Secretsofmommyhood

To the woman who thinks peanut free schools are not ok – From the mother of a child with a severe nut allergy

Posted on: September 4, 2015

Dear fellow blogger,

Yesterday I read your post about how you think peanut free schools are not ok. As the parent of a child with a life threatening nut allergy, your article did not sit well with me. After reading through it, I came to a conclusion: you have not been educated on the severity of nut allergies and the importance of nut free schools.

I’m here to help you understand more about nut allergies and why schools SHOULD BE nut free. And, by the way, it’s not just for peanut allergies. It’s for those with tree nut allergies as well.

Let’s go over your 12 reasons of why you believe peanut free schools are not ok…

1)Life, whether you like it or not, is about adaptation and survival...If your child is different, as their parent, it is your duty to teach them how to adapt and survive to life as it is.It is not society’s responsibility to adapt to your child. Believe it or not, I do teach my child to “adapt and survive” because I need to; HIS LIFE IS AT STAKE. This isn’t just a silly little allergy where he may develop a couple of hives. He could stop breathing and die. So, yes, I ask other people (‘society’) to not have nuts around him because even the tiniest little crumb could cause him to go into anaphylaxis.

2)If a child has cancer or diabetes, you the parent teach your child how to handle their health challenge responsibly..But when it comes down to it, not a single other child in that school is responsible for your child’s health. Nor is their parent. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Comparing food allergies to cancer and diabetes? COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Cancer and Diabetes are horrible and I sympathize with the parents of a child with those conditions. Yes, their children can die from those conditions just like mine could from his food allergy. However, a single bite of a piece of food isn’t going to immediately put their life at risk like it does for children with food allergies. And, I’m not asking the other children and parents be responsible for my child’s health. Obviously my child and I are responsible for that. But, this is not just a “health” issue; it’s a life and death situation for my child.

3)As a parent of non-peanut allergy kids, I have just as much right, and I mean every single right, to feed my children healthy peanut proteins, for every meal, if they will eat it, if I so choose…It is not disrespectful as a fit and healthy parent, to feed my child peanut foods in their lunches and/or snacks…Do you see what I am saying? Our children are equal. As parents we each have equal right to feed our children what we believe is the right food for our children…Districts: Our schools in this country are about equality – that means across the board. You can’t take away from the majority (and at their expense) to give to a few. First, I understand you wanting to feed your children healthy foods that will sustain them throughout the day and give them energy. I feel the same way. However, there are many other protein packed foods you can give your child that are nut free. Second, this is not about equality. It’s not about saying one child has more rights than another. You want to talk about equality though? Ok. Is it right that my child be forced to sit at a “special” lunch table away from all of his friends because he has a food allergy and the school is not nut free? Is it fair that he can’t eat special treats brought into the classroom by parents for birthday parties and celebrations because they contain nuts? Is that equality? No, it’s not. So, please don’t make this an equality issue because that can go both ways.

4)If a picky child will eat peanut butter on English muffins for breakfast, and PB & J for lunch with peanut butter on celery and down only trail mix with nuts in it, logically, for this child’s parent, including peanut foods isn’t an option – it’s a must…When it comes to peanut free schools and this picky eater, this means the district is placing more value on the peanut allergy child’s health and education than that of the picky eater. I completely understand having a child who is a picky eater. I have one of my own. But, there are alternatives to peanut butter that taste just as good. In fact, if you don’t tell your child it’s not peanut butter, they may not even notice the difference. My son sure doesn’t notice. Here are some peanut butter alternatives for you: Sunbutter, Wowbutter, and Soy butter. As for statement about the district placing more value on the peanut allergy child’s health and education than that of the picky eater, this has nothing to do with their education. I’m not even sure why you brought that up. Second, you make it seem as if this is a healthy living life choice. It’s not. It’s an allergy that the child could die from. I can’t stress that enough.

5)In case of Point #2, what if my child’s physician said to pack every meal and snack with as much healthy protein as possible because that is what my child needs…Should my child in need of these healthy proteins go without and have their health suffer because your child’s body can’t handle peanuts? Should my child have to consume more types of other proteins to meet their dietary needs to accommodate your child’s dietary needs…Whose health is more important? There are plenty of other protein packed foods out there that your child could eat. Yes, I know you expressed your concern about too much dairy, but you don’t have to only give them dairy or nuts to get protein. Here are some nut free protein packed foods for you: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, swiss cheese, eggs, chicken breast, turkey breast, tuna, many kinds of beans, bean chips, green peas, protein shakes/smoothies, quinoa. There are many foods on this list you could pack your child for lunch. And I assure you, your child’s health won’t suffer from having one meal free of protein or from having protein in a different form than nuts. As for your statement about whose health is more important, this is not a competition. If it was though, I’m afraid I’d have to say my child’s health was because, again, HIS LIFE IS AT STAKE. Your child will not die from not eating protein at lunch, whereas, my child could die from being exposed to and ingesting nuts.

6)Kids have other food allergies too..If schools are going to eliminate peanuts, shouldn’t they have to eliminate eggs, dairy, strawberries and gluten too? Yes, kids do have other food allergies and these allergies can be life threatening as well. Honestly, I’m not sure why nut allergies are the ones more highly picked than the others. All children’s allergies are important. But, unfortunately, schools can’t ban all foods, like you said. I do know though that some allergies can be so severe that some children (and adults) can have an allergic reaction just from being in the same room as someone eating the food or inhaling it. And allergies can also be severe enough that if someone who has been eating an allergen product touches a child with that allergy, the oils can transfer to the skin and the child can have an allergic reaction just from being touched.

7)If your child has a limitation that is severe enough that it will impose high risk upon their health, or their learning, or upon that of others, the child should be homeschooled…Not a single other student should be accommodating for another child’s inability to meet basic expectations and requirements of being in a public, social environmentNo normal, healthy child should ever have to lower their bar of standards to accommodate another child’s inability to meet a ‘basic set bar of expectation.’…No normal, healthy child should ever have to remove from their diet foods that are healthy and beneficial to their growth and well-being simply because another child’s body cannot handle a specific food…No child (or adult for that matter) should ever have adults in position of leadership and high influence telling them that they may not have or do something that is healthy and beneficial to their growth, learning and well-being because they MUST accommodate for another child’s lack of health and well-being. In point #3 you talk about equality. Tell me, is there equality in a child having to be homeschooled instead of being able to attend public school just because they have a food allergy? You talk about “normal” students rights but forget that the children with food allergies have rights too. Homeschooling is a wonderful thing but it is not for everyone. Parents can’t just change their lifestyle, quit their jobs and stay home to homeschool their child because their child has a food allergy. It’s just not feasible. Homeschooling makes sense for some families but not for everyone. This is not the solution for children with food allergies.

You mention “No normal, healthy child should ever have to lower their bar of standards to accommodate another child’s inability to meet a ‘basic set bar of expectation.’” No one is talking about lowering a bar of standards here. It’s not about the child’s educational needs; it’s about their life. Restraining from eating specific foods at school does not lower the standards of the school.

You also say, “No normal, healthy child should ever have to remove from their diet foods that are healthy and beneficial to their growth and well-being simply because another child’s body cannot handle a specific food.” You speak as if you are being asked to remove peanuts from your child’s diet completely. That is not the case. It is for one meal a day and maybe a snack. That is it. You are free to provide your child with these foods outside of school all you want. No restrictions there.

Lastly, you say, “.. they MUST accommodate for another child’s lack of health and well-being.” May I remind you again, a food allergy is NOT A CHOICE. We are not choosing to eliminate these foods from our children’s diets because we don’t think they are healthy. It is because the food could cause a horrible allergic reaction, which could land them in the hospital and possibly cause death. It is not a “lack of health and well-being” as you claim.

 8) As parents we are the ones responsible for our children…While being part of a good community means we keep an eye out on our children’s friends and our neighbor’s, we are not responsible for them, or their ability to adapt, survive and thrive in life. Food allergy parents are not asking other parents to be responsible for our children. We are asking you to try and understand what our child(ren) go through and why it is important to keep certain foods away from our child(ren). We are also asking you to help create a safe environment for our children to be in; an environment where they can also be included in class activities and not excluded because they can’t eat certain foods. My son came home from school crying one day because they had a class party with candy and he couldn’t eat any of it because it contained nuts. You speak about being fair. Is that fair to my child? No, it’s not. So, this is what we are asking for: We are asking for a safe and inclusive environment for our children. We are not asking you to be responsible for our child.

9)…And even though said child eats nonstop (and healthily too), by school age they are still in a very low percentile for weight. This child has a special health need. Does that mean the school has to add whip cream to every food item for every child? No.How about those big kids who are growing fast and could eat three whole pizzas in a day and still be hungry? Peanuts, granola bars and peanut butter are so healthy for these kids to eat. Especially the ones who are athletes. Why does their health have to suffer because one or two kids can’t handle peanuts? That is not fair. My son not only has food allergies and asthma, he is also very small for his age and only in the 5th percentile for weight. So, as you mentioned, we try to give him foods that are healthy and will help him grow. BUT, I don’t consider this a special health need. Nor do I consider a bigger child “who could eat three whole pizzas in one day and still be hungry” a special health need. This is just how children grow. Yes, those children could use extra protein in their diet.  But, as I mentioned above, not having nuts in ONE MEAL in their day isn’t going to hinder their growth or health. And, again, there are plenty of other protein packed foods that they can eat for lunch to fill this need. And, it’s not just “one or two kids.” More and more children are developing food allergies now than ever before.

10 Athletes in high school are always hungry. Granola bars or trail mix with nuts are an excellent way for an athlete to fill their stomach with a healthy and energizing snack while dashing from one end of the school to the other between classes…If our athletes are going to perform well (in which sporting events bring in good money for many schools), they need to be able to eat what they need to when they need to. Peanut foods at lunchtime are great for fueling up for after school practice or while recovering from last night’s game (breakfast).                    I agree that athletes do need protein rich foods to help them perform better. But, they also need foods rich in good carbs. There are plenty of foods that are packed with both protein and carbs that are free of nuts and would be easy for them to eat in between classes or at lunch time. For example, cheese sticks, nut free protein bars(Avalanche nut free bars), nut free granola, sunflower seeds, nut free trail mix, apples, oranges, berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries), bananas, dried fruit, raisins, pasta, bread, protein shakes/smoothies.

 11)…It is not a single other person’s responsibility to play your cards for you nor should society have to change the rules for everyone else to accommodate your inability to adapt and play as everyone else does…I realize that for parents of kids with peanut allergies you live in fear and worry every day that your child will be ok. Sadly, in our day, we have bigger things to worry about like kids bringing guns to school and the facts that our typical college education puts our children tens of thousands of dollars in debt with no guarantee of getting a decent job. The majority of adults in our country are obese and unhealthy and it’s trickling down to younger generations…The thing is, you have a choice, to live each day in fear and worry or to learn how to deal with your fears in healthy ways…Making school districts, other parents and kids accommodate this peanut allergy issue is teaching all these other children that just because your child has a special need, they don’t have a right to enjoy healthy foods their bodies will benefit from…It means we are teaching some kids to be entitled due to their health issues because of their (and their parents) inability and unwillingness to adapt and thrive while teaching the rest of the kids they have to bend over backwards to accommodate every single person who isn’t healthy or who has a ‘special need.’…You are telling them it is okay for the different kid to receive special treatment and not them. In fact, you are telling them they can no longer have a normal healthy food and at the same time another kid will receive special treatment because they are not normal..Again, this is teaching our normal healthy children that their natural rights have to be set aside for a select few who have a special need…It is the same with obesity. Some kids have health issues yet we allow them to not have to meet basic health requirements in physical education or sports and then look at our society. There are more obese adults than healthy and fit adults in our country. There are so many different statements in this point that I don’t even know where to start…

First, you say, “It is not a single other person’s responsibility to play your cards for you nor should society have to change the rules for everyone else to accommodate your inability to adapt and play as everyone else does.            This doesn’t make sense when it comes to a food allergy. It’s not as if children (or adults) with a food allergy have a choice on whether or not they can “adapt and play as everyone else does.” THEY SIMPLY CANNOT. A FOOD ALLERGY IS NOT A CHOICE. It’s not as if children with food allergies and their parents can just make the choice to not have that allergy anymore and eat the food. It doesn’t work that way.

