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Where have all the nut allergies gone…..

May 15, 2009

In the U.S., there was not a preschool or elementary school parent who didn’t have a story about the hoops s/he had to jump through just to bring a snack to class. Not that we were not PERFECTLY happy to be extremely careful. Food allergies are serious and no one wants to lose a child over a well intentioned cupcake. But in the U.S., it gets c.o.m.p.l.i.c.a.t.e.d. It can be a pain in the lactose-free pudding.

I am not kidding when I tell you that one preschool class my daughter was in would not allow any snacks that had:

lactose
gluten
nuts
whey
soy
citrus
red dye
taste

It would have been prudent to buy crackers – throw them away and just serve them the cardboard box. At least the kids would have gotten their fiber.

And this was not because of a proven nut allergy – oh no – it was the potential for a possible allergy that had this mom marking yummy snacks off of our list. It seems her older son might have had an episode – to hear her tell it – they weren’t exactly sure it was an episode – but no sense taking any chances. hee hee hee. And by older son, I do not mean the child actually in my daughter’s class – just someone related to the child in my daughter’s class.

Seriously, I would grind dirt into Angel food cake if it meant your child would not get sick. But give me a real list I can work with. And take your kid to the doctor and rule out at least a couple of those. They have tests now. It all made me a little allergic to nuts of a different type.

The most infuriating part was with about 6 weeks left in the school year and about 4,000 carrot sticks later, we were given the “all clear”. It seems little Johnny has no allergies after all. hee hee hee. Silly me.

So it amazes me that here in India none of my kids friends or classes even talk about nut allergies – or any other food allergy for that matter. What do you make of that – do Indian children or expat children just not have allergies?

P.S. And please don’t worry about me offending this mom. She and I never really had time to bond – I was too busy peeling carrots and cutting grapes in half – oh, you didn’t know – grapes are a chocking hazard. πŸ˜‰

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Amit S permalink
    January 30, 2014 7:02 am

    I have been to many countries and have often hear people talking about food allergies (nut, lactose, soy etc etc) But I have never heard people in India talking about any food allergy. I wonder if people really suffer from these allergies or is it just a result of mass hysteria.
    Has any body noticed that here?

  2. May 18, 2009 10:12 pm

    Gori Girl – welcome – thanks for sharing!

    Arun – wish me luck on my adventure home – I hope I don’t run into the problems you had!

    Heather – I am with ya my sista – I would be scared to death – I am very lucky not to have allergies with my kids – and I am happy, happy, happy to be careful for other kids whenever it’s necessary! I hope you are feeling better – I have a little kidney cyst visiting me right now – it’s very special!

    Can I Remain – it works like this – it stinks! πŸ˜‰

    Tottsmom – really, you can never be too careful – and if you can’t be safe at church – well, what more can you say?

    PamJ – I just want to know if you have my diet dr. pepper ready!

  3. pamj permalink
    May 18, 2009 5:00 pm

    sometimes my allergies are my husband & kids :0)

  4. Tottsmom permalink
    May 18, 2009 3:44 pm

    I count myself lucky that non of my kids have ANY food allergies. I do however, have several friends with children that are allergic to a lot of stuff. I have learned to bake a wonderful dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free cake for them when they come for dinner. One family has a child who is contact allergic to nuts and eggs. They are allowing on small serving of pudding a week to see if she can do diary but it is not showing promise. One of the older kids, they just found out is allergic to gluten and soy. This makes if very hard on Mom as one cannot have butter while the other cannot have margarine, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Anyway, our chuch has been decreed a nut free zone in the preschool wing. And in the past we have done nut/dairy/egg free snacks for VBS. Yes, it is a bit extreem, but several families have been able to use our VBS as a summertime fun activity because they feel safe leaving their kids with us.

    I have run into two extreems of personalities on this subject, and a bit of in between. On one side, the Mom that is so scared she won’t let her kid go to school or a friends house. On the other, one who packs her kids a few snack and maybe lunch and sends him on his way. (epi pen in tow).

  5. CanIRemainUnknownPl permalink
    May 18, 2009 3:24 pm

    Never understood how this works, I have a friend who’s kids are allergic to 17 things!!! I am not exaggerating its 17!!! And yes they are home schooled and whenever they come over for dinner, the kids bring their own food 😦
    Not sure how all this works but it sucks for kids not able to enjoy a pudding.

