Every day, we talk with families who struggle daily in managing food allergies. Food allergies certainly present a lot to manage! On top of the extensive guidance you receive on how to manage food allergies in the kitchen, you also hear advice that it’s important to “spend dinner together as a family” for important social reasons. For many families with food allergies involving a hypoallergenic formula like Neocate, this can represent a significant dilemma.
Family meal time
The value in gathering the whole family around the table for dinner – with all devices turned off! – is that everyone can connect. Dinnertime presents an opportunity for every family member to talk about their day and spend valuable time with each other. As a society, a lot of our social activities revolve around food, so this makes sense! However, people with a diet that consists solely or primarily of formula may not feel like they belong at the dinner table if they’re not consuming the same things as everyone else. We gave some thought to how families can ensure everyone feels welcome at the dinner table and came up with this idea.
In trying to figure out how to involve everyone, one possibility to make everyone feel welcome at the table is to come up with a way that every family member eats their meal the same way. Well, if one person consumes liquids, why not serve liquid – soup, specifically – for the rest of family? That way, the family can eat soup with bowls and spoons, and anyone who depends on formula can also use a bowl and spoon. This is a great way to get them to feel less “different” from everyone else at the table and like they’re part of the same meal. Depending on what allergens need to be avoided, you may even be able to offer a soup that works for everyone at the table. And if you want to make a special soup for those with allergies, you can find ideas in some of our recipe books on this page.
How does your family make sure everyone feels included at the table?