Mardi Gras is right around the corner and my kids can’t wait! I know when most people elsewhere think of Mardi Gras they think of scenes from Bourbon Street of debauchery. That is part of Mardi Gras but the grown up part. Mardi Gras also has a family friendly side and my kids love parades. They also love the beads, trinkets and other stuff thrown from the parades. However, Mardi Gras and food allergies don’t go hand in hand and make things a bit harder.
We have a great support group of family and friends. They refrain from eating anything peanut related when we are around. Second they help keep in eye on the kids. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help make Mardi Gras easier especially this year since we’ve added gluten to our list of no nos. So here are my tips.
Bring your own food and keep it separate.
With so many friends and family around it’s easy to cross contaminate food. Even well meaning friends and family could have touched or eaten something that could harm your child. Them having their own safe food helps keep this to a minimum.
Make sure you have 2 epi pens on you at all times.
I sometimes bring 3 or 4. It’s crowded, it may take time for EMS to get to you to help. One epi pen only buys you about 20 minutes time. You get the picture!
Scout out the area
Look for closest EMS or Police Officers, this way you know where help is when you need it.
Bring Benadryl and Wet Ones
I prefer the fast melt tablets for parades because they are easier to carry than liquid. We also use the red Wet Ones Wet Wipes (I read something years ago about how they work better than the others). I don’t go crazy wiping but there have been times someone has eaten some Zapps thrown from a float or a moon pie etc, and I needed them to wipe their hands etc.
Beads and Food Catches
Just like Halloween we have rules that no food is eaten before we can check it at home. Beads are not allowed in the mouth at all (gross but they are kids) and hands get cleaned regularly.
Mardi Gras is fun, but like everything in our life we need to be prepared and set the ground rules. We can’t wrap our kids in a bubble or shelter them from the world. We have to teach them to live in it and handle themselves. There have been times we’ve had to ask those around us not to throw peanut shells our way, times we’ve had to ask people to wipe their hands, times we’ve had to tell Chase he’s not allowed to touch xyz, times we’ve had to move. All this to keep him safe, and you know what it’s worth it. Because of us showing him how to handle Mardi Gras with food allergies, he’s now able to go with his cousins without us (how awesome is that). Now it’s time to teach Caitlyn the same!
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