You may wonder what a safe cupcakes is? Well, once you live with food allergies, food becomes Safe + Unsafe. Safe food is free from life-threatening allergens. Unsafe food contains or may contain allergens due to the way the food was prepared or handled. We should focus on nourishing, health-giving foods + try to not overdo the sweets. But, let's be honest: desserts are part of our culture + lifestyle + it means a lot to be included in events + festivities with safe food.
My middle son, Bowan has spent most of his life with multiple life threatening allergies. He recently outgrew his peanut allergy. But, we absolutely know what it feels like to have a hungry, grumbling tummy even while surrounded by food. Food is about the physical aspect of nourishing our hunger + finding health giving foods to help us survive + thrive. But, food is totally social at the same time. When is the last time you've been to a party or festivity that didn't include food?
With the holidays here, I'd like to bring some awareness to the social aspect of food allergies. It's totally ok to not be included once or twice, but to live a life of exclusion is incredibly draining + discouraging. It's isolating. When kids are forming a self-concept + a sense of identity the exclusion from social activities can't help but shape who they are. Yes, there are opportunities to teach, grow + learn. But, more often that not, the experiences can really add up as a huge mountain of emotions for the kids + adults to work though in our already busy, over-complicated, over-scheduled lives.
Food allergies have really gotten a bad rap + have been totally misunderstood for multiple reasons. This really strains relationships + ultimately, puts people with food allergies + Celiac at great risk. Food allergies are real + they have to be managed. There are some treatments for food allergies emerging, but they aren't available to everyone. There is no cure for Celiac. The only form of management of allergic disease + autoimmune disease is strict avoidance of the allergen(s) or gluten. That also means trace amounts... Surfaces where the food is handled + prepared... Shared utensils... Unwashed hands... There really is so much to think about with food allergies. I haven't lived this life in vain, I hope to spread awareness to help others down the same path we've traveled.
Are you celebrating with someone with food allergies or Celiac Disease?
Here are some ideas to help keep people with food allergies or Celiac Disease stay safe:
1. Pre-plan the menu, discuss brands of foods + details of the menu.
2. Host the celebration in a place where the food preparation can remain free of allergens.
3. If an allergen will be present, keep that dish is a separate place, away from the safe food to help prevent cross contamination.
4. Do the best you can to have as much safe food as possible, to include everyone. A safe dessert can bring everyone together + can set a great vibe for conversation.
5. Have an open mind. Some traditional recipes can very easily be altered to use a gluten-free flour. Maybe use egg replacer instead of egg? Maybe try some seeds instead of nuts? Cooking allergen-free is possible!
6. Learn what the allergies are so you can be an advocate + a refuge.
7. Allow the person or family with food restrictions to lead the way. If you are unsure of how to cook allergen-free, see what brands of pre-made foods you could buy? Set a plan of how you could decorate or clean up to help support the cook.
8. Let the person with allergies know you care. Lead with love. Sometimes we feel strongly, but we don't share those feelings. I promise that your words will mean the world to the allergic person in your life.
If you are looking for a safe dessert for your next event, follow Sit By Me Bakery. Not only are they experts at Allergy Friendly + Celiac Safe, their desserts are to die for even if you have no food restrictions yourself.
Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co.
Bento Box: Hello Cheeky Kids
Vegan, Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly Cupcakes: Sit By Me Bakery