Introduce highly allergenic food early in babies
Now research is showing that highly allergenic foods such as peanut butter, fish and eggs can be introduced to babies between 4 and 6 months and may even play a role in preventing food allergies from developing.
See the article and video on Wall Street Journal here
What are your thoughts on this?? Do you think it will help?
Airborne Peanut Allergies?
I have been asked this question so many times, “Does your daughter react if the allergen is airborne?” The first time I was asked, was by my daughter’s preschool teacher. Honestly, I didn’t know. I explained we keep a peanut free home, and I have never eaten anything with peanuts around her. I had to call my daughter’s allergist and ask. Her allergist explained that all children with peanut allergies can have an airborne allergic reaction, but typically it is uncommon.
Research has shown that cooking or heating peanuts can release allergens into the air and can cause reactions. However, researchers simulated different settings including a school cafeteria, an airplane, and a sporting event. Study participants wore personal air monitors while sitting next to open jars of peanut butter, while sitting next to someone who ate a peanut-butter sandwich, and while sitting next to someone as they opened multiple packages of peanuts. All were in an enclosed area. In the last study people shelled and ate peanuts, then threw the shells on the floor and walked around on them. In none of these cases were the researchers able to detect any airborne peanut protein. Finally, the last study was of 30 children with documented allergies to peanuts did not have any reaction after breathing with a cup of peanut butter held one foot from their nose over a 10-minute period.
Yet another study found three cases of children who had allergic reactions to peanuts in the classroom in which a teacher or other adult was watching the child and knew that the child did not touch or eat the peanuts. In all of these cases, peanut butter was being heated up in the classroom.
I still would rather not chance it, but it’s good to know that in case we ever do end up in any of those situations, the likelihood of my daughter having a reaction is slim.
Information copied from http://foodallergies.about.com/od/foodallergybasics/a/Clean-Peanut-Residue.htm
Cleaning Residual Peanut Proteins
This week my daughter went on a field trip with her class to a museum. Places like that always worry me, because people are allowed to bring in their own food. You never know when some child might be walking around with a PB&J or some cheese and peanut butter crackers touching everything in site. Anyone who deals with someone who has a peanut allergy needs to be aware of the dangers of residual peanut proteins that can be left behind anywhere that peanut butter has been – surfaces, hands, and mouths. Peanut proteins like to hang around and are not washed away with just water alone. Luckily, there has actually been research done to find the most effective way to clean up peanut proteins.
Hard Surfaces: If peanut butter gets on a counter, table, desk, or any other hard surface, wiping it down with a wet rag/sponge will not remove the peanut proteins from the surface. Research shows that even washing with dish detergent left a tiny but detectable trace of peanut proteins behind, however, the amount should be low enough to not cause a reaction. The only tried and true way of removing all detectable traces of peanut residue from the surfaces is to use a liquid cleaner that contains bleach, or disinfecting wipes, such as Lysol Wipes. My daughter’s allergist actually wrote up a letter to her school saying their her peanut-free lunchroom table needs to be wiped down using a clean rag/sponge that is dedicated only to the peanut free table, in order to avoid cross contamination.
Hands: As far as washing hands goes, water alone does not remove peanut proteins from the skin, and neither does hand sanitizer. The only way to effectively remove all detectable traces of peanut residue from hands is to wash with liquid/bar soap and water. Proper hand washing techniques should be followed: Wet hands with warm or hot water, apply soap, lather well, rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, scrubbing all surfaces including the backs, wrists, between your fingers, and under your nails, rinse well, and dry hands with a clean or disposable towel. If possible, use the towel to turn off the faucet. In case water is not accessible, wipes such as Wet One wipes and Tidy Tykes wipes also proved to be effective, but should not be used as a replacement for hand washing.
Mouths: Researchers studied participants who ate two tablespoons of peanut butter. They then measured the peanut protein levels in their saliva for several hours. They allowed them to rinse their mouths with water, brush their teeth, and chew gum, however none of these activities lowered the peanut protein level in their saliva to one that would not potentially cause a reaction in someone with a peanut allergy. The only thing that did lower the peanut protein levels was eating a peanut-free meal, and waiting several hours. Licking your lips, after eating peanut butter, and then kissing a peanut allergic person on the cheek can cause a skin reaction, while kissing them on the lips can cause an even more serious reaction, especially if they lick their lips right away. When your child begins dating, their dates should be fully aware of the allergy ahead of time. If their date ate something that could even be considered questionable, kissing should be completely avoided.
