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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:57 am
Posts: 4
Hello all,

I'm new here. My oldest will be starting kindergarten next year at a school with a peanut ban. I am sure the school will be sending more information about what this means, but I thought I'd get myself a little more educated from parents who actually have children with this allergy. What are the best practices that parents should following in choosing food for their children when there is a ban like this in place? Obviously no products that contain peanuts. What about products that say they 'may contain' peanuts? Are those ok or not? Are other parents supposed to know other names that might be used in an ingredient list? Or is that even a consideration for peanuts? (Like, how if you're avoiiding sugar you should also avoid anything that has an indgredient that ends in -ose). What if something doesn't say either way if it does or doesn't?

Also, I'm wondering about related allergies - I understand that people who are allergic to peanuts are often also allergic to other things in the same food category. Would that mean all nuts or all legumes??

Thanks!

Christina


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Wow, kudos to you for being so proactive! If only all parents were as understanding and caring as you!

You should wait to see what the school policy states, but as far as your own initiative goes, you should avoid buying anything with peanuts or tree nuts, and also foods that state "may contain", especially if there is an allergic child in your child's classroom. However, I wouldn't avoid legumes, unless there is a child allergic to legumes in the classroom.

The reason that you should also avoid tree nuts is because 1) often, peanut allergic people are also allergic to tree nuts and 2) peanuts are often processed in the same plants as tree nuts and therefore the tree nuts are contaminated with peanuts.

You should avoid bringing anything from bakeries as well as places like Tim Horton's because of the cross-contamination

Here are some terms that may indicate that a product contains peanuts:

Arachis Oil
Cacahuete, arachide (French for peanut)
Food Additive 322 Lecithin (if they don't specify what lecithin it is, it may be peanut)
Hydrolyzed plant/vegetable protein (most of the time, manufacturers will specify if it's soy or another protein but if they don't, it may be peanut)
Marzipan
Goober nuts, goober peas (both terms used to designate peanuts in the Southern states)
Monkey nuts (British term for peanuts!!)
Unspecified vegetable oil

This is a partial list, perhaps other members can add to this.

You'll find that there are a lot of safe treats out there, it is not that hard to avoid peanuts!

Also remember to read every label every time, twice rather than once!

Hope this helps.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:57 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the info Nicole. I have to admit that the question is partly to figure out what's safe, but also partly to figure out 'what am I going to feed my son?' We're a fairly health concious family, and we very strongly limit animal products. Not complete vegans (or even vegetarians), but obviously nuts & legumes are a big part of our current diet. So I want to start figuring out what I will have to change.

I'm confused (though pleased!) to hear that legumes are not not necessarily a concern. I thought peanuts were a legume, not a nut?

So tree nuts means stuff like walnuts, almonds, etc, right? That would include almond milk :( ?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Every school with bans tends to do things differently. I'd check the specifics with your school. In addition to my girls allergies I am vegan and very health conscious, but do not consume any nut products because of my daughters allergies. Some good "non meat" ideas include sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and soy. You can buy all three of these in spreads as well. Alternative spreads may or may not be allowed because unfortunately some kids would find it ammusing to bully an allergic child with a soynut butter sandwhich. The bans are about more than the allergic child not consuming the wrong thing. They are also about the children who may, and unfortunatley have wiped PB on an allergic child, held it to their face, wiped it on their locker/desk etc.

Since you're health conscious too...I would suggest contacting your school in regards to their policies on parties, treats, rewards, and various other junk food used DURING class time. It is pretty overwhelming how common it is. When I looked into kindergarten, I was asked to provide 40 junk food "treats" like chocolate bars or candy for my daughter to have DURING class time, so that she would not be excluded during the school year. That was my real eye opener that my issues with school were deeper than just my allergic kids safety. I chose to homeschool. I just wasn't interested in junk food being pushed on them...and I also wasn't interested in my kids being "the kid who took away our fun (an issue we were dealing with when she still attended preschool)".

Check out this topic for starters
http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/vie ... php?t=1555
as well as the link Nicole provided.

If having your child exposed to the constant "oh, its so fun to eat junk" is an issue for you...you could always team up with the parents of the allergic kids to help encourage healthy alternatives.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:57 am
Posts: 4
I do use alot of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds in my baking. Thanks for reminding me these are good protein sources as well! We eat soy, but I don't like to give too much or too frequently to ds as I have concerns about the hormones, especially for young boys.

