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 Post subject: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 12
Hi there! My daughter is almost 2 years old and allergic to peanuts. Tuesday morning is playgroup day! She loves going, and it is a great group. Each morning they have a snack time. All the moms bring something to share, the kids sit at a long table with a little napkin in front of them and the snacks are passed out onto each child's napkin. It is supposed to be a peanut free snack, although I still read everyone's labels and usually decline anything home made unless I know the mom really well. I have a label on her sippy cup that is bright red and says "I am allergic to nuts" just to emphasize the point and help keep people from plopping something on her napkin before I ok it.

Unfortunately as she gets older, she is starting to take things from other children's napkins that look good. A very common snack that people bring is timbits. In the last month there has been someone almost every Tuesday who has brought timbits. It makes me very nervous that she will grab one from another kid and take a bite before I notice...not that she is a grabby kid, but something that looks sugary and different does catch her eye! And, she naturally wants what other kids have.

So, should I ask the organizer to ask the other Moms to avoid bringing timbits? Am I over reacting?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks,
Kim

_________________
3yr old Allergic to Peanuts.


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 799
Location: Vancouver, BC
Hi Kim,

Welcome to the forum!

I don't know much about timbits. . . I'm assuming they don't actually contain nuts/peanuts, but they are a 'may contain'? If they are a 'may contain', I think I would rather explain to my child about not taking other people's food and sit right next to her to make sure sure only eats her own food, instead of asking people not to bring timbits. I personally feel that the whole 'may contain' labelling is very confusing, and there are so many snacks that might contain and are not labelled as such, so it's next to impossible for a non allergic parent to figure out what is a may contain and what is safe. Because of that, I have chosen not to restrict may contains at my children's preschool and elem school. I feel like it would restrict too many foods, making it really hard for other parents to send in suitable snacks, and the risk of accidental exposure would be minimal since my children are not eating the may contain, and we take other precautions, like washing their hands before eating, placing their food on a placemat instead of on the table, etc.

I know some other parents who feel strongly about restricting may contains, because yes, there is a risk, especially if a child ingests some, on purpose or accidentally.

I know that depending on the child, it's hard to explain to a 2yr old. I know my 3yr old son doesn't really understand about what he's allowed to eat and not eat. At the preschool, a teacher sits at his table during snack to make sure he doesn't grab other kids' food. I'm concerned when he goes to K, where there's only 1 teacher for 20 kids, and he gets offered something yummy looking, and the kid says 'there are no nuts in this', that he'll take it.

I'm sure others will pipe in. . . . not sure how helpful this is.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
My daughter is also anaphylactic to peanuts. We instilled a rule of no sharing and only eating food from home very early on and it served us well. I helped to avoid mistakes and confusion. When she was 4 years old we attended a Parent/Participation Preschool. I was able to give a presentation about her allergies with the help of a friend from the AAIA to the parents as we had monthly parent meetings.

Parents took turns bringing in snacks. I always found out what they were bringing and made my own to match. Although everyone agreed that they would not serve items with peanuts or nuts things prepared at home still carried an unintentional risk of cross-contamination. It took the worry off of both for me to send her own snack with her. It looked like everyone else's but we knew exactly what was in it.

As for TimBits it is my understanding that Tim Hortons has an allergy warning on their door regarding the presence of peanut/nut products. I would stay away from them. We leave them alone. Thankfully I do not see the fine coating of peanuts that used to be used on these anymore. I still feel uncomfortable when someone shows up with them. That reminds me I need to check on this product as the food committee for our Dry Grad think they would be good to have for that event.

You might try making mini-muffins to have on hand when your daughter sees those donut items.They would be healthier too.


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
We had get togethers after library story time and the children had snacks. I suggest that you always bring a safe snack for your child and use this as an opportunity to explain to her that the other snack is not safe for her. (Also, a good opportunity to teach about wiping down the table, eating off a napkin, doling out food as opposed to everyone reaching in with hands that have been in their mouths

Children are wonderful at this age and they will soon petition their parents to bring a snack that all of the children can eat.

