Monday, July 2, 2012

American Girl®’s Allergy-Free Lunch

by Kelley Lindberg

Depending on the statistics you read, food allergies affect anywhere between 1 in 12 and 1 in 25 kids these days. They have, unfortunately, become so common that almost every classroom, soccer team, scout troop, or summer camp has at least one kid with an allergy.

Because of the tireless work of folks like the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, Kids With Food Allergies, the Utah Food Allergy Network, and the dozens of organizations and hundreds of bloggers that have surfaced over the last decade, more people are aware of food allergies than ever before in history.

And here is a sign that not only is awareness rising, but there is a genuine effort to reach out to adults and children with food allergies. American Girl®, the maker of those wildly popular dolls, has just come out with the ultimate accessory set for any food-allergic girl:
The American Girl® Allergy-Free Lunch!

Now your American Girl® doll can indulge in a make-believe lunch that is allergy free. The set contains plastic play-food that represents food items that are free from the top 8 allergens. It includes a fake berry smoothie, a container of vegetables, and two “sandwich skewers.” Even better, it also comes with a medical bracelet for the doll, allergy stickers, and even a fake allergic epinephrine “shot” in case the doll has a pretend reaction. The whole thing comes in a fabric lunch bag.

I think it’s great that this has come out just in time for back-to-school shopping. If you’ve got a food allergic first-grader who is a little nervous about carrying her lunch to school this fall, this could be a perfect “get ready for school” gift. Or just a “thanks for being strong” gift. Or a “because I love you” gift. Or do you really need a reason?

But it’s not just for food-allergic girls. This lunch set might make a great birthday present for a food-allergic girl’s best friend. She would see that food is still yummy (and fun!) no matter what, and that it’s easy to keep her allergic friend safe by choosing non-allergic foods. And the fake epi-shot will remind her how serious it is, so that maybe she’ll take even more interest in being a helpful friend.

Obviously, my teenage son is not interested in this innovation, so I guess I won’t be buying it. But I sincerely appreciate American Girl® for taking this progressive step in constructive, positive, self-esteem-building play. I know a lot of girls will love this new accessory for their favorite doll.

1 comment:

foodallergymom said...

Loving this! Will be part of bday present this year for my daughter~