Our son was diagnosed as peanut and tree nut allergic when he was 15 months old. We were overwhelmed by this diagnosis. We needed answers to so many questions.
* How serious is this food allergy?
* How careful do we have to be?
* How do we use this Epipen?
* Who can we trust to care for him?
* Should we restrict our non-allergic daughter’s diet?
* How will we travel safely?
* How will we teach him to be safe?
* How can we still have fun?
In “Mommy, Is This Safe to Eat?”, we share the answers we found when our son was a young preschooler. We all like grocery shopping and would often go together. We would carefully point to peanuts, tree nuts and products and yell “Yucky” very loudly. It did not make us overly popular at the grocery store, but our son definitely learned what those dangerous nuts looked like.
We also showed him many products with hidden nuts. He learned that he must always ask us to read the ingredients before he eats a food. He can never assume safety from how the food looks. We have found our son is very happy with substitute snacks and cupcakes. It takes extra planning on our part, but is definitely worth it.
We are now working to help our son be more independent about checking ingredients and keeping his table at school peanut free. He is a 3rd grader and very responsible, especially when it comes to food issues! Check our book “Starting School with A Food Allergy” if your child is entering Kindergarten or first grade next fall.
We are well educated about food allergies now. But as long as our son has a food allergy, we will struggle with keeping him safe and protected while letting him live a full life. We are thankful to the food allergy organizations who have helped educate us and others about food allergies. Remember the more you know – the safer your child is!
Christina and Rob Black