Monday, May 18, 2009

Here's One For You

Picking up Max from school one day last week, he said to me "Mom, we are going to go eat at a restaurant!" Stop in my tracks. "What?" "My class. We are all going to go to a restaurant!"

I turn around and head back to the teacher. With a big smile on my face and sweetness in my voice I say, "So Max tells me you are going to a restaurant." The teacher replies yes. "We've never been to a restaurant." I say. "Oh!" she seems surprised. I ask where they are going. She says she looked at the menu and it seemed there are things on there he could have. We discuss cross contamination. I end with telling her I will need to call the restaurant to see if they can safely provide Max with a meal.

Damn it. What do I do? Max will feel left out if he can't go but I don't know if I trust a restaurant to feed him. I'm also perplexed by the teachers' decision to do this without talking to me first. As a school they have been great with Max and brought him a long way academically. They support him as a student in unbelievable ways. And for the most part are very sensitive to his allergies but this is disappointing to me. I little more conversation with me would have been nice.


3 for Me! said...

I think this depends on YOUR comfort level and HIS sensitivity to foods.

We venture out weekly to restaurants.... I know the risks, but sometimes it's a necessity when we're out and the kiddies are hungry or sometimes it's a retreat to "normalacy"!

We do ask that foods be prepared to be kept away from milk, peanut and egg ingreidents... I'm no in the kitchen so I'm never sure how "careful" they are... but I always pull out the Epi for a waiter who doesn't understand...LOL.. and they get it pretty quick and DON't want TROUBLE at their TABLE...

We've had only ONE restaurant issue and I totally think it was cross-contamination at our table!! So NOT the restaurants fault.

Another thing would be to let Max bring some safe foods from home and if he wanted to order something go ove the menu with him about what he could safely order and eat!!! I ALWAYS bring safe foods for the kids while we're out so they can get a well-rounded meal without extra exposure:)

Could you go with him???

Eagle Loft said...

Is there time for you to eat at the restaurant with Max prior to the date the class goes? You could call ahead and ask to speak to the chef and explain the allergies. Then when you arrive, get your server to notify the chef that you are the person that they spoke with about serious allergies. Make an index card that states his name and allergies and have the server take it to the kitchen while his meal is prepared. Find something together with Max on the menu that he could eat. Let the restaurant know that Max will be returning with his class and that he will need the same precautions at his next visit. Then when Max goes with the class, have him order the same menu item. Write it on the index card, and get the teacher to give the index card to the server to take to the chef again.

If you were still too worried to let Max eat without you there, you could ask the teacher if you could come along as a field trip assistant.

Why are they going to a restaurant as a class? What type of restaurant is it?

If you get a bad vibe from the restaurant, have Max bring his own food from home. But I would still let him go for the experience of being in the restaurant with his friends. I would then find a restaurant in your area that you get a good vibe from -- somewhere that makes meals fresh as you order -- and would take Max there and let him order something from their menu. It sounds like a restaurant visit would be a very exciting trip for him.

Maleah said...

Everyone has a different comfort level with regards to eating out.
We eat out weekly. We have a handful of restaurants that we have tried with good success and we just keep going back. I do tend to bring some items from home to help supplement the meal some too though. The first time I visit any restaurant I ask to speak to the manager. I find that they are much better at actually take the matter seriously and talking with the chef. I agree with the previous posts though. Visit the restaurant ahead of time and do a trial run. Go on the field trip with your son just in case too.

Ariel said...

They really should have given you a heads-up on this, at least so you could make some plans. I do hope he is able to go and have a good time, though... Maya just recently started eating in the occasional restaurant, and she gets so excited about it. I hope the restaurant will work with you on this!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm mad that they didn't tell you ahead of time. If you can go to the resto, talk to the chef and plan everything out, then I'd consider it. If not, NO WAY unless you go too. Man that stinks and I'm sorry for both of you (you for the stress and him for feeling left out).
I have a whole year to work out my problem. The 8th graders "take" the kindergartners to the zoo. NO WAY am I letting my guy go to the zoo chaperoned by an 8th grader at this point. I have a lot of leg work and time until next year. But I feel your pain.

Red Dog said...

I think you have every right to be p.o.'ed that they didn't ask you about this first, but I wouldn't be surprised. The other day, at the church nursery, the father who was serving as one of the attendants, after engaging with us in a rather long conversation about food allergies and why it's important that people don't bring coffee hour food (from RIGHT outside the nursery door) into the nursery, walked out and came back with a plate of fresh fruit. Now, I know he meant well, because he knew fresh fruit didn't have eggs in it, but DID YA' NOT JUST HEAR ME SAY NO FOOD FROM COFFEE HOUR IN THE NURSERY??? People just don't get it when it's not their kid, no matter how well-intentioned they are.

Lisa Cooks Allergen Free said...

The restaurant is getting business from a large group of people from the trip, maybe with the help of the teacher you can pull your weight to make sure there is something safe for Max. I can't imagine in this economy a restaurant turning away a big group because they needed to take extra precaution in the kitchen. If that fails, make sure you let us know which restaurant wouldn't help you and we can all stay safe by avoiding it! Best of luck to you.

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

oh, yipes. There are social minefields on every side of this one.

Yes, I'd be irked that the teacher didn't talk to you ahead of time. But more, I'd be worried that she didn't think about it.

There are some restaurants near us that can handle allergic folk, and thank heavens for them! We rarely eat out regardless, but that is only partly because of allergies, and rather more because of budget.

I love the suggestion to do a dry run at the restaurant! It would let Max watch you negotiate the potential risks, and you'd get a sense of the place. Just make sure to go early, before the dinner/lunchtime rush...and good luck!

hoping this works out, one way or another.

Jules said...

Thank you for sharing your story with the blogging world. It’s so great to have found support. I am new to this world of “kid allergies” and am having a hard time dealing with it emotionally. Any advice or kind words would be much appreciated at this time.

Jules said...

Thank you for sharing your story with the blogging world. It’s so great to have found support. I am new to this world of “kid allergies” and am having a hard time dealing with it emotionally. Any advice or kind words would be much appreciated at this time.

Renae said...

I just recently stumbled across your blog and LOVE it! Both of my sons have food allergies also. The youngest has more than I can keep track of. Luckily he's only 10 months right now.

I appreciate your honesty in your posts. You help me feel normal in a not so normal situation. Since my children have been diagnosed we get some support from a couple friends and two family members, but for the most part extended family members think I'm a paranoid freak. They live at least an hour a way and don't see the boys too often but frankly they think the allergies are no big deal. I'm struggling right now because my mother won't bend on serving pizza for our family Christmas celebration! It's driving me crazy.

Just recently I started a blog It is dedicated to actually having fun at celebrations, meals, etc... without breaking the bank and endangering children with allergies. It also shows great finds etc... I hope it's okay that I continue to follow your blog. You are bringing much comfort to a mother without support. Thank you!

Rachel said...

We have allergies as well and so many different ones but luckily my son is only 2.5 years old and my daughter 7 months (allergies unknown).

My hubby and I have them as well and all different so meals are quite interesting.

Great blog!

Saili said...

How did it go?

BTW - I love your blog. Very honest and refreshing read... I felt like we were chatting...


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