Second, how can you say that a college students loan debt is more worrisome than a child’s life? Yes, college debt is a horrible thing. Been there, done that. But my child’s life is more important than if a college student has to pay off a loan or not. Everyone has college debt. It’s just a part of life.

Third, you refer to obesity more than once in this point and also about living a healthy lifestyle. That has nothing to do with food allergies. Living a healthy lifestyle is a CHOICE. A food allergy is NOT A CHOICE.

Fourth, you also said, “It means we are teaching some kids to be entitled due to their health issues because of their (and their parents) inability and unwillingness to adapt and thrive while teaching the rest of the kids they have to bend over backwards to accommodate every single person who isn’t healthy or who has a ‘special need.'”              Having a life threatening food allergy and asking others to refrain from eating those foods around the child with the allergy, has nothing to do with entitlement. Do you think it makes my child feel “entitled” when they have to sit at a separate table from their friends at a school that is not nut free? Do you think my child feels “entitled” when they are excluded from eating party treats at a class party/event or at a birthday party because those treats have nuts in them? I can tell you it’s the exact opposite. As I said in point #8, food allergy parents strive to help our children feel INCLUDED and not EXCLUDED. Our children are not entitled to anything just because a school decides to be nut free.

Fifth, as far as your statements concerning children who do not have a food allergy not being able to “have a normal healthy food” and how you feel “this is teaching our normal healthy children that their natural rights have to be set aside for a select few who have a special need,”  this is just not the case. My son’s friends are fully aware of his food allergy and are great about it. One of them even told his mother before we went to their house for a play date to make sure there weren’t any nuts around because my son couldn’t eat them. He said it out of concern for his friend. This is not a child who feels he is having his rights to eat nuts denied for my son. And I know other children and adults who feel the same way. They are concerned for the safety of the food allergy child. They do not at all feel like their “natural rights have to be set aside for a select few.” And, on that note, it is not just a “select few.” More and more children have food allergies. And, lastly, as I mentioned earlier, your children are not being told they cannot eat this food all the time. They are just being asked to refrain from having it at school. That is it.

12)Someday your peanut allergy child will leave the house and go out into the world. Here is the reality…Life folks, is not peanut free…The sooner you the parent and your peanut allergy child face this and begin to figure out how to adjust to life as it is, the better. For everyone. And your figuring out how to thrive – it can’t come at the expense of other’s rights to continue living healthily. Yes, of course life is not peanut (or tree nut) free. I completely understand that. And, I also agree that it is my job to teach my child how to manage his allergy. However, my son is only four and a half years old. He knows what foods he is allergic to, but he is not old enough to manage his allergy himself and he won’t be for many more years yet. Therefore, it is my job as his parent to do all I can to manage it for him and control the environment around him as much as possible to ensure his safety. That is how it is for all food allergy parents. School administrations realize this and that is why they determine some schools should be nut free. And, it’s not “at the expense of other’s rights to continue living healthily.” As I’ve said a couple of times already, not having nuts for one meal a day isn’t going to harm your child. They can still live a healthy lifestyle and eat other healthy foods. They can also eat peanuts at other times of the day. But, not having them at school is a small price to pay in order to potentially save the life of a child with a food allergy. After all, isn’t a child’s life more important than food?

    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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140 Responses to "To the woman who thinks peanut free schools are not ok – From the mother of a child with a severe nut allergy"

The woman who wrote that original blog entry is so gross and ignorant.

Since the coward is deleting comments on her blog, here is repost of what I wrote in response on her blog:

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I’m quite disgusted you refer to non-allergic children as ‘normal’, and saying that not being allowed to have peanut proteins is putting them on the same level as ‘us’ aka, ‘lowering the bar’. How disgusting.

I have been living with my life-threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts for 34 years. Yes, I have learned to adapt and navigate the world with my disability. But the lack of compassion and understanding from individuals like yourself have made that journey all the more difficult and discouraging. Because our lives have less value to you than some peanuts.

Would your child really die if he couldn’t have precious peanut proteins at school? When away from school he can have them all he wants in your home and at restaurants and more? Is that 6 hours a day really impossible for your child to survive without a few peanuts? I tell you, for people like us, that 6 hours a day could possibly lead to our deaths IF peanut proteins are involved.

You obviously don’t know much about allergens. People can be allergic to egg, but egg doesn’t have ‘protein dust’ so to speak. People eat peanuts, and it’s proteins are released into the air, and coats everything around it. It gets grinded into carpets, residue gets left on tables and clothing, etc. So just being around people in an enclosed area where nuts are available and open can cause an immediate reaction either through touch or smell. The child doesn’t even have to ingest it. Let me guess, you’re the same person who throws a fit when the airline doesn’t serve peanuts for the couple of hours of flight I’m onboard. Because your right to eat a handful of peanuts trumps my right to have a safe environment for flight.

No one is asking you to give up eating nuts forever.

You talk about equality, but in the same article you say we should consider homeschooling for us ‘freaks’ . Where are our equal rights to attend any school we want, and feel safe? Where are my rights to fly the friendly skies and feel safe?

And you act like peanuts are the only healthy thing out there, and the whole Football Team is going to starve without their peanuts. Your arguments are absolutely ridiculous! There are tons of healthy things non-allergic children can eat during their short time at school. Your kid is not going to starve if he can’t have peanuts while at school. If the only thing your kid will eat is peanuts and that’s the only thing that you can pack for him for school lunch, then it sounds like *your* child is the special one.

You are also a coward for deleting all the comments you received. If you are going to post such ignorant essays about others, then you should be prepared for any comments you receive- whether positive or negative.

Its funny, I have a life threating condition to Capsaicin , I have an even tricker time than most with other food allergies. What is Capsaicin, it the chemical that makes peppers hot. Think about how much people use hot sauce, and hell even sloppy joes and KD have it in it. Is it fair that I can’t eat 80% of the food out there? NO! but no one cares, all I ever get is OH there’s not that much it won’t hurt you, so I know what it feels like to know, but me being me I say no thank you even a tiny drop will do me in! I’m also a chef by trade so I make food my life. I prepare all my own foods and even bring meals with me where ever I go, because I know people don’t know what to look for on labels.

I DO NOT think that anyone needs to accommodate my allergy, I have had to learn about how to deal and navigate the world. I do not think that schools should just ban one food and not another. Nut allergies and a Legume allergy (Peanut Allergy) can be bad reactions, But so can a whole lot of others.

I understand that parents just want to do whats good for there kids and As I do, you fight tooth and nail for their safety. There is no one I expect to do this other than myself and my wife.

Is life fair NO! Is life just NO!

The real issue here is, if a school is going to ban certain foods from its walls, they need to be providing the food! Or they need to accommodate all by either have a Allergy free Lunch room, or by having the opposite for kids that just need to eat the stuff.

The real problem is the tactics the schools make are there for laziness and cost cutting. They know it will cause problems between some parents. What all Parents should be doing is instead of fighting over semantics, is join and fight the schools and make the school make an actual even decision. They need to provide for all kids and not just one group! That is why the anger is there! Your peanut allergy is not worse or better than mine, or some one with shell fish allergy, or heck my brother who is allergic to SOYA! Think about that. Join together instead of fighting each other. Fight the Schools as a whole group not a divided one!

There are more severe reactions than anaphylaxis, yes it is severe, but it is mostly controlled by epinephrine. Try having a severe celiac reaction (Not to Gluten) If I eat something I’m not supposed to I have 13 mins to get to the hospital! otherwise I will die of dehydration. Its rare but its out there! My allergy is to Capsaicin its in nearly 80% of food if not more. A hot pepper will kill me! A bite of Kraft dinner or Sloppy Joe will do the same, and sadly enough all take out will do the same. The real problem is how schools are supervising and keeping the proper meds on hand for such events!

Unfortunately, an epi-pen is not a cure all for anaphylaxis. A person can still die from the reaction even after epinephrine has been administered. But, yes, schools also need to take proper action.

Well yes you are correct, and you also have to watch for a repeat episode after they have seemed to get better. Most people don’t realize that it can reoccur hours and even in some cases days later. Knowing this and knowing my own allergies, I still think they need to ban all or none at all. It is the only FAIR way. The way schools deal with the allergy problem is the problem! Look at these, they deal with the peanut allergy.
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25917272

http://www.dundee.ac.uk/research/main/news/20110301135524/778.html

EVERYTHING you hit on is what make non-allergic parents angry….why can you have a ban for your ONE thing and yet Johnny down the way is anaphylactic to Soya and Ben to Strawberries etc etc etc…
It is about EDUCATING the child from the very onset. Not bubbling them so they have no idea about the hazards. Kind of like crossing a one way street…regardless we teach our children to look both ways JUST in case. Children need to watch out for their own safety and have other parents and peers have their back.
The only ignorant people are the ones expecting their child’s allergen be managed by those around them instead of making the child accountable from the start. People would be much more apt to be willing to not send PB if they knew a child in the class was allergic but if it does come to school precautions are in place and not extreme avoidance.

EXACTLY. Thank you. It’s like ONLY peanut allergies exist and are the only allergy that matters!!! What’s next???No lunches or snacks at school at all? Because if we eliminate wheat, dairy, eggs, seafood, strawberries, kiwi, capsaicin, nitrates, and nuts there isn’t much left. If it’s such a severe allergy that your child can’t manage, then it seems like homeschooling is the answer.

I left a winded response to the ladies blog as well, ofcourse it was deleted as well. Here is what I wrote. Apologies, I have a bit of a potty mouth…

Lets weigh the pro’s and con’s.

– Your kid gets his/her favorite PB&J for lunch;
– – At the expense of risking another child’s life, as tiny a chance as it may be.
– – Seems legit.

– You say “Society should not have to conform to your child’s needs”
– – Let’s do away with wheelchair ramps, special education classes, homes for the elderly…lets re-adjust the laws to disallow same sex marriage again, because we shouldn’t have adjusted society to conform to the rights and well-being of those around us.

– You say “It’s the parents responsibility to educate their children to the risks of their allergies, and show them that they need to go through life under the assumption that it is their responsibility and theirs alone”
– – Sure, in adulthood, in most aspects of life, this is the case. But in the case of children, never assume. Both of my girls (5 and 7) have been educated by us over the years, the oldest has a POSSIBLE nut allergy, inherited from me. Both will diligently ask if any given food or treat has nuts, before accepting it. But you put a random treat in front of them, with or without nuts, once a day for a month. I’m willing to bet they might slip up, maybe once a week, or once a month, once a decade. When they do, I’ll be sure to tell the wife that we lost/possibly lost one of the only important parts of our life, a child, because of this selfish wiman on the internet who convinced society that her kid’s survival was solely dependent on his/her lunch-time intake of *InsertAllergyFoodHere*.

