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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 14
School has been great..he is only in daycare right now..he doesnt start JK till sept. The teachers are all certified in epipen procedures..they keep in clse contact with me on special occasions like valentines day..or another childs birthday...the facility in nut free...
What do you feed your PA kids for DINNER? Are there any foods I should avoid...besides the obvious or the general foods you read about? I feel like most foods say may contain nuts??? I think ive got the snacks down pat....exept cereal..any suggestions? He likes cherioos and rice krispies...now he cant have those? :thanksign
Also, took my son for his first official RAST test yesterday, he did great. Just wondering how the rast score works and what it means..what are your kids rast score? What does it mean to you? I know that it measures the exact level of peanut allergy..just not sure the range( example 1-10?)

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4 year old son PA
2 year old daughter..no allergies


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:35 am 
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Not sure about the RAST so can't help you there. Our Allergist simply told us the severity of each allergen but not the actual number.

Many foods are safe for peanuts but not safe for tree-nuts. It is frustrating if companies only say "nuts" since you don't know which it is.

We keep a notebook with our allergy calls to companies. Remember that the same product may be manufactured in different plants for different sizes - e.g., Fry's cocoa - the small and large tins are manufactured in different plants. One is safe for tree nuts, one is not; to avoid confusion, we just don't use/eat anything with Fry's cocoa - no way that I would trust anyone to remember what size of container they used! But that is for tree nuts - not peanuts --- it's just the best example I know of for the same product to be safe and unsafe.

I thought Rice Krispies were safe?? Shreddies perhaps. (We only have to deal with tree nuts now - - - successful oral challenge to peanuts.)

For birthday parties, there are few people we trusted to eat their homebaking.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
Eating anything that has a may contain warning is like playing Russian Roulette.

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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: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Quote:
He likes cherioos and rice krispies...now he cant have those? :thanksign


Our son eats cheerios and rice crispies (real name brand...Kellogs?) as well as the Quaker life cereal. No name brand cereal have a lot of may contains for nuts/peanuts but whatever the real name brand but Kellogs etc. are great for labeling.

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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 Mar 02, 2011 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 14
Ok..so here is a silly questions! What about food that doesnt say either way if it contains peanuts or not?? For example food that clearly should not contain peanuts..doenst not list nuts or any form of it on the packaging...but also doesnt say no peanut? Should i assume its safe...i doubt it...but this is where im getting overwhelmed! Help! :dungetit

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4 year old son PA
2 year old daughter..no allergies


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Call the company.

It is optional for companies to list May Contains - therefore, the item itself may not contain peanuts but it may be made right next to a product with peanuts and therefore risking cross-contamination. There are many large companies who do label for may contains: examples from my calls in the last two years are: Kraft, SaraLee, Hershey's, General Mills, Quaker. Therefore, if those companies do not list any may contains for our allergen we feel safe eating it because if it was a May Contain they would label for it. In contrast, two years ago I called Wilton and they did not list for May Contains so we did not buy from them because, their wafers were made on the SAME line as a peanut product!

You will encounter amazing companies such as Cheecha (potato snacks we buy at Sobey's) whom, when I called two years ago, do not even allow staff to eat nuts/peanuts on the premises!

We also cleared our house of liqueurs because many contain tree nuts and although our daughter does not drink them it just worth risking it. No idea if they have peanuts. There is a thread somewhere about odd items that people found allergens.

No worries about the questions! I was in your shoes 2.5 years ago and understand the overload of info.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Dd has many allergies including peanuts and tree nuts. She eats Corn Pops, Rice Krispies, Cheerios (regular and cinnamon apple), Shreddies, Mini Wheat, Alphabets, Sugar Crisp (OK she doesn't but she could), Quaker Oats (I make oatmeal from scratch).

For supper, we eat rice, potatoes...we eat Y&Y eggless chow mein noodles because we avoid egg. We find it easier to all eat the same food.

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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 Mar 03, 2011 1:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
We've found that most cereals are just fine, as well as pastas, and most bread. We're a bit radical in that we've always used bread that says "may contain", but have never had a reaction to it (we fed these to him BEFORE he was diagnosed with his allergies, so have continued on as before). Mind you, we would never give him bakery breads, we stick to major brands, and always use whole wheat bread. Like others have said, the major companies are great with their labelling. I've found that if I find a bolded "Contains: Wheat" on the label, then I know they're labelling for allergens, and know there are no nuts / dairy (those are the ones we have to avoid). Honestly, avoiding dairy has been much more difficult - we've found that we hardly have to restrict foods due to his nut allergy, and in all these years we've - touch wood - never had an accidental exposure to nuts. Milk, yes ... several times. I think that speaks to how well nuts are recognized as an allergen.

Others have pointed this out too ... having an allergy may limit the handy packaged foods, but fresh vegetables, most fruits and meats will always be safe. So in a way, it forces you to make healthier choices early on. It really hasn't been that bad! (I can say that now ... my ds is almost 11, I can hardly remember the preschool / kindergarten years...)

Oh yeah ... stay away from any food in bulk bins. MAJOR cross-contamination potential there. Also all those coin-operated candy machines that spit out handfuls of M&Ms and Skittles ... even if it's a nut-free candy, the machine may have previously dispensed nuts. I actually feel a little bit lucky that we have such a great excuse. I always have to tell my kids "No", and they don't fight me on it because they know that ds can't have any.

The 1 piece of advice for the school years is to make sure that everyone in charge understands that your child is to NEVER be fed food at school unless it has been sent from home, or approved by you. It may mean that you have to attend all the little class parties, but it's an opportunity to educate the school staff as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:19 am 
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Momtobunches wrote:
I've found that if I find a bolded "Contains: Wheat" on the label, then I know they're labelling for allergens, and know there are no nuts / dairy (those are the ones we have to avoid).


