While your child is at school, he mostly take snacks during break time or even after school. The parents either pack the snacks or even they are sold at the school canteen. At times we can’t control what our children eat while in school and this becomes dangerous if they eat something they are allergic to.
One of the allergies is the allergy to peanut which becomes fatal if one eats snacks or food which have peanut in them.
Peanut allergy is a very common form of food allergy, especially among children. It is estimated that around 0.5% of children in the U.S suffer from peanut allergy. This form of allergy is life-long, once a child is born with.
However, there are those kids who manage to shake it off, later on in life. In light of this, children who have peanut allergy, should and must avoid all forms of peanut, to avoid fatal and near fatal reactions.
Peanut allergy causes itchiness, eczema, sneezing, asthma, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, diarrhea and eventually cardiac arrest.
Children with peanut allergy will have allergic reactions to any food material, which contains peanuts in any form. Even trace amouts have been shown to cause allergic reactions.
Touching peanut butter residue or touching peanuts should be avoided, since chances are very high that it will lead to allergic reactions. Recent studies indicates that a significant pourcentage of people suffering from peanut allergy are also allergic to tree nuts.
When choosing a snack for your child, it may be hard to pick out appropriate snacks that have peanuts, especially if everyone else in the family isn’t allergic to nuts.
Check the labels before buying
The Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection ACT (FALCPA), has put strict measures in place, to ensure that all packaged foods that are sold within the U.S must be clearly indicated that they contain peanut on the label.
However, before buying, always check the label so that you can know the ingredients in the snack. This only serves as a resource and at times manufacturers may change their product from time to time, due to consumer demand or other marketing factors.
This means that the company and might not have time and resources to notify the public about the changes, so read the label each time you buy the snack.
Most snacks give warnings on the label for example, “contains peanut ingredients” “processed on shared equipment with peanuts or tree nuts” or “may contain.” Although, at times the manufacturers may not write this in the lab, so be very careful when picking snacks.
Sometimes, a food product may contain highly refined peanut oil. In most cases, this is not labeled as a major allergen. However, your kid may still react to them.
In case of any questions, you should call the manufacturer, who will be in a better position to make clarifications.
Some of the foods items that contain peanut include artificial nuts, boiled peanuts, groober peas, earth nuts, nutmeat, Spanish peanuts, mandelonas, mixed nuts and monkey nuts among others.
Talk your child about the peanut allergy
Children love all kinds of snacks so denying them a particular type of snack will be a bit tricky as they don’t understand why. It is important to let your child know of the snacks that he /she can’t take and make them understand why. As a parent pack only peanut free snacks for your child to go with at school. You can also let the school administration and also the class teacher know that your child is allergic to peanut and this will make it safer for the kid when offered something that has nuts during classroom or school parties.
There are also nut- free schools that you can choose to enroll your child so that they are safe. In these schools, they ask parents to pack nut-free snacks for their kids, and they also ensure that no snack or food that has peanuts is not in the school compound.
Most of these snacks are not healthy, hence they can’t be taken each day. You can choose to alternate healthy snacks and unhealthy snacks each week.
Some of the peanut free snacks include:
- All types of fresh fruits such as bananas, baby carrots, apples, peaches, cherries, raspberries, cucumber, watermelon, oranges amongst others.
- All types of fresh vegetables
- Plain cereals and add fruits or raisins
- Dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, milk,
- Snack bars and cookies such as nutria grain bars, jack rice, crispy treats, pop treat Apples, Oreos, nilla wafers, Nabisco wafers, Kellogg pop tarts, blueberry cinnamon granola bar
- Cakes such as quinoa, banana bread, mini cupcakes.
- Special treat such as surf sweets, Tootsie rolls, Kraft marshmallows, Plain Hershey kisses, skeeter snacks, Nabisco Oreos.
- 100% whole grain snacks such as oatmeal, popcorn, Triscuits, pasta, macaroni.