Keep your nuts at home.

I read this article and was outright appalled. My son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. I am so glad someone with knowledge and well versed in writing responded. I cant believe there are people whom are so ignorant. Food allergy can result in DEATH and it is not an choice !!
Thank you for your response to “her” article.
-Angel

I agree. Thanks for your comment.

I grew up with a peanut free policy in school until I got into high school, they thought the students were old enough to handle their own medical needs.

That makes sense. High schoolers are old enough to handle it. Elementary students need help managing their allergy.

Judging by the fact that this woman said her children are picky eaters and she packs their lunch for them, she was talking about elementary aged children. Who ACTUALLY don’t know the severity of a peanut allergy. I mean SHE doesn’t grasp the concept, but she thinks people with children of peanut allergies should trust that all the other 5 year olds in the class will know not to share food/share hugs/touch hands with other little people who aren’t that great at hand washing and still tend to put their fingers in their mouths… She’s absurd. Absolutely absurd.

Not any more, the peanut ban continues into high school now (at least where I’m from)

Here’s the crux of it: she’s arguing that it’s more inconvenient for her to change one meal a day for her child over your child’s life. Plain and simple. No care for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects kids with severe allergies in situations like this. No care that her whim or desire for nuts in her kids lunch is somehow more important than the well being of another life.

No one is forcing her to never feed her child nuts. She just can’t take nuts into school. You can’t take guns or knives either – not because the will hurt someone, but because they very likely could. And the risk/harm is so drastically greater than the inconvenience that any argument against it is selfish and harmful

I teach at a school and banning any one food is not the answer. We have students with life-threatening allergies to peanuts, seafood, strawberries, and kiwi. These are just the ones that I know of. Do we ban them all?

I’m with Anita on this one. I have a serious allergy to shellfish and seafood. Did that stop anyone from bringing those foods in? From eating them in front of me? From having to skip meals because it was the only option? No. I learned to adapt and overcome. I learned for my safety to eat alone or with friends who understood they couldn’t have those foods near me.

Those “skills” learned in school have helped me in life after school. Because I learned to tell people about my allergies and work around them I now worry less when at a work function where they are serving shellfish or seafood. I know my co-workers have my back. They help me skip out to bring my own meal in or help me piece together enough food that is seafood/shellfish free so I can eat until I get a chance to go get my own food.

Really banning one food doesn’t solve the problem. Ban them all or better yet educate and supervise. There are many ways to work together around this issue.

This is not the same thing. An allergy to strawberries and an allergy to nuts are vastly different. But let’s say in the off chance that there’s a child at the school that goes into anaphylaxic shock from the smell of strawberries. Then ya, I would hope the school would ban strawberries. Because there’s literally hundreds of other foods children can eat instead of strawberries that wouldn’t kill that strawberry allergic kid.

I have to homeschool our daughter because of her symptoms of Autism……again…NOT HER CHOICE! She would be disruptive to the class and I am against integration of these kids into schools where it puts pressure on everyone, including teacher, involved. Fish allergy was my life threatening issue as a child and no one catered to me at all. If I want my daughter to go to a formal school, she has to be placed in a school that caters to her needs. The same should be done for children with food allergies….there are enough children with these issues to entertain the idea. EVERY child has the right to an education but NOT at the expense of other children’s ability to learn and if some children will ONLY eat peanut butter at lunch or the lunch comes back home uneaten…..that’s disruptive. I will not send my child to school until she can understand that there are rules to follow. If my child was being bullied, I would also homeschool. Bottom line….if your child if, in any way, a disruption to the regular school day……homeschool. Why is that so hard………..I’m doing it?! Isn’t your child’s life worth more than that second paycheck? We live on a pittance so I don’t entertain complaints about lack of money. This has become a tiresome back and forth for years………I’m so glad I keep my child at home.

Thank you. Someone gets it. I get the original ladies point with feeling like the non peanut allergy students are the ones giving up a lot of things to accommodate for those who have a nut allergy. Well, how about those who have other life threatening allergies. Do those parents of the nut allergens send fish and strawberries and kiwi to the school when there are other kids allergic? My daughter was highly allergic to strawberries as were a couple of other children and not once did they stop from allowing them to come into the school. Equal rights…I think not. If nuts are banned so should everything else. Then maybe they would see that it isn’t fair. Supervision is the key, adaptation is also the key for EVERYONE. Just my food for thought!!!

I AGREE!!!!

The difference between seafood, strawberries, etc and nuts is that nuts have a dust on them that when you open a bag or can, it can get every where. This is part of the issue. Bringing a tub of strawberries to school and eating it is not harmful because when you open it there is no strawberry dust. My son besides nuts has other food allergies but nuts are the ones that because of the dust and oils they contain that I have to be super religious about.

Yes. The elementary schools where I live send a list home of the severe allergies children in the class have. None of these items are to be brought to school. My children don’t have any known allergies but I support this because it would break my heart to explain to them why they will never see their friend again.

really comparing peanuts to guns. No wonder the world is in such a state

Unfortunately, it is true. Peanuts are like a loaded gun for an allergy parent. It can kill. Peanuts are a weapon. Bringing nuts to school is like having a loaded gun pointed at your child. Thats just the reality of it.

I know, she’s really stupid and selfish, isn’t she? No concept of the fact that other people have rights, too. It just goes right over her head because she’s so stupid and selfish.

What I have trouble swallowing is the authority that ignorant people use when speaking to the public. Then, when we speak, folks think we are the crazy ones? To you #6 point, we focus on a lot on peanuts and tree nuts since statistically speaking, most of the fatalities involve nuts. Hence, why extra precautions need to be taken, but anaphylaxis isn’t choosey either. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about “that” article, which is a fine example of why we all are all fighting the good fight in our own personal ways. Keep up the good work!

Let me offer a bit of a middle of the road perspective- because, though she is awful at saying it, there is one point she makes that I absolutely agree with.

I do not think of allergy-free kids as normal and allergic kids as abnormal, and all certainly have rights to a safe education environment. However, to make your child’s safety the responsibility of other parents isn’t just unfair, it’s dangerous. This comes from a well-meaning, scatter-brained mama of 3 who has the best intentions. We have a number of close friends with severe peanut allergy. When they come over for playdates and dinners I do my darndest to avoid nuts in everything I buy and cook. But there have been a handful of times that my friend has (kindly, and non-judgementally) pointed out to me that I missed something and indeed there it is, the item that could have killed her son. Once it was the sprinkles on a cupcake (who knew?!). When your child gets diagnosed with these allergies you enter a whole new world of hypervigilance- it must be terrifying and exhausting. Because my family does not live with allergies everyday, it is very difficult to put myself in that same mindset and, despite my best intentions, I just plain forget. And, like the blogger said, in a world where there are so many other important things to worry about, it is difficult to make this priority 1. For example my “distractions” right now are my husband’s multiple sclerosis, the kid that is bullying my kindergartener on the bus, my newborn baby’s reflux and kidney problems, my oldest daughter’s anxiety that is keeping her from functioning everyday and sleeping at night. Add in the fact that I haven’t slept more than 3 hrs a night in 3 months and very easily a mistake can be made where I forget to check the packaging and send my child to school with mini muffins that contain nuts. And I am a WELL-MEANING parent on this issue- imagine the ones out there like this blogger or those who just don’t give a crap and are going to balk at the rules regardless.

Unfortunately you must require every parent to be 100% focused on the allergy issue if you want your child’s school to be 100% nut safe. Because god forbid the school is a nut-free school and a parent brings in a birthday treat and you allow your child to partake because, hey, it’s supposed to be nut-free. The next thing you know your child is rushed to the emergency room because birthday child’s grandma went shopping for the treat and didn’t know any better, or mom used the peanut butter knife to spread the frosting onto the birthday treats (not realizing exposure), or any one of any number of scenarios. Say that your child tragically dies from this exposure- do you hold that other parent or the school accountable for the death? It is very scary to me to think that I could be liable (not to mention morally responsible and haunted for life) for the death of a child by peanuts.

I think the truth actually is that, whether or not the school is 100% nut free, most of you nut allergy parents would not take the chance. You would have your child bring and consume only food that you approve, for all occasions. Because you cannot fully trust others and your child’s life is just too precious to gamble with. It is not fair, but it is your cross to bear. It is your child’s “special need” and it has to be dealt with in a special way. With special foods and special tables for sitting at at lunch. And a lot of education and vigilance on your part so that, one day, your child will be able to take care of his or her own special need and be part of the world in an unrestricted way.

Thank you for your comments. I can see your point. I do not want any other parent to be responsible for my child. It is my responsibility. I agree on that. I’m not sure what other allergy parents do, but when we go to someone else’s house for dinner or a party, etc. I do ask them to do their best at nut free, but I don’t expect perfection. I am aware it is hard on the other side. Therefore, I usually bring my own food for my son so that I don’t have to put that burden on others. Allergy parents try to create as safe an environment for our children as possible because even the tiniest bit of food can cause a reaction. That is why we are so vigilant and do what we do. And, even nut free schools have their limits. My son was at a nut free school last year and even with that, parents still brought in snacks that were not completely nut free. So, there is no perfect solution. And I definitely do need to teach my child how to manage his allergy but he is only 4 1/2 right now, so he is not old enough to do that yet.

This is also my understanding. While the other post was reprehensible and ablist, the only sort- of point she managed to make is that one day the child would leave school. I think it’s appropriate in a preschool environment to strive for nut free, in part due to the higher ratio of adults to students. They usually help unpack their lunch and can discard of something they identify as problematic. I don’t know that nut-free is necessarily evidence-based once their older. If only because you will have parents forget, you’ll have grandma occassionally packing lunch, and then you’ll get people like the lady who wrote the other blog post trying to make a point. It could create a false sense of security. I’m used to packing my son’s lunch without peanuts, and we use the school-safe prepackaged snacks, but I worry.

Just have to add, she was not attacking anyone, She is providing her point of view. I don’t get why the person that wrote the original article is a bad person! She just wrote exactly what you wrote! Why is she bad and your not? Take the middle of the road approach. You need to understand both sides! There are a lot of false things about peanut allergies out there! That a lot of people say and it makes only the points of the allergic side look bad. The real issue is where are the epi pens kept, I know in the school here they are kept in the principals office in a locked cabinet. There is your problem right there! It should be on the at all times not far away! That’s why there are many issues with just one food, that is the point she was saying. Is what you do to one, you do to all. (Just so you know, Strawberries, Shell Fish and Kiwi’s are just as bad as peanut allergies!)

Thank you I am allergic to both seafood and some different types of fruit to the point that if someone touches strawberry/kiwi juice and touches me I break out into a rash I am also highly scent sensitive so school was hell for me Im 20 and still have problems in day to day life with it

My son is allergic to shellfish as well.

What?? I’m sorry, I have ADHD and I’m sort of KNOWN for my scatterbrained-ness… I have not written a timely thank you card EVER in my life… but if someone with severe allergies was coming over to eat food I was going to make for them… YEEEEAH I’d make sure it didn’t contain ingredients that would kill them. *side eye*

Great response! Despite how common food allergies are especially now, it is crazy to me how much ignorance still exists. It empowers me to continue to expose this and try to replace as much as possible by educating. I loved this post and look forward reading more.😄

Here is my reply to the other blogger.

