I saw an article in this morning's Asbury Park Press about how much more parents of children with food allergies spend than parents of kids with no allergies. I saw the total, $4,184, and thought, "that's about right for the amount we used to spend on specialty food".

My youngest son, Jack, at one time was allergic to peanuts, all dairy products, wheat, potatoes, chicken, pork. I'm probably forgetting a few. We spent a lot of money on rice milk, rice flour, gluten free pretzels, etc. But as I read the article, it said that the $4,184 included money spent on visits to doctors, hospital visits, work missed, and "even changing or quitting jobs to care for children." Taking all that into consideration, I'm surprised the total isn't higher.

The good news for my family, anyway is that even though Jack had a ton of food allergies (as do many children "on the Spectrum"), he, at 13, has outgrown all but the peanut allergy. He does, however, prefer some of the gluten free products he has eaten for years even though he can have the normal version. He likes gluten free pretzels; I tried one, they're awful, I mean really bad, I can't see how he can stomach them.