I usually try to focus on the positive side of things, but I think that it’s super important to recognize the negative events that occur on the other spectrum of having food allergies.
There is this one experience that specifically stands out to me. I was in elementary school and was at my friend’s birthday party at a gymnastics center where the parties are run by the staff. After the activities were over, we had to go into the eating area for the food and cake. One of the staff members was serving me cake and pizza and I said that I wasn’t able to eat it. They continued by saying, “What?! I’m sure you can eat this!”. Once again, I replied that I had food allergies and would be unable to eat the food and that I would eat my own that I had brought.
As I was exiting the room after the party was over he says to me while laughing, “You can’t eat cupcakes, you can’t eat pizza, then what can you eat?”. In my opinion, you shouldn’t make such a young child feel like that about their food allergies, which can be a very sensitive subject. Their words didn’t really affect me then. But, the fact that I remember the exact line that they said proves how it came back and affected me. NO ONE should treat a young child with food allergies like that. They should never make them feel like they’re different or left out of the group.
If you have food allergies, from this experience, just know that people are going to say things about your allergies that are negative and rude. But, keep in mind you who are. Don’t let their words get the best of you. Yes, you have food allergies and you are the person you need to take care of first. Don’t sacrifice anything for your health. After you take care of all that, you’re no different from anyone else. Go travel, make goals for yourself, and achieve your dreams because you can! Don’t let your allergies stop you!
Just a reminder: you don’t know what anyone has been through even with their food allergies, so please be kind and avoid saying things that may be offensive to them.
I hope this story helps someone who has received hurtful comments about their food allergies, and that they know that others’ words should not affect their own life!