wash their hands was the end of the world with all the uproar it has caused. The other problem is classmates touching him with peanut butter on purpose. Ugh!!

nonmember avatar Sarah

To be fair to the person at #7, PB&J Sandwiches are pretty traditional Christmas treats. Or is that just my family?

Lol, some people are ridiculous. I can understand that some people don't understand things like ADHD or Autism (not that I agree with them, but they can be confusing, especially with new research and rumors popping up) but allergies? Is it that hard to understand that Timmy's throat will swell shut if he eats a peanut? And, lol, #8 reminds me of people who drink snake venom to build up a tolerance. Because that totally works.

the4m... the4mutts

While I "get" that you parents with children who have allergies are sensitive, and protective, this list isn't completely accurate either.

There have actually been proven results in the curing of peanut allergies specifically. TINY bits, gradually increased, over time, CAN cure the allergy. When done in a controlled environment, and administered by a professional, they have had great success.

Also, stop acting like hundreds of children should have to alter THEIR diet, because of your child.

If their allergies are that severe, you need to look into a charter/private school, or a public school willing to put out the necessary work into protecting them.

Not every family is going to be willing/able to alter their child's diet, and frankly, the rest of the world isn't going to do it. The work place wont go "nut free" when your kid is grown.

Yes, kids that would intentionally touch/swap food with an allergic kid, those kids need an ass whoopin. They're little jerks. But your kid will have to learn early on to avoid other people's food, drinks, and possibly handshakes. The world wont stop for a person with allergies.

nonmember avatar Teri

I dropped my daughter (peanut allergy) at a "parents night out party" at our local gym, something we'd done before. I explained the allergy, how to use her epi-pen, emergency steps, checked the snacks to make sure they were OK, then had to explain to the young man who joked about giving her a PB COOKIE, "just to see," that she could literally die. In front of him and all the other children. But that's a really cool joke you made. He then backtracked by comparing it to hay fever. SMH

Zenezzy Zenezzy

I remember the hard stretch when we were young and PB&J was all we could afford for lunch.

Sunny... SunnyDaze87

Well Put The4Mutts! Exactly what I was goin to say.

Bobbie Scherzer

With #2 sometimes they can outgrow the allergies, or have a lesser reaction.  As a kid I was diagnosed with a egg allergy and could not eat anything with egg in it.  As an adult I can eat eggs.  I know this doesn't happen every, and some kids may get worse, but in a few cases they can outgrow it.

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