Monday, November 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Parties

I came across this article about mothers in Australia who take their kids to organized ‘parties’ to test for a peanut allergy.

There appears to be a heightened awareness of peanut allergies amongst new parents compared to years ago. It seems everyone fears their child may be allergic to peanut butter and worries about the first time they introduce it. A recent study I read showed that 8% of children in the United States under 18 years old suffer from food allergies. The most common allergen was peanuts. Of the 8% with food allergies, about 39% had a history of severe reaction and 30% were allergic to multiple foods. The number of kids with food allergies went up 18% between 1997-2007. Considering these numbers, it comes as no surprise that parents have this fear.

As you know, we have been introducing nuts very slowly, and we have been actively doing this near the hospital in the event of an emergency. I’ve never heard of such a party here in Montreal, but perhaps Australian moms are onto something. I have heard that there is a room at the Montreal Children's hospital for parents to bring their kids to introduce peanuts. I asked an allergist at the hospital about this, and he laughed at this rumor. Yes, there is a room for allergists to do food challenges on kids known to have allergies, but not for random people to come and introduce their kids to food for the first time. Perhaps the hospital cafeteria would be a good public venue for this sort of party!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Boy who Ate Almonds

Round two of our nut introductions was successful. We gave him slivered almonds which rumor has it are not so tasty on their own, but he ate them all up! No reaction … next cashews. Stay tuned.

Are there any good chocolate bars with cashews?


Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Best Peanut/Nut Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

I make these cookies all the time. The recipe yields a lot of dough, so I often freeze half and use it when I have impromptu company, or when I give the boy a really special treat.

2/3 C. Butter or margarine (Melted)
2C. Lightly packed brown sugar
2 Eggs
2 tbsp Water
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 C. Flour (plus 2 tablespoons)
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda

¾ C. Milk Chocolate Chips or Semi Sweet
¾ C. White Chocolate Chips
(OR 1 1/2 C. of swirl chocolate chips which are half milk/half white-Presidents Choice makes these)

Beat the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, water, and vanilla
Stir in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda
Mix the chocolate chips and cranberries

Bake at 375f for approximately 10 minutes

Makes about 50-60 cookies (depending on size)

Enjoy :)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Peanuts and Medication

The other day I had a close call. I was prescribed a medication that had peanut oil in it. Luckily, I have a habit of double checking EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth, including medication. While I was waiting for the pharmacist to check his book of medications, I googled the medication, and to my surprise there was in fact peanut oil in it.

This situation reminded me that I can never be too careful. It is my responsibility to double check everything including medication. So for all you allergic people, double check!