To the mom who was so apologetic about mentioning her daughter’s dairy allergy to me at dinner the other day:
Do not feel as if it is an imposition on me to tell me what I need to know in order to safely feed your daughter.
With a bit of advance notice and an opportunity to bounce ideas around with you, I can come up with safe alternatives. I don’t want you to have to feel like you need to send “special food” with her wherever she goes. (Or, at the very least, when she comes to dinner with us.)
The corporal part is obvious. I think the spiritual part falls under the category of “comforting the sorrowful.”
When your child has special dietary needs, it’s tough on parents. By comparison, I have it “easy” with a diabetic. We just need nutrition labels and insulin. It’s not that he can’t have something.
I get a lot of “what can he have?” from people who don’t know how diabetes works. That is an opportunity to gently educate (“instruct the ignorant” in a way). I do know that the people who ask me this question are acting on a generous impulse, and I appreciate it. I appreciate even more when they ask first, rather than investing in expensive special foods like sugar-free candies, which are much less diabetic-friendly than people think.
So when I ask what your child can have, I intend to provide that. She’s singled out enough. You have to bring special food for her most, if not all, of the time. I wouldn’t offer to find something that works for her if I wouldn’t gladly do it. I am happy to find a way for her to enjoy the meal that all her friends will be sharing.
(And don’t worry–I left out the Parmesan on the tomato pie.)