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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 642
Location: AB, Canada
I overheard DH talking on the phone with his parents about the annual Xmas fruitcake, which they make this weekend and send out in December. It contains nuts, they eat A LOT of peanut butter at home, and aren't careful with food. I've always been meticulous about not cross contaminating one condiment with another for instance, they've always used the same knife for everything in a sitting. But I digress. They wanted to make one for us and leave out the nuts. He kept repeating that it *could* contain harmful things, and even if they were careful when making it the components they used could have been previously contaminated. Then they suggested sending it for us, but keeping it from the kids, and didn't get why we didn't want anything dangerous in the house.

Why is the tradition of family fruitcake MORE IMPORTANT that the safety of our kids??? :evil:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:02 pm 
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Location: ottawa
The part of me (influenced since childhood by my very proper - don't rock the boat - parents ) wants to say take it, throw it away and just say a gracious thank you. The grown up part of me with an allergic child wants to tell you to scream at them 'are they trying to kill their grandchild, do they not care, do they not listen, what is it they don't understand'...oh sorry....thought I was talking to my in-laws/parents for a second. :?
Why must we all constantly deal with such situations constantly. Really!!! Get this, my father in law asked recently which nuts he CAN feed our son :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

I feel your pain.

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DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
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Location: AB, Canada
Hi BC2007, I know what you mean about 'just take it and throw it out', but there are 2 reasons I'm against it. The first is that it's a slippery slope, we have stated NO BAKED GOODS from outside the house, (including home baked and bakery items). The second, is that we have been treated quite poorly by them for years, long before the allergy. Their other grandchildren are grown, and they aren't interested in spending time (birthdays, holidays etc..) with little ones, or offering to help in any way shape or form when we do wee them. So, I don't feel like cutting them any slack when it comes to this. If they were kindly, helpful, supportive grandparents I probably would humor them. Maybe I'm being a little petty.But back to point 1, if we let them send a fruitcake 'with no nuts', I'm afraid of what it could lead to.

Oh and yes, I do want to scream.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:09 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
Firstly, any conversation regarding family must go through the partner who is blood related as if the other partner discusses the issue, it can take on a whole other demention of loyalties, power and acceptance etc. Don't go there, have your dh talk to them.

Simply let them know that while he appreciate that they want to include his family in this tradition, it simply isn't safe and adds confusion to the rule "no homemade foods." It is very difficult to not have some form of cross contamination. I bake and I often use the same measure for more than one ingredient before I wash it. How can you be certain that some spice or other ingredient is not from a bulk food store?

If it was just an itchy arm or one hive it would be different. Unfortunately it's life threatening and it's too big a risk to take for some fruitcake(the gift not the baker).

Usually ending with, "I hope you know that we appreciate your offer can respect why we can't accept.", will stop people from offering again as it implies that by doing so, they don't respect you or your family.

The other option is to lie and tell her straight out that he's always given her fruitcakes to the staff in the office and felt a little guilty for that as fruitcakes cost quite a bit to make. Ask her if there isn't comeone else that she'd rather give it to.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:52 pm 
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Location: AB, Canada
Thanks for your reply, it is DH that communicates with his family, but of course, we make family decisions together. As much as I'm not trying to rock the boat, I think we need to remain consistent and use this as a learning experience. No means no, it's not meant to offend, but it's the way things are here now.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
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Becky wrote:
Then they suggested sending it for us, but keeping it from the kids, and didn't get why we didn't want anything dangerous in the house.

Why is the tradition of family fruitcake MORE IMPORTANT that the safety of our kids??? :evil:


:banghead as I agree with your comments!

Recently I shared this story but applies here too --- we were at a reunion and it was my husband's birthday. Everyone was determined to get him a cake and I kept saying no and it finally got to the point of someone asking why did it matter if the cake could have nuts if my daughter wasn't going to eat it. In sheer frustration I said "Because he won't eat a cake that could kill his daughter." :dungetit

The irony is that he doesn't love cake! I found a safe cheesecake :D


I truly don't get why so many of us have a more difficult time with family than friends or co-workers. Is it because we have to go to family events? With friends that were insensitive we would simply stop going which we have done...

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Good luck with it Becky. This stuff can be frustrating.

As people (ok relatives especially) get defensive, I really like Susan's line to defuse the situation:

Quote:
Usually ending with, "I hope you know that we appreciate your offer can respect why we can't accept.", will stop people from offering again as it implies that by doing so, they don't respect you or your family.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:55 am 
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Location: AB, Canada
walooet, your post came to mind when this happened, I thought 'just ask them why we would have something in our house that can kill DS?' but he'd never use such harsh language with his parents, they're easily offended and we're kind of on thin ice anyhow (for other non-conforming behaviour).

gwen, thanks, I do like that strategy, it is very non confrontational, but final.

