One of my kids is creeping up on being a teen. And with teens they begin to worry about what others think of them in social settings. My kid recently went to an event that served light refreshments at its conclusion. After the event, instead of mingling with friends, he bolted for the door. He came to me later and said that he didn't stay to talk to his friends because he just knew that they didn't have anything he could eat. He didn't want to look different. After that talk it got me wondering, what could I do to help him? This kind of thing is going to repeatedly happen in his life and running out the door isn't the answer. At this particular event we were not invited to bring food and contribute something that he could eat.
All the talking in the world about how it is okay to mingle and you don't have to eat to have fun, was not going to compensate for the feeling of being the odd man out. I haven't quite figured out how to help him along on that one, because in some sense he has to navigate his own waters of sociality. However, I figured a good start would be to try and build his selfconfidence and give him knowledge about food. As a result he is learning to cook allergy free dishes. He also is making desserts and bringing them into his classes as a treat. That at least means there is no gluten desserts to compete for attention and the comments on how good they taste makes him feel proud. I have to say it seems to be helping. I have also allowed another of my kids to have a cooking blog (that I monitor of course! safety first!) because he wants to explore and create gluten free foods. I haven't released his blog to the public yet, I will let you know when I do. Just wanted to throw out a few thoughts and wondered if anyone else has encountered this 'social wet blanket' syndrome with their children and what do they do?