Situation Food Allergy: 'It's yucky. Why can't I just tell Nana the truth?'

Tuesday chicken Maddy.jpg

What would you do?

Your daughter Madison, who is allergic to dairy, can’t eat her grandmother’s Chicken Marsala Over Noodles. Well, actually she can eat it. The ingredients are safe. She just hates the flavor.

“It’s yucky,” the six year old announced the first time she she tried it. Luckily you were able to intervene before anyone heard her comment. After all, you didn’t want to hurt your mother's feelings.

Your mother found that recipe just for Madison. It was her way of showing that she can still make a traditional dish without dairy. She was SO excited the first time she made it years ago. That’s when, out of kindness, you ALL said how amazing it tasted. You made it sound like it was the greatest dish ever.

"I love how the noodles absorbs the marsala flavor," you announced that first time. "And the green onions blend perfectly with it! I could eat this all day."

She took your words to heart, which is why she has made it a staple at family gatherings. She’s even named the dish after your child — Chicken Madison.

“Chicken Madison is yucky,” Madison said during the car ride home after her second time trying the dish.

And she said it again the next time she had it. And the next.

“I can’t eat Nana’s Chicken Madison, mom,” she said last year as you were leaving her house. “I almost gagged. Why do I have to eat it? Why can’t I just tell her the truth?”

Over the years, you’ve tried to casually hint that maybe your mom might want to broaden her recipes.

“Nonsense,” she has said on more than one occasion. “I worked so hard to perfect that dish just for her. I know my Maddy loves it! She always tells me so.”

There is another big event coming. Over the phone one day, your mom proudly announces that Chicken Madison is on the menu.

“Ummmm Mom,” you say just before you are about to get off the phone. “About that Chicken Madison. There is something I have to tell you…”


Do you ever really tell your mother the truth? Or do you tell Maddy that she will eat Chicken Madison and LOVE it? What other issues exist with this scenario? Thoughts?