Thanks for the suggestions, and for listening.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:36 pm
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Location: Alberta, Canada
I agree with you. It is a slippery slope. On the one hand you don't want to alienate family but on the other hand you want family to respect your boundaries. I think when it comes to our children and we are talking about something that has the very real potential to be life threatening, I think that means all bets are off. The thing is that if an "exception" is made this time or you throw out the said fruitcake and they don't know then next time it could be "Well Grnadpa can eat PB in the room as long as DS isn't near it" or it "just says traces of" etc...I think sometimes we have to pick our battles and this is one where you have to stand your ground to be your childs voice. Good Luck.

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Mom Seaonal Allergies, snow mould, pollen, fresh cut grass
Dad Severe Adult Eczema, Asthma, Dogs, Cats, Horses, Hay
DS Penicillin
DD Peanuts,Treenuts,Seafood, Shellfish, Dairy, Eggs, Any Hairy Animal Latex, Penicillin, Controlled Moderate Asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Location: AB, Canada
Thanks Dollysmom, we're going to stick with our 'no outside food' policy. Since becoming a parent (~6 years ago), I've learned that someone will always think you're overprotective and someone else will think you're underprotective. It's up to you as a parent to decide what's right for your kids (& family). The food allergy issue is much the same. You HAVE to go with your gut, regardless of what others think, even family members.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
If they insist, throw it out, or regift it (there's lots of used fruitcake going around, I'm sure!), but make sure to mention that "I passed on your fruitcake, cos as you know, we won't have stuff like that in our house, but so-and-so loved it."

Or feed it to your pet, my husband once smoked trout for his family and his niece fed it to her cat, and he has never made anything for her since, and still rants about it every so often.

The sooner you let them know your boundaries, the sooner they'll start respecting them.

But it is a good idea to let your husband deal with them.

It's taking a long time with my mom, but I'm getting there. She brought a poppy seed cake, and when I told her we couldn't eat it as the poppy seeds were from bulk, she made a big deal and made me feel like a neurotic jerk. So I ate the cake, resentfully, against my better judgement :banghead , but I bit into something...it was riddled with black beans. I took that as a sign from God that my mother was dangerous re: baking for my kid, and that I needed to stand up.The last time she was here, she brought homemade bread from a farmer's market, it was really expensive gourmet bread, and she was thrilled with herself cos the woman said that there was no nuts. So I took it to work, and gave it to everyone there. And she was choked :rofl but I have told her and told her that we only eat food with labels...some lady who cooks from her own kitchen's word just doesn't cut it. It wasn't easy, and she still doesn't get it, and I still resent her. She still thinks I am a neurotic jerk. But it's better for my head to stand up to her, even if she makes a scene, than let her break my rules to keep our kid safe.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Hey! That's neurotic jerk whose got an adorable child and wants to keep it that way! Insist they use your full name when speaking about you. :roll:

If we're neurotic, what do you call a person who spends a lot of money on something that they know we'll refuse and then try to make us feel guilty for refusing it because they spent a lot of money on it? :banghead Selfish and inconsiderate jerk comes to mind!

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
With all the people that don't get it I have to add this as a positive note. We went to friends last night, our son has been there before, they really do put forth an effort to ensure he is safe. Last night our friend put out two kinds of crackers with cheese and one kind of chips. I realized she not only picked safe snacks as far as allergens but she picked the EXACT snacks and brand etc. I have mentioned which our son has actually eaten without incident. At first I didn't clue in it was all done on purpose, I was like hey, he's eaten those and those. She just said she knew as she remembered from talking to me what our son has tried safely. Some people really are friends!!!

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DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
I need to vent....my folks don't get it, let me say that again, my folks DON"T GET IT. My mom just came to visit......she pulls out a ****ing zip lock bag of peas still in the pods out of her purse to snack on - our son is 2 1/2 and was right there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :frightened :frightened
I reiterate over and over, no food, no nuts, no peanuts, no food - no food - no food-.....I never ever thought I'd have to emphasize no peas....who eats a bag of peas.....who brings a bag of peas to a house where their grandson is anaphylactic to PEAS!!!!
I know he has a lot of allergies but they only have 3 grandchildren and he is the only one with allergies. It isn't that hard to remember a handful of foods. ME: "He's allergic to peas".......my mom "what (shocked), he's allergic to peas". YAH....for 26 months now....................AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


Last edited by BC2007 on Wed May 12, 2010 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
I find people are much better at remembering the biggie allergens that you hear about a lot - peanut, dairy, nuts.

My sister had real trouble remembering "soy" - I think it's partly because you just don't hear about it much.
Might it be that?

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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