My guess is that you won’t be posting my comments to your blog but wanted to let you know that your article struck a chord with me! I am a parent to 5 healthy kids. Three of the 5 were diagnosed with peanut and tree nut allergies. One of the 3 has outgrown his allergies, a VERY rare feat, and one we are very grateful for. We are hopeful that our youngest will outgrow his as well. Unfortunately for our almost 11 year old daughter, she will never outgrow hers. In addition to peanuts & tree nuts, she’s also allergic to ALL beans (legumes), peas, some fish and GELATIN! The Gelatin allergy is so severe that it sent her tiny, then 5 year old body, into anaphylactic shock! Unfortunately it was an allergy we did not know she had until she was fighting to stay alive. Do you know what caused her reaction?! It was her vaccines! The Vaccines had an almost lethal amount of gelatin in them and her tiny body could not handle it. Her own body turned against her and was trying to kill her! As a parent, witnessing this is by far the worst and hardest thing to deal with emotionally and psychologically! You feel helpless as your child is struggling to breathe while giving you the look of death! I am thankful I was there. The scary part is what will happen when I’m not there, like at school??
Thankfully my daughter is learning to be her own advocate and her friends also look out for her. Now, thanks to you I was just reminded that there are ignorant, selfish and down right uncaring people like you still out there! Worst yet, you are raising your children to think the same way! My daughter’s peanut/nut allergy is severe! It IS life threatening! Your child will NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT die because he couldn’t have a PB& J sandwich or peanut snack for lunch! My children and many others like them CAN die from accidentally coming in contact with a peanut or nut containing allergen! This is not to emphasize that other allergies don’t matter, they do! However, those allergens don’t usually have tiny particles that can be breathed in or cause a reaction by contact alone.
I’m appalled that you had the nerve to compare an allergic child to a child who is a picky eater! That comment alone shows ignorance on your part! Our children are not choosing to forgo eating peanuts /tree nuts. They CANNOT have them because they are ALLERGIC to them!
I encourage you to visit an allergist and have a one on one discussion about food allergies, namely peanut/tree nuts and let them explain to you how reactions work. Short of that, google it! It’s very easy! I’m hopeful it’ll open your eyes. Furthermore, once you’ve done some research, I’d like to see you humble yourself and write an apologetic or at the very least an empathetic article about how wrong you were in your understanding of food allergies and how you actually value our kids’ lives as much as you value your own kids’ lives.
Again, thank you for the stark reminder that if my child has a severe reaction at school because someone with your same attitude and or mentality decided that her child’s wants outweighed my child’s needs, I will have to trust that her “buddy” notices that something is wrong, get her to the nurse RIGHT AWAY and pray they don’t get stopped by an authoritative adult who demands to know why they are running in the hall way, AND get her her EpiPen and pray that it works. Having her EpiPenned means the school calls 911, my child gets taken to the nearest hospital, which by the way, DOES NOT have a pediatric ward or Pediatric ER physician on staff and goes to the hospital by herself with NO ONE there who knows her, to advocate for her. I get to be the recipient of that dreaded phone call, drive myself to her, pray the entire way there that my daughter is ok and hope to arrive at said hospital and find my daughter ALIVE!
Is that going to be your child being rushed to the ER because he’s having a reaction to NOT seeing his beloved peanuts/tree nut packed lunch? NO!! It is not!

Sorry, I agree with the first mom. Peanut free schools are not ok. Because where do we draw the line? Next it’s shellfish, then all seafood, then milk, etc. Children will have allergies and so do adults. Are we going to ban all peanut products at work places, too? The peanut free tables are a reasonable solution.
US moms, we want to protect out children. But you can’t just go around trying to eliminate all hazards.in your child’s way, in an attempt to bubble wrap them in a safe environment. We all have hazards. We try to teach them to look both ways crossing the street, to buckle up in the car, to avoid drugs and alcohol, and to wear helmets on bicycles. When we aren’t there, we have to trust that they are still listening. Children with allergies do need to know about protecting themselves, because the wide world is full of things that can harm them.
I understand that you want your child safe, but I need to feed my children, too. I have a son with autism who is very picky about foods. He gets his lunches at school and probably 90% of the time, he chooses the PB&J sandwich. So should he go hungry if they stop offering them? His food choices are very limited. So I will strive to defend my son, just as hard as you strive to protect your child. After all, that is what parents do.

We all strive to do what’s best for our children. Unfortunately, there isn’t a solution that is perfect for everyone.

I agree. Second mom states that it isn’t “fair” that her kid should have to eat lunch at a special table. Oh well. It’s what has to be done to KEEP HIM ALIVE as she likes to point out.
Her kid came home crying because he couldn’t have a sucker at school? Oh well. It’s what has to be done to KEEP HIM ALIVE.
It’s never too early to learn that life isn’t fair, you don’t always get what you want, and sometimes things suck. This whole “everyone should accommodate my every need” mentality is why we are raising a generation of whiners and entitled little brats.
I’m feel for you and the difficulty these types of allergies present. I really do. And before you say it again, I get that your child could die. So that’s a very good reason to start teaching your kid to manage his condition very early on.
What happens when you go to the grocery store and the kid before yours was eating a peanut butter cookie sitting in the buggy?? A kid sitting in the booth before you at the diner ate a PB&J and touched under the table? Peanut free school creates a false sense of security. Dangers are lurking everywhere.

No, life is not fair. You are right about that. I get it. My son and I have to make sacrifices every day to keep him safe. My son knows what foods he cannot eat but he is only four and a half so he doesn’t fully understand the severity of his allergies. I see the point you are trying to make but it is easy for you to say it’s not a big deal for him to not have a lollipop if that’s what keeps him alive. But to a young child it is a big deal. To him it feels like he is being left out of something all his classmates can have and he is the only one who can’t. He feels excluded. As a mom it breaks my heart to see my son feel that way. It’s difficult when he can’t fully understand yet. Yes I educate him on his allergies but until he is old enough to manage them on his own I have to go to bat for him and do what I can to keep him safe. That is part of the reason why there are nut free schools and classrooms.

Interesting point of view but I respectfully disagree. Peanut butter is cheap and most kids enjoy the taste. It’s an easy, fast lunch. I don’t recall (having three kids in school) ever seeing shellfish packed for lunch. But if it was commonplace among young children, and there was a child with a physician diagnosed allergy, I would support a ban. Especially if the allergy could be triggered by protein dust (scent).

Kids will not go hungry from limited food choices, but a child CAN DIE from a parent’s ignorance on the issue. I’m sorry you have a picky eater, I know what that’s like, but to compare the two does not help your argument.

As for children having to learn how to protect themselves..of course they do, and will. Keeping them safe during the younger years is necessary because, sadly, so many parents feel one pb&j lunch is a fair trade off for anaphylaxis. A very sad world we live in.

Thank you for your thoughts and comments.

I agree. I started homeschooling my kid in part due to the district’s over-reaching food policies. He was one of those whi would only eat PB sandwiches for lunch. He was only in the 4th percentile for weight while being 90% in height. I couldn’t afford to sacrifice even one meal. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise…. We love homeschooling! So I do understand how hard it can be to have to bend over backward to do the best for your kid. But it would be nice if we could compromise instead of stepping on other people’s toes (or pushing kids out of school). I would gladly send him to a peanut friendly room for lunch so your kid doesn’t have to be banned from the cafeteria. But please don’t fight to take away our options altogether. We all have struggles and don’t need things to be made harder.

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate the kind way you made your suggestions. Hopefully schools and parents can find some happy medium that works better. It is a hard situation.

It disturbs me that such ignorance has such a public platform. She needs to educate herself. She appears to speak with authority on morality, equality and common sense-yet nothing she wrote is filled with misinformation, discrimination and reflects a warped moral compass. Sge does have persuasive writing style. She is a bully, wearing the mask of “I’m a mom”. Life usually hands these people a “challenge” sooner than later. These black and white “I’m so sure I have all the answers” people usually are shown how wrong they are.

*All comments have been deleted due to the alarming number of adults whose responses qualify as bullying and trolling. It is unfortunate for those who were contributing to open conversation maturely and truly striving to provide real information and resources for all readers to benefit from.*

Well, mine hasn’t been deleted yet, though I’m sure it will be, this woman obviously isn’t willing to listen to anything other than her own selfish thoughts. So I too, will post here what I posted there…before it is deleted.

“If it were your child, I know you’d feel differently. Further, if your child’s absolute need for peanuts at a school full of other children were to kill a child, imagine what you would have done to your own child. Your child doesn’t live at school, s/he can eat all the peanuts s/he wants when elsewhere. Your, and your child’s, rights extend only as far as they don’t infringe on others’ right to live. Do you think peanuts are your only source of protein? How bout you teach your child the value of some protein packed veggies…better yet, how bout you teach your child that his/her “needs” aren’t the be-all-end-all…in other words, teach them to be less selfish than their parent(s).”

I wish you and your child love and luck ❤

Banning peanuts still does not solve the problem of the wide variety of other food allergies. We have two children and our elementary school that are allergic to seafood. We also have one that is allergic to strawberries and kiwi. Do we ban everything?

It is a hard situation. Besides being allergic to nuts, my son is also allergic to sesame and shellfish. Every day is scary because anyone could have something with one of those allergens in it for lunch.
If there is a way to make it even a little easier, I’ll take it. Nut free schools allow for that. But, nothing is foolproof and there is no way to ban against all allergies. You are right on that.

Exactly…nobody’s needs are the be all end all! Not even the the people with allergies…

Very well responded. The author of the other post is so ignorant, selfish and authoritative. I don’t understand what makes her this. I hope she understands the fact that the tide can turn and it can be her sitting on the other side of the aisle. Hope some selfish narcissist comes along to tell her the same points..

i commend you for having enough patience to address this psycho. If I ever met her I would have to be restrained not to punch her in the face. I too have a son with many food allergies fortunately for us none that cause anaphylaxis YET. This is his first year in public school and our school is accommodating. It is shocking to me that there are people that are so selfish and ignorant that can’t understand that a child’s life is At stake and this has nothing to do with choices and healthy eating this is life and death. I am sure she won’t take the time to read your blog although she could learn a few things. I feel bad for her children actually and what she’s teaching them. She’s teaching them only their life matters and it doesn’t matter that their behaviors are putting others lives at risk. I pray for you and your family that your child grows out of his allergies. I share your struggles and hope one day we can live in a world that our children can eat whatever they want whenever they want where ever they want

Thank you for your comments and kind words. I am glad your child’s allergies are not ana. I pray they stay that way.

I am a nursery manager in the UK where schools and nurseries have been nut free for years. However some people just do not understand how nut allergies work and that they are very different from other allergies. I had a case in my nursery where a teacher ate nuts in her house on her lunch break, came back, washed hands, went into the baby room, cuddled a child who had an immediate reaction and had to have her EpiPen administered and went to hospital. Why? Probably tiny bits of nuts on her skin.

Shame that I know the person who originally posted that article will be too arrogant and set in her ways to educate herself about what she is saying. This people will always be ignorant..

Thanks for your comments! It is hard for people to understand sometimes if they do not have a child with a food allergy or know of anyone with a food allergy. They just don’t realize how severe it is.

