You Know You're a Food Allergy Parent If…

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12 Ways You Know You’re a Food Allergy Parent

1) You see someone reading labels in the store, and you suppress the urge to ask them what allergens they’re looking for.

2) You’ve demo’d how to use an epi-pen so often, you have a permanent tiny bruise in your upper thigh.


3) You can recite your kids allergies in your sleep in, like, four or five languages. Hay huevos en esto?

4) You know that baby wipes > hand sanitizer, because wipes take care of food particles and allergens, and hand sanitizer does not.

5) You take off your earrings, tie your hair back, and slam your cell phone shut (were flip phones still en vogue) to throw down any time someone talks smack about families with food allergies.


6) You’ve read enough ingredient lists to fill up Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

7) You feel serious solidarity with other food allergy parents. When you hear the words “well, my son is allergic to….” you suppress the urge to give them a chest bump, a slap on the butt, and an “US TOOOOO!”


8) You’ve jumped over a lawn chair and slapped a snack out of your friend’s hand super dramatically cause he was about to hand your peanut-allergic daughter a Dixie cup filled with Chex Mix. (OH, just me?)

9) When you find a friend committed to your kid’s safety and inclusion, you almost want to tattoo their name on your shoulder.

10) The taste of peanut butter is a distant and fond memory. *sheds solitary tear*


11) The amount of money you spend on your monthly grocery bills is dangerously close to your mortgage payment.

12) You do a little victory dance when you find a cool new allergen-free snack in your grocery store. There’s probably pelvic thrusting involved.*


*There’s definitely pelvic thrusting involved.

Add your own in the comments! :)


Roo Ciambriello

If Scratch or Sniff founder/editor Roo Ciambriello could list all of her favorite things, they'd include her sweet little family, food trucks, and every AMA Snoop Dogg has done on Reddit. Roo is a copywriter out of New Haven, Connecticut, and loves writing fun stories on the backs of potato chip bags and cereal boxes in Whole Foods, Target, Nordstrom, Kroger, y mucho mas. Roo creates voices for brands, ghostwrites for celebrities, writes a personal website, and is (much to the chagrin of those around her) pretty active on Twitter. You can also find her providing commentary on advertising/branding at Adweek and eating fajitas on deadline days.

11 Comments to You Know You're a Food Allergy Parent If…

  1. Jill

    You overhear your three year old calling the newborn “Tree Nut” because she heard you call the baby a peanut and is so used to hearing, “Peanut, tree nuts, eggs, milk and soy…”

  2. Heather

    Your ballet-obsessed 3-yr-old was scared to attend Nutcracker because “I’m allergic to nuts!”

  3. Sam

    You regularly hear your child ask their friends if they’ve washed their hands before agreeing to play with them.
    You get through so many bottles of antihistamine you’re thinking of buying shares in the company.

  4. Theresa

    You save expired Epipens so that your child, family, school personnel, and baby sitters can practice on a grapefruit so they know what it is like prior to an emergency. And, you have a face drawn on it with “POISON DO NOT EAT” so no one will eat it after.

  5. Sandy

    After you give your dog a spoonful of peanut butter, then ask your PN allergy son if he would like a lick off of the same spoon, he says “no, that’s peanut butter!” He could have cared less about eating after the dog! (He isn’t anaphylactic….we can eat peanuts around him.)

  6. paige

    You walk up and down the aisle at the grocery store yelling at the shelves :) You drive 30 minutes each way to get your child a cupcake from a gluten free bakery. Your little one goes the neighbor’s house to play, and the first thing he says is “My brother is allergic to gluten, so don’t give him any.” You have 1/2 your pantry for your allergy child and the other 1/2 for the rest of the family.

  7. Amy

    You never leave home without a full meal and at least two snacks for your kid just in case you’re out too long and they need to eat.

  8. Katie

    LOL these are hilarious! You find epipen and auvi q trainers in the toy box…and the laundry basket….and the refrigerator… Your 4 yo has a favorite epinephrine autoinjector… “the epi that doesn’t talk”. Your son goes around asking people “What are you allergic to?” Your kiddo’s list of allergies becomes one long word…peanutseggsdairywheatpeasandbeans. You go through several big boxes of baby wipes each month. You know the guidelines for identifying and treating anaphylaxis better than the pediatrician and the ER docs and you’re not above giving gentle reminders when needed. Oh gosh I could play this game all day! ;)

  9. Laura Polaski

    You take cake decorating classes so your child can have “cool cakes” for his birthdays. You never leave the house with that child without the words “Got your Benadryl? Got your Epi-pen?” You cried when Oreos finally became milk-free and your child had them for the first time, and he felt “normal”. You’ve explained that a milk allergy is NOT the same thing as lactose intolerance so many times it makes your head spin.

  10. Kristina

    You find yourself checking labels on your own foods before you eat them (and you don’t have food allergies, only your kids). :)

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