Situation Food Allergy: The first date.


Situation Food Allergy: The first date.

Blog Post 254 — Because of your job, you had to move your family to a new city at the start of your daughter’s senior year of high school. It’s been a tough transition, especially pulling her away from her lifelong friends, all of whom accepted and accommodated her food allergies.

So you are excited when your daughter comes home from school with a big grin. It is the first time you’ve seen her smile in months.

“Do you know that boy I told you about, Mom? The one from my computer science class? He asked me out for tonight!”

You smile . She’s had talked about this boy from time to time. He seems like a good kid.

“Where are you going to go?” you ask.

“Dinner and pottery. We’re actually going to paint pottery together,” she says. “He’s so sweet. He’s coming over to pick me up soon. I gotta get ready.”

You nod.

“Does he know about your allergy?” you calmly ask.

Her smile immediately disappears.

“I’m not stupid, Mom,” she snaps, her tone instantly becoming forceful.

You remain calm, realizing that ‘I’m not stupid, Mom’ could be taken in any number of ways. This will be her very first date. Your daughter is normally responsible when it comes to her allergy, but she has been very conscious of telling others about it since moving to the new school. She is having enough trouble making friends and she told you earlier in the year she didn’t want to give them another reason not to want to do things with her.

She shakes her head and begins to walk away. Her date begins in two hours. What do you do?


JJ Vulopas is a senior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for young people, JJ has lived with food allergies his entire life. He is the author of the children's book, Land of Not. You can read his daily blog at and follow him @thelandofcan on Twitter and Instagram.