When Play Date Snacks Go Wrong

When Play Date Snacks Go Wrong

On Thursday my youngest had a friend over for a play date.  Let’s call him Jack.  Jack has been to our house many times and is a sweet little kid.  He usually comes over, asks for pretzels and juice, and spends several hours entertaining my child and keeping him out of my hair, because let’s be honest, the whole purpose of a play date is for mom to get a little down time.

 During a play date the rules are allow to be broken.  Video games for three hours?  Okay.  An extra cookie at snack time?  What the heck!  As long as they stay in the family room playing nicely, or in the bedroom, it’s all good.  The kids are happy and two moms are very happy.

Then there was Thursday.  Like I said, Jack had been here several times before so I had no reason to expect that today would be any different from any other play date.  I was wrong.

I knew Jack did not like chocolate or too many different sweets.  Luckily we always have a giant container of Costco sized pretzels, Quaker Granola Bars, Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies, and assorted nuts in the house.  Praise be, no one in my family has food allergies, but because no one in my family has food allergies my house is not really “food friendly” for a child who does.

Thirty minutes into Jack’s play date he comes to me and asks me to make him lunch.  Huh?  You mean a snack, right?  No, he wants lunch.  Mom forgot to feed him.  Okay, no problem.  Two PB&J’s coming right up.

Oh no, no peanut butter, he is allergic.  Oh, I did not know that.  But, that’s okay, I have deli turkey and organic cheese.  Two turkey and cheese sandwiches coming up.  NO!  No, no, he doesn’t eat bread or sandwiches of any kind.

Huh, yeah…okay.  Okay, just give me a minute to look here.  I can make a box of Annie’s Mac & Cheese.

No he doesn’t like mac & cheese.

I can’t lie.  At this point I am now starting to get a little annoyed, and I can’t seem to get a straight answer from him just what is his allergy and what is a food dislike.

I offer to microwave him a bean and cheese burrito.  Nope, he doesn’t want that.

I decide to offer up one of my favorite go to foods that are easy to make in a pinch.  How about I scramble you some eggs I ask?

His eyes open wide and a look of horror spreads across his face.  He can’t have eggs and I can’t even cook them while he is in the house because he forgot to bring his inhaler and just the aroma will trigger an attack.

Holy shit!

After several more strike outs he finally settled on string cheese, a banana, and a hand full of pretzels.  Not much of a lunch, but at least he didn’t up in a hospital.

When Jack’s mom came to pick him up I politely asked her to list Jack’s allergies for me and let me know what he CAN eat.  She looked a bit confused and asked why.  That’s when I explained to her the half hour it took to find a suitable lunch her child could eat without having an allergy attack.

She just kind of blinked her eyes and replied, “Oh, he eats pretty much everything at home.  He’s really only allergic to eggs and peanuts.  Sometimes it’s serious but other than that he’s fine.”  I could tell by the look of total bewilderment on her face that she could not figure out what the problem was.

Moms everywhere, if your child has serious food allergies, please feed your child BEFORE taking him to someone else’s house for a three hour play date.  I am perfectly happy to provide a snack.  I am perfectly happy to provide a sandwich and some cut up fruit, but it is not my responsibility to spend a half an hour trying to find something for a child to eat with the real fear that I could kill him if I feed him the wrong thing!!

Was this mom wrong not to feed her child first, or at least warn me that he had all these food sensitivities, or am I being over sensitive?
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  1. Oh, Tina, I can so relate! I had a similar situation – but the Mom was WITH us on the playdate! It was hilarious — and frustrating! It’s called “Seriously? Lady, Yer Killin’ Me Here!” if you want to read it. But the bottom line is — I totally agree with you about food allergies — “give us a heads up, people! We don’t WANT to kill your kids! Ain’t nobody got time for disposin’ of dead bodies ’round here!” Ha! :o)

  2. Copper Yuenger says:

    Um, you are totally in the right. What parent of an allergy kid wouldn’t let people know what the allergy is. Especially nuts. Hello? Nuts are everywhere in kid snacks and you never know when that allergy reaction is going to go from mild to in the ER. How irresponsible.

    • That was my thought. I don’t know how severe the allergy is. Obviously granola and such is a no go, but what about cookies and crackers? Does it matter what factory they were made in? Peanut allergies are scary stuff.

  3. I have a severely food allergic child, age 3. I always feed her, always bring more food than she could possibly eat, and always reiterate her allergies and what to do in case of different symptoms with whoever is caring for her, even if they have cared for her several times before. I have a list of safe, shelf stable foods given out to people that could end up taking care of her in an emergency. So I would never create the situation you describe and I do think it irresponsible of the mom. That being said, I know child who have had her food allergies downplayed by a doctor (an allergist) to the point where the mom did not get the impression it was a big deal. And then the child had an event, went to the ER for anaphylaxis, and then when the child followed up with a different allergist, that doctor was appalled that the child had not been prescribed an epipens. So maybe this mom has not had the severity of the allergy adequately explained. One can only hope she figures it out before a tragedy happens.

  4. kodrolaska says:

    My mom still puts feather pillows on my bed (and on the kids’ beds) in our weekend house although I’ve had preety nasty allergies and asthma for 28 years now and there is no doctor on that island. I guess she just doesn’t take it seriously – she never did. So my “main man” goes in the house first and takes all the fluffy stuff out, openst the windows… so I do not pass out – we’ve learned how to handle it in the years:D. I guess he loves me more which is not bad since I live with him and not her, hehe.

    As for playdates go – I agree. All moms have told me when their child was allergic or chronically sick so we could find something ok. Sometimes they bring stuff with them. I usually ask when I don’t know the child (when we invite them for bd parties).

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