Confessions of a falsely-accused allergen purveyor

Reid’s been at Gymnastics Camp this week at Starr Gymnastics (where she used to take classes before she suddenly stopped liking them this time last year). They ban sesame seeds, as well as peanuts and tree nuts, from their facility. I didn’t think the impact would be that much greater until the coach took Reid’s ancient grain tortilla roll-up sandwich away from her on Monday at lunch. Now, technically, she was told that she could eat the sandwich if she went to the office. What 5 year old is going to choose exile? Luckily, I’d packed lots because I wasn’t sure how much Reid would need, what with me having to pack snacks, too.

Since we had no explanation, I decided that perhaps flax seeds were also banned.  We have 2 kinds of bread and 2 kinds of pitas in our house. All have flax seeds in them. On Tuesday morning, thanks to us not having a functioning central air system, Reid and I were both up by 5:30 and thus able to bake banana muffins for her snack. All seemed to be fine at camp but on Wednesday night, Reid reported that the coach had taken her muffins away.

I asked on Thursday morning why they kept confiscating Reid’s food, since by then I’d verified that flax seeds weren’t actually banned and I couldn’t figure out what whole grain foods I could send with her. The fellow said that the flax seeds had probably been mistaken for sesame seeds and they didn’t know what was in homemade foods. There’s an endorsement for single-serving convenience foods, eh? I was told that I should label things I baked and then they’d know. Coincidentally, I’d done just that earlier in the morning. Not that there was anything in the camp info to say this was important. I also received a small lecture about the severity of allergies suffered by some of the campers. I never disputed the need for vigilance, though, just the lack of feedback I was getting. It’ll be good to get Reid back into school where all of the food she requires is provided.

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