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How do you explain your kids allergies to them?

(3 Posts)
HotMommy Mon 13-Oct-14 13:10:10

My 2 year old is allergic to dairy, egg, sesame and peanut. She has recently started telling me things like "I'm not allowed croissant" or " I can't have cake". She has obviously picked this up from nursery mealtimes. Of course I want her to know she needs to be careful - but it makes me a bit uncomfortable that she is using the "I'm not allowed" language. At home we tell her she doesn't have some things because they will make her itchy or might hurt her tummy. Do you all think there is any difference and are you careful about how you talk about their allergies with them? Her allergies are mild and I don't want her to be afraid of food or think she is just being treated differently for no reason. Is it worth discussing with nursery or should I just leave it?? Thank you!!

HappyNap Tue 14-Oct-14 13:26:52

I don't have the answer but I've been wondering the same with my 16 month old.

Today we sat down at the dinner table, and she wanted my cereal and I didn't know what to say, blush

I do need to come up with a plan though. As it's fine normally at home (where most of the food, if not all, is allergy free ) but when we are at friends and family's it's not.

RocknRollNerd Sat 01-Nov-14 17:58:13

It's a progression, in my experience. At that age we started with you mustn't eat these things because they will make you very very poorly. Reinforce this with 'because you are allergic to them'. That removes the interpretation where people might think they're not allowed something because you have a PFB who will never ever ever eat sweets, sugar, non-organic food etc.

Keep it simple and keep reinforcing the message. DS I suspect cannot remember a time when he didn't have 'I cannot eat peanuts because I'm allergic to them' as a thing. I notice you say her allergies are mild so that may be a bit different from how we were with DS but I avoided vague ok sounding things like 'a bit itchy' or 'a tummy ache' as that is the kind of ill kids get all the time and they get better. For serious allergies you can't really do that as it creates too much ambiguity.

As they get older you can give more detail and be more specific but in my experience you cannot start too early with getting them to understand the importance of it - it means that by the time they start being out of your control (which comes surprisingly quickly once they start school - in Yr 1 no-one's mum stayed at the parties) they have the tools and language to deal with the well meaning 'oh one biscuit won't hurt as a treat' if people don't understand the seriousness of allergies.

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