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the food allergy app—

from Allergy Force

  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Mae Brockman

The Food Allergy Diaries: a Kind Surprise for My Son

My neighbors' kindness brought joy to my small son, letting him be just ‘one of the bunch’ at a party. Here's what my neighbors did...


As a parent with a child with multiple food allergies, I worry. Worry is a familiar companion as our family tries to live our best version of ‘normal’. Our hope is that our kids’ lives will be filled with kind friends, curiosity, exploration and a ton of fun.

Food allergies complicate things. Even a birthday party is complicated.

With food allergies, a birthday invite doesn’t just mean there’s a shopping trip in my future to buy a gift. It also means I might need to speak to the birthday child’s parents — whom I may or may not know well — about:

  • all the food plans (pizza? ice cream? cake? bowls of chips? Pretzels?)

  • the entertainment plans (pinata anyone? hands-on craft? movie & popcorn?)

  • the party favor plans, since candy often makes its way into party favor bags.

I also usually:

  • plan, prepare and pack a special snack, or full meal, for my son for the party.

  • have the ‘we don’t eat the food’ & the ‘if you don’t know, ask Mom’ chat {the 3-year-old version}, hoping he understands and remembers.

  • work my schedule so I can stay at the party and safeguard him, (though that’s usually a given because my kids are very young.)

My neighbor’s daughter was turning 1, and she invited my 1-year-old and her 3-year-old brother with food allergies to the party. I was grateful for the invitation, but I was anxious about my 3-year old’s safety — he’s allergic to eggs, tree nuts, and coconut. I always prepare safe foods and bring them to the parties for him. But I also always worry.

The entire week before the party, my neighbor messaged me non-stop about ingredients and food labels and safe substitutions. She wanted to make sure my little guy could enjoy the party food, along with everyone else. Even her mom, whom I had never met, sent me messages with pictures of all the ingredients lists for the food she was making. I reviewed everything and provided feedback, explaining cross contact, which is always a concern.

a toddler with food allergies and two babies have fun at a birthday party

I was deeply touched that neighbors would go out of their way to cater their daughter’s 1st birthday celebration to meet the needs of one small guest. He was overjoyed to be able to eat what everyone else was eating. I was grateful he could be just ‘one of the bunch’ at this party.

Can you believe their kindness? There are good people out there. My heart is full.


About the Author: My name is Alyssa Mae Brockman. I’m a busy mom of two, a wife, and teacher. Having a food allergy kiddo is like an additional full-time job. We make it work, we teach, we advocate, we live. Sometimes, one small act of kindness is all you need to know that you are not alone.

Image Credit: Thank you to Alyssa Mae Brockman for use of the images with permission

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