Peanut Free Zone: Understanding Both Sides

nut freeWith the kids going back to school parents everywhere are thinking about what to pack for lunch, keeping in mind it needs to be peanut free. I have spoken with many frustrated parents who struggle with creating a healthy lunch that their children will eat, enjoy and have energy from with absolutely no nut products. As a parent of somewhat picky kids I understand this dilemma; there are so many nut filled, protein packed convenient options that would fit perfectly into lunch boxes everywhere.

BUT I myself have a severe peanut allergy and have accidentally ingested peanuts on more than one occasion; each time has resulted in a trip to the emergency room. So for that reason I support the nut free policy. When I was in school there was not a peanut free/nut free policy and I came in contact with peanuts on a daily basis; through most of Elementary school I had cold like symptoms (almost everyday) just from peanuts being in the same room as me. When I was in kindergarten there was a day that my class was making peanut butter pine-cone bird feeders; I remember the teacher calling my Mom before we started the craft asking her if I would be ok to be in the same room as long as I didn’t touch anything. At the time my Mom didn’t know the severity of my allergy so she said it should be fine but to let her know if I needed to go home early. Well somehow I made it through craft time with “no problem” but at snack time something happened. Long story short I had a very severe allergic reaction; my Mom picked me up at school and took me to the closest hospital. When she arrived at the school my throat was closing and my face was so swollen all she could see was my eyelashes sticking out through swollen eyes. I survived that incident and the rest of my school career but being faced with allergy symptoms on a daily basis is just not enjoyable.

Whether you support nut free environments or not the reality is that most daycare’s and school’s have a strict policy in place. Luckily for us [parents] there are a lot of peanut free snacks available at the grocery store and there are great peanut butter alternatives such as Wow Butter. Personally I have set a goal for myself to offer my boys more homemade snacks from here on out; I enjoy baking and cooking but finding the time can be tricky. I will keep you updated on my homemade challenge with photos and recipes to come!

1 comment

  1. 1

    Thank you so much for this post. Both my daughters, who have not entered school yet, have severe allergies. As a LOVER of peanuts/nuts myself, I can empathize with all you parents who are frustrated with the no peanut policy. I miss nuts (mostly peanut butter) like crazy. I cannot even snack on them and then come home as they both have reacted to the oils being on me :(. My daughters could DIE from being in contact with peanuts/nuts. For this reason alone, I CAN live without peanuts/nuts and find other alternatives. I know you can too 🙂

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