My son recently had his first “pizza party”. He’s six years old. You’re probably thinking, “that’s crazy!” but, up until now, we weren’t comfortable in that setting. Henry is off-the-charts-airborne-allergic to dairy. Here's what we did...
Henry's virtual class celebrated the end of the school year outside with a pizza party. His wonderful teacher went out of her way to make us feel included. She tried to find places or snacks that had non-dairy options but In the end, we stuck with our safe and trusted non-dairy cheese pizza made by Daiya Foods. I cooked the pizza right before we left home for the party and even cut the box to make it look and feel like we’d ordered it with the rest of the pizza for his class. (A great touch if I say so myself!)
It was an emotional day for me on many levels. Even though yesterday and most likely tomorrow I will feel like I am failing on some level, today I felt like I was winning. WE were winning! I have come a long way with being more at ease around food situations. It took 6 years. They have felt like the longest years. Food allergies can be isolating. You don’t realize how many events revolve around food until you can’t eat it.
I am incredibly proud of my little guy for how understanding and responsible he has always been regarding his food allergies. The pizza party was a milestone event for us and I feel like we’re teaching him how to navigate life with food allergy do’s and don’ts, about food allergy can’s and can not’s.
Before he was able to use his voice we ordered stickers listing what NOT to feed him. They were for other people, really. So many adults just offer snacks to children without thinking twice. We also ordered him a cute allergy alert bracelet from Allerbling. Eventually, we taught him exactly what all of it meant. He learned quickly!
I know that going back into a real school at the end of the summer will definitely have its challenges. I only hope that my son remains as secure in himself and his differences as he was at his very first pizza party.
(Plus, it didn’t hurt to have his younger brother along who absolutely idolizes him!)
About the Author: Lauren Foti and her 3 sons live by the beach in her hometown Cape May, New Jersey. Creativity, fun, music, and adventure are a priority for their family. Lauren has been sewing and crafting for over 20 years and sharing it with her children brings her the greatest joy. Being together as a family, making safe treats, watching sunsets, kitchen dance parties...these are a few of their favorite things. Follow their sweet life at the beach @thecraftroom.nj.
Image Credit: Thank you Lauren for use of the images with permission
* During the pandemic Lauren and her son Henry started their own web series on Instagram called ‘Crafternoon with Henry ’. There is sewing, crafts and baking (all how-to style) to teach parents & children how to have fun together while creating something special. Follow #crafternoonwithhenry on Instagram! Henry caught the eye of Enjoy Life and has been a several time guest spokesperson for this allergy-friendly brand.