Living a Sweet Life With Food Allergies

Living a Sweet Life With Food Allergies

By Lori Sandler, Founder of Divvies

A revised excerpt from The Divvies Bakery Cookbook – NO NUTS, NO EGGS, NO DAIRY – Just Delicious!(St. Martin’s Press)

Celebrations bring friends and family together.  Everyone bearing tins and platters of cherished family recipes, as intricately woven into the fabric of their being as Grandma’s embroidered tablecloths.  Worried about having to ask everyone to check their goods at the door? You don’t have to be!  You just need to engage in a little family “counseling” prior to the get-together. In your world, what they may not know can hurt the person with food allergies, so you need to educate and provide sweet solutions.

Here are a few all-out crowd-pleasing tips that will keep everyone at the gathering sweetly in the mix:

When planning a celebration at your own home:

  • Inclusivity should be your highest priority.
  • Try to make as many dishes as possible be safe for everyone.
  • Bundle up extra portions of delicious allergen-safe desserts so your guests may take them home and remember just how good “made without” can taste.
  • Save the packaging from all the ingredients in your dishes just in case a guest with food allergies has a question about them.
  • Keep your sense of humor – this is a celebration!

When you are going to someone else’s home to celebrate:

  • Don’t assume they remember anyone’s food allergies.
  • Call ahead and suggest foods your host can make that are super-easy and allergen-free.
  • Offer to make and bring a variety of desserts that are made to share.

Divvies philosophy is that eating and celebrating should always be an inclusive experience. There is always a way!


A Note from Benjamin (Lori’s son)

If I could have one wish come true, it would be to outgrow my food allergies. I have had food allergies for my whole life. It hasn’t always been easy, because I always have to check all the labels of foods. Whenever I go to a restaurant, I have to ask about all the ingredients and make sure my meal is made safely. If I did eat something I am allergic to, my throat would close up, and I would have to go to the emergency room. As you can see, my food allergies would be a good thing to get rid of.

When I was little, I thought it wasn’t fair that I had food allergies, and when it came to eating, I didn’t like being at birthday parties. Since I have gotten older, I can handle attending birthday parties without my parents and communicating about my food allergies and what needs to be done with food for me to be safe.

I still get frustrated when everyone can eat something I can’t have. But I just take a deep breath and break out the food my Mom has sent along with me to the party that I know everyone will enjoy.

Bringing something that everyone likes to eat, and everyone can share – that makes me feel great!

(Excerpt from The Divvies Bakery Cookbook – NO NUTS, NO EGGS, NO DAIRY – Just Delicious! By Lori Sandler, St. Martin’s Press)