I never thought I’d be that mom. That mom is so weird. The mom that doesn’t let her child eat baked goods at others’ houses because they don’t have an ingredients label for her to study. The mom that keeps a stash of “safe” snacks in her bag, just in case her kid is offered a Reese’s cup. The mom that doesn’t leave home without her emergency kit – complete with Benadryl and an EpiPen. I never thought I’d be that mom, however once I learned of my son’s peanut allergy, I became that mom.
I think we can all agree that mom guilt is an all too real side effect of parenting. That being said, I don’t need to add to the guilt that already keeps me up until the wee hours of the morning. So do me a favor and spare me the details of the article on peanut allergies that you read on Facebook. I’ve heard it all. No, my child did not contract his allergy from a vaccination. Yes, I ate peanuts while I was pregnant and breastfeeding. And no, I don’t need you to make me feel as if this is my fault. I have enough to worry about – like how we’re going to deal with trick or treating one day when the time comes.
I confess, I annoy myself sometimes. I spend entirely too much time in the grocery store reading the labels on everything. And I still miss things. I’ll never forget the time I bought neapolitan ice cream, not thinking anything of it. After my son finished an entire serving, my husband innocently asked “is this safe?.” Of course this was the one item that I didn’t check and of course, under the allergy warnings, in big bold letters, it read CONTAINS PEANUTS. Peanuts?! Really?! No, it wasn’t just manufactured in a facility that also handles peanut products, this ice cream actually contained the lethal nut. I’ll never understand how peanuts come into play in chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ice cream, but it taught me that I can never be too careful!
I confess, I know that I come across as a rude houseguest or restaurant diner. Heck, I’d find it rude if I saw someone inspecting everything in my fridge, too. And I know how brazen I sound when I ask “what’s in this?” to everything you serve. No, I’m not picky. I actually love (all) food. I’m just a mom that loses way too much sleep at night wondering if her kid might have somehow found a Peanut M&M under the couch. Seriously, this is just one of the crazy thoughts that run through my head at night. Insane, I know.
I confess, I love peanut butter. When my son is at Grandma’s house, I may or may not enjoy a box or two of Tagalong Girl Scout cookies to myself. Do I blame my son for making our house a peanut-free zone? Nope. If anything, I’ll thank him one day. His allergy has made my appreciation for one of my favorite foods even greater. Trust me, go weeks or even months without your favorite sweet and it will taste a bajillion times better when you finally get the chance to indulge!
Before I had I peanut-allergy kid, I laughed at moms like me. So if you think I’m ridiculous and over protective, I get it. But coming in contact with that seemingly innocent little nut could possibly kill my baby. So please don’t complain that your kid can’t bring a PB&J to school because of kids like mine.
I’ve compiled a list of my family’s favorite peanut (and tree-nut) free packaged snacks. No, these aren’t the healthiest choices, but we all deserve some fun sometimes, right? Not a peanut-allergy family? These are great options for school parties to be considerate of kids with allergies, as well.
- Pepperidge Farm Goldfish
- Annie’s Bunny Grahams
- Cheez-It Crackers
- Honey Maid Graham Crackers
- Chips Ahoy
- Teddy Grahams
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Skeeter Nut-Free Products
Do YOU have a peanut-free treat suggestion to add to this list?