To the teachers at my son's school:
First off I am sorry I had to bring my two children to the food committee meeting today. I know they are not the easiest children to bring somewhere and expect to be quiet. They were quite distracting especially to me. However, you did not choose the best time to hold a short meeting. Had you made it an hour later I could have left them with my husband.
Secondly, I don't feel the meeting went very well. I had wanted to insure at least a few safe food choices for my son. I am so tired of him being made to feel left out. The meeting was so scattered though and since only 3 out of the 13 volunteers showed up I don't feel I was able to make much of an impact. Also , I think the list of life-threatening allergies only really confused people as we are telling people they only need to really avoid peanuts and tree nuts even though things such as milk, eggs, strawberries and even white potatoes were listed as life-threatening. What is the point of distributing such a list unless you really want people to avoid all these items? (You also just singled out every child with a life-threatening food allergy by distributing their names and allergens to a number of people with their own agendas. I don't know how comfortable I am with that.)
I know you are asking people to label dishes but I want to point out a few things. People don't always know how to label a dish. For example, some part of the dish may need to be sauteed, the maker of the dish may do this in butter but forget to add that to the label. Or perhaps they use margarine in which case all the ingredients in the margarine should be included in the list. I will still look at the sea of food, labeled as it is, at this event and feel panic. My son will still only eat those items I bring. It is the only way I can assure his safety.
I don't know what I expected to be different. A pot luck is a pot luck. And with food allergies more than luck needs to be on your side. I guess at least I was assured that 3 out of his five allergens will not be present.
Lastly, to say that the food is only to give the kids a taste of Asia and that they will all be happy in the end because it is Pizza Friday that day and they all love pizza is the last disservice to my son who appears to be the only milk allergic child in the school or at least on the life-threatening list. He can't eat the "Taste of Asia" and he can't eat the pizza.
Why do I feel so frustrated with today?