"Mom, you can't pack anything with peanuts in my lunch. Amanda is allergic to them."
Okay, check. No peanuts. Which really isn't much of an issue, because I'm allergic to various nuts and we're a relatively nut free family.
"Mom, you also can't pack anything with fish, like tuna or sushi. Matt is allergic and even the smell makes him throw up."
This one I want to argue with, but I complied. I mean really, I don't send tuna too often either. It's do-able.
"Mom, I can't take that chocolate dipped granola bar. It isn't part of the healthy living standards."
Schools here in BC are following the Healthy living standards, which has deemed sugar evil. They aren't allowed to sell any type of junk food and even the vending machines now carry milk, cheese, and yogurt. Even though the standards don't pertain to lunches from home, the guilt factor is all consuming for Jake and so it's difficult to convince him that certain items aren't contraband.
Well dear readers, the karma gods decided to strike me dead as soon as I had a 10 second evil thought about sending fish anyway, or the time I arrived at school with Subway on his birthday.
Jake, as it turns out, could be allergic to milk. I was told this when he was just being weaned off formula and broke out into a nasty, red, oozing rash, but to be honest it eventually went away and I thought things were fine. I never did connect the dots of environmental allergies, pneumonia, asthma, etc until just recently and then it was like...oh my gosh...I wonder?!?
Okay really, I'm not a slacker Mom. I was just a bit preoccupied with the whole dyspraxia, sensory sensitivities, asthma, blah blah blah....geez there is always something! But suddenly it just seemed to make sense, and we have family members with two of the "Big Five" players in the Food Allergy world. So I decided to finally go against everything I had ever taught Jake just to see if it helped.
Like that dairy is good for you, for instance.
Ever try to convince a kid, who you have pushed to drink milk their entire life, to stop all dairy products cold turkey? He could care less about the yogurt, but cheese? You're joking. Ice cream? Might as well kill him now. How can we possibly live without ice cream?!?!
We started out small, with this stuff: Rice Dream Vanilla is a bit more watery then milk,but it has a nice flavor. We quite enjoyed it, especially on cereal. At $3 a litre though, it was a bit expensive. Soy products? Couldn't even get Jake to try them. We both hate soy.
Jake then tried this stuff because heck, he could just be lactose intolerant:
I love Dairyland 1% milk, but this lactose free version was undrinkable. I'm not exaggerating; Jake and I ended up dumping the entire thing because it tasted like milk gone chunky. EWWW! And the weird thing? Symptoms got worse.
"Mom I'm done with milk. This rice stuff is good, I feel so much better, and my rash is gone, too!"
Great. Now no peanuts, fish, sugar, or milk/cheese in the lunch. MSG gives him a headache, and red food dye makes him throw up.
We tried Chocolate Rice Dream, Rice Cheese and Ryza Rice Milk!
Update: Turns out there was no actual fish allergy in the class, just an extreme dislike, so Jake that allows us a little more choice in protein.