Peanut Allergies; Big Changes

Did you know that there have been serious changes to the recommendations from the medical community about how parents should treat their very young kids around peanuts and products with peanuts in them?

The guidelines from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) are now recommending that children between the ages of 4-6 MONTHS be exposed to high-risk allergens like peanuts, eggs, and fish.

The Mom bloggers at the British Columbia Mom wrote on the issue of peanuts and little kids

Despite the recommendations that my daughter had grown up with, there was no evidence to suggest that dietary restrictions on first foods helped reduce the occurrence of food allergies in children. In fact, there was a rise in food allergies and so recommendations were made to introduce these potential food allergens around 6 months of age, and on a regular basis.

In fact, in Israel there are virtually no children with peanut allergies. Perhaps not coincidentally, from a very early age, children in Israel are fed snacks containing peanuts.

Contrast that to North America where for many years the medical community advised parents to NOT feed their children snacks containing peanuts and yet there has been no decline in the number of cases of children with peanut allergies.

Anyway, getting back to the issue, the Moms on British Columbia Mom wrote about how peanut butter is way too thick and gooey for a four month old baby and peanut butter cookies are not really good snacks for very young children because they are loaded with sugar, so they have partnered with Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs and are doing a giveaway of some of the peanut butter snacks that are suitable for young children.

Give them a visit – and I hope you win the Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs!

My First Play Date

This may come as a bit of a surprise, but for the first time ever, I was the supervising adult at an event for my kids – a play date.

This is a surprise because my kids are nearly 6 years old and I have avoided this situation until now. I have essentially lived in fear that at some point I was going to be the supervising adult at a play date with my kids and someone else’s progeny.

Well I can assure you that I faced my fear and I survived. Perhaps even more importantly, all of the children who were on the play date also survived.

It is ironic that the idea of a play date strikes such fear into my heart. As some of you may know, my day job is essentially supervising large, out of control play dates. Others call it being a secondary school teacher but really, school is just a glorified play date with some educational stuff thrown in to fill the quiet moments when the teenagers aren’t outside smoking or socializing with the other kids on the play date.

Anyway, being the supervising adult for my own kids and their friend on a play date was actually easier than I ever imagined it would be.

Although it ended up being easy, it did not start out that way. As soon as the visiting child arrived she proudly informed me that she was allergic to dogs, cats, peanuts, and anything that has come into contact with peanuts, sesame seeds and that she didn’t like cheese or yogurt.

Hmmmm. Thankfully we only have one dog and two cats. And the staple food item that my children live off are peanut butter and cheese sandwiches. Peanut butter and cheese actually taste pretty good. I know this because my kids typically eat one quarter of the sandwich and I then eat the other three quarters. The other thing my kids eat are those cheese string things or little containers of yogurt.

The kid asked me what we had to eat. I told her she could eat whatever she had in her little backpack. I was not going to take any chances with anything from our house going into her digestive system. So she pulled out a little Rubbermaid container with five crackers in it and an EpiPen.

I immediately had visions of the scene from Pulp Fiction where John Travolta is crouching over Uma Thurmann about to give her a massive injection to the chest to bring her back to life.

Thankfully after a couple hours the little girl’s mother showed up. Her child was still alive and walking and had no evidence of dog or cat related rashes. I have to add that she was probably pretty hungry after having eaten her five magical crackers basically as soon as she got in the door.

I’m not really sure I would want to host a play date again. The stress was almost too much.