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catering for special dietary requirements at family occasions

(71 Posts)
Luggage16 Sat 25-Jul-15 18:49:12

Thoughts please! Kids have food intolerances (if they eat these foods they have awful tummys, sometimes to the point of accidents). Is it unreasonable to think family would cater for this at a low key (i.e. food organised by family) christening or are they reasonable to ask us to bring them a packed lunch? Apparently even keeping the packaging so we could check ourselves is a hassle.

I have friends who manage to cater for them fine at parties and a lot of party foods are suitable (it is simply a case of checking the allergy advice for 2 ingredients). It's not a huge gathering so not like they are a tiny proportion of the people going. They are also the only other children in the family. Feeling a bit annoyed at being expected to either take a packed lunch along to church with us or leave it festering in the car or else have to come home inbetween the christening and the reception (at family members house) to pick it up. They did ask whether breadsticks and carrot sticks would do them (they are 5 and 8 and it will be a midday christening so not possible to eat before hand and no idea how long it will go on for).

Am trying hard not to not feel huffy over it as we are looking forward to celebrating with them but I do feel sad they aren't considered important enough to cater for and I can't imagine it would be considered reasonable if we did the same when the christened child is at an age where they may need catering for at anything we do.

WaxyBean Sat 25-Jul-15 18:55:13

I'm of the opinion that if you/your child can't/won't eat standard food then you should be prepared to cater for yourself/them. And I say this as the mother of a milk/egg/nut allergic child. Always a bonus if people are happy to cater for him, but to be honest I only trust a handful of people to cater him and always have food for him to eat at mealtimes when we're not at home.

LashesandLipstick Sat 25-Jul-15 18:57:21

I have food issues and wouldn't be offended if someone asked me to bring a packed lunch

LokiBear Sat 25-Jul-15 18:57:36

if I were the host, I'd cater for them without a fuss. I think it is rude not too. However, it might just be easier in your situation to take something with you.

teeththief Sat 25-Jul-15 18:58:51

It's just easier all round if you take your own food. As for it festering in the car, mini ice packs are your friend there!

Yanbu to think that if they're going to make an effort then they should at least offer more than carrots and breadsticks though

Mistigri Sat 25-Jul-15 18:59:07

I think it depends what the foods concerned are. It might not be possible to make all the foods safe, but it should be possible to provide something your children can eat surely?

I must admit that when dd was milk allergic I did generally take along her own food, but she had outgrown her allergy by the time she was 8.

I'm mustard-allergic which is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to snack and party foods so at parties or buffet style lunches I accept that my options will be limited.

Dynomite Sat 25-Jul-15 18:59:42

Hmm is the food cooked by family or is it catered? Because if it's catered, many caterers will say they can't guarantee their food is free from those ingredients. So your relatives can't do anything about it (and no, you can't expect them to change caterers, that would be a very big request).

DoeEyedNear Sat 25-Jul-15 18:59:46

I don't cater for vegetarians specifically but most of my family are lactose intolerant to the point of it being an allergy so we always go dairy free at family do's

highkickindandy Sat 25-Jul-15 19:02:29

OK I've never posted on a food thread so I'll put on my hard hat.

Your friends sound lovely and are clearly willing to accommodate your kids' dietary needs, that's great.

It sounds like your family are not going to make the effort to accommodate your kids' needs on this occasion - they may not believe in the food intolerance/allergy, they may think you're being fussy/precious/trying to make things all about you.....whatever. If your kids' needs can't be met then your choices would appear to be - don't go, go but don't let them eat & let them get cranky & hungry, or go but take your own food for them.

I imagine there's a whole back story to this and that somewhere along the line people are unreasonable, but those would be my practical suggestions to manage the day - how you manage the ongoing relationship clearly depends on the bigger picture!

purplemurple1 Sat 25-Jul-15 19:03:59

Is provide something but they not know what they could make for them.
We went to a small family meal today and our two yr old didn't get a plate or chair never mind a meal!

