Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Holderness family's Halloween video and how they minimize food allergies

Photo credit: YouTube/The Holderness Family

The Holderness family made their way into our social media consciousness last holiday season by releasing a smartly-produced cheerfest called "Christmas Jammies." They've released a few other titles since, and the latest, "Kin and Moose," is a Halloween spoof on Snoop Dogg's 1993 classic "Gin and Juice."

It's clever, it's fun, it's colorful, and it's adorable. Right? For me, though, they've honestly never been my cup of tea and to say I cringe when I see their videos would be absolutely correct. I had no intention of pressing the play button when I first saw this video posted. However, after reading a comment from another mom, I had to watch it because she said that the family minimized kids and their families who suffer from food allergies.

I'm sure those lines were put in without much thought, and they were definitely put in without actually looking at the Brach's candy corn they offered the complaining mother — all you have to do is look at the package to see that while they don't contain peanuts, they are not peanut safe.

Image source: Brach's

It's a sad fact of life for someone with food allergies that you have to scope out ingredient lists on everything your kid wants to put his paws on. Even if there are no actual peanuts in the product itself, if something is manufactured in the same facility or on the same equipment as products that do contain it, he can't eat it. Even a little bit of the offending food can trigger a dangerous reaction. So you have to be hyper-vigilant, which frankly sucks.

Everyone, however, seems to be over it. Everyone is so tired of kids with food allergies. It has to seem like kids are cropping up everywhere who have to watch their diets. But what I don't get is the attitude that it's annoying to have to cater to a child's medical condition because you love your peanuts or cashews. It's certainly not a cause for protest when your child's school bans peanuts and peanut butter because your kid's right to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is more important than keeping a small child from possibly dying.

Joking about food allergies and other dietary needs (like when someone has celiac disease and has to eat gluten free) seems to be popular now — it's fodder for comedy routines and apparently Halloween music videos. Yes, a child will have to grow up and live in the real world where food allergies are a constant danger. However, while they're small, you have to watch out for them until they're old enough to do it themselves.

I just don't think that it's all that funny to minimize the real struggle families have to go through who face food allergies or other medically-indicated dietary restrictions. We should strive to make the world a more welcoming place, not actively work against helping one another out.

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