Not so.

There are no regulations regarding these precautionary statements, it is voluntary. As such, companies don't have to label for all of the top 9 priority allergens. There have been cases when a product did have a good chance of containing traces of one of the priority allergens that was not on the may contain label. When you see these labels, the only thing that you can be certain of is that the product may contain the listed ingredients. You can not assume anything beyond that. Health Canada is looking into this issue and plan on issuing a report in the next few months.

It's best to contact the companies that you normally purchased in the past to inquire about their policy regarding allergens and may contain statements. From there you'll have a point of reference when reading labels. There are some great companies out there!

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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 Mar 03, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
"Contains: Wheat" does not imply that the company labels for "May Contain: ____ "

My daughter had an anaphylactic reaction to a May Contain two hours after allergy tests. I had not checked the label since she had eaten from that bag a few days before; I had checked all the other labels for that meal :cry: . It was at those tests that we discovered that particular allergen. Now I understand that May Contain also means - may contain on one cracker/cookie/bun but not all in the same box.

I know of a girl who 'tested' if she could have something by rubbing it on her arm :frightened Again, the May Contain could be anywhere in the product.

The odd perk of the allergies is that once I read all the labels and found our preferred companies, shopping is easier because I don't look at all of the options anymore. Still read all of the labels though! You will also recognize the French and English for your allergens.

Another pointer is to read the label a few times - when you buy it, before you put it away and before eating. Sometimes an item is hidden in the ingredients that takes more than one reading to catch.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
And plan label reading excursions to the store when you don't need items and you are alone. You can peruse the aisles and read labels at your lesiure. You might get some odd looks but who cares? it sure beats trying to find a safe --- with 2 hungry children in tow and 25 minutes to get home and eat supper before rushing off to an activity.

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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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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 14
Im really impressed with myself. Over the past week..i feel like ive covered the basics and the obvious stuff..did alot of reading and research...NOW...
What about eating out..? restaraunts and fast food places? how can you ever be sure what you child is eating..is safe? Do you guys have any success or horror stories to share?
I also need some advice on how to talk about it with my son...without scaring him? or making him sad. He needs to know its very important..but i dont want him to be afraid...such a fine line..my son is really sensitive :goodidea

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4 year old son PA
2 year old daughter..no allergies


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Woah...slow down or you're going to overload yourself! :frightened

Eat at home, bring snacks and focus on Easter/Passover plans...

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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: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
The comfort level in eating out comes with time and experience. We rarely ate out when we first knew of the tree nut/peanut allergies. We still don't eat out a lot and the only take-out we use is pizza (the owner's child has nut allergies and clearly gets it!).

Personally, we eat at Montana's because they have an allergy menu which shows what allergens are in what products. Few have peanuts/nuts. We are comfortable there because the staff take the allergies seriously and have always been really good. Boston Pizza has also been good for us. I know many of BP's staff. It truly depends on your location and whether or not they GET IT. We don't even consider Chinese food since it contains so many types of nuts - in comparison, we are going to try Japanese because it rarely contains nuts and the restaurant has assured me (each of the 3 times I asked...) that it is nut free.

I can quickly get a feeling for whether or not the restaurant gets it. Here are examples:
- asked the restaurant whether or not the buns were safe - the manager did not know and brought out the box for us to read the label - for us, if it lists May Contains and our allergen is not on it then we typically consider it safe. --- this Manager didn't just check it but brought us the box AND he called the supplier to ask. That is getting it!
- at a catered event in a small town, asked what was safe and if I could read the labels on the buns but there weren't any so the caterer called the baker at home and checked for us :D
- asked if there were nuts at a bagel shop by phone "Absolutely not, it's my cousin's place and he doesn't use any nuts." I then asked what flavours they had and she included this in the list "... sweet ones with walnuts, ..." - clearly did not get it!
- ate a restaurant for the 3rd time with allergies and noticed changes to the menu with more nuts (should have left then) - explained the allergies and ordered our meals - although I'm not allergic, I was sitting next to my daughter and my meal had undeclared nuts - it made me sick at the thought of eating it; we suspect her meal had trace because she had bad stomach ache that night for the first time in years (had many until we discovered the nut allergy) --- to me, for the server to not let me know my meal had nuts was not getting it since I was sitting next to her - will never return there especially with the menu changes note: with tree nut allergies, her sensitivity is different to each of them so while a trace of one might just give her a stomach-ache, a trace of another would cause anaphylaxis. We do avoid traces but made an error in judgment by staying at that restaurant - if her worst tree nut allergen was on the menu we would have left.

For fast food, we are most comfortable with Wendy's - they post their allergen info :D McDonald's has everything online too.


As far as how to explain it to your son, the good thing at his age is that he is always with a caregiver. It is a fine line to explain it without scaring them. I know, with hindsight, that I unnecessarily scared my child because I was so scared. Gaining knowledge is, in my opinion, your best way to help him.

Now, as a teen, she often eats without us - we have taught all of her friends how to use the epi-pen and to not let her go anywhere by herself after a meal - the one time she had an anaphylactic reaction she wanted to be alone.

It does get easier and it is manageable!

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


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
I have never had a problem with bringing dd's food along with us. It took us several years just to get comfortable with letting the kitchen heat her food. :freak

Be pleasant and leave a good tip! :thumbsup

We went to a buffet last weekend and I bruoght dd:
Pizza
Shrimp cocktail
Lasagna
Ice cream
Strawberries

We purchased for her...apple juice.

She likes to go up with us and help us choose our food. At the omlette bar, she orders our omlette. The omlette bar chef's daughter has a peanut allergy.

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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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