So The Bacon Kid turns 8 in a couple of weeks, I can’t express how shocked I am these that these years have flown by but I also want to mark this passing of time with extreme gratitude for everything this child continues to inspire me to do, not only for myself but others.
As with any child growing up with either a parent or themselves dealing with food intolerances she’s more aware than the average kid about reading labels, reactions to foods and being careful about ordering food when eating out.
She’s spent countless hours in the kitchen with me, baking, cooking and concocting recipes, she watches Chopped Junior, Masterchef Junior, Kids Baking Championship and lately Duff til Dawn on Netflix all triggered by first watching The Great British Bake Off with her Nanna in England. Some would question, why she enjoys watching food shows when she can’t eat the foods. Well if you ask her she will tell you “it’s all about the science” and her report card is certainly indicating she has a love of all things science.
So recently we were at a restaurant and the server announced that they had a Gluten Free Cake for dessert, The Bacon Kid’s eyes glazed over and she said “Can I Mummy?” my immediate reaction was “I bet there is dairy in that cake” but I’d also been talking with a client about their older child needing to understand their own reactions to the foods they eat and so I took a risk as a form of education, deep inside fearing… yes I admit I feared the reaction that may occur (note that The Bacon Kid has food intolerances, she does not have anaphylactic food allergies) but I had to let that go… there was a lesson to learn here one that I personally had trouble letting go of, but she’s growing older and needs to be accountable for her own food choices.
So… she ordered the cake. It came on a plate decorated with drizzled chocolate sauce and caramel “Ugh There’s that dairy I said inside” and The Bacon Kid said “Look at the presentation, that looks magnificent”, then tasted the caramel with the chocolate cake and shared “Mummy this pairing is simply perfect” my little judge was in her foodie moment and I wasn’t about to take that away from her… had it been gluten yes sadly I would have had no choice but to date her Dairy intolerance has caused sinus and congestion and minor skin irritation, and occasionally a stomach upset… inconvenient yes, damaging if continued indefinitely but not life threatening. Her eyes shone with pure delight.
In the car on the way home, she sneezed, by the time she was home (15 minute drive) she sounded stuffed up, and she was coughing with a tickle in her throat. Overnight she was coughing, by morning she had post nasal drip and a very stuffed up nose. I asked her what she thought it could be and she accurately reasoned.. “Well we went to the zoo today and there was lots of pollen so it could be seasonal allergies.. and then she paused, but I only get those when I eat dairy… do you think the chocolate cake had dairy in it?” I’ve been criticized in the past for always ‘blaming’ foods for sudden onsets of health issues but my kid knew with reasoned thoughts what ‘could’ have triggered this response. I sat there very aware that she’s very thoughtful in her processing of situations and I said “it’s very possible” so she asked me to look online at the restaurant and look at the ingredients, when we couldn’t find the nutritional information, she asked me to call them to clarify if the cake had dairy, sadly it was confirmed that it did. So we used it as a learning experience, and we talked about how we need to think through the ingredients that are used to bake and how we could’ve made the same cake compliant to how we eat… deciding that Avocado / Coconut Oil would’ve been a good alternative but I also chose this opportunity to ask her if she wanted to start her own food journal, so that as she made more choices about the foods she ate, she could monitor how she felt emotionally, how much energy she has, her ability to focus at school, and how her body feels. This something she’s really embracing, and already we’re seeing patterns when she eating too much sugar…