I think in the OP... you could bring over a home cooked meal prepared in good faith. It's up to them whether or not they eat it.
When I first learned DD and I were gluten intolerant, I felt terrible having to turn down food. Now I've gotten pretty matter of fact about it and if someone offers to cook for me, I usually tell them thanks, but please don't go through the trouble, because she and I are both so sensitive. Very occasionally I've gotten a dinner invitation I felt I couldn't refuse and in that case I was honest and said, "Look, are you sure you want to get into this? Because in order for me to eat that, this is what is involved...." I'm not trying to inconvenience others, but I'm not trying to get sick either. It's a bummer because I grew up in a culture where meal sharing is so incredibly important, and it took me a long time to work out how to refuse food gracefully as that is simply not something I learned to do as a kid. When someone gave you food, you said thanks and ate it.
Now when we go places, we have always packed food because it is the safest and least stressful course for me. That also makes it easy to turn down food honestly without having to pretend to not be hungry.
I'm also uncomfortable with DD eating lots of sugar because I think her intolerance is possibly some sort of GAPS issue. But, I did decide for my own sanity to let it go for now since eating sugar doesn't result in immediate, shooting diarrhea and long term exposure has thus far not caused her to become emaciated (which is what happens with gluten). We do very little sugar at home, but when we are out my only rule is that I have to be confident the food item is gf and safe for DD. If we were doing a strict GAPS diet, and I would like to someday, I would just use the same line I use for gluteny things which is, "Thanks so much for thinking of us, but we brought our own food." At this point, the people in my life are used to it. ;)
But just because DD and I can't eat it doesn't make it crap. I agree with Linda: It's just food we can't eat. I do not like to refer to any food that people eat as "crap"... it feels rude to me. I do my best to be polite and if someone else thinks I am judging them because of what I don't eat... that's not really something I can control, you know?
Limabean, I think you are right about the phrase crap food. It's super prevelant on mdc. It's also prevalent among people I know. There is a big difference, to me, between someone saying, "I ate a bunch of crap today" and "Ew, can you believe people feed their kids that crap," gesture to chips, McDs, Kool Aid, etc. And I am guilty of using the phrase crap food callously but I learned that I was hurting DPs feelings by saying it so I stopped. Learning to be nonjudgmental of his eating habits (and remembering they were his responsiblity and not mine) did more to create space for him to a become healthier eater than criticizing him ever did.
DD1 6/2009 DD2 5/1/2013-5/5/2013 (HIE) DS 3/2014
It was unfortunate, and the family actually ended up leaving the church because they felt people hadn't been helpful enough. But people tried - they just didn't want to be criticised and micro-managed. Food is a very personal thing, and having it rejected hurts. (But on the other hand, from her point of view, there's not much good in getting free food if it makes you hurl. So, you know... tricky.)
yes -- therein lies the rub. It is impossible to help or even be nice to someone through food if they can't eat much. If they are nasty about it, it can really hurt the relationship.
Which takes me back to my first post in this thread -- don't give them food. It will just screw up the relationship.
Which is really too bad, because I think there is something lovely about sharing food with others, eating together, or providing meals during a crises. Our generation has becomes really segmented in how we eat. It used to be easier. When I was a kid, if someone had a crises, my mom made a casserole and a chocolate cake. It was very simple. That doesn't work any more. Not at all.
Which is shamefully entitled, at least for those of us who do not have food sensitivities.
As someone who places a high value on real food and tries to purchase foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, I'd like to chime in to say that we are big on "eat what you're given" here. Our society doesn't place enough value on food and we're content to disregard the externalities that others suffer in order to get the very inexpensive food that is available to us. Not appreciating the gift of food made for you only further devalues it, at least to me. Part of the morality that I try to teach my children includes being grateful that we have food, in abundance, and realizing that many many people do not. Even if it is not food that I would buy myself, our family eats food we are given with gratitude. Something made from a person's kitchen is almost always going to be more healthful than something prepackaged in a store so I don't think it's the end of the world to eat a gifted casserole, even if it's something I wouldn't make myself.
Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...
on 'crappy food' i will say dd and i use it a lot amongst us because in short it defines what it means to us. usually junky food.
i think i have used it here on MDC too.
i though never use it in one on one conversation for the judgement aspect of it.
i have learnt early on when to say yes. there have been times when i have accepted 'crap' - a marshmellow sugar something out of respect. but not a higly gluten one coz dd is sensitive to it. somehow refusing due to medical reason is easier to say no.
i have also learnt to say no. when someone gave me sweet kimchi i had a HARD time but i had to tell them 'sorry i just dont like sweet kimchi. i will not eat it. i dont want it to go to waste. however i would love some of your regular kimchi.'
i dont refuse just because we dont eat it. its been hard though. one time we had to eat spaghetti with vienna sausages seriously i balked but we ate it nevertheless.
I think Linda on the move got it right. Listening, and in the appropriate context, mentioning a resource that has worked for you, is probably going to feel the most supportive and least invasive.
Food is a number one priority for me, but that may be because I pursued education on that subject. I ate junk food before I understood what its health effects were. My vitality was declining, so it became a matter of health to learn what foods worked for me. They turned out to be fresh, chemical-free foods. It took a learning curve to arrive at this place. And yes, there are some people who know about all this and still don't care, and that is absolutely their right. There are folks who can smoke a pack a day and live to 95. We're all different.
What may help is the elimination of "crap" and "snob," since those are both deprecating terms that anyone would take offense to (even though there is of course a kernel of truth to be found in them).
When my husband was laid off his job a few yrs back, we were given food by people. It was very hard because I have done a lot of research on food and what is the most healthy. We were given white bread, a lot of junk food like puddings and jello, cake mixes and we gave them to other people in need. Just because we were having a hard time with money and having enough food, I just couldn't bring myself to give them it. I appreciated it very much because of people's wonderful hearts though! Very thankful! It was very hard to give my kids canned veggies instead of fresh and simple things like that. I do understand where your friend is coming from. My children's health is very important to me (as it is most parents) and I believe health has a lot to do with what you eat. I think a big difference between you two is your ideas of food. It may not be hard for you to give your kids toothpaste with fluoride (which is totally fine) but I would find something outside to use before I would use that. Just different views on food I think. Now I do buy a lot of food that is not Organic because I had to let some of it go with 6 kids but we do what we can.
OK, I didn't read the whole thread but why not just anonomously leave somethings on their door?
Our church gives meals to families in need and Thanksgiving and there was one family that really was on my heart. I continued to leave a bag of food on their door knob once or twice a month.
You could do that with the food and shoes. Nobody has to know who is was from.
Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!