Saturday, October 25, 2008

And so it begins.....

The holiday season, that is.

This used to be my favorite time of the year, with all the "fun" holidays lined up, back-to-back. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New, fun, fun.

I have been thinking about how this has changed due to Mara's allergies. Last year I found myself really worrying with each upcoming holiday. Worrying about all the holiday parties and social events that revolve around food. Worrying about what I was going to make. Worrying about what Mara and I were going to eat.

And most of all, worrying about Mara.

My biggest concern is that she would feel left out in all the fun. I want her to look forward to each holiday with the excitement that her sister has...that all kids have. I fear that she will one day start to dread them, knowing that she must plan out what she is going to eat in advance, making and having to bring her own food everywhere. Imagining her just standing there smiling as the people around her go on and on about how delicious the food is...and not being able to join in.

And while I hope and pray that she will one day outgrow some-if not all, of these food issues, I also know that it is my job to be prepared and to prepare her...if she does not.

But I have to tell you...I feel so fortunate that Mara is just so good about checking before she eats something. The other day at the doctor's office, the nurse asked the girls if they wanted a lollipop (a big pet peeve of mine, but that's another post) and I was so proud when Mara said "no, that might hurt my tummy".

Proud and sad.

This morning we were talking about the Halloween party we are going to, and I asked the girls if they wanted to go trick-or-treating. They both said yes, and I kind of turned to Mara and said, "Now you know, you probably won't be able to eat the treats that they put in your bag". I saw her deflate, and she said "why?" I told her that the houses we go to don't know what hurts her tummy or not, but that I will bring special safe treats that she can trade them in for. She still looked deflated but said OK. I figure I'll remind her a few more times before next Friday so that it will sink in more and hopefully she'll be more accepting of it.

So what kind of treats did I get for her? Before I tell you, I have to tell you that Mara is not a candy/dessert person at all. I know I have mentioned this many times before! But still, I get her a variety of safe candy...just so that she has the choice in eating it.

Even when I know she won't :)

So here is a list of safe treats going in Mara's bag this year:

  1. Yummy Earth's lollipops. We bought these last year for Easter, and bothg irls loved them. They are really good!
  2. Enjoy Life's Chocolate bars. Yes, I have to admit...these are mainly for me! I bought them through my buying club with two other families...24 bars are coming my way (can you feel my excitement?) I just hope they are good!
  3. Surf candy jellybeans.
  4. Kettle Valley's fruit snacks. Another favorite, and there's an apple in every bar:)
  5. boxes of raisins. This will probably be her favorite. I only wish they had dates in a box :)
That is it. I think she'll be happy with that.

Hopefully I will find time to post some of our Halloween recipes this week. We are going to a friend's house, which should be fun. Mara chose to be a "ballerina princess", and wouldn't even consider being anything else. Analese is being a "woodland fairy who likes unicorns" (you have to say that too!) She is in love with everything pink, and her costume is all browns and golds. She had me promise to find some pink ribbon to tie on her costume so that she has some pink in it :) Now I just have to decide what I am going to be......

How do you feel about the holidays now that food allergies have entered your life?


Shea's Mom said...

Great post. I'll look for some of those treats that you list. Good idea.

Well, this will be the first round of holidays since we started the new diet for Shea. I am dreading how we are going to do it. But, my daily challenge is still trying to find anything that he will eat. Big battle this morning about oatmeal. It doesn't matter if I sit there and eat it with him. He just resists anything new.

Keep up the good work.

Julie B said...

What kinds of things does Shea like to eat? That must be so frustrating. It must be hard starting a new diet, I do feel fortunate that Mara has eaten like this from the start...she doesn't know what she's missing :)

Analese is my pickiest eater, and like things a certain way.For her, giving her some control really helps. Like oatmeal, for example, she prefers just plain. So this morning she got have pumpkin butter toast with her oatmeal (that I had added a bunch of stuff to-dates, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, bananas) She won't eat as much oatmeal as she would if I had made it plain, but I would rather her get the variety in nutrition...anyway, I am rambling :)

Julie B said...

Oh, and regarding holidays...I found the best holidays were ones that I cooked 3-4 dishes to take with me-a main dish, a couple of sides and dessert. It especially helped me get through the day! I always found out what was being served and brought something comparable. Mara also took comfort that I was eating the same foods..she didn't feel left out of things.

Melanie said...

I follow your blog periodically. Your girls are beautiful. I'm raising three boys with food allergies, so I relate to many of your challenges. Thanks for the great blog. The quinoa cookie recipe looks yummy. Feel free to check out my blog, I tell my sons story and post allergen-free recipes too

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

It's been a while since I popped in. Looks like things are going as well as can be expected. :)

I could have written the first half of your post, too. The holidays. The food. The fun. Now what??? I, too, find that it is easier for me to bring more food to our get-togethers. I always dish up Witt first so there's no chance of cross-contamination.

We're still at an age (19 months) where he doesn't understand his allergy and just takes the food I give him. Next year will probably be a different story. (But hopefully we'll get a negative allergy test next year! Always hopeful!)

Anyway, just wanted to see what you've been cookin'. Always good! :)

Marley said...

Nice! Happy new year to everyone, and a great 2011!