Future Food Network star. You saw her here first, folks.
As the rush for back to school starts up again, Amanda and I started thinking about the situations you get into at school. Although we both don't have kids yet, we're both immersed in the role food allergies play in the lives of students. She has a nephew with a peanut, egg, strawberry, fish and dairy allergy so she's even more familiar than I am.
But recently, I learned that my little cousin Katie who is in grade two loves to cook and manages to cut more of her own veggies. She's seen Amanda's book on my coffee table many times so she was excited at the thought of coming over to cook with us.
I cannot lie about the fact that despite knowing that she cooks often with her mom, I was on edge watching her cut up these two carrots and two cucumbers. However she surprised me when she julienned the few lettuce leaves we used for this recipe and ace'd cutting up her first red pepper (seed separation and all)! It is a marvel how much kids watch us in the kitchen isn't it? Katie and her mom binge watch cooking shows on the weekend and she developed a liking to cooking for an audience quite fast. Some of you watched our Instagram stories where she completely ran the show and had her script ready to showcase to a food network. This kid is going to be on TV one day, just you see.
Kids are usually your first point of contact to hear about food allergies as a number of schools don't let you send kids to school with any peanut butter products. In fact, schools give you that information right away when you enroll. Some take it more seriously than others and it really depends on how many kids in the class have allergies. Katie's classmates are encouraged not to share any food at all for instance but I've had friends kids tell me they still share their food (in other schools) because that's a good conversation starter.
We thought it would be entertaining for her to try out some recipes from Jessica Seinfeld's new book Food Swings so we picked a recipe that we thought would be at her skill level; a simple salad. Turns out she could have far surpassed that, as we learned when she grabbed the knife and confidently sliced a carrot lengthwise while I held my breath.
It's really important for us to keep kids in the know when it comes to food allergies because sharing a peanut butter cup at daycare earlier this year resulted in a sad fatality.
Food Allergy Canada and other food bloggers like us have been tirelessly trying to advocate for food allergy awareness and safe handling procedures. As kids grow and head to high school and college or university, we hope they'll be more aware of how to be considerate of their peers living with food allergies.