Handling Peanut Allergies

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

A peanut allergy is one of the most common, serious and potentially fatal food allergies. Many schools have banned peanuts from being brought in. 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:

  1. If staying at a friend’s house overnight, bring your own “safe” food.
  2. Make school lunches at home. Try veggie wraps, meat sandwiches, or fruit and cream cheese sandwiches.
  3. Instruct your child to wash his/her hands with soap and water after meals.
  4. Avoid fried foods when eating in restaurants and fast-food places. (May be cooked in peanut oil)
  5. Consult with a Registered Dietitian to design safe, delicious and nutritious meals and snacks.
  6. Carry a laminated list of “foods to avoid” in the backpack and lunchbox. Give a copy to the child’s teacher and school nurse.
  7. Use the manufacturer’s toll-free phone number if you have questions about the ingredients contained in your favorite foods.


SunButter Berry Powerballs

Prep: 10 minutes

Makes: 15 servings


  • 2/3 cup SunButter® Natural
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried berry mix
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats



  1. In medium bowl, combine SunButter, maple syrup, flax seed, and cinnamon. Stir until completely blended.
  2. Fold in dried berry pieces and oats, stir until fully combined.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place balls into an airtight container and store in the fridge or freezer for snacking throughout the week.



Calories 110, Calories from Fat 60, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 45mg, Carbohydrates 9g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g, Protein 3g

Recipe by: Sunbutter