Ok, ok… not everything but allergies are scary!As a parent our number one goal is to keep our kids safe (which also means alive). Food is fuel, and when the very thing you’re giving to your child everyday can actually make them sick or becomes a life threatening thing, it’s so freaking scary!
This is Otis, he’s 1 and we just found out that he’s allergic to peanuts, all tree nuts (minus pecans because he fancy), and eggs (but can eat eggs cooked in things, just not straight up, or have mayo, etc). He also has eczema which I learned is a red flag to other allergies. Now I know compared to some kids his allergies may seem minor, but he’s my kid and that is all I have to compare it to. My husband and I do not have any allergies, my older son doesn’t have any allergies, and they don’t run in my family. It’s honestly not something that was on our radar until we got handed and epipen and was told “when in doubt, use it and call 911 immediately”… ummm what??
Let me back up for all of you that are thinking “but how did this come about?” “Did he show signs/symptoms?” “How do I know if my kid is allergic to something?” and let me just start off by saying I don’t have a medical bone in my body, so if you have a feeling, consult with your doctor, but this is what I found… When we started giving Otis his first foods we could see he was “picky” in comparison to Nixon (his older brother), he threw up more, tested food more by putting it to his mouth then throwing it on the ground. I kind of picked up on this and really let him lead when eating. I think he and I had an intuition in a weird way and I knew not to push him to try/eat certain things. The two times we tried peanut butter he threw up within in an hour of consumption (he only tried tiniest amount). But I also was in denial and thought it was situational and again did not push it, especially because Nixon isn’t allergic to ANYTHING. I brought it up to his primary at his one year appointment and she gave me a hard stop and tested him for it. I got a call a couple days later saying that he is highly allergic and to see an allergist because usually with one comes more. Needless to say, she was right and here we are!
The type of mom I was before I learned my son had allergies: Both my kids go to daycare and some of the kids have allergies there. I was relieved to know that they still allow all foods and keep the kids with allergies separate when eating… until Otis. I would have been disappointed if Nixon couldn’t eat the most easy lunch for me to make (peanut butter and jelly), but in reality I’m putting other littles at risk. My thought process and my lack of empathy weighed heavy on me… how could I care about my convenience more than a child’s safety? And honestly ABSOLUTELY NO judgement to people that bring nuts or eggs into daycare, it’s your right if it’s allowed. It just reminded me to keep thinking “what if that were my child?” and to always error in safe food choices when bringing, handling, or handing out foods for holidays.
Adjusting our lifestyle to make sure our kid doesn’t die
- And wine, I drink a lot of wine… Which I guess hasn’t been a lifestyle adjustment if I really think about it…
- We went from a house full of nuts (pun intended) to completely nut free
- We switched from peanut butter to “sun butter” = sunflower seed butter. The taste is not a huge change, definitely has the sunflower seed taste, but our whole family eats and enjoys it.
- I only eat nuts/nut products at work… Now this is a little risky, I know, however I have not ever seen a reaction from oils being transferred by skin and it’s what I feel comfortable with and I wash my hands after I eat them. They are my go-to snack in between meals so I feel like it’s a good compromise.
I don’t know if this is the end of the road for Otis with his allergies, and I’m not sure what this means with eating out or going to a party that I can’t physically make the food or check the labels. It’s definitely an added stress to toddler eating (because who doesn’t freak out every second thinking their chocking never mind thinking they could possible die from an ingredient they just ingested). I’ll circle back about tricks I use when eating out, checking labels, and party going. Wish me luck, I need it!!