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May 9, 2007

Can Kids with Food Allergies Have a "Happy Life"?

I read the online article from a Florida paper this week and was surprised to read this...

Public understanding of allergies is getting better, said Judy Perkin, professor and chairwoman of the department of public health at University of North Florida.

More people are realizing that parents of allergic children are not simply paranoid or silly.

That gets the fun back into parties, she said, regardless of what ingredients are in the cake.

"If you know someone has an allergy, be very supportive of them," she said. "They can still have a happy life."

A happy life? Hmm. Makes me think that Ms. Perkin doesn't have a personal relationship with a child that has life threatening food allergies. She makes it sound like if you have a food allergy, life is a downer.

My kids are happy... I mean pretty darn happy. Sure, a severe child food allery requires both the parent and child to take extra precautions at social functions or if they venture out for a meal, but that doesn't mean the child cannot enjoy themselves.

We've said it before, sometimes our food allergic children feel special in a good way. Like when there single cupcake looks and tastes better than the treat that another parent brought into the classroom or to the party.

Life is as good as you live it. Our children see that and we need to be examples of how to live happy. Managing child food allergies is simply another area of our lives where we can be an example for our kids.

Go forth. Live happy.

Posted by David at May 9, 2007 7:37 AM


That comment was odd. I'm not even sure my son realizes that he is "different". Of course he's happy. He does everything that everyone else does, just with different food. It's not like he's in a bubble watching the other kids while I feed him odd foods through his safety hatch. The comment actually made me laugh. I think maybe she doesn't fully understand food allergies. Thanks for posting :)

Posted by: ChupieandJsmama at May 9, 2007 11:19 AM

I think the only reason my daughter would feel "different" is that at 2 she has to be more responsible than the other kids in her daycare class. She knows she can't eat anyone else's food and when people offer her food, she tells them she is "lergic to eggs and nuts". I feel bad that she has had to take on that sort of responsibility at such a young age!

Posted by: RedDoll at May 14, 2007 10:23 PM

My daughter, who is 2 (almost 3) definitely knows that she is different, and questions why she can't have things that other kids can have. It doesn't make her unhappy - jealous maybe! But if I give her any other "treat" she is satisfied. She is a very happy kid! I think she is happier than other kids who may be suffering from undiagnosed tummy aches, rashes, moodiness, runny nose, etc. - symptoms of food allergy.

Posted by: Alison at May 15, 2007 4:40 PM

Our daughter is 2 and we have a babysitter that comes into the home. At this point she understands that peanuts 'make her sick' and says 'No Peanut Please' but she does not grasp the concept completely. Ignorance is truly bliss! She is one of the happiest little beings you'll ever meet.

Where I have found the allergy to be frustrating is that it does tend to curb unabashed spontaneity at times and the constant presence of fear in the background gets old pretty quickly. It has made us more careful and more concerned vs 'less happy'. That was an odd choice of words in the article.


It Takes A Village

Posted by: NoPeanuts at May 17, 2007 11:01 PM