  6. May 18, 2009 12:37 pm

    My niece is allergic to nuts, but only mildly. The nurse keeps her epipen There is a girl in her class though, who is highly allergic and there was a big fuss at the beginning of the year about the mother wanting her to carry her epipen in her bag with her. It was only Kindergarten, and the other parents were afraid other children might get into the bag and get ahold of the epipen. The mother was so afraid. And if that were my child, who was deathly allergic, I’d home school her. She could die from the off chance that a child who had nuts for lunch might come in contact with her child and kill her. That’s scary and I wouldn’t risk it. You can’t control stuff like that, even if there is a no nuts in the classroom policy.

  7. Arun permalink
    May 18, 2009 10:50 am

    Kristi, are you sure that the number 90% refers to ALL Asians? I suspect that might be true of East Asians, but not true of Asians in general. In general, the West seems to usually mean East Asians, whenever they say Asians. Perhaps, lactose intolerance is the reason that East Asian cuisine involves very little milk or dairy products. I know Wikipedia is not an authoritative source, but the table in this article about lactose intolerance is backed by citations:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance

  8. May 18, 2009 10:14 am

    I believe the lactose intolerance is because the groups that Asians are descended from did not start herding cattle as early as the groups that made it into Europe. So there wasn’t a need for the ancestors of many Asian ethnicities to develop a tolerance for cow milk.

    My husband is Indian, and we have a couple of young nephews crawling around from that side of the family – one in Bombay & one in California. Aditya’s sister, who lives in Bombay, didn’t worry about food allergies at all as far as I can tell – I’m sure she didn’t follow the guidelines that American families follow regarding how you introduce food to an infant. Aditya’s brother, who lives in California, is waffling right now about whether they ought to take the preventive measures recommended in the US or not.

  9. May 17, 2009 11:51 pm

    Kristi – that is very interesting – welcome and thanks for sharing

    Lola – yeah, Chris Rock has this whole schtick about how poor children don’t have the luxury of food allergies. It’s pretty funny and makes you think – not that laughing at poor children is funny but you know what I mean πŸ˜‰

    Poupee – I had no idea that lactose intolerance was big here – My kids are really missing their big gallons of milk – we used to go through 7 or 8 a week.

  10. poupee97 permalink
    May 17, 2009 11:32 am

    Either allergies are not as common, or the awareness and preventive measures are less. I think it’s a bit of both. Peanut allergy, for instance, is very uncommon; but lactose intolerance, though highly prevalent, is not known about by many people.

  11. May 17, 2009 10:44 am

    I have heard this question posed a few times, as the US seems to have more allergies to everything under the sun. Maybe it’s envioronmental or maybe we’re just a bunch of overreacting wackos πŸ˜‰ I don’t know.

  12. Kristi permalink
    May 17, 2009 7:09 am

    90 % of native Asians are lactose intolerant because they are missing a gene which produces an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose.

  13. May 17, 2009 1:42 am

    Jurate – wow – that is a bummer!

    Christy – very interesting!

  14. Christy y. permalink
    May 16, 2009 10:13 pm

    In Africa, babies as young as 6 months old are fed peanut paste as a nutritional supplement (food). There is no such thing as peanut allergies, or any other allergies, in Africa where babies are born, live and breath near dirt, soil, and earth. Even in Korea, there was no such thing as allergies when my grandmother was raising children. Now, so many kids have allergies and ezema.

    Allergies in kids are common among kids who grow up in developed countries and none in kids who grow up in underdeveloped countries.

  15. May 16, 2009 2:08 am

    Many Indians (Asians) have lactose intolerance. I found it very sad that in older days (maybe even now) Indian kids were made to drink 2-3 glasses of milk a day for calcium, but then they would get upset stomachs and even headaches and parents didn’t know why as no one knew about lactose intolerance at that time. Then they go to a doctor, he gives them some medicine that has nothing to do with the real problem. Problem never goes away, doctor decides that they have something chronic…

  16. May 15, 2009 8:13 pm

    Badass – oh just wait until you have munchkins! It really is scary for those parents dealing with it – but there are just a few out there who take it a little further than might be necessary.

  17. May 15, 2009 12:26 pm

    Oh, food allergies… Always a hot topic.

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