Hi everyone! My name is Jessica and I'm the wife of an awesome man and mommy of an energetic little boy. I work full time, chase my toddler when I get home, and blog http://caterpillarfamily.blogspot.com after he goes to bed- I'm busy! I was born with a congenital heart defect and have had a total of three open heart surgeries. I was also diagnosed with an allergy to peanuts and bananas at the age of one. Despite all of that, I have had a totally normal and largely unaffected life, I swear! I try to find the humor in everyday situations and that keeps me sane. I have a great family and more than I could have ever asked for. I'm a lucky girl!
It's A Good Thing I hate Jelly!
As someone who has had a severe peanut allergy all my life, I could tell you a thing or two on the subject. One of the silliest things I’ve ever heard (and I heard this over and over again as a child) “Oh my! How horrible! What do you feed her?”. Really people? You take away peanuts and your cookbook is empty? Apparently I lucked out and got the creative mom, because I never felt deprived. Instead of PB&J sandwiches I got grilled cheese or turkey- problem solved!
As soon as I could read I was a label reader. I knew to ask if there were peanuts in foods if my mom wasn’t there to ask for me. I didn’t know any different and it was never a big deal to me. I was also fortunate in that I was still able to eat other nuts, such as almonds and pecans. It’s hard to miss peanut butter when you have Nutella! For those who don’t know what Nutella is, it’s a delicious spread made from hazelnuts and cocoa. Allergic to tree nuts all together? Try Sunbutter! Sunbutter is actually a personal favorite of mine, made from ground sunflower seeds. I prefer it to almond butter any day. The brand I buy is organic and processed in a peanut-free facility so no worries there. It’s also almost the exact consistency of peanut butter, so it can be used as a substitute in recipes.
Check out: www.sunbutter.com for several safe food products!
The two biggest dangers to those who suffer from severe food allergies are:
1. Foods at parties. the worst offender for me was always cookies. I almost never eat cookies unless I make them myself. Believe it or not, I’ve actually had people think that the cookies they made were ‘OK’ because they used peanut butter, not whole peanuts. I’m not joking. It’s best to avoid unless they are prepared by someone familiar with your allergy. Occasionally I’ll take a gamble on sugar cookies (as long as they are on their own plate). Most chocolate looking cookies are risky... and I can spot the tell-tale double fork pressed top of a peanut butter cookie from a mile away. Even a “safe” cookie is off limits if it’s touching one of those.
2. Coming into close contact with people who have just eaten peanuts. I always tell a particular story (…or is it my husband, who thinks it’s hilarious?) of one unfortunate night early in our marriage. My husband loves peanut butter. We’re a match made in Epi-Pen heaven. He knows he’s not allowed to kiss me for several hours and at least one tooth brush after eating it. Anyway, so we’re sitting on the couch one night playing war.. you know.. that card game. He had just eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We’re playing, it’s a long game, cards are exchanged back and forth, the next thing I know my eye is swollen shut. Yep. Apparently some trace amount of peanut butter on his hand was transferred to me by the cards and then I proceeded to touch my eye. A few gulps of liquid Benadryl and one night’s sleep later I was totally fine, but it was definitely a wake-up call.
That brings me to the golden rule of food allergies- ALWAYS have liquid Benadryl on hand. Regular children’s Benadryl is fine for all ages. In the event that you or your child ingest something that causes a mild to moderate reaction, nothing coats the mouth/throat and stops it like liquid Benadryl. Of course, if the reaction is immediately life-threatening use of an Epi-Pen may be necessary.
Remember that food allergies, like anything in life, are what you make them. It’s not about deprivation, rather substitution. Nowadays peanut allergies are much more common. You may find that obtaining a peanut-free life is much easier than you imagined!
Guest Blogger Disclaimer: The information shared by the guest blogger does not represent the opinions and policies of No Nuts For My Peanuts and it's creator. As always seek proper medical attention for any issues, medicine dosage's or questions you have regarding your health and allergies. Always read labels before eating or serving any food to anyone who has food allergies.