When I was a kid, I had an American Girl doll. Samantha, to be precise. (No Molly doll for this Molly.) I loved Samantha dearly.
My parents made clear that I was also to love her carefully: this doll would be the most expensive thing in my personal possession for a very long time, and there would be no trips to the “doll hospital.”
Because of the dolls’ exorbitant price point, my sister (who did, by a twist of fate, have the Molly doll) and I weren’t really supposed to play with them, per se, more like take them out occasionally to gaze upon. And we certainly didn’t have a closet full of accessories.
However, there is in fact a whole world of American Girl extras to discover—a customizable wardrobe to rival that of Barbie. For example, did you know that there’s an allergy-free lunch accessory? It’s true!
The set includes a customizable food allergy bracelet, an EpiPen, and a healthful lunch. It’s adorable and inclusive—a great idea, though pardon me while I make fun of a few things:
1. What is a “sandwich skewer,” and why was that their best idea for a food-allergy-free lunch? Those brown bits look like bread to me, and though it could be wheat-free, it’s unclear. If the lunch was going to include bread anyway, why not a sandwich? If I were a kid already self-conscious about food allergies, the last thing I’d want is a conspicuously different lunch.
2. Why the cloth lunch bag? I suppose it’s safe for those with latex allergies, but a bento box would be, too—not to mention way more stylish.
3. Where’s the dessert? Don’t even pretend to count the “berry smoothie.”
4. In general, it pales in comparison with the “normal” lunch, which boasts a brownie, more fruit than vegetables, a cute “stackable” design, a purple spork, a sandwich cut into the shape of a daisy, and a FOLD-OUT PLACEMAT. Moms and dads, take note. That’s how you say “I love you” with a lunch.
5. The price is crazy (though at least it costs the same as the regular lunch—unrealistically, since safe foods tend to be more expensive, and let’s not get started on the EpiPen, which in real life go for over $200 a two-pack). At $28 per lunch, I would probably tell my future little American girl to just use her imagination.
Then again, that feeling of being a Normal American Girl? Priceless.
Like I said, this idea is adorable and inclusive. However, I would like to state for the record that it’s not really inclusive of the little gluten-free American girls running around out there, most of whom will never lay hands on an EpiPen (and should consider themselves fortunate for it).
I propose that the next $28 add-on be a gluten-free kit, including:
- packets of wheat-free soy sauce
- a shrink-wrapped gluten-free cookie with a big honking CERTIFIED symbol on the front
- a pair of reading glasses, prematurely acquired from squinting at food labels
- a toaster bag and tongs for tiny gluten-free bread slices
- & some GlutenTox gluten test kits for those “safe” classroom snacks.
Now doesn’t that sound nice?
What else would you add? How you feel about the idea of food-allergy/gluten-free dolls? Would you buy this toy for a child? What are other ways to help kids understand food restrictions?
By the way, while there is no food-allergy Barbie—that I know of—I did come across an older post on the now-inactive blog No Peanuts Please about a “homemade” peanut- and egg-allergic Barbie. Worth a read, whether you hate Barbie or love her.
Of course, what I really loved, more than any accessory and perhaps even more than my doll, were the books…so next week, I plan to post my spin on a celiac American Girl series. In the meantime, I’m taking name suggestions in the comments.