3 Rules to Follow as a Single and Dating Parent of a Child with Food Allergies
Most of our articles talk about the parent being the one with the food allergy, so let’s shift gears for a moment and talk about the kids. What if you aren’t the one with the food allergy but you are a single mom or dad in search of love with one major barrier – your child has a severe food allergy.
To most that aren’t “in the know”, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. Many would ask, how does this interfere with my dating life? But, for those of us with food allergies, we know exactly how.
When you are inviting a new person into your home, into your life, your kid’s life and sharing a world with them, it is CRITICAL that this new person is able to adapt to your family’s food choices and requirements. This could mean life or death for many.
Here are 3 rules you and your partner MUST follow when bringing your relationship to your kids with food allergies.
1. Remember your child comes first. Having a food allergy is already difficult for your child. They don’t get to eat what their friends are eating and if they come into contact with the food they are trying to avoid, it could be life or death. This is already a difficult situation for them, and when you’re bringing a new partner into the home, they need to be made aware that you are putting them first. Tell them that you have had a lengthy conversation with your new partner about their food allergy and discussed how dangerous it could be for them. Allow them to speak with your new partner about it and have an open conversation. It will be good to let your partner in on the life of a child with a severe food allergy OR food allergies.
2. A committment must be made by your partner. Not only does he or she need to have a full understanding of how vital it is for them to avoid eating certain foods, but it may go as far as avoiding total contact of those foods depending on how bad the food allergy. Your new partner must be able to completely commit to your child’s safety and make it a #1 priority for them. If they just absolutely love peanut butter and your child has a peanut allergy, they need to commit to either cutting it out of their diet or eating it carefully and away from the child. If your new partner moves in, this becomes especially important and they must adapt to the house food rules.
2. Train your partner on how to use the EpiPen. Teach them what to look for in a reaction, teach them how to administer the EpiPen, make them comfortable with the process and explain the side effects. ANYONE that becomes close to your child needs to know how an EpiPen works, especially a new partner that will be more intimately involved in your child’s life.