I agree with the original author of the blog, and you proved my point with out me having to type out a long story. Your example of the contact allergy. So now my child can’t have nuts at home for breakfast Monday to Friday because some other child might have an allergy that severe, so you are now telling me what i can and cannot feed my child at home.

And what about the poor families who are barely scraping a living and having to use food banks to get by, Peanut butter is a staple at a food bank. So those children’s lives are less important than the allergy child. Starving a child because their family is poor is so much better.

When I was in school children with severe nut allergies were home schooled until they were at an age where they could take care of themselves if they came into contact with nuts.

And to the Author of the reply, the other proteins you listed the vast majority are dairy. So the lactose intolerant child has to suffer. Or in my case something much worse. I have a beef protein allergy, if it comes from a cow it makes me violently ill. What about those children or the ones that come from a vegetarian house hold.

If Peanut butter is banned so too should bread and wheat products, there are people with severe Celiac allergies where the crumb of bread could kill them. So their lives are at risk yet you are not standing up for their rights. It is about educating yourself and your children about their allergy and explaining that the people around them will not always know or care about their allergy and that that have to take care of themselves and make sure they are careful.

I grew up the kid who was different. I cannot drink apple juice never have been able to. It cannot kill me but I was always the kid who had to bring her own drinks to parties and places because any apple juice made me sick. I know what it is like to be left out of things, but at the same time I try to include those with allergies at my daughters parties. I make Gluten free Lactose nut free cakes egg free cakes. Though there are nuts gluten lactose and eggs in my house.

I myself developed a nut allergy 3 years ago. Wowbutter does not taste anything like peanut butter unless it is baked into cookies. I still keep nuts in my home, i eat mostly vegetarian because of my protein allergy, but I do not force that on to others. I have things i am allergic to in my house because of my daughter who luckily has no allergies.

Children should be educated in schools about allergies not parents to change their children’s lives for the few who are allergic.

The whole oh treats for the class that have nuts my child cannot have there for is excluded is bull. There can be/are rules for such things. My daughter school has rules that if it is for the entire class it must be as allergy free as you can make it. You cannot cater to everybody’s allergies but catering to the few is not right either, it should be all or nothing.

Hi. Thanks for your comments. You do make a couple of valid points. However, there are a couple of things I’d like to add.

You say that because of my child’s contact allergy your child can’t eat nuts or nut products at home. That is not true. In fact, if you noticed, I said in my post that children without a nut allergy can eat as many nuts as home as they would like. Many teachers who have a child with nut allergies in their class, have all the students wash their hands or wipe them off with wipes when they get to school in case they have had nut products for breakfast. Simple and easy solution. Done. So your child can eat all the nuts at home they want to.

As far as families who get food from food banks go, food banks offer a lot more food than just peanut butter. And, families can get many other foods with WIC and welfare also. Those children will not “starve” because they can’t eat peanut butter at school.

As far as your comment on homeschooling children with allergies, please refer to my post. I mentioned that in there.

Yes, children should be educated on their allergies. I talk to my child about his allergies all the time. Constant vigilance and teaching. ALWAYS. However, young children who cannot read or who are just learning to read, and can’t read an ingredient label on a package, can’t manage the allergy on their own. They are too young. They won’t know which products are manufactured in a facility that processes nuts. So, they need help.

There is no perfect solution to this problem. As you and the original blogger mentioned, what about other food allergies? Obviously, all those foods cannot be banned from schools. I get it. Maybe the solution is just banning nuts from elementary schools for those children who are learning to manage their allergy. Once children are older (middle school and up) they can better manage it on their own.

What about low income families of children with food allergies? Food allergies do not discriminate. They are not a privileged choice. I am a single parent who simply literally CANNOT homeschool.

Also, as is typical, you seem to be confusing some of your food intolerances with food allergies. My child does not get sick or have a tummyache or get diarrhea when he ingests nuts. His body goes crazy and shuts EVERY. SINGLE. SYSTEM. down.

He is much more able to navigate his allergy at the age of 11. In preschool and lower grades, it is not fair to expect a child to have to keep himself alive. Unfortunately that’s exactly what we have to do. Do you expect a 5 year old to keep themselves safe in a swimming pool? Do you think an 8 year old should know how navigate through a city alone? No of course not. We make age based accommodations to children every day to keep them alive and healthy.

Also, the original blogger’s exhortation that kids with severe peanut allergies is a violation of federal law. Every child has the right to free , appropriate public education.

Also, the original blogger’s exhortation that kids with severe peanut allergies be homeschooled is a violation of federal law. Every child has the right to free, appropriate public education.

It is ridiculous that my kid can’t have one of the few healthy foods he won’t fight me to eat. I disagree with pretty much everything in this blog and applaud the woman who wrote why nut free schools are bad. I plan to bring this to the attention of our school administrators as I know I’m not alone in being educated about how unfair a “nut-free” school is (though we are a private school and only nut free in pre K classrooms -drove me CRAZY- as they know an older child should be able to an age this situation unsupervised.)

1. To you and the uneducated blogger! Let me say, anyone can thrive and survive just fine without the intake of peanuts! No one is going to melt away!!! Our kiddos do it and they are very healty! To the blogger who said why don’t you homeschool if you can’t handle it. Well why don’t you homeschool if YOU can’t handle it yourself.

2. Picky eaters?? Wow! If he or she is not eating healthy foods that is your own fault. I take games and TV away until my child eats what’s on her plate. They’ll learn quick! And while your child can eat a plethora of unlimited resources of food, our children can probably only eat about 50 things…SAFELY…AND I MEAN SAFELY…because manufactures cross contaminate everything and then don’t declare allergens and people have died because of it! So when you say your child is picky, you have no excuse but your self! Go ahead, I dare ya, pick out anything in the grocery store!!!! Because I have to hear you wine about your kid who can eat anything!! Your serious????

3.SO before you call the school, why don’t you visit a library and find out what the American Disability Act is so you don’t look like a fool when you head to school. Then look up what a 504 Accommodation plan is for someone with a disability YA KNOW, THE LAW and look up what endangering the welfare of a child is because that’s what your doing as well! And don’t forget to look up what is Cardiac Arrest to.. YA KNOW WHEN THE HEART STOPS BEATING!!!! and then find out what Anaphylaxis shock is? Because do you really want to be a witness of a child suffocating to death because he or she can’t breathe because it was so much more important for you to bring nuts to school. Because that’s much more important, right??? Peanuts? That is what you are saying, correct? Let me make sure I completely understand! WTF you can’t be serious!

4. Next I encourage you to take a trip the emergency room and watch someone fighting for their lives because you certainly aren’t familiar with that or what the value of life is. Or wait, maybe you are and it’s just your own family apparently which is all that matters to you! Great way to show you have a caring side. If someone had their hands around your child’s throat and was choking them to death, you would surely have some experience on this topic then wouldn’t you, but you don’t and I hope you never will SO until you have some experience with that, you should probably zip that thing on your face!

5. And last, just some small facts, do you know how hard it is for preschool and kindergarten classrooms to keep there fingers out of their mouths? And of their faces? Extremley hard! Then they go around touching everything contaminating everything with those food allergens. Do you actually know how many times a day a child touches their eyes nose or mouth? Over a 100 times at best. So that’s major cross contamination and that’s how the allergen gets ingested. They don’t actually have to eat it. It get’s into there membranes the other way. So thats why we worry about you bringing peanuts to school. It’s about prevention and safe measures and its the schools job to make sure that happens. Not yours, so they give you rules. Which sounds you like you have some defiant issues? But I get it, some people just aren’t capable of worrying about others. Thats called Narcisstic .- “I Know Best” – “Its all about me”! But don’t try to do any research at all on the topic before you past judgment on anyone at or and call the school for a meeting. But hey… Good luck to ya!

its real simple, if your child has an allergy, pack his or her lunch for him/her. no one is forcing that child to eat nasty school lunches anyway.

It’s not about eating the school lunches. It’s about being exposed to the allergen at school.

That’s great except it doesn’t solve the problem for kids who can literally die within minutes of being exposed by even smelling nuts if the kid next to them at the table or if a kid gets a little peanut butter or oil on their hands then transfers it to the highly allergic kids who can die from even the smallest trace of nuts.

As a teacher, I too used to think peanut free zones were crazy! Then life struck ME and I have a disease (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome) that causes anaphylactic reactions to life. I would MUCH rather have a nut allergy. However, this disease has changed how I feel about the nut allergy.

Imagine, your precious PB loving child eats a PB sandwich for lunch, and I eat my “safe” lunch at my table and wash my hands when done. Your child does not (I know 95% of school kids do NOT as they want to get to recess OR class when lunch is over.

I am teaching my next class and giving a test, your child asks to borrow a pencil. When done, they bring it back up to me and the oils from their PB sandwich are now on my pencil. Now, I KNEW better than to loan out a pencil, but NO other student had one to spare, so I knew you would call complaining IF I gave your child an F for not having a pencil and being irresponsible and coming to class unprepared.

Bell rings, but when the next class arrives, I am flushed, vomiting, wheezing, can barely croak out a raspy request over the in room phone to call 911. I am too weak to use my new Auvi-q EPI pen, all I can do is lie on the floor, and do not want to traumatize any child by asking them to do it, after all my allergy isn’t their issue. Instead, one student figures it out when I start turning blue and my face swells beyond recognition. They make a mad dash for the office. The rest of the class is frantic as they watch me rolling on the floor, throwing up, possibly having sever diarrhea too. By the time help arrives, my class is all crying and they have to be moved to a new room so they aren’t traumatized any further by the EMTs starting an IV for solumedrol and IV Benadryl, and possibly intubating me. (like you aren’tgoing to have to ddeal with the tears when they get home…..becasue unlike you they CARE their teacher was set off by something and is getting hauled away on THEIR time.). The rest of the day is pointless and the counselor has done more counseling than he/she has in ages. The news comes by the end of the day that I will survive, but the students vow to help me in the future.

By the time I return to my class, my class has decided to petition the school board to make our school SAFE for me because they care. I didn’t ask, but you can’t change to voice ofbkids on a mission. I guarantee you, that ANYONE who has witnessed OR experienced an anaphylactic reaction can’t help but want to change things.

Our church has gone “scent free” to protect me and allow me to worship and fellowship. I didn’t ask, but at my old church the Ambulance was called TOO many times and it traumatized the young people. I can still hear their voices asking the adults if I was going to die.

Allergies are MAJOR….but anaphylaxis is deadly. Peanuts/tree nuts can be hidden in SO many things which is why it makes it such a deadly allergy. Yes, parents who live in allergy free homes are blessed to not have the worry involved. However, the families affected are only asking for a chance to have a public education in a safe environment.

I too used to be ignorant, but then the issue struck me, my home, and our life….dang straight I am Pro Nut Free Zone!! I pray the people who continue to state it isn’t fair do not also have reality smack them upside the head like it did me in order to understand how BAD the allergy is. Schools generally can’t afford shellfish, strawberries are usually obvious, and YES the dairy and egg allergies should be labeled and marked. I am sorry the “normal” families feel they are getting the shaft, but imagine having to bury your child because someone like you didn’t care or understand the severity. Also consider this, many times the kids cannot have their EPIs on them as it is medicine and other children could get into it and the it takes to get the nurse is too long… What then?

