I am a parent just like most of you; the only difference is my child has a food allergy. He appears to be like any other happy and healthy child, but he is different. He has a life threatening allergy to peanuts and some tree-nuts. Yes, I am saying that he can die from this allergy, something that frightens the heck out of me every day. A lot of people don’t take food allergies seriously. It isn’t a fad or exaggerated, it is very real and children have died from simply eating foods that others eat every day.
When my son was first diagnosed, I knew nothing about peanut and tree-nut allergies or
Epi-Pens for that matter. I only knew that having this allergy wasn’t a good thing and I had a lot to learn. Through this entire learning process, I found out how easily it is to spread peanut oils and simply touching a peanut allergic child with a small amount of peanut oil on your hands, can send them to the emergency room. I never knew there could be trace amounts of peanuts and nuts in many of the store bought foods. Some people think that if a peanut or a nut isn’t visually present then it is safe for a peanut or nut allergic child to eat it. This is not the case. Those little peanuts and nuts hide in all kinds of foods and even a tiny trace amount can harm a child. I also learned how uncomfortable play dates, holidays and birthday parties can be when food is involved.
Some parents of non-food allergic children do not want to hear or understand your reasons for not eating their foods or treats. They are not so understanding or willing to accommodate your child’s allergy. For example, ask a person to give up peanut butter for a couple of hours a day and there just may be uproar in the community. I used to love peanut butter and I also grew up eating peanuts and nuts. It was always a holiday staple in our family, but this has now become a small sacrifice for my family. The love of an innocent child out weighs this on so many levels.
Shortly after I wrapped my head around all of these new things in my family’s life, I decided to reach out to others in my same situation. I started a moms group in Michigan for moms who have children allergic to peanuts and tree-nuts. It started off slow, but I am happy to say that the group has blossomed into so much more than I ever expected. We now have a main website with helpful information for families of food allergies; we are on Facebook and Twitter with over 300 followers and we now have playgroups for all ages in Michigan, California, Illinois and here in Colorado Springs. I now know that you do not have to feel alone and there are many mothers out there just like me.
If you are a working mom, or a stay at home mother with a child who has a peanut or a nut allergy, please join us. Our No Nuts Moms Group will meet up for indoor and outdoor play dates. We also have adult only outings and are open to any other suggestions. This is a chance for you and your child to develop a lifelong friendship with someone you both can relate to.
It is FREE to join our group!
For more information on
our playgroups, please visit http://nonutsmomsgroup.weebly.com/index.html
the Playgroups tab and request to join our Colorado Springs Group.
Lisa Rutter: Founder of
No Nuts Moms Group
Rebecca Sharrow: Group
Leader of No Nuts Moms Group of Colorado Springs.