A peanut allergy is one of the most common, serious and potentially fatal food allergies. The “allergic reaction” is caused by an immune response to the peanut protein. This causes the release of histamine chemical in the body, and can result in symptoms such as itchy skin, rash, runny nose, and nausea to the most serious case – anaphylaxis.
It is important to be vigilant about reading foods labels, here are foods that may contain nuts:
Artificial Nuts: Such as peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with nut flavoring like pecan or walnut
Baked goods: baking mixes, breads, cakes, pastries with unknown ingredients, particularly carrot cake, pumpkin cake or pie and fruit and nut rolls.
Main Dishes: Asian foods (like Satay, pad Thai, egg rolls), vegetarian dishes, chili
Salad dressings and sauces: Gravy, nut and peanut oils, pesto, prepared sauces, salad dressings, and condiments (barbecue sauce and Worcestershire sauce)
Soups: Bouillon, soups that use nuts as thickening agents
Sweets: Chocolate candies, desserts, ice cream, marzipan, nougat, praline
If you have a child with nut allergies, here are some tips to help them stay safe:
- If staying at a friend’s house overnight, bring your own “safe” food.
- Make school lunches at home. Try veggie wraps, meat sandwiches, or fruit and cream cheese sandwiches.
- Instruct your child to wash his/her hands with soap and water after meals.
- Avoid fried foods when eating in restaurants and fast-food places. (May be cooked in peanut oil)
- Consult with a Registered Dietitian to design safe, delicious and nutritious meals and snacks.
- Carry a laminated list of “foods to avoid” in the backpack and lunchbox. Give a copy to the child’s teacher and school nurse.
- Use the manufacturer’s toll-free phone number if you have questions about the ingredients contained in your favorite foods.
Nut-Free Granola Bars
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 5-6 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 4 Tablespoons pepitas
- 1 Tablespoon flax seeds
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 apple grated
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 6-8 large dates
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- How Water (approximately 4 Tablespoons)
- In a food processor combine all ingredients until mixed well.
- Depending on how juicy your dates are you will need to add a bit of hot water so the mixture moistens and becomes sticky.
- Let mixture sit for about 5 minutes for oats to soak up the liquid.
- Spread mixture into 8×8 pan and bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes.