Pic 'n Play: "42,200... how many can I eat?"

                                                                                                                                                    This awesome photo is by Peter Bond

                                                                                                                                                    This awesome photo is by Peter Bond


The average grocery store stocks 42,200 unique items. Here's a challenge. Take your child to a grocery store and begin counting. How many different food items CAN they eat if they wanted to?  If they had unlimited resources and space, could they fill a cart with safe foods? Two carts? A pickup truck? A semi? 

When you have a food allergy, you think EVERY item is off limits. You only seem to see what you CAN’T eat. 

For many with food allergies, there are options… options in plain site. 

If you think this activity would be beneficial, try this with your own child. I would love to hear about the experience? Any pics of kids counting items? 



I was in the car crying because I had failed another food challenge. My doctor and parents had been exceptionally hopeful about this one, and I happened to believe their optimism a bit too much. The letdown hurt.

On my ride home, my parents were trying to reassure me. They were giving all the “It’s going be OK” lines. I wasn’t having it.

That’s when they pulled the car into a supermarket parking lot. My mom turned around. 

“JJ, here’s another food challenge,” she said in an excited tone. “Let’s count all of the foods in here that you can eat.” 

I looked at her oddly. “I’m not getting out of the car, mom!” She wasn’t having it.

We went inside the grocery store, walked past the carts, and stood at the base of the aisle. 

“We’ll start here.” 

My parents immediately started counting items in the first aisle. A few moments later, I joined them. We literally stood there counting out loud. I lost count after aisle three. 

My sense of “CAN” was born in aisle three, and it’s grown ever since.


***ATTENTION STORE MANAGERS. I’d love to talk to a supermarket manager! With all the digital inventory, is there any way of telling how many items are available based on ingredients?***

Jamison VulopasComment