How My Son Made the Allergy Safe Choice: A Proud Moment

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I have to share a big win today. I am so proud of my six-year-old son, Tristan, that it brings tears to my eyes. He really and truly “gets” his allergies and yesterday he proved that tenfold.

He was invited to a classmate’s birthday party at the movie theater where they serve a bevy of foods loaded up with dairy, one of Tristan’s allergies. As usual I prepared an assortment of safe food replacements for him to take with him, one of which was butter-free popcorn. Now, this party was special because it was the first party Tristan was to attend alone, without my husband or myself to monitor the food situation. His allergies have diminished greatly, although we still have yet to do a successful food challenge for dairy and some nuts, but we felt he was old enough and there was less of a risk for him to go alone.

On the way to the party Tristan asked me lots of questions about his medication, although he was already very aware of how to use the Allerject epinephrine injector, since he plays with the trainer often and has all the vocal instructions memorized. I think he was a little nervous, so we just went through when and why to use everything in his KoziEpi pouch again. I was confident he wouldn’t need anything, but it made both of us feel better to talk through the routine again. We had spoken with the parents before the party and of course did so again at the movie theater. He was prepared with his food as well, so he seemed set to me.

All went well until it was time for the popcorn. The birthday boy’s mom gave Tristan’s bag of popcorn to the concession employee who filled a regular popcorn cup with his popcorn. She distributed all the cups to the kids in the dark movie theater and confused Tristan and another boy, giving the other boy Tristan’s allergy safe popcorn and Tristan the popcorn loaded with BUTTER!

Since Tristan did not see the concessions employee fill his cup with the safe popcorn AND could not see in the dark if his popcorn looked like the butter-free variety he was used to, decided his popcorn may not be safe to eat and therefore wasn’t worth the risk. He sat for nearly two hours with this tempting cup of buttery popcorn in his lap and didn’t even touch a kernel. I’m not so sure I’d have had the same will power.

I can honestly say that I have NEVER been prouder of him than I was for his actions that day. As a reward, that evening Tristan had his first ever cone with homemade chocolate sorbet. He’d always wanted to try a cone in the past, but he was so sensitive to wheat that it was never an option until recently. So, he enjoyed his reward immensely!

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FROM: Allergies

14 Comments

  1. Jesse on July 29, 2014 at 10:23 am

    My daughter had something similar happen at a 10 year old’s birthday party. She brought her safe cupcake to eat (dairy and egg allergy) and the mom put it on one of the birthday plates. All the other cupcakes were distributed, and a second before they were to sing Happy Birthday, the mom of the birthday girl (with good intentions) saw that my daughter’s cupcake did not have a candle in it and grabbed one from a non-safe cupcake and stuck it in her safe one! So, of course, she was afraid to eat it because the frosting and cake could have easily been carried along with the candle. She watched all the other kids eat theres and didn’t say anything to the mom! I was so proud of her for handling the situation, like your son did, with grace.

    • Jennifer on August 1, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Hi Jesse – Wow! That is a similar story. I’m so sorry your daughter had to go through the same, but you must have been so proud. We can only teach our children as best we can and hope that when the time comes, they make the safe choice. Thank you for sharing Jesse! Jennifer

  2. Susan on July 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Yay for your son! What a smart boy, and tons of self control, too.

  3. Holly @ My Plant-Based Family on July 30, 2014 at 1:55 am

    That is so great! Good Job Tristan!

  4. Kathryn @ Mamacado on July 31, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Oh my goodness! Way to go Tristan! You’re a wonderful model for other kids dealing with food allergies. I’ll share this story with my son when he gets a little older. Thanks so much.

    • Jennifer on August 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Hi Kathryn – Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I’m very proud of my son. Dealing with food allergies a lot of pressure to put on our kids at such a young age. I do worry about as they get older and peer pressure sets in. Thankfully Tristan is young enough now, and still close enough to his anaphylactic reaction, to be extra cautious about his food allergies. Jennifer

  5. Christie Blake on August 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    What a proud mama moment, indeed!! You have raised him to be responsible for his allergies, which will carry him far in life. Congrats!!

    • Jennifer on August 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks Christie! I really appreciate the kind words of support. Yes, I’m super proud of my little guy! Jennifer

  6. Sarah on August 14, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    That brings tears to my eyes! What a proud moment for you. I have a 3 year old that has multiple food allergies and even imagining him fending for himself in the world of food allergies terrifies me. Glad to hear someone so young can do such a great job.

    • Jennifer on August 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Children are amazing, aren’t they? I always think of my child as so young and innocent, but having food allergies has really made him way more responsible than I ever imagined at this age. Thank you for the kind remarks Sarah! Best to your and your family! Jennifer

  7. Sherry - website on September 14, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Great job Tristan! Such strong will power for a 6 year old. I doubt if I ever have done that being on his shoes. Just goes to show how a great parent you are making them aware and be responsible for their own circumstance. Kudos to you too!

    • Jennifer on September 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Thank you so much Sherry! We are so proud of him.

  8. Camilleta on October 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

    That is so awesome! I was so proud of my daughter recently for not eating cookies even though she was told they didn’t have gluten. She insisted on asking me first to be sure. 🙂 By the way, they have these wheat free ice cream cones out, my kids love them. The brand is “Let’s Do” I believe.

    • Jennifer Roberge on October 28, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Hi Camilleta – That’s amazing! You must be so proud! Yay for all our smart kids and our constant allergy reminders and messages that really do pay off. That’s very reassuring to know. Thank you for sharing your success story! Jennifer

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