As most of you know, I am gluten intolerant so when I opened my new issue of Living Without magazine, I was thrilled to see an article entitled, “College & Your Special Diet”. I love that the educational community has embraced changes to its regular dietary curriculum to include people with food allergies.
I remember battling the dreaded “Freshman 15”. I had to eat so many starches just to fill me up, & feel okay, that I blew-up like a balloon. I further paired that with; eating at the wrong times, not exercising, new friends, dorm living, etc.
The Living Without article follows a girl through her trials & tribulations getting her food allergies noticed as well as advocating for the rights of other “under-served” students. Each year she made strides, not militantly or overly vocally, so that university higher-ups took notice. Most importantly, the article mentions many helpful tips that allow you and your child to have a successful, less stressful first year in college. A few of them are:
1.) Meet with the food services staff & develop a friendly partnership that details your specific food do’s & don’ts.
2.) Register with the Students with Disabilities Office, this may require a doctor’s note with your condition.
3.) Find a great support group that will steer you in the right food direction as well as be an advocate for students.
4.) Use your dorm fridge to hoard quick snacks & late-nite options, so you won’t be caught without food.
5.) Tell people – so they know what to do in an emergency or how to behave to keep you safe.
6.) Check out local restaurants to find some other options beside the student union for food.
The article mentions several sites that new college freshman & their family could look. One of these is FAAN College Network; faancollegenetwork.org. This site provides a searchable database with school contacts & info.
I am highlighting the school reviewed in the article, but if you have had a positive experience with another school, please share! How do you handle your food issues now? Do you have a great way to tell people about your allergy?