Food allergies on land, and at sea

Food is often a social bridge. Diane Stuemer makes many references to this in her book, “The Voyage of the Northern Magic: A Family Odyssey.” On numerous occasions her family was invited into communities and fed, sometimes by very poor people.

One of our children has serious, life-threatening food allergies. He wears an Epi-pen around his waist. He brings his own food to birthday parties and class events. And, we expect to carry food that is safe for him when we finally embark on our sailing trip. We may have to refuse food offered by friendly people, including other cruisers.

That’s okay. He is not going to be left out. Exercising caution, he hasn’t had a single anaphylactic reaction since his initial reaction 3 years ago when we came to learn of his nut allergy. It wasn’t so long ago that I sat sniffling in a nutritionist’s office about my son’s allergies, and how would I possibly feed him, on a trip to New York City. Thank goodness those early days are behind us.

What is exciting for us, and hopefully for him, is that our sailing trip might help him develop an awareness of the many wonderful opportunities he does have – social and otherwise – despite his limitations with food allergies.

Paul is anaphylactic to tree nuts. He is allergic to soy, milk, beef, peanut, banana and peach. He is six years old.

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