CR: In the past, I have avoided some social gatherings just because I was afraid I would find nothing to eat. Looking back, I realize you should never let allergies get in the way of having a good time. Allergies should never take away experiences that you are meant to have as a teen. If you are nervous about going out to eat with a group, I would suggest looking at the restaurant’s menu beforehand, calling ahead to find out what you can eat, being upfront with the server or the person in charge of the food. and just being honest with your friends. People appreciate honesty, so it’s okay to let your friends know that you are nervous and may need a little extra support in the situation.
AW: In social situations involving food, such as parties or other functions, I always either call or message the host, ahead of time, or speak with them upon arriving at the event, before the food is served. This allows me to read labels if the food is store bought, and be clear about the seriousness of my allergies. Now, if there is nothing safe for me to eat, the host understands why. If the function is being held at a restaurant, I will usually just call the restaurant in advance instead, so that way I already know exactly what I can and cannot eat. By disclosing my food allergies early on, I am putting my own safety first and bringing awareness to others who may be hosting the event and serving the food.
AW: When meeting new people and making friends I have found it to be really important to tell them about my food allergies upfront. By providing them with this information, they can learn more about food allergies, ask questions and I can also direct them to more resources to read such as FARE’s website. By making it clear that my food allergies are serious and important, my friends are able to be there to support me, give an epi-pen if needed, and speak up with me about food allergies.