Help! My Allergic Picky Eater Is Eating Behind My Back

Help! My Allergic Picky Eater Is Eating Behind My Back

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child with food allergies
© Jasmin/Merdan/Shutterstock

It’s been two months since I wrote my last post about detecting my son’s allergies. I remember this exhilarating feeling as I finished my last sentence with: he will be OK. At the time, my son had just survived his first three months of petite section maternelle (nursery school). I was elated that he was so strong and autonomous, and was able to navigate through the murky water of allergies. One offending baguette and cookie later, now it’s me who’s trying to stay afloat.

While my son passed his first social eating challenge with flying colors, there have been subsequent heart-stopping instances (my heart, that is!). My son’s first défi was a birthday party in his class. His maîtresse gave me advance warning, so that I could bring an appropriate allergy-free treat for him. He perfectly understood that he could only eat what I gave him. I was nervous at pick up time, but quickly relieved to see that he was OK. He proudly told me that he didn’t eat anything, except for the cookies I had given him.

child with food allergies: gluten free bread
© Rafael Ben-Ari/Shutterstock

Since that crowning moment, I’ve been on a roller coaster ride, from watching my son totally understand his allergies (checking with me if he can eat something), to witnessing my worst nightmare: my son eating his friend’s snack at the park.

Then, this weekend, came the big shocker. While we were having our traditional Sunday déjeuner of poulet rôti, haricot verts and baguette sans gluten, my son hit us with a bombshell.

He picked up his baguette and said, “Mommy, this is how I eat my baguette in school”. Then, he took a huge bite and said “miammmm”. I almost had a heart attack.

He told me that his maîtresse gave the whole class pieces of a baguette to eat. He showed me how he took the baguette, put it on a plate, and ate it. Needless to say, there will be an inquisition, and my nerves will have to survive until I get my answers. Did this really happen? And, if so, when? Or, was this a figment of his wild imagination? Did he actually eat wheat and not have hives, severe eczema, or a serious – literally heart-stopping – allergic reaction?

child with food allergies holding baguette
Photo courtesy of author.

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out the best way to address this issue with my son. It is such a multifaceted problem:

  • He’s a kid, who just wants to do what all the other kids are doing, and eat what they’re eating. He doesn’t want to be left out.
  • He’s a kid, and thus he’s invincible.
  • He’s a kid, and thus he’s rebellious.
  • He’s a kid, and thus he’s curious.

I have started to see the psychological effects on him when he can’t eat the same things as his brother or his friends. He gets mopey and doesn’t want to play. He tends to tantrum. I totally get it. I would be upset too. Life’s not fair, and he shouldn’t be experiencing this already.

medication for child with food allergies
Different medications on hand for allergic food reactions. Photo courtesy of author.

He’s a daredevil when it comes to riding his trotinette, or competing with big bro and his friends. I can see his brain thinking he can eat anything and nothing will hurt him. My invincible eater. He’s a stubborn little one, and while he always listened to me about his allergies, I can see that he’s testing the boundaries now.

This is a tough one and I’m lost in my thoughts. He went from being very cautious to dangerously experimental. Is he just curious? Will this phase pass? Does he want to show the other kids he’s the same? This time I’m looking for words of wisdom… Share your experience and sagesse! All thoughts, comments, stories welcome!

Vivienne Yung
Good-bye glamorous New Yorker life and corporate in-house counsel gig… Hello to mommy chic Parisian life! Since 2009, Vivienne Yung has been living in the City of Lights with the love of her life and her 2 amazingly rambunctious boys. During her once-in-a-lifetime free moments, she enjoys discovering the endless beauty of art, fashion, history and gastronomic feasts her new home has to offer. Vivienne also has an ongoing mission to treat and cure her younger son’s trilogy of food allergies, eczema and asthma in the most natural way possible--a challenge she is documenting for INSPIRELLE!

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