• Gayle Rigione, Allergy Force CEO

Ice Cream & Food Allergies—Hold the Sprinkles

"...Sure you can’t eat Ice-cream like other pepole, but still find joy in what you can have..." —a 3rd grader with food allergies

Every once in a while, you come across posts on social media that touch your heart. Mine was definitely touched when I saw a post from the mom of a 3rd grader with food allergies on the NNMG Food Allergic Families Facebook Group.

Sharayah McKellar shared the sweetest opinion essay her 3rd grade daughter wrote about life with food allergies. What struck me about the essay was how Sharayah’s daughter was able to find the sunlight in the rain clouds…and THANK GOODNESS FOR SUBSTITUTIONS! Sharayah kindly gave me permission to share her budding author’s essay. I hope it puts a smile in your day.

"Do you know anybody with food allergies? I have three food allergies. I also know friends with food allergies. It can get a little frustrating.
First of all, having food allergies means having not very many food options. That means when other pepole get to go out and eat Ice-cream with toppings, I have to bring mine without toppings. I wish I didn’t have food allergies.
Also, having food allergies mean that you always have to carry an emergency bag with you at all times. You can also pick out what color or designs you want your bag to be. It is a little annoying when you have to carry a bag all the time. It can also sometimes be fun.
Food allergies can be a little frustrating. But it can also be a little fun. Sure you can’t eat Ice-cream like other pepole, but still find joy in what you can have. We can also be greatfull for substitutions.”

The essay reminded me that even when life sends lemons your way, you can make lemonade. A new friend recently reminded me that, for every glass half empty or half full, remember and be thankful there’s a glass to fill.

Count blessings?


Food allergies are a chronic condition that affect over 32 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 240 million people worldwide. There are some 160-170 foods that can cause an allergic reaction, though only 9 allergens (Crustacean Shellfish, Eggs, Fish, Milk, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Sesame, Soy and Wheat) account for the majority of allergic reactions in children and adults. While life with food allergies can be challenging, it can teach you many things if you stay open to the lessons, like problem solving, resilience, perseverance, courage and empathy towards others (not to mention seriously upping your cooking and baking skills!)

The NNMG Food Allergic Families Group & Forum is a helpful resource for families navigating food allergies, dedicated to learning, educating and supporting families with food allergies. The group also organizes peanut and tree nut free playgroups for all ages where members can meet other mothers and children who are dealing with life threatening food allergies. Learn more about joining or starting a playgroup in your area at the NNMG Food Allergic Families website. Check it out.

About the Author: Gayle Rigione is CEO and Co-founder of Allergy Force, the food allergy app. She’s also an allergy mom. She’s lived the heart stopping moments when her son ate the wrong thing, second guessed reactions and spent the night in the ER. These experiences inspire her to create tools for people with food allergies that make life safer, easier. Whatever you do, do it with a full heart. Audentes Fortuna Iuvat

Credits: Thank you to Sharayah McKellar for sharing the essay and the image

Recent Posts

See All