When your family does not understand your own acid reflux or that of your child's it can make holiday dining very stressful. The well meaning relative who thinks your little dumpling needs just one more piece of pie... not knowing that once more piece means a night of agony. Or the mother who is offended when you can't eat everything offered at the Christmas meal.
While it may not be quite as dramatic for most of us, dealing with any GI problem during the holidays can cause added stress to an already frazzled time of year. I have found that the best approach is one of full disclosure. It does not do anyone any good for you (or your child) to suffer for weeks because you just wanted to "be nice". In the same token it is unfair to get angry if you haven't discussed the issue with your family ahead of time.
Before the dinner (and before the hurt feelings) take some time to explain to your family the role acid reflux plays in your life or your child's life. Most are very receptive to learning about the issue. Since many people mistakenly think it is "just heartburn" they will often be shocked to learn how much pain some adults and little ones deal with. Once they are educated on the issue you will often be surprised at how receptive they are to providing "safe" alternatives for you or your child.
If you know the person who is planning the meal you may be able to ask before hand what will be served. If you find that there are many food items you will not be able to eat, or that your little one will not be able to tolerate, there are several things you can do. One idea would be to offer to bring something along that you have made. That way you know that there will be at least one food item available that you or your child can eat. This also takes some of the pressure off of the host who may feel overwhelmed to have to plan around different requests.
If it is not possible to bring something to share or check the menu ahead of time it might be a good idea to bring AR friendly snacks and eat a small meal before heading out. That way you won't be famished and opt for overindulging in foods that might cause a nasty flare up.
Check back next time for my blog entry on when other's feed your AR baby!
Published On: December 01, 2008