View Full Version : How do you deal with FA in groups?

06-25-2011, 02:31 PM
DD is at the end of her first season of Tball. She has ADHD and some definate processing delays, along with dyspraxia (hard time figuring out how to make her body do what she sees someone else doing). We've also come to realise that she's REALLY sensitive to red dye... like as in it cancels out her ADHD med, ramps behaviors up, and stops the majority of her ability to process *anything*. Sigh, I hate to admit that we only realised it about 6 months ago and drew the line between red coloring and behaviors.

When Tball started, they asked specifically if anyone had any food allergies, and I was very upfront that DD is allergic to red dyes. Multiple times, I have heard "oh, there's no red dye in that" when there really is. Many parents were very aware of this, and paid attention when choosing snacks and such, but of course there were 3-4 that didn't...

A few times now, DD has left in tears because the beloved Twinkie has been handed to her, a grown-up assuring her there's no red dye in it, and then mean mommy having to take it away because there is red dye #40 in it. She's very much about wanting to "fit in" with the rest of the group, so I avoided bringing a different snack to avoid her feeling left out or different.

So, I guess I'm trying to figure out a few things.... (1) Does an allergy/sensitivity to red dye mean forever being the snack mom for sports? (2) How do you deal with a very upset child who's just had a Twinkie given to her then taken away? (3) Is there any way to get well-educated parents of neuro-typical children to understand that there's red dye in just about anything red, orange, or purple??? Sigh, I guess that last one is just a vent more than anything!

06-25-2011, 02:47 PM
Technically, you are talking about a food sensitivity, not a food allergy. So, when you are dealing with schools, they may take a different approach with a sensitivity as opposed to a food allergy. You'll have to ask your school how they deal with sensitivities and if they are willing to accomodate.

In extra curriculars (sports, activities, b-day parties), I just assume that the (severe) food allergies will NOT be dealt with appropriately and I bring my own food. That means bringing a cupcake for my child to eat instead of the b-day cake or whatever.

I've never heard of giving snack like Twinkies at a sports event. I've only ever received cut up fruit and when I coached DD#1's soccer team last year, that is all that was given out. FWIW, sliced oranges make the best snack for most sports.


06-25-2011, 04:58 PM
Funny enough, her school ROCKS on the avoidance of red dye. They have eliminated all artificial coloring from snacks they serve, so I only have to worry about sending her a dye-free lunch. It's HEAVEN!

Our TBall snack situation was a sorry sorry thing. Twinkies were brought by 2 families, both times assuring Allee that there was no red dye :( Only one mom brought fruit (the other mom with food allergies/sensitive kids!). Many more did packaged cookies. I expected things like apple slices, oranges, flavored water... Nope! Cookies, Twinkies, and Capri Suns (which are a special treat at our house anyways).

I'm so used to other's being mindful of this along with me (like school cutting out dye snacks, and church doing the same thing), that it just shocked me that a out of a group of 10 kids, 2 with allergies/sensitivities, and we still had issues!

06-25-2011, 10:49 PM
I'm always amazed that it is the sport team snacks that are so unhealthy.

I always try to bring something natural the kids will like. I hope it will influence other parents to do the same.

We bring a substitute but have also told our son that if there is a special treat, like a twinkie, and he doesn't get upset about not being able to have it, we'll go get him something else special after the event. Yes, it's bribery, but it works.

06-26-2011, 01:34 PM
Ds just outgrew a milk allergy. When I did not know what would be served I always took a safe option along. If it turned out the group was getting a "treat" that ds could not have and I didn't have an equivalent, I would promise him a treat later. He was not usually happy about it, but there wasn't a choice and he was able to deal reasonably well most of the time. If there is something shelf stable that your dd really likes and is safe for her, you might consider stashing a few in the car so you can produce one right away if twinkies, etc. are handed out.

You also might try prepping her in the car on the way over. "You remember that you can't eat anything until I check it out? And if you can't have what the other kids are having, I have x for you. Please remember that I expect you to behave even if you are disappointed."

(As an aside I am kind of horrified that they are giving twinkies as post sports snacks.)