I suggest:
grapes (cut in half if need be)
apple wedges
strawberries
orange wedges
President's Choice Alphabet Pretzels ('cause they're fun!)
cereal
mini pita pockets
cheese chunks(if your not avoiding milk)
Teddy Grahams
Graham crackers

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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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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:20 pm
Posts: 1
hi:). i am new here but am facing a similar situation and still debating how to approach it. in my case, my little guy will react to timbits no matter what (egg, milk protein, soy, peanut allergic) so i need to say something, as they are a regularly "brought" snack in my neck of the woods as well.

i would let the organizers know that the timbits could be a problem for your little girl but that you will provide a safe snack alternative every week to share...but ask that if it does become an issue ( what she is doing, the taking of the other snacks, is age appropriate and she will outgrow it and learn to understand the concept of safe and unsafe foods soon enough;)) that other parents be asked not to bring them. i think if it is explained ahead of time, then no one will have a huge problem with it. i hope!

that is what i am going to do...with my guy, i have to figure out where i fall in terms of snack comfort as cheese is not an option, goldfish are not an option...and the list goes on and on and on...i know that timbits will make him sick and they are oh so desirable for toddlers, so i will start there:).

good luck:)


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
You will be amazed at the culinary skills you will develop . Whatever my daughter couldn't have we learned to make at home. If she couldn't have the treat at the time we figured out how to make a safe version.
We became rather good at making donuts,chocolates, truffles, cupcakes and minimuffins. Having a variety of safe treats in the freezer that can be quickly packed in a snack or lunch is really helpful. Now that my daughter is a teenager she enjoys baking with friends who appreciate her allergy.

Most of the things she couldn't have would fall in the unhealthy food group. Pushing for healthy choices helps to eliminate a lot of the allergens. A healthy eaing program in our school system sees that classes are provided with healthy snacks. These may include: mandarin oranges, apple slices, SunRype apple chips, pears, mini tomatoes, and grapes. These are items I have seen distributed and would not be appropriate solutions to all allergic situations. Fruits should also be washed.


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 423
Location: Alberta, Canada
I have at times driven through tim hortons for my kids to get a bagel and drink but in the last few years I just cannot take the smell in my vehicle. The bagel should be fine (I am not trying to eat anything myself) Just the smell at the drive through window and the product in the car is more than my tummy can take. Just thought I would mention this as some of you have little ones who may not be able to articulate this. I do not get hives or anything just a smell issue that bothers my stomach. :|

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Me-Allergic to Peanut, Tree Nut, Coconut, Shellfish, ASA and Asthma
My Husband and Children No Allergies


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 12
Thank you so much for all of your ideas! Sorry it took me so long to check back. A friend and I usually bring fruit to playgroup which is always gobbled up, so there are healthy alternatives. I love the idea of mini muffins. I do have a mini muffin tin so I will have to make those as they look sort of like a timbit, but would be healthier. I usually stand right beside her and a friend will pass around my snack so that I can watch what my daughter is eyeing up from other children's napkins. I do tell her no that she cannot have it, and try to redirect her to a piece of fruit or cheese. When she is offered a timbit I usually just say no thank you, she cannot have that as it isn't peanut free and leave it at that unless they ask why and want to learn a bit more.

Paige, I noticed that you are allergic to cottonseed? My daughter has had 2 reactions to cottonseed, we think, one a can of mexican rice from PC that I added to "home made" burritos, and another fajita seasoning that was in fajitas we made. She didn't get hives, just really red and hot around her mouth, swelling and red and hot wherever the food touched...her hands etc. We asked the allergist about it and he hadn't heard of that one before, but is looking into it for us. Were you able to get an actual allergy test for cottonseed?

Cottonseed is in a lot of store-bought cookies/icings/sprinkles so I always offer to make cookies when a holiday is approaching at playgroup.

Thanks so much again for all of your ideas! It is so nice to be able to post here and feel like others understand!

_________________
3yr old Allergic to Peanuts.


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Developing consistent routines will save potential problems and confusion later when you won't always be able to be there when she has a snack. I am thinking down the road when she is in school. It may seem restrictive now, but teaching her to only eat food from home will help protect her later from mistakes or people who don't really understand claiming their food is fine.

Could she take her own special container with food that matched what others were having?


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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:57 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
I really found it helpful to play restaurant, tea party at home with our daughter and her teddys. Sometimes I was the guest with allergies, "Is there any tuna fish in this cookie? I'm allergic to tuna fish."

I would let her create the scenario and give her words and phrases.

We even had to use our trainer on teddy once! :frightened (he survived unscathed :D )

_________________
Moderator
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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 Post subject: Re: Playgroup Snacks
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 12
Cute tea party idea, that will be fun to do as she gets more words.

Thanks for all the great tips!

_________________
3yr old Allergic to Peanuts.


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