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How To Talk to Friends

How To Talk to Friends About Food Allergies

You will meet some amazing friends at school. And one of the tests of friendship is going to be whether someone is willing to be inconvenienced to keep you safe. That’s just how it is. So rather than holding back, be up front and factual. “I can’t go to the Thai restaurant because I have severe peanut allergy. How about that Tex Mex place?”

If you aren’t embarrassed to tell someone about your food allergy, then they won’t view it as something to be embarrassed about.

Download FAACT's How To Talk to Friends handout.

Here are a few ways you can bring up food allergies to new friends:

  • “Hey, want to go to [name of restaurant] this weekend? I have food allergies, and that is a safe restaurant for me.”
  • “I would love to hang out Thursday! Before I come over though, I wanted to let you know I have allergies to [allergens]. I can bring the snacks!”
  • “I am excited to hang out this weekend! Want to grab [an allergen safe drink]? I am not super comfortable at new restaurants because I have severe food allergies. Let’s talk and sip!”

If you are at an event where people are going to ask you about yourself, you can use your food allergies as the ice breaker answer:

  • “My name is [name] and I have never had [popular food with your allergen] because I am severely allergic to [allergens]. I really like [something you like to do]!”

If friends make mistakes or forget, it is not about you. If your group chat buzzes with a suggestion that you all go to a seafood restaurant, be ready with your own suggestions:

  • “I would love to go out this weekend! Could we go to [safe restaurant] instead? They are really good with my allergies there.”

If friends repeatedly suggest restaurants where they know you cannot eat, it could be time to reevaluate your friendships. However, more likely than not, they are just not thinking about your food allergies as much as you are!