“Do you have certain dietary constraints? Are there certain foods you avoid?”
When I was little I was allergic to almost everything (or it seemed like that when I was little). I couldn’t eat eggs, spinach, or chocolate. I remember going to an allergist for shots every week. When I was a baby I couldn’t have cow’s milk and had to drink goat’s milk. Even growing up, I didn’t drink much milk and had to take calcium pills. Of course, this means that I couldn’t have cheese either. I remember how sad I was that everyone I knew ate brown chocolate bunnies at Easter and I got white chocolate bunnies (and believe me, they do not taste the same!).
Now that I’ve grown up, I find that I can eat things that I couldn’t as a child. Sometimes, my mouth itches from what I’ve eaten and I will avoid them for a few weeks. It might be the season that causes it to bother me. I also eat things in moderation so I don’t have a major reaction.
As an adult I found that I can’t have a lot of cinnamon or it will bother me tremendously. I have also found that Cabot cheese does not have lactose in it so I can eat that brand of cheese. After a visit to an allergist, I found out that I have a problem with hazelnut. It causes my lips to swell up.
My last dietary constraint I have is that eating too much of the wrong foods make me fat. Of course that isn’t an allergy but I should try to avoid them if I want to lose weight.
This has taught me that it is possible to grow out of certain allergies and to gain new ones as an adult.
I think this is important to share with students. Maybe they can learn from my experiences. Many people don’t think they have allergies but certain foods may bother them.
I never knew that I was allergic to cinnamon until we started paying attention to when I would have severe stomach pains. It was right after eating a baked sweet potato loaded with cinnamon and sugar from Ruby Tuesdays. Then when I would have the same thing at other places, it would happen again. Now I ask for the cinnamon on the side, and sprinkle a tiny amount on the potato for flavor and it doesn’t bother me.
It would be helpful for students to learn that by keeping a food journal, they can figure out what foods bother them. Then they need to learn how to cope with this. Maybe a small amount wouldn’t bother them or maybe it would. Keeping a food journal would help them.
What food allergies do you have? How do you handle this? Please share.