It's so sad that any child would bully another child like that. It's beyond bullying, really, when it's life threatening. I've got to think that kids who would do that don't understand the seriousness of their actions. Most of the kids around here would lecture their parents if they tried to send a pb sandwich to school.

I'm so glad I live in NB, because junk food in the schools is limited. We have a 'healthy living' plan for all schools throughout the province. It is strictly forbidden to use food as a reward during classtime, no junk food sold in elementary school, and parents are encouraged to send healthy foods for parties. That's the policy anyway - I guess I'll find out what reality is next year.

Here's info on the policy for those who are interested: http://www.gnb.ca/0000/pol/e/711A.pdf


Last edited by cmtaylor on Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
cmtaylor wrote:
I'm confused (though pleased!) to hear that legumes are not not necessarily a concern. I thought peanuts were a legume, not a nut?

So tree nuts means stuff like walnuts, almonds, etc, right? That would include almond milk :( ?

Yes a peanut is a legume, but having a peanut allergy does not automatically make you allergic to all legumes. My son, for example, is allergic to peanuts but has no problems with any other legumes. Having said that, a child can have an allergy to peanuts and other legumes -- you'll have to wait and see what, if any, allergies the children in your child's class have.

Here's a link to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's info page about peanut allergy: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fss ... arae.shtml
and tree nut allergy: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fss ... noie.shtml
(Your right about tree nuts being walnuts, almonds, etc. -- and yes, almond milk too - an allergic individual needs to stay away from any derivative of what they're allergic to)

As far as peanut and tree nut free snack ideas (and assuming that there are no children in your child's class dealing with other food allergies like dairy / egg / soy / etc.): fruits, veggies with dip, yogourt, cheese, hot air popped popcorn, home made trail mixes using cheerios / raisins / dried cranberries / pretzels (most store bought trail mixes contain peanuts/nuts), apple sauce, crackers with or without cheese, vegetable wraps/sandwiches, sunbutter sandwhich http://sunbutter.ca/sunbutter.htm (sunflower seed butter - not all brands of sunflower seed butter are safe for peanut/nut allergic), bulgar or couscous salads, there are some companies that offer health(ier) convenience foods like http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/cart/department.asp , granola bars by http://www.nonuttin.com/, dried fruit snacks http://www.sunrype.com/viewgroup.php?id=2, Pita Break pitas http://www.pitabreak.com/en/default.asp . Take a look at our "shopping" thread for some more companies that manufacture safe prepackaged ideas.

I do also really want to say "thank you" for taking the time to learn more about food allergies - your caring and understanding about children with food allergies means a lot to me, but will mean even more to the parents and children with food allergies at your child's school! I hope my son is lucky enough to have friends with parents like you! :D


Last edited by ethansmom on Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Sorry, I should have specified about peanut allergic people not necessarily allergic to all legumes.

As for suggestions, bagels with cream cheese are always a big favourite, so are jam or honey sandwiches. These are quick and convenient.

I also occasionnally send them to school with a thermos of pasta or soup.

Dare also makes some yummy snacks like Bear Paws and peanut-free chewie bars, they are not on the top of the healthy food list but they're nice for variety and I consider them less junkie than other snacks.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 932
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Hi CMTaylor! I also want to thank you for your understanding and proactive approach in preparing to send your child to school with children having food allergies. I just wanted to mention that Canada's top 10 most common food allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, sesame seed, egg, fish, shellfish, soy, sulphites (not necessarily in that order in terms of numbers effected). Each classroom may request additional allergen avoidance based on the food allergic child(ren) in the classroom, so it is possible some other healthy foods may need to be avoided. Our son has multiple food allergies, including sesame, sunflower and other seeds (as well as peanuts, tree nuts, green peas, fish, egg, etc.) My son's school has also requested that in addition to no peanuts or tree nuts, that no sesame or sunflower seeds be sent to the school. Just thought I'd mention this since you've already been doing such a great job of being well-informed! :D

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:57 am
Posts: 4
Hi Julie! Egg allergy is the one that runs in my family - my grandmother was seriously anaphylactic (sp?), and my son and I are moderately. I am to lentils as well. So, yeah, I get that there can be other allergens that each school/classroom may add to the list. But I'm kind of surprised that the schools are each left to there own thing when it comes to peanut - since it seems to be so common, and so much more easily triggered. I would have thought there would be some kind of best practice that schools should follow - that what I was originally looking for here.


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