fbpx Skip to main content

Inclusiveness is important across the board, don’t think there is any argument about that, but how does food inclusiveness factor into the grand scheme of things? 

When we first envisaged OMG! Decadent Donuts we thought of parties and morning teas and gatherings – where the same treat could be enjoyed by many – regardless of food allergies, intolerances, cultural beliefs or preferences.  As Australia and New Zealand have among the highest prevalence of allergies in the developed world it is an important issue.

Food is a basic human need, we use food to feed our bodies, but we also use food to socialise, celebrate and connect with others.

Food restrictions are most often caused by food allergy and intolerances or due to beliefs such as veganism, choices due to improving health such as switching to a plant based diet, or culture and religion such as needing to follow a Kosher of Halal diet.

Here at OMG! Decadent Donuts we have done literally everything we can to create a treat product that just about everyone can enjoy.  Because we think inclusivity in food is important.

Imagine you are 5 years old and at a birthday party, everyone is enjoying the treats on offer, but because you have an egg allergy, through no fault of yours, your were born with it, it’s not a choice and yet you are the one eating the carrot sticks and not the cup cakes.  Would you feel excluded?

Imagine as an adult, you’re at a celebration for a colleague everyone is tucking in to the sausage rolls and cupcakes, everyone except you, because you are coeliac.  It’s a disease, you didn’t ask for it, it’s not a fad, eating gluten has serious ramifications to your health.  If you eat gluten, even though you really really want to, you will most likely be absent from work for the next several weeks and very unwell.

Food inclusivity, is defined as ensuring diverse and culturally appropriate food options are available and accessible to everyone, it is a crucial aspect of mental health and well-being, particularly for children. This concept goes beyond mere nutrition, encompassing the cultural, emotional, and social dimensions of eating.

Cultural Identity and Self-Esteem

For children, food is not just sustenance; it is deeply intertwined with their cultural identity and sense of belonging. Offering inclusive food options in schools and communities ensures that children from various backgrounds feel recognized and valued. This recognition is crucial for their self-esteem and overall mental health. When children see their traditional foods represented, it validates their cultural heritage, fostering a sense of pride and confidence. Conversely, the absence or neglect of inclusive foods can lead to feelings of alienation and low self-worth.

Social Integration and Peer Relationships

Food inclusivity also plays a pivotal role in social integration. Shared meals are central to social interactions and building relationships. In social settings, inclusive menus that cater to diverse dietary practices—such as halal, kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free and allergy friendly options—promote inclusivity and prevent children and adults from feeling excluded. Adult or child when we can enjoy treats together, it enhances social bonds and reduces the risk of social isolation, which is a significant factor in mental health. The ability to participate in communal eating without anxiety or exclusion helps everyone, especially children, develop stronger, healthier relationships with their peers.

Reducing Anxiety and Stress

For those with specific dietary needs or restrictions, inclusive food practices can significantly reduce anxiety and stress. Fear of not having appropriate food options can lead to a range of negative emotions, including anxiety, embarrassment, and frustration. By ensuring that diverse dietary needs are met, can help alleviate these concerns, creating a more supportive and stress-free environment. This support is essential for mental well-being.

Addressing Food Insecurity and Inequality

In many communities, food insecurity and inequality are pressing issues. Food inclusivity addresses these problems by advocating for the availability of,appropriate food, regardless of their socioeconomic status. By promoting food inclusivity, communities can work towards reducing these disparities and supporting the mental and emotional well-being of all.

Supporting Mental Health through Community Engagement

Finally, food inclusivity fosters community engagement and support networks, which are vital for mental health. Community gardens, culturally diverse cooking classes, and inclusive food treats at events can bring families and communities together, creating a sense of unity and shared purpose. These activities not only provide nutritious food but also offer emotional support and social interaction, which are key components of mental well-being.

Food inclusivity is an essential part of the mental health dialogue. By acknowledging and respecting cultural diversity, promoting social integration, reducing anxiety, encouraging healthy eating habits, addressing food insecurity, and fostering community engagement, inclusive food practices create a supportive environment where children and adults can thrive both physically and emotionally.

In a report from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy found that over 20% of the Australian population suffer from some sort of food intolerance or food allergy and this is increasing every year.  Add to that hospital admissions for anaphylaxis have also increased fourfold from 1993.

While there are now many food companies which address certain allergies or intolerances, many are not certified, accredited or endorsed.  OMG! has invested time and money into ensuring it is one of the highest certified companies in the country, giving reassurance and peace of mind to our customers and able to better cater to as many people as possible suffering from the crippling effects of food allergies and intolerances.

National Library of Medicine

Living with Food Allergies what this means for Children

Science Direct

Coeliac New Zealand – Looking after mind and body

Coeliac Australia – Gluten Free Living – Stress busting tips from a psychologist.



OMG! TikTok


OMG! LinkedIn


OMG! Instagram


OMG! Facebook