The arguments have SO many good points on each side…but what is more important: A life or having nuts in schools where it is known there are children who could die? The argument is invalid when it is life and death. We wouldn’t allow for open 220v wiring…a kid could DIE if they accidentally touched it…..but they could accidentally touch residual nut oils they can’t even see. What you don’t understand is that with anaphylaxis, the first reaction could be the last. All of these parents remember their child’s first reaction and most weren’t “born” with it. See it as protecting your child “just in case”…… School boards would rather put a life ahead of inconvenience…. Any day….any time….to any building.

Teaching your children empathy goes a LONG way!

I feel like she is inferring that kids who have allergies are not “normal” or “healthy”. My daughter who has nut (and other) allergies is healthy and “normal” in every way. In fact, we just had a doctors appt. recently and her pediatrician had zero concerns, she’s growing and developing wonderfully (without nuts in her diet ). Her body just happens to reject certain foods for some reason which is a big difference. She plays soccer, dances, does gymnastics, has lots of friends, is in the top of her class at school. It would be nice if it felt like she was even remotely educated about allergies and even slightly sensitive to kids that could literally die within minutes of exposure to even the smallest trace of nuts.

Thank you for your response. My son has had food allergies his entire life and he is 16 now. Peanuts is not his only allergy or even his worse by far but it is the one I worried the most about when he was little. Peanut oil gets on little hands that touch things (balls, desks, playground equipment) and all it takes is my son touching it and the oil getting on his hands and we have a real problem….head to toe hives to start with and wheezing, followed by throat swelling…it is not pretty. I really don’t understand this lady’s problem. It’s just for school hours…give your child nuts all you want at home :/ As for having to navigate the real world. Well, he doesn’t go places that have peanuts tossed around, the dust in the air could kill him.

Thanks for your comments. I’m right there with you.

I think it is more selfish and ignorant to expect hundreds of people to accommodate your child. I have a disability in that I am legally blind and rarely was an accommodation made for me. I do think it is fair for a child with severe allergies to sit at another table if it keeps them safe. It would have been like me telling the school they needed to ban softball from PE because I couldn’t play and my feelings were hurt because of it. I get that I wasn’t going to die from lack of softball or was I? Could have been severely injured if the ball hit me in the head. I had to join the Adaptive PE class with the kids in wheelchairs and such. It was a little embarrassing… I know… Not PC to be embarrassed but the truth. Life isn’t fair and it sucks that your kids have these allergies but it is not the fault of any kid, parent or teacher nor their responsibility.

Just a small correction. It is extremely rare that someone with Celiac Disease will have an anaphylactic reaction. Death due to CD is caused by malnutrition and starvation because the small intestine is so damaged it can’t absorb nutrients. My daughter put up with feeling sick because the smell of baking wheat did cause her to react but it did not kill her.

Wow the sheer ignorance of some people is astounding. I understand it is an inconvenience for some to not have peanut butter at school. But we are talking about a childs life. DO you really want to be the person who is responsible for the death of child.

Exactly. Thanks for your comment.

My children LOVE nuts! Peanut butter, almond butter, you name it. But at what point do you look at a CHILD and tell them that they aren’t entitled to life so your kids can eat peanuts? Time to grow up Timmy and realize by age 5 that life’s not fair because as adults and parents we don’t know what else to feed our picky children. I hear all these comments about these kids needing to learn how to adapt and survive and they are being spewed by parents who quite obviously don’t have the ability. So why are they holding kids with a life threatening illness to a higher capacity of understanding than they themselves are capable of? Are you entitled to eat your nuts. Yes. Is your right to eat nuts or serve them to your child more important than another child’s right to live? No. As a parent, and adult if you can’t understand that then the worlds in trouble. Suck it up, its selfish, self centered and ignorant that its even an issue for you. It’s simple really your the adult, start acting like it and figure it out. A child’s safety, health and well being should never be compromised for the sake of a sandwich. Yeah sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what it boils down to.

Thank you for writing this response to the “other’ blogger’s insensitive and uninformed post – so much of which was repetitive and unclear. My rage has now subsided thanks to your educated, compassionate piece that, to any ‘normal’ person, would make perfect sense.

Thank you for your comment and kind words.

Bravo! Thank you so much for your post. Your response was perfect. Any response to that blogger that did not support her train of thought was derailed by deletion. Heaven forbid her children or future grandchildren ever have a life threatening allergy. It is just that- a matter of life and death for some! Her unyielding philosophy is exactly what causes bullying. Allergies are not all the same, and they can escalate with exposure. If someone in her child’s classroom had anaphylaxis because her child’s peanut buttered hands contaminated the school desk’s work surfaces, is that OK? The child can’t wait until getting home to get their peanut fix? Have it for breakfast and after school snack- any child can understand the rational of not causing harm to their friends!

I wrote this reply to the other Blogger. It wasn’t ‘allowed’, and isn’t nearly as good as your response, but I still wanted to share.

Dear Mother who really cares,

Today I had the pleasure (not really) of reading your blog which stated 12 reasons why schools should not be nut-free. With your first words, I was angry. This is why. You are NOT a mother who truly cares. Sure, you might care about your child, but you do not care about other’s people’s children. There was a mother in my daughters Transitional Kinder class last year who reminds me of you. I didn’t meet this woman in person, and it’s probably good that I didn’t, because she nearly killed my daughter.

Yes, Caring Mother, this woman took it upon herself to give my daughter something that nearly killed her. My child, my only daughter, nearly died. Her teacher, a good woman who thought she could trust another mother, informed this woman that my daughter had multiple food allergies after the mother brought in cake. My daughter is allergic to all Dairy Products, Egg Products, Peanut Products, and (interestingly enough) all PEA Products. Any one of these items can conceivably kill my child. This parent decided that ‘one piece’ wasn’t a big deal and handed it to my daughter. My little girl is 5. She’s brilliant; smart, funny, considered one of the nicest children in the entire Kindergarten class. She knows she has food allergies, and like a smart girl, she asked if this piece of cake was safe. I’ve always taught her that she can trust other mother’s. After all, what kind of person would give a 5 year old something that could hurt them on purpose? This woman’s response was ‘its fine’.

I would wager to guess that you have never seen your child go into anaphylactic shock. That is when their throat and tongue swell to a point where they cannot breath. I would bet you never had to call 911, your heart racing, silently begging every single higher power there could be that your child will live. I’d bet that you have never watched as your child has the rare reaction that kills most people, where their blood pressure drops, and they lay listless on a couch while you stare and wonder what is wrong with your baby.

How dare you call yourself a caring mother? That other mother did. That other woman took it upon herself to ‘prove’ that food allergies weren’t a big deal. It’s been 4 months and I still shake with anger. It’s people like you, and her, who make parents like us afraid. Our children have a right to live in this world. You have no right to say that our kids should be homeschooled, or kept away from public places just because you don’t think they’re healthy. Here’s a news flash – except for her food allergies, my child is perfectly healthy. My child would risk herself to help your child. She has two brothers who she adores and another on the way. She will go up to the saddest person and hug them, just so they will feel better. She will look after other people in ways that defy her age. You don’t know these children. You will never understand them. You expect a small child to be able to adapt to something that is a poison to their tiny bodies.

One of your points was that some children are picky eaters. I can give you that. There are kids where it’s hard to find something that they will eat and once you find something you want to stick with it. I can understand that. I have three children, one of which is extremely picky. He also has food allergies. A mild one to Dairy, and a life-threatening one to Eggs. It is hell trying to find him something to eat half the time. However, when I send him to school in two years, if he’s still picky, I will not be giving him something that could potentially kill another child or his sister. I have enough compassion to understand that each child’s needs differ. I don’t believe that just because a child is different that they should be persecuted.

You also pointed out that some children need extra proteins. There are other ways to be proteins into your child then only giving them nuts. There are vegetables and meats that have proteins, even vitamins which can help. Again, I am in that boat. Remember me mentioning my youngest son? Yes, he struggles with getting enough protein as well, but we don’t keep peanuts in the house… since we don’t see the need to put one person in our family of five in danger.

I doubt you’ll read this and I doubt it will change your mind. I do have hope for you. I hope nothing bad ever happens to you or your children. I hope you are never faced with the reality of what food allergies are, because I would not wish that on anyone. However, I do hope you learn to have more compassion. You cannot convince me that you have it after your blog post. You would choose to punish small children over something that is not their fault and that the opposite of compassion. However, maybe other people will read my letter and perhaps they will have the compassion that you so lack.

Lola Grace Stevens
Mother to Monks, Beara, Chubbs, and our Sweet Nemo (Arriving soon)
Mother to two children with Food allergies.

P.S. Yes, you are not responsible for my child, but if your child was ever in danger, I would step in and help them.

I’m pretty sure the original blogger will delete my comment on her post…so here’s what I wrote on hers.

I love how you delete all the comments that debate this. How can someone vote for your blog if you can’t even respect someone else’s response to your post?

And I love how you think your child’s want for peanuts in every frikkin meal is more important than a child’s frikkin LIFE! I am a teacher and a camp counselor and I can NOT imagine seeing any of my kids with allergy have to use their epipens! It would break my heart. there are SO MANY treats and food replacements that taste EXACTLY the same. .there is NO excuse. No child has ever tasted the difference between wow butter and peanut butter. I can not believe as a MOTHER…you would just so simply write of a child’s life. To think that you would just be able to wake up and live life as normal if you knew that YOUR CHILD’S precious peanut snack was the reason of another child’s death. Nice.

Just for the record, I have a now 6 year old who would exist solely on peanut butter, most days. We tried the Wow Butter last year for Kindergarten and she refused to eat it, Even when I didn’t tell her any different. Saying it tasted yukky, so after a couple of days of her not eating it and bringing her sandwich home, uneaten with only one bite out of it. I decided it was time for Mommy to try this Wow Butter and frankly, it was disgusting.

Sunbutter is another option and tastes different than Wowbutter.

Sun butter isn’t available here where I live, that I have found. I live in Canada by the way, so what is available where you may live isn’t here.

The thing is that her child should not have to eat something they don’t like because some kids have allergies. The minority should not out rule the majority. Why isn’t a nut free table or room acceptable?

Nut free tables and classrooms are good as well. However, if it can be eliminated from schools entirely, that is safer. Many children who are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts have a contact allergy. So, if another student eats peanut butter or something with tree nuts in it for lunch and then touches the allergic student or touches an object the allergic student then picks up or gets a drink from the water fountain right before the allergic child, those oils from the nuts can be passed on and will cause the other student to have an allergic reaction. So while nut free classrooms and tables at lunch are a great thing, a nut free school is safer. Especially for elementary children who are just learning how to manage their allergy and may have a harder time with it than a child in middle school or high school.

Hey, update. I found Sun Butter at the larger of my local grocery stores in the Natural Foods section. It was pricey at $6.99 for 500gms, but she would only be eating it at school anyway, as at home she can have real peanut butter. I bought it yesterday and gave her a spoonful last evening and she didn’t react badly to the taste and it really doesn’t taste bad. It tastes like slightly sweet sunflower seeds. Sent her a sandwich made with it for lunch after emailing her teacher last evening, who thanked me for letting her know what it was and she even asked me where I bought it at. She didn’t eat it for lunch, but she did eat the sandwich at home with a little bribery of a treat if she ate it. I only offered the bribe, because she seemed to like the sunbutter when she tasted it, but seemed to have a bit of trouble getting past it not being real peanut butter. On a side note, she is an Asperger Syndrome child who has food sensory issues. She ate it and didn’t complain one bit about how it tasted.

