Recent years have seen a significant spike in the number of kids who suffer from food allergies, especially peanut and tree nut allergies. These tips should help keep your next party or playdate fun, healthy and safe.
The most common childhood food allergies are to milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs and soy. However, it’s nut allergies that are really on the rise. According to a FARE-funded study, the number of children in the U.S. with peanut allergies more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.
When someone has a nut allergy their body produces antibodies in an attempt to protect itself. The antibodies release chemicals like histamine when “invaders” enter the body and cause the allergy symptoms to appear in the form of coughing, wheezing, congestion, stomachache, vomiting and itchy hives.
So, what do you do if your child has a bestie with a peanut or tree nut allergy? Before they come over, you’ll want to confirm with their parents WHAT nut they are allergic to and ensure that they bring whatever medication they might need with them. Not all nut allergies are created equal. For example, a peanut is a legume, but a tree nut allergy would include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pistachios. If you’re planning on serving a store bought snack, carefully read the label and make sure it reads, “Produced in a nut-free facility.” The morning before the playdate make sure that you have a nut-free breakfast. The last thing you want is a nut crumb lurking around on the counter. Lastly, put away the dog food. Many of our furry friends’ food is produced in a facility that contains nuts.
Try whipping up these amazing muffins when hosting your nut-free playdate. With fall and back to school right around the corner, go apple picking at your favorite local orchard and make these yummy treats that the kids are guaranteed to love!