Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bringing Food to Someone with Allergies

I’m convinced that bringing food to someone who needs it is possibly the greatest gift ever. But if that person has dietary restrictions, you might have a challenge on your hands. I am quite well versed in food allergies. However, a recent experience cooking for a family with a different set of allergies reminded me what an overwhelming experience it can be to cook outside your comfort zone. Allergy families understand what a big deal it is for you to bring food. If you have a friend with a new baby, illness, or just in need of a TLC, here are a few tips that would be helpful if you are willing to go the extra mile, as you generously consider bringing to someone with an allergy in the family:

1. Do it Anyway – The thought might enter your mind “This is too difficult. Forget it.” Trust me: Whatever you do will be appreciated. Even if it’s not a glamorous meal, you can come up with something that will work for your friend. One friend brought us a simple basket of fresh fruits/veggies from the farmer’s market, which saved me a grocery trip!
2. Ask Questions – If you cannot conceive of how to cook a meal within your friend’s restrictions, just ask! I sent a list of “safe” recipes & easy substitutions to some friends who requested it. Your friend will be happy to answer questions about how to accommodate their needs.
3. Label – Put the list of ingredients on the box, container, or include the recipe. Although your friend understands that you have gone to extra effort to create their meal, people with allergies are instinctually double-checkers.
4. Bring The Box – If you used anything prepackaged, bring the empty box with you! Even those who are accustomed to cooking this way make mistakes, so it’s comforting for us to read labels for ourselves.
5. Don’t Be Insulted – If you are asked questions about an ingredient or food, please don’t be insulted. We are so grateful for your kindness, but must be sure that the foods we eat are safe.
6. Know that we are Beyond Grateful – Many people are frightened by the thought of bringing us food. So we are so grateful that you’ve done it anyway. We know the extra effort required by your generosity, and it means more than we can explain.

No comments:

Post a Comment