When we were kids yrs ago I had a friends with server allergy to different things. To protect those children we would wash our hands thoroughly and washed all table tops and he was good and most of lived on peanut butter and jam sandwich. Rrrr new schools and these darn policy teach your kids what they can have and touch and teach the other children on how to keep them safe.. For when your are in the workforce they need to learn to stay safe on their behalf. It’s is like diabetes we can’t adapt to them they have to adapt to their own lifestyle, it’s the same with allergies. And I have two kids with it I don’t stop other children enjoying foods that they love but my children know what they can have and due to avoid a flare up…..

Great response to the other article. I am an education assistant in British Columbia. In the school I work at depending on some people’s allergies year to year the nut ban can differ.

I can’t even begin to comprehend the ignorance I have read in the responses here or in the other article. Thankfully I have never had to see this type of ignorance first hand where I work or in my community. I don’t have children (3 months pregnant ) but when I do of course I hope my child will not have any severe allergies. But if they do I hope I don’t need to deal with the entitled ignorance I have read in some of these comments or that other blog.

My career is all about creating an inclusive environment for ALL people in a school setting which I live in my daily life as well. Teaching our future generations to be mindful, empathetic, and understanding when it comes to any kind of exceptionalities is something I pride myself and can’t wait to teach my own offspring.

I want my child to be ready for the “real world”. I believe I can accomplish this with out breeding self absorbed narcissistic entitled instant gratification thinkers…

Teaching our future generations inclusive behavior is one of the best gifts we can give. The world needs it.

I will never, ever understand how a peanut butter sandwich has more value than a child’s life.

As a mother of children with no life-threatening allergies, I will continue to do everything I can to ensure children with allergies are safe at my kids’ schools and in our home.

It is my duty as a compassionate human being to do so.

I just wanted to say your response was awesome and so well balanced and polite. Why can’t humanity just try to help one another? I can’t imagine being responsible for a child’s death (or even severe reaction) due to peanut products being packed intentionally or unintentionally in my child’s lunch. I try to be vigilant to support those folks out there like you who need people looking out for their kiddos. It takes a village. My son, who has ADHD & some other challenges, needs folks to be patient and understanding with him. We all have issues and needs… humanity is doomed if we can’t help and support one another through the tough stuff with grace.

I wonder how she would she feel if her child’s lunch contents caused an anaphylactic reaction to another child causing death? She is a selfish human being.

As a mother with a child who is anaphylactic to nuts I want to thank you for your rebuttal! The point being any contact with a nut product can end a child’s life…its sad that more parents don’t see the immidiate threat of this. My daughter is very well educated when it comes to her allergy however the thought that something as simple as holding a friends hand or touching a piece of equipment that has come into contact can put her in immidiate danger! Why would any parent ever want to put a child in that harmful of a predicament. There are 2 other meals a day where you can go hog wild with the nuts!

I feel the same way. Thanks for your comments.

My children currently go to a school that bans all nuts and nut substitutes (no Wowbutter as it is too hard for staff to distingish between the two), strawberries, kiwi, bananas, eggs, all fish and seafood, and any omega 3 enriched products such as bread, yogurt etc. While I understand the severity of these allergies and do my best to be supportive, it is getting increasingly hard to send anything healthy in my children’s lunches. What am I to do? At what point to we sit down and decide to do something differently…this is clearly not working.

Wow! I’ve never heard of a school banning nut substitutes before and all those other foods also. That would be very difficult.

I have had friends here tell me that their schools ban Wow Butter, as well.

I sent a Sun Butter sandwich today, emailing my daughter’s teacher last evening to ensure that she wouldn’t think it was peanut butter. She thanked me for letting her know it wasn’t peanut butter and even asked me where I bought it at.

My significant other is severely allergic to all nuts. That being said, I can’t even put into words how upset ’12 reasons why peanut free schools are not okay’ made me. So thank you for educating the idiot who wrote that uneducated piece of garbage.

This type of uncaring person is dangerous…..sounds like her convenience is more important than your child’s life….no one can MAKE her be compassionate and she feels put upon by being asked to help your child stay safe and alive ….that’s what it’s all about by the sound of it…. exposing your child to nuts is like committing murder and I’d keep her away from your child… stay safe and my heart goes out to you .. you are a good mother..sounds like she is teaching her child some bad life lessons….good luck and a big hug to all those other moms and dads who don’t have to help but do it because they are just good people

Thank you for your comments and kind words.

This is ridiculous. There is no way i wouldn’t send my daughter or son to school without their peanut products. It is the only thing that they will eat and love. Ive tried the sunbutter and wowbutter. But my kids know that its not the real thing and wont eat it. However they are both highly allergic to dairy products. Does this mean the school should stop providing milk and cheese? NO. My 3 and 4 year old know when something is not good for them and they turn it down. We work on it everyday There is a real world out there and when your child gets to it he will be in for a surprise because mommy shielded him from the big picture.

I can only imagine what a dairy allergy is like and I am sorry you have to deal with that. My son does know what he is allergic to and what he can and cannot eat. But, it is only to a point. We go over foods with him all the time, but the problem comes not only when nuts are the main ingredient in a food, such as peanut butter, but when a food is manufactured in a facility that handles nuts. His allergy is so severe, he cannot have foods made in the same facility as foods with nuts. He’s four and can’t read yet so he can’t read food labels. I can tell him (and I do) that there are some foods he can’t eat because they are made in the same place (and on the same machine as) foods with nuts, but he won’t always know the difference. If a parent were to bring in a snack that’s manufactured in a facility made with nuts, he won’t know that. This is part of the reason why there are nut free schools and nut free classrooms. To protect children who are not yet old enough to fully manage it on their own.

I tried to write a comment on her page, telling her packing peanuts in your child’s lunchbag should be considered as attempted murder. Also, reminded her how foolish it was to consider a four year old who trades snacks when the teacher has her back turned, will not wash their hands and shares water fountains the same as an 18 year old who enters collage….in terms of handling a life threatening allergy?? Does she really have so much time on her hands she writes a blog to argue her child should have the right to eat peanuts, not twice (breakfast and dinner) but three times, at the expense of another’s child?? WOW

I see your point but the only issue I have is that you say “give your kid something other than peanuts that are protein packed”. The issue I have with this is that my son is on medication that suppresses his appetite. PB&J’s are literally the only thing I can get him to eat without complaining. I pack his lunch with fruits and veggies along with his sandwich and that is the only thing that comes back completely eaten. So for me it’s a must for us to be able to send him to school with these sandwiches. I have tried other options and he simply doesn’t like them and will not eat them. So what should I do? Having a nut-fee school would be detrimental to his routine. Yes it’s one meal but it’s an important one to make sure he is at his best at school.

One thing too, the author of this article says is you can use, Sunbutter or Wowbutter, A lot of schools have banned those because they look like PB, So there’s a problem too. They ban the PB and its alternatives and tell you its because they can’t tell the difference!

I was not aware that some schools have banned Sunbutter and Wowbutter. I hadn’t come across that. Thanks for letting me know.

All the school boards in Canada have banned all nut and nut like substances! So if someone can interpret it as a nut or a peanut its not allowed, items they list. Granola Bars, Chocolate bars, Non peanut butter spreads, peanut butter, loose nuts and seeds, Whole Grain bread! This is why people get so angry about the ban, Because schools are banning everything due to they don’t want to provide the proper supervision at lunch times! Its a blanket response for a problem that I know at my childs school there is 1 kid in grade 8 that has the allergy and its banned in the whole school! This is why a lot of parents get angered!

sarg1979: Not all Canadian school boards have banned nut butter alternatives, I live in New Brunswick, Canada and I sent Sun Butter to school in my daughter’s lunch and emailed her teacher to let her know and their school doesn’t ban Wowbutter either. I only emailed her because she knows my daughter won’t eat Wowbutter and would certainly wonder what she was eating.

As a mother of a child who has had to go to the hospital twice due to non-nut food allergic reactions at school that did not involve ingestion, I feel that banning nuts is unfair and the main problem is a general lack of education and proper protocol. My son has attended schools that have taught proper food etiquette, all foods were allowed, and an incident never happened while we were there. Our problems were at schools that banned nuts but did not make food/allergen safety part of their culture. I believe that is what needs to be done in our society in general, and what better way develop a culture aware of foods and people’s needs than to educate our children. It is frustrating to not be able to provide proper food for my child due to school restrictions combined with his multiple food allergies. I also find it hypocritical that those with nut allergies find it acceptable that my son go to the hospital but that this allergen is acceptable in the classroom while nuts are not. He has an epipen for a reason. I have lived in 3 different countries and numerous cities and have experienced various systems and ways of approaching nuts and food allergens in general. Education, awareness, and sensitivity is the best approach.

LIVE THIS! Thank you for responding to that twit! Her blog infuriated me beyond words! My child has a tree nut allergy and at barely 4 years old, she cannot read the ingredients on every child’s lunch or snack to ensure her safety! AND even if something says “peanut free” it still may contain tree nuts! How dangerously deceiving is that??!!! My daughter just started JK and I’m scared for her … Because of her allergy … and because of morons the the “blogger” you so wonderfully responded to!!!

If your child is severely allergic, they will eventually come in contact and there’s nothing you can do. They may not be at school; they may even reach adulthood, but eventually they WILL come in contact with nut products. Even if you are standing right there next to them when it happens (see article below). Parents of peanut kids and the medical community need to find a way to help kids overcome this allergy.

http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sacramento/parents-of-girl-who-died-of-peanut-allergy-reaction-speak-out/21686610

Yes, at some point they will come into contact with their allergen. It’s already happened to my son. However, you state that parents and the medical community need to find a way to help kids overcome the allergy. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Allergies like milk, eggs, and fruits can be outgrown. However, studies show that nut allergies, along with sesame and shellfish, tend to be life long allergies. If it were easy to “overcome” the allergy, I know parents and doctors would do all they could to help with that. But, that’s just not how it goes.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25917272

here is research and there are many more that say that sometimes the best way to overcome allergies, is exposure.

Well said! Glad to find a response to this awful article!

To the mom who wrote the original article about why her kids must be allowed to eat peanuts at school, and who disabled the comments on her forum so no one could disagree with her, here is my reply:

I’m a parent and grandparent. None of my offspring have peanut allergies, or allergies to any food that would cause a severe reaction that is life threatening. I support any policy that reduces the risk to a child’s life. Peanut allergies can be life threatening. Therefore, children with a life-threatening allergy have a higher need than the children who do not. NO, they are not equal.

If there is a substance that will not kill my child but will kill yours when exposed by it or consumed, then we don’t have that substance around your child. Not rocket science. Just human decency.

I, my children and my family will be reasonable human beings and not throw a tantrum because for a few hours of our day my children must live without this substance- a substance which my children are not required to have in order to live.

Nor does the lack of having this substance for a few hours in any way harm my children to do without it or deprive us of our ability to choose alternatives.

I find it reasonable to accommodate the child with the allergy and find no hardship in making choices that, while some may perceive as inconvenient, help lower the risk of harm or even death for another person.

As a parent and decent human being, I also feel it IS important that we pass on the values of compassion and kindness to our children. It is not every person for themselves. Some people need extra help in life, or accommodations. If you suddenly found yourself in a wheelchair for the rest of your life, you would be grateful for the ramps that exist all over your town, even though the *majority* of people are ambulatory and have no need for ramps.

