Lucy's Friendly Foods

ice cream drawing I don’t know about where you live, but in the UK as soon as the sun pops her head out everyone rushes to buy an ice cream; any day out is punctuated by stops in shops or at ice creams vans for a cone of fluffy white Mr Whippy, its like a national obsession. Even people whom you never see eating anything sweet suddenly hanker after ice creams in the sun (you note I say sun, it doesn’t even have to be warm, it could be almost minus figures but a glint of sunshine and there will be people queuing up for ice creams!) But that’s where it’s difficult for us, obviously no ice cream van will serve egg and dairy-free ice cream, so no chance of a cone like the majority of the population. You think we’d be fine with an ice lolly from the same kiosk, but no, 90% of ice lollies are may contain (usually milk, sometimes nuts) and we can’t be taking that risk on a day out at a remote beauty spot. So, sadly my daughters have learnt to put up with a cold drink when their friends are squealing with delight over their creamy ice creams. Only rarely do others think that maybe they (or their children) should abstain too, to not make my daughters feel different and out of place – they deserve and want their ice cream treat after all. We have found a few safe and reliable brands and are in absolute joy when those are for sale. I can’t begin to describe how happy we were when we found totally safe New Forest Ice Cream raspberry sorbet for sale at a local National Trust property – it was even in its own little tub with the spoon tucked into the lid – oh the joy! That was the first time little S had ever had the delight of her own little tub, and she’s 8 years old! Now I’m on the parent committee at school and I have to say they have always been outstanding in catering for my girls, but we have an event coming up with ice creams provided from an ice cream van. At the meeting I asked, if possible, we could make sure there was something available that was suitable for those on a restricted diet (and it’s not just my children). Well, I have to say I was most upset as I got totally shouted down, that it would be far too complicated to do that and I should buy my own and the ice cream van could keep them frozen for me. I was so upset, I don’t think it was too much to ask, and I’ve never requested anything before, but it just proved that people just don’t ‘get it’. My over riding aim is to make sure my girls (and others in a similar position) don’t have to be different, don’t have to have the ‘special’ food that no one else would want to eat, that they can have food which is as appealing, tasty and desirable as everyone else, or even better than! I know my children aren’t as important to others as they are to me, but I would hope it would be human kindness and compassion to ensure everyone is thought of and included….. I guess there is still a mountain to climb in terms of attitudes and perceptions, no doubt not helped by the current flurry of articles in the press about parents starving their children because they’ve ‘made up’ some food allergies due to their own needy behaviour. Sigh! I hope things are changing but I’m also sure we’ve just started on the path. I work in the legal profession and so my colleagues are all smart and well educated, but I’ve even encountered lack of consideration with them. Not with me, but a work colleague is so severely allergic to fish that even the smell of it will cause anaphylaxis. There have been warnings and notices requesting a no fish in certain areas, just to make sure it is safe for her, but still people are disparaging, going past the rules and insisting on eating and cooking fish ‘because its their right and they’re hungry’ even though they know they’re putting her at risk. It really makes me fearful for the future, when my girls have grown up and are making their own way in the world, will they too have to cope with such lack of thought and compassion too?   20150624-195413.jpg

15 Responses

  1. I agree with you. It is hard when others don’t understand. I have been dairy free due to allergy for 20 years but recently very close relatives didn’t arrange food for me at a catered party as they didn’t realise I was so serious about my allergy! However things have changed dramatically in 20 years so hopefully things will get better for your children by the time they are adults.

    1. Fingers crossed – I really really hope things are changing all the time. It’s funny that it’s often the people who you least expect who suddenly show little understanding (but I’m sure it’s the media that influences a lot of it) x

  2. Yes. This. I’m still dealing with this feeling as an adult. There is only one shop that sells dairy-free pseudo frozen yogurt. It is a 30 minute drive each way, and the smallest size is $4. That’s about twice as much as a standard cone, which can be found less than 5 minutes away. As far as inconsiderate adults, I deal with that too. I hope things change during your kids’ lifetime. It’s hard enough for grownups, I would imagine it’s harder on the kids.

    1. I guess they’re just used to it – they’ve never known any different, but it still hurts sometimes. I’m liking the sound of dairy-free pseudo frozen yogurt – I bet it’s worth the occasional trip 😉 x

      1. Well, it’s Pinkberry, so it’s definitely worth looking into if you’re interested. I was able to see only that they have locations in the UK, with no indication as to whether or not the one dairy-free flavor is there. It is Tropical Mango.

        Yes, being able to sit and have something like a custard in an actual shop definitely made the trip bearable 🙂

  3. If there’s an ice cream van coming in from outside, how is it “too complicated” to request they bring something allergy friendly? Are you able to get the telephone number of the owners and speak to them yourself? Some people really have no idea how inconsiderate they’re being and seem to think just because they don’t have any dietary needs nobody else should either! 🙁

    1. I totally agree – as it happens (the event was last week), the ice cream van turned up with her usual wares not the chosen unsuitable calippos. So in the end we found one suitable ice lolly (after keeping the queue waiting while we read all the ingredients!!!) – but it was more the response that hurt a bit. You’re right it’s the ‘I’m alright jack attitude!’ X

  4. I feel your pain! Here in California, we have become almost insane in the OTHER direction, trying to ensure no allergies are triggered, but I have to say that sounds a lot more humane than what you are dealing with. How dare people assume you are making up your kids’ allergies? I mean, we are talking about small children. I’m upset at the thought that there are adults out there who don’t remember what it feels like to be the only kid left out of something — let alone something as magical as being able to eat an ice cream with everyone else. I actually remember when the “ice cream” in the UK was often as not made with LARD and therefore safely dairy-free for me. SIGH. Your girls are lucky to have a Mom who is so handy in the kitchen though. They will have culinary memories that others can only dream of, thanks to your amazing (and amazingly beautiful) creations.

    Something is going very wrong with our immune systems — and nobody argues with the fact that more kids are getting asthma than ever before. There was an article today in the NYTimes about what’s up with our sudden inability to tolerate things we used to be able to eat. No answers, but very scientific and well-written:

    1. Now that is interesting, thanks for the link. I have to say that I shouldn’t complain – the school have always been exceptional at catering for us, but this just really stung – as you say eating ice creams with your friends on a hot sunny day is a magical thing, and going a little out of your way to ensure all the children can take part isn’t too much to ask (I think and hope!)

      Thank you for all your lovely comments 🙂 xx

    2. But lard in ice cream – seriously yuk! Must have been that weird stuff that used to come in cardboard boxes, or maybe the scary pure white ‘vanilla ice cream’ x

      1. You are probably a lot younger than me. When I lived in England in the late 1970s, “lard’s cream” was what you got when you bought an ice cream from a lorry or a stand, at least in urban settings. I thought it was good but I was a little kid! McDonald’s used to make their shakes with lard too, if you can believe it (and you can).

      2. Omg! Thankfully things have changed! I was a little kid in the late 70s but don’t recall ice cream featuring much!

  5. *Hugs* I agree that this scenario seems really unfair! I do find people completely selfish in this area. My LO finds this aspect of school so hard – watching other kids eat stuff that she knows we could sub for at home. You should have seen her tucking into dairy free pizza at The Allergy and Free From Show – she was totally making up for it!

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