Inclusion for Kids with Food Allergies
This is a topic I’ve wanted to write about for a while, a few things that have happened recently have prompted me to finally get around to it.
A few months ago my son Oscar and I were on TV3’s Ireland AM making rocky road and discussing dairy free Easter Eggs. I got a lot of lovely comments and feedback from people afterwards but my absolute favourite was one from a lady who said her son was delighted to see Oscar and realise he isn’t the only little boy with allergies. It was so nice to hear how much this meant to this little boy.
I came across this new television advert from Morrison’s which echoes a similar sentiment. INCLUSION. It highlights one of the sad things about allergies which is children feeling they’re missing out. It can be something very subtle but children with allergies can and do feel different. In a world where they have a very strong sense of what is and isn’t fair, they are often told to stay away from certain foods which their friends can eat freely. This can be very hard at parties or other social occasions. This advert from Morrison’s really captures the delight the child feels when he can choose what he wants from the table. It’s so lovely, his face is almost like it’s Christmas morning. And that is something special! Morrison’s of course have profit in mind with their advertising but the tenderness of the message in the ad goes so much further.
Some big brand names such as Flora and Low Low are now doing dairy free spreads and advertising them on television too. Ben and Jerry’s have released their dairy free ice-cream in the U.S. and we are waiting with bated breath to see if they come this way next year as promised. The advertising for these alone are good news for allergy awareness and education and as a byproduct is helping inclusion.
I hate making a fuss about my child feeling excluded but I do try to arrange things so it doesn’t happen too often, if at all. My own friends and family are wonderful at including my little monkeys and go to an effort to look out for things they can have. They also don’t fuss when they know I’ve brought my own stuff for them. This means so much. Onwards and upwards for allergy awareness and inclusion.