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Turning cupcakes into compassion

When we use food to define culture, we declare that those who can’t eat the way we do are no longer part of that tribe.

Source: Turning cupcakes into compassion

My eldest suffers from food allergies. Originally, she was allergic to milk and all dairy (including casein, often found in “alternative ” cheeses), eggs, tree nuts (except for almonds, thankfully), peanuts, and strawberries.

At eight months, when we first discovered it and run the myriad of tests available, we were told that often kids grow out of by age five.

At age six, she grew out of her allergy to strawberries, but she’s more allergic to the rest than ever before according to the blood work. Thankfully, she isn’t allergic to soy or have problems with gluten.

As the piece above notes, food is used so often in schools. It is rather depressing. Every birthday. Every content’s price is a pizza or ice cream party. Every fundraiser is selling some food item. Kids are generally decently self-motivated in first grade, but telling my daughter her class gets an ice cream party if she brings a few more canned goods for the food drive doesn’t do much.

One of the oddest experiences I had was eating lunch with my daughter on a pajama-pizza-party day. I picked up a 10″ pizza from the one place we’ve found that delivers and offers vegan cheese, Austin’s Pizza, and we split it while the rest of her class ate “normal” pizza. It wasn’t the same, it was awkward.  Oreos are great, but it isn’t the same as cake. We’ve brought her vegan cupcakes when we were organized enough and had enough notice prior to an event, but still wasn’t the same.

Kudos to the teacher in the above piece for finding a creative solution that benefits the entire classroom community.

Hat tip to Vanessa for finding the article.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

One reply on “Turning cupcakes into compassion

Thanks for sharing my post, Brandon! Yes – ironically, food is used entirely too often in schools as a way to bring kids together — ironic, because in today’s day and age it ends up setting so many kids apart. Our family decided to create freedible.com as a social platform where people with different dietary restrictions could come together to connect with one another and ‘crowd-source’ the recipes, tips & stories – like the one you shared here – in searchable, community-wide collections so we can all stop reinventing the wheel! I would love for you to join us on freedible, and add your voice to our community! Thanks again for sharing the post – it makes my 10 year old real proud to know that his classroom experiences have helped to raise awareness for the millions of kids affected by food allergies, intolerances, diabetes, obesity and more. And yeah – he was a darn good teacher!

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