The good thing about getting invited to parties is that it shows that people were thinking about you; it shows that they care. What stinks about getting invited to parties with food problems is not knowing whether you’ll be able to eat the food or not, which leads into the deciding factor of whether you attend the party or not.
At school, I’ve been invited to pizza parties with the whole class, but decided not to go because it’s a party where you go eat food and catch up. For me, I have to know where the pizza is coming from, who makes it, how is it made, what are the ingredients…etc.? Without knowing all that information, and not being able to ask anyone because the teachers will most likely just grab pizza from a random place close by, I won’t attend. I don’t want to be surrounded by a ton of food I won’t be able to eat as well as watch everyone else eat the food that I can’t eat. It’s not a fun experience and not really worth going.
As for other parties not based on food, but will most likely have food there, I will go to see the people and have a good time, I’ll just have to be careful on what I eat plus I can always bring my own food where it’s not so awkward eating something different from everyone else because there is a wide variation of food vs a pizza party where there is only pizza. There’s a difference between a fun party like a birthday party vs a party based on food like a pizza party. With a birthday party, you are there to celebrate a birthday and hang out with all the people along with playing games and fun stuff. Instead of a party with food where you are pretty much there to eat the food and chat; it’s not really a fun get-together with games and activities to do, which leads into the deciding factor not to go.
When you don’t attend a party, you feel like you miss out on some stuff and you may not be able to see these people as often because you only see them during parties, holidays, and celebrations. So, when it’s not a party to just eat food, I try to go as much as possible to see people I may not be able to see as often as I would like. That way you don’t miss out on all the fun, crazy stories, and memories.
When people plan parties and pick out what foods to serve, they are not really thinking about allergies and thinking about what foods are safe for everyone to eat, they are just looking for a large amount of tasty food to feed everyone. Which, you can’t blame the host for because they are focused on feeding everyone not really everyone’s needs and they might not even realize or remember that you have food problems; you are one person vs a whole party of people. It’s more your responsibility to take care of yourself whether than the host to take care of everyone’s needs and worry about all the different allergies; that’s way too stressful and way too complicated to put on one person. Usually if someone does ask me what I can eat I’ll tell them not to worry about me because it’s way too complicated to go through.
So, you can’t get mad or frustrated at the host for not thinking of you or not picking out certain foods just for you. The host also shouldn’t be offended if you decide not to attend knowing that it will be too hard for you to try to find food you can safely eat out of the options provided also, if you have an allergy where just the food being out in front of you could cause an allergic reaction. Hopefully the people who invited you understand that you decided not to go not because you don’t like them and don’t want to hang out with all the other people going, but because it can be too risky and too dangerous to go not knowing what kind of food will be there.
When you can’t go to a party or decide not to go because of your food issues, it’s kind of sad because you wish you could go, you want to hang out, play games and have fun, but you don’t want to risk anything. Would I would’ve wanted to go to a pizza party to enjoy free pizza and chat with classmates? Yes, especially when I may not see them again when it’s the end of the school year, but I decided not to because I didn’t want to risk eating pizza I wasn’t sure if I could eat it and have to rush to the bathroom in the middle of everything. I didn’t want to go and not eat anything while everyone else is eating and then have people question why I’m here, but not eating. It’s better to just stay home.
When invited to events, you have to keep in mind what the event is for and try to have a good time without worrying about your food issues. Forget about the food and spend time with the people you are with. If food is out and there is food you can’t eat, then just walk away from it and ignore the food. When it’s a party not involving food, just have a great time and worry about what to eat later. Go to as many parties as possible because it’s important to interact with other people. When you RSVP for the party, ask what they have planed for food and tell them about your or your child’s dietary needs. That might help, so you can enjoy a party worry-free.