If you have a child that is on a special diet like I do then you already know how hard it can be just to do things like go out to dinner or pack a school lunch. Having holiday meals at the homes of family members when you have a child that is on a special diet can be just awful. My parents are great about most things but they do not understand that their grandchild needs to be on a gluten-free and sugar-free diet for a reason and that it’s not just a whim.
Every time we go over to their house for Thanksgiving or Christmas they insist on trying to feed my child foods that he can’t have. No matter how much I try to explain that he is going to get sick if they give him mashed potatoes, candy, and cookies they insist that I’m being cruel and unreasonable. Then they sneak him cookies and candy and he ends up being sick for days. If you are going to be dealing with relatives that insist on trying to giving your child foods that he or she can’t eat during holiday parties here are some tips to make surviving those holiday parties easier on you and your child:
Bring Your Child’s Favorite Dish
Instead of expecting your relatives to make a special food for your child bring your child’s favorite food with you. That could be a main dish or a snack or a dessert. We usually bring all three. He can eat with everyone with the food he supposes to eat like his favorite dessert, snacks and even dinner. My mom complained but anyone who wanted to try the food I brought was welcome to try it I told her that I wasn’t expecting her to provide food that he could eat. When I brought gluten-free macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving many of our relatives at it and no one even realized it was gluten-free.
Teach Your Child That It’s OK To Say No
Kids want to please adults, especially their grandparents or other relatives. So when grandma or grandpa tells them to eat a cookie or have a roll with dinner they may feel uncomfortable saying no. Make sure you teach them that it’s ok to say no when they are offered something that they know they shouldn’t have. Teach them to be polite but firm when it comes to refusing food and reminding the person offering the food that they can’t have that kind of food. Personally, I hate it when my child has to be the one to say no because my parents can’t respect my child’s diet but my son has learned to politely say no and walk away when necessary.