If a contact allergic reaction does occur, oral antihistamines such as Benadryl can reduce the level of histamine in the body, lessening the reaction. Also, topical hydrocortisone creams can also lessen the itching, redness and inflammation.
Information taken from http://foodallergies.about.com/od/foodallergybasics/a/Clean-Peanut-Residue.htm
Homemade Almond Butter
With so many children having peanut allergies, it seems peanut butter is a thing of the past. We use a Wowbutter, and Nutella for my daughter’s lunches. Fortunately, my daughter is only allergic to peanuts, not tree nuts. Here is a great way to make some almond butter at home. To view the recipe click here. Almonds actually are the more nutritious choice. They are loaded with vitamins, and are heart healthy too.
Does my child have food allergies (please share with new parents)
I remember the exact moment when Bean had her first reaction to peanuts. Halloween was only a couple of weeks away. We were practicing saying “trick or treat” with her little orange pumpkin and the snack size bags of Reese’s Pieces. She was only 15 months old, and it was going to be her first Halloween out trick or treating. I was so excited about it. We were practicing, by pretending that she was going up to a door. I would answer the door, and she would say “trick treat”. She did it a few times, and finally she said, “trick or treat”! Her reward was she could have one of the bags of Reese’s Pieces. She ate TWO Reese’s Pieces, and her lips got very red, and her chin and cheeks turned red and got little bumps all over them. Neither my husband nor I have food allergies, so we didn’t have a clue what was happening. I took her into the bathroom and washed her face, thinking maybe she touched something. I never gave her Benadryl or took her to the doc. I think I might have put some Hydro-cortisone on her face. It took a while, but it did finally go away. After she went to bed, my husband and I were talking about what she could have gotten into that gave her a reaction like that. I remember asking him, “Do you think she might be allergic to peanuts?” We both dismissed the idea, because everyone has seen an allergic reaction on TV. There was no puffy face, eyes swelled shut, can’t breathe type of thing happening. Previous to that, we had been camping. We made scrambled eggs in Ziploc bags. It was a neat camping recipe I had found online. You crack an egg into a Ziploc bag, zip it closed, squish it around in the bag to scramble it, then place the sealed Ziploc bag into boiling water. It cooks it right in the bag, and you eat it right out of the bag too, with a spoon. That time her chin got red and got little bumps all over it. Again, we washed her face off, thinking she maybe got into some weeds or something at the campground. At her next appointment with the pediatrician, I mentioned it. When I told him it was an after thought… an “oh by the way” type of thing. I didn’t think of how serious it could be, until her pediatrician said he wanted to send her for food allergy tests and to keep her away from anything with peanuts and eggs until further notice. Her tests showed that she was (and is still) anaphylactic to peanuts, and that had a mild egg allergy(which she has since outgrown). We have come a long way in what we know now about allergies, but as first time parents who have never dealt with food allergies before, we were pretty clueless. I think back and wonder if I would have had any clue of what to do if she had actually gone into anaphylaxis from eating the Reese’s Pieces? Would I have done things correctly in time to save her? I didn’t have an Epipen yet. I am just thankful that her reaction was not worse than it was.
All that being said, PLEASE pass this info along to all new parents… you never know when they might need this information!
Peanut Free Granola Bar Recipe!
My daughter can never have granola bars, but these are safe! She will be thrilled!
As most of you know from life or from my previous posts, our 7 year old, J, has a peanut allergy that is classified as “moderate-to-severe.”
For the Cap-Rast blood test.
< .035 Class 0 – Below detection
0.35 – 0.69 Class 1 – Low
0.70 – 3.49 Class 2 – Moderate
3.50 – 17.49 Class 3 – High
17.50 – 49 Class 4 – Very High
50 – 99 Class 5 – Very High
> – 100 Class 6 – Very High
Basically, if he eats peanut products his lips and mouth swell, and if his skin comes in direct contact with peanuts he develops hives, but it has always been manageable with Benadryl.
It doesn’t make that big of a difference in our lives now that he’s homeschooled, but it did mean a huge shift for us in our eating habits to make sure he’s safe.
Unfortunately, since a lot…
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