Luggage16 Sat 25-Jul-15 19:04:26

intolerances are milk and soya - most little sausages, sausage rolls, breaded chicken etc are fine and so is half baked bread. Plenty of suitable options available so whilst a minor hassle its not a tricky one to cater for. Its a bigger issue for us when travelling etc as you can't gaurentee what service stations etc might have but very easy to cater for from the local supermarket. I don't generally mind taking bits with us to birthday parties etc but a christening feels a bit rough. I feel bad for the kids always being not quite part of whatever is going on tbh. It's frustrating for them when there is food they can sometimes eat but the brand out is unsuitable iykwim.

FirstWeTakeManhattan Sat 25-Jul-15 19:05:52

For a recent kids party I offered veggie alternatives and nut free, but beyond that, I would have found it a bit onerous to do much more, with everything else that was going on.

Instead of checking packs of processed stuff, isn't it easier just to let them loose on the stuff that's obviously okay?

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jul-15 19:05:57

Will everything they serve contain the ingredients you need to avoid? If not, could they just have some of the food it's ok for them to eat and you provide the rest?

potap123 Sat 25-Jul-15 19:08:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSpottedZebra Sat 25-Jul-15 19:08:37

Maybe they've just got loads on and can't do with the faff of checking instructions, or find it all a bit worrying.

I too think that hat you should be prepared to take along suitable food. Not quite the same, as I am veggie by choice, but I'm always happy to take along my own food.

Mistigri Sat 25-Jul-15 19:08:48

If even keeping the packaging is too much trouble then tbh I wouldn't trust them to provide safe food.

Providing a completely milk and soya free menu would be hard (esp for someone not used to scrutinising labels) but it wouldn't hurt them to keep the packets surely.

If they are being difficult about it then unfortunately taking along your own food is the safest bet.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 25-Jul-15 19:11:52

Do you know what they'll be serving in the way of food?

Just so you can do something vaguely similar and your DCs won't feel left out.

ListenWillYou Sat 25-Jul-15 19:14:29

I think it's ok to ask you to bring a packed lunch. If you are hosting something like a christening then you might feel a bit overwhelmed. If it's hosted at someone's house you could get an online shopping delivery sent there.

I really can't see that it's an issue to bring a cool box with some bits and pieces - there is no need to leave things festering in the car

(I wonder if the host is feeling pissed off because no ones offered to bring a dish. )

DoeEyedNear Sat 25-Jul-15 19:17:18

A dairy free buffet is really not hard

specialsubject Sat 25-Jul-15 19:19:57

buy a cool box and ice bricks and take your own. With allergies that severe and a lack of interest from the hosts, easiest and safest option.

DoeEyedNear Sat 25-Jul-15 19:21:57

How serious are the intolerances?

How on the ball are the kids with it?

Would they know what are generic safe foods for them?

SleepShake Sat 25-Jul-15 19:22:52

I always take food with me for LO with food allergies. I don't expect anyone to cater for the allergies.

nooka Sat 25-Jul-15 19:23:25

OP have you given them any options that are safe for your children? It's much easier to cater for food intolerances if you have a list of foods/brands that are safe. I'm not sure it is particularly reasonable to expect other people to read all the labels, especially as you often have to look out not just for 'milk' but any milk products.

Also if your two are the only children then I'd guess that the catering isn't particularly child friendly and that might be part of the host's worries?

It doesn't sound as if they are being particularly accommodating though I can see that's not very welcoming for your family.

lemoncordial Sat 25-Jul-15 19:32:38

YaDNbu. I think it's very bad manners to not cater for someone with dietary requirements. I have friends who have dietary requirements including gluten and dairy intolerance. Whenever I cater with they are there, if course I cater for them. Wouldn't dream of not doing that. That included my wedding, which we did a lot of self catering for. So I don't buy the argument that they were too busy.

Loafliner Sat 25-Jul-15 19:34:39

I was veggie for years, I always offered to bring my own food - some people were happy for me to do that others catered for me - sometimes in a pretty awful way - i had some pretty grim food experiences that made me wish I'd insisted on bring my own food.
We have nephews with severe multiple allergies and we always do our best to provide an interesting tasty meal - simliar to everyone else's and his mum often brings dairy, egg, nut free cakes. Sometimes when you leave it up to other people you can be very disappointed and given kids are known to be so fussy....I'd just be inclined to bring my own. Life with an allergy is a pain in the butt, best get used to it.

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