When I was a child, many moms, including my own, were working moms. So, there were a lot of nannies, maids and housekeepers to contend with, and they were the true snackgivers. Generally, when eating at friends' houses I was okay - I'm not allergic to wheat, eggs, soy, milk or peanuts, so it wasn't complicated. Really, how many people were serving pistachio encrusted salmon cakes to their children on playdates? Very few.
These days, I'm super careful about eating at friends' houses. I'm not the friend that comes over and raids the fridge; I'm the friend that comes over bearing her own snacks.
Of late, I've noticed a new and wonderful trend among the mommies of the new guard (i.e. my best girlfriends). These new mommies have everything allergen-friendly and free-of in their homes!
Oh how far the pendulum has swung, and yippee for that swing! Now, when I go to my best girlfriends' houses who have kids it's like going to my house: organic fruits and veggies, gluten-free treats and nut-free everything!
For example, I went to girlfriend's country house and whilst putting away some groceries with her I glanced at the products in her cupboard: gluten-free pancake mix, gluten-free cake mix, rice milk, Lactaid, organic tomato sauce, rice pasta and organic fruit. These were all for her food intolerant and food sensitive 6-year-old. I was in allergen-friendly-food heaven.
Another interesting example: a dear girlfriend's pediatrician recommended waiting to introduce potentially allergic foods to her first born until she was school-age. Now that she's just entered pre-school, her parents may start introducing these highly allergic foods, or they may not. No matter: there's one plucky 4-year-old who tells adults she can't eat their cake because it has nuts in it -- I love that! Brava for self-advocating pre-schoolers!
But there's something more. After a lifetime of feeling marginalized by what I couldn't eat [nuts and fish] and how I choose to eat [gluten-dairy-soy-sugar-free] it appears my specialized diet is entering mainstream, at least for little ones. I can hardly fathom a generation of kids eating free-of foods as the norm. Wait, I can -- and it's going to be great!
Five of my fave free-of product lines:
For more of Sloane's blog, see: A Most Unusual Day: Musings on pet dander