One of my friends has a friend (whom I've never met). She has a 5 year old with a life threatening peanut allergy (aren't they all potentially?) - I've never met her though. I know for a fact she doesn't read this blog (she probably is only vaguely aware of me and Bella)....
Her son has had a couple of scary incidents that involved hospitals and epi-pens (need I go on?). One minor incident was enough for me to change my ways and become uber-vigilant about what Bella could eat.
Here's the point of my post though: I was surpised to learn that she NEVER lets him eat anything at other people's houses. Is that weird to you? Even when she is there and the people tell her exactly what is in the dishes - even family and close friends. She says that she doesn't want to set a precedent for her child - that he shouldn't believe what other people tell him about what's in the food they are having. She wants him to think that the only place he can eat is at home.
I say she's a bit paranoid and setting him up for paranoia during school and potentially alienating him from friends and socializing. I think times like this are a really good opportunity for a parent to teach a child to take control of their allergy and not be hindered by it. Basically I want Bella to think to herself (almost like a vegetarian or vegan) - hmmm, what's on the menu? Well, I can't have that because it has nuts, but look what I CAN have! Or to say to herself, should I be eating this? Let me ask someone first.
Am I a horrible, naive, loosey-goosey, hippie-dippie mother? Is 5 too young to teach cause and effect? Some of my family think I am nuts (gotta work that term into every post - hee hee) for showing Bella what peanut butter looks like, or peanuts in and out of a shell (in photos of course!) so she knows to stay away. I know it will take some time for it really to sink in, but isn't all of this about education and awareness, not sheltering your child from reality?
My mother, unfortunately, has a life threatening allergy to shellfish. Does it stop her from eating out at seafood restaurants? Nope. She's just really careful and really clear when she goes to a restaurant. I think we're lucky in that she set a great example of how to live your life with a food allergy that can stop you in your tracks. Believe me, she's spent time in the hospital (and actually was stuck in British customs after cross-contamination from inflight dining - that's a story for another time though)...
What would you do (WWYD)? Thoughts? If you went to a family member's house and they made a cake (from a mix you approved - or from scratch with approved ingredients), would you let your child have some or would you still not trust it? Please let me know!