How to Survive a Wedding With Food Allergies

flower girl Your daughter has been asked to be a flower girl. Or, maybe your son has been asked to be a ring-bearer. If your child has severe food allergies, you may wonder if it will be safe for him or her to attend the wedding reception. Here are some tips about how someone with food allergies can survive a wedding.

When my sister told me she was getting married, she asked me to be a bridesmaid. Of course, I said yes. In the back of my mind, I was already trying to figure out how I would make it through the day without having a severe allergic reaction to something I ate.

One in twelve children has a food allergy. It is an honor for your child to have been asked to be a flower girl, or a ring-bearer. Most kids get pretty excited about the idea of being in a wedding. There are plenty of things that you can do to help your allergic child have a “good day”.

Ask the bride, or the groom, what foods will be served at the wedding reception. You are going to need to point out exactly what foods your child is allergic to. From there, you can start to make plans to avoid those foods.

It might be possible to substitute what will be served at the reception with foods that are safe for your child to eat. I have allergies to gluten and dairy foods. It is possible for me to tolerate a small amount of those foods, so I don’t have to worry about a reaction due to cross contamination. I ended up having the kitchen staff make me a main course of foods that were safe for me to eat. (They actually offered to do so, after they noticed that I wasn’t eating anything).

You may want to severely limit the foods that your child has an intolerance to in the days before the wedding. Personally, I made sure that I didn’t eat anything with gluten in it, and I limited my dairy intake to a “taste” or two of a few things. This type of food avoidance might help your child have a smaller reaction to the foods that he or she has an intolerance to, (but accidentally eats a little of), at the reception.

Carry some safe-to-eat snacks with you. This is a good “back-up plan”, just in case your child can’t eat the foods served at the reception. It is not unusual for people, (both children and adults) to get cranky when they have gone too long without food.

Use your good judgement. Obviously, you will want to carry your child’s allergy medications, epi-pen, and inhaler with you to the wedding reception. Have your cell phone ready, so you can call an ambulance if necessary. If your child is severely allergic to peanuts, and the wedding cake will have a peanut butter filling, you probably shouldn’t expose your child to those allergens at all. Let your child be a flower girl or ring-bearer. Just don’t attend the reception.

Image by Katy Warner on Flickr