We must all work together, help one another and learn to coexist and compromise for a successful community and world. There are so many awful injustices in our world- hungry children, poverty, war, diseases, human trafficking, child abuse- instead of focusing your energy on fighting over peanut butter sandwiches, consider choosing a battle that will actually be worth fighting, and for which your children will be able to respect you for.

I’m in the middle on this one. My son is Gluten Free. Has been since he was 3. Even a little bit of gluten, a crumb from a cracker will make him violently ill. It never once occurred to me to demand the classroom or school become gluten free just because he couldn’t have gluten. Instead I made GF play-doh for him to use instead of store bought play-doh, because gluten. I sent in a slew of GF shacks because he couldn’t eat what the other kids were eating, because gluten. I taught him to ONLY eat the “safe foods” that I sent from home, in his backpack as a preschooler and in his lunchbox as a schoolager, because gluten. I made sure that he had gf cupcakes in the school freezer because birthdays are usually unannounced at school. I also let the teachers know about this food issue. Not one had a problem with it. If there was a party, even a party with no notice, I would always receive a phone call and I would call up a friend or family member…there is always someone available to help if you really look, and have them run for your life its a zombie invasion and you are most likely going to be eaten so good by him over some party food. On the off chance there was no one available, the office staff ALWAYS found something for him. One time I even got Whole Foods to deliver him a GF pizza, and we ALL know they don’t deliver!

But, should I have forced my sons school or classroom to go gf just because of him? He couldn’t use play-doh (unless it was the gf kind I provided), couldn’t sit next to kids with crackers for snack (crumbs really spread fast!), couldn’t help with cooking projects (unless he had on a mask so he wouldn’t breath in any rogue flour dust). It never occurred to me that the school should be responsible for his health. I was responsible. I had to teach him to keep himself safe, to ONLY eat the ‘safe foods’ from home, to not share food with friends. He learned, before kindergarten, how to advocate for himself.

What I didn’t mention is that my son has autism. He was functioning at age 2 1/2 when he entered kindergarten. He couldn’t talk. His goal for the end of kinder was 3 word sentences. If my, academically and socially dysfunctional child could understand the severity of his celiac and stay away from what could harm him, then why wouldn’t a neurotypical child not be able to do the same?

Yes yes yes! This is the attitude parents should have. I am sympathetic and would never intentionally harm someone but it is the parent and child who are responsible. It’s a pain, but worth it. I have a disability by the way.

I have great compassion for your son’s dietary condition. As pointed out before by others, celiac, like other food allergies and sensitivities, is not immediately life-threatening, and should not in any way be used to compare against a very real life-threatening peanut allergy.

Celiac, even a most severe case, does not cause instant death. It may cause illness and discomfort, which I would not blame any parent for wanting to help their child avoid. However, death from celiac only results from long term neglect of this dietary restriction in the form of cancer, diabetes, coronary artery disease, obesity, thyroid disease, and the very rarest cause would be an increased risk of epilepsy, which, can result in sudden death.

While I appreciate your approach of teaching your child about what foods he should avoid and his amazing ability to actually follow that outside your supervision as a preschooler (I don’t know any preschoolers who can do that and I was a Kinder and preschool teacher), it is comparing apples and oranges.

Just because you are comfortable with your child being in a glutten-full environment and the precautions you take to have him avoid those foods is sufficient, does not mean your solution is the right one for every child, and it is clearly not the appropriate course for a child with an allergy so severe they can die within seconds- SECONDS- of being in contact with peanuts. Peanut free zones don;t hurt anyone, but they could save a child’s life, and that is the only real test we should be considering.

Thank you for your comments!

Everyone has something that will hurt them, scare them or kill them……..it’s all about educating our children. We, as parents have that job to teach, educate and explain to our children what can kill them or make them stronger. Figure it out……..we can’t continue to ban everything because of a select group of people with peanut allergies. Carry an epi pen…….I do.

Here is my confusion: The rationale for nut free schools is that there could be nut oil on a hand leading to nut oil on a water fountain or pencil, book, playground etc therefor causing a reaction. This is the reason simply making a safe area within the school is not okay. I can see that reasoning. The other argument is that kids can eat nuts whenever they want other than school. Awesome. However if your reasoning for a nut free school is as above then my child eating nuts at home for breakfast or snack while doing homework cusses the same problem doesn’t it? I mean the oil could be on anything they touched. Jackets, books, papers, pencils, folders, school projects. So clearly it doesn’t even solve the problem unless we disallow anyone who attends a nut free school from eating nuts at home too.

The drinking fountain thing is a non issue,. If your child has a severe nut allergy they should not be drinking from the fountain. No know that might be a hard concept to teach a small one but as you stated several times it is their life at steak here so that shouldn’t be a big deal. Isn’t teaching the few kiddos with allergies to use their own belongings and bring a water bottle more reasonable than making the whole school change a lifestyle?

To those of you who keep saying “How hard is it to give your kids other proteins for the school day?”. That’s not what this is about. If it were simply finding another source of protein then maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal, but in a nut free school, don’t you have to make sure things weren’t produced where nuts were also produced? You parents know how difficult that is in your own lives so why would you push that on hundreds of others? It doesn’t make sense.

I understand it is a life and death issue but so is crossing the street. We don’t make everyone walk because someone might get hit by a car. We use the crosswalk and still look both ways.

I can’t imagine how scary it is to have a child with severe allergies to constantly have to watch everything, but I still believe that personal presponsability is key here.

You are right, You can not teach your kids that others will worry about there safety. You and only you are responsible for your own safety. You are the only one looking out for you when your out in the big bad world! Don’t teach your kids complacency teach your kids how to survive! You can not keep the safe at all times and that’s why you need to teach and educate them so they will have many years to live! Nut free schools promote the complacency not help survival!

Completely agree

Great article. Fully agree. As in the U.S. The kids with peanut allergies are resigned to a room so they can sit together eat. Peanut free schools are ridiculous and not representative of real life situations

To the uneducated blogger and the other stupid one that said on here “I applaud her”!

Let me say, anyone can thrive and survive just fine without the intake of peanuts! No one is going to melt away!!! Our kiddos do it and they are very healthy with out them. To the blogger who said why don’t you homeschool if you can’t handle it. Well why don’t you homeschool if YOU can’t handle IT… yourself.

2. Picky eaters?? Wow! If he or she is not eating healthy foods that is your own fault. I take games and TV away until my child eats what’s on her plate. They’ll learn quick! And while your child can eat a plethora of unlimited resources of food, our children can probably only eat about 50 things…SAFELY…AND I MEAN SAFELY…because manufactures cross contaminate everything and then don’t declare allergens and people have died because of it! So when you say your child is picky, you have no excuse but your self! Go ahead, I dare ya, pick out anything in the grocery store!!!! Because I have to hear you wine about your kid who can eat anything!! Your serious???? WTF!!!!!!!!

3. SO before you call the school AND COMPLAIN about the peanut ban, why don’t you visit a library and find out what the American Disability Act is so you don’t look like a fool when you head to school. Then look up what a 504 Accommodation plan is for someone with a disability YA KNOW, THE LAW you have heard of that, right???? And look up what endangering the welfare of a child is because that’s what your doing as well! And don’t forget to look up what is Cardiac Arrest to. YA KNOW WHEN THE HEART STOPS BEATING!!!! and then find out what Anaphylaxis shock is? Because do you really want to be a witness of a child suffocating to death because he or she can’t breathe because it was so much more important for you to bring nuts to school. Because that’s much more important, right??? Peanuts? That is what you are saying, correct? Let me make sure I completely understand! You can’t be serious!

4. Next I encourage you to take a trip the emergency room and watch someone fighting for their lives because you certainly aren’t familiar with that or what the value of life is. Or wait, maybe you are and it’s just your own family apparently which is all that matters to you! Great way to show you have a caring side. If someone had their hands around your child’s throat and was choking them to death, you would surely have some experience on this topic then wouldn’t you, but you don’t and I hope you never will SO until you have some experience with that, you should probably zip that thing on your face because its embarrassing you!

5. And last, just some small facts for the preschool mom complaining how difficult it is, do you know how difficult it is for preschool and kindergarten’s to keep there fingers out of their mouths? Extremely hard but hey, maybe you haven’t noticed? Then they go around touching everything contaminating everything with those food allergens from their mouths and then the other children touch it. A child actually touches their eyes nose or mouth over a 100 times a day at best so that’s major cross contamination!!! That’s how the allergen gets ingested. They don’t actually have to eat it. It get’s into there system by their other membranes. So that my friends is why we worry about you bringing peanuts to school. It’s about prevention and safe measures and it is the schools job to make sure that happens. Not yours, so they give you rules to follow because every child deserves to be in a SAFE ENVIRONMENT. Which sounds you like you have some issue with authority and have defiant issues? But I get it, it’s ok, some people just aren’t capable of worrying about others. And that my friends is what’s called Narcisstic .- “I Know Best” – “Its all about me”! Don’t worry about any other kids but yours. And don’t try to do any research at all on the topic before you past judgment on anyone at all and call the school for a meeting. But hey… Good luck to ya!

As a mother of 5 I find it extremely difficult to properly nourish my picky eaters without the help of nuts. One of my children have a life threatening allergy to bees and wasps stings (I am sure no one is actioning the ban of essential creatures in our ecosystem). Last year, my 16 year old went on a canoe trip to Algonquin and was forbidden to bring nuts. I was so angry. He was supposed to bring enough food to last a week in a very small portable container. Nuts are nourishing the underfed across the globe and our a great source of protein, fibre and essential fats. I feel bad for the children who suffer from allergies but I agree with the original post and it is the responsibility of the parents and later, the children to ensure their saftety. FREE THE PEANUT

Many if us struggle to put food on the table. We rack our brains trying to provide our kids with high protein snacks instead of pumping them up with carbs. So this means that my child is not entitled to a good nutrition which will probably lead to obesity or diabetes in the future? I think not.
Ive heard it all: shredded chicken, soy butter, etc. We barely get by month to month and we are expected to spend on these luxuries? Or screw it and give ur kids lunchables? Fruit with no protein? Pure carbs like crackers?
Even though we are poor, we do everything in our power to ensure our kids have a balanced diet, including not using the free lunch which is processed animal fat anyways. But no, thats not ok. Just because your kid has health issues does not give u a right to assume that a) we have the means to acccomodate such luxuries and b) are willing to let our own childs nutrition suffer, when we break our backs to provide them with the best we can. Im sorry our best isnt good enough for you. Im sorry out budget cant accomodate your needs. Im sorry i care about raising a healthy kid too. But not everything revolves around your issues. We have them too.
Does this make me a selfish, bad person? Just because the only way i can afford to provide for my children happens to clash with yours? Because maybe we have hardships that you dont know about we are evil for simply NOT having another healthy affordable option?

Im sorry its you the author who is not educated on this issue. There is no medical evidence to support nut bans (see American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunonology) etc. Allergists and their professional associations do not support nut bans, so please stop this emotional hysteria.

School is for education not food police. The fair thing to do is to ban ALL food in the classroom. They may eat at the cafeteria. Various allergy free table will be available. If a parent feel uncomfortable with their children eating in the cafeteria. They can pick them up for lunch and drop them back to school after. That’s what my parents used to do. (Not because I have allergies but because they want me to have a hot lunch and also making sure I eat my lunch.)

The fact is there is no scientific proof that banning peanuts in any environment will protect 100 porcent the child. My daughter needs to eat nuts to be healthy and I don’t support banning. You should instead give enough education to the children to prevent this.

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