Nut Allergy Boy

A few months back, the Golfer was eating some mixed nuts out of a can. The Monkey, who has always liked eating peanuts, came up and helped himself to a nut. After putting it in his mouth and swishing it around a little, he decided that he didn’t like it and put it back in the can.

And then his face blew up like a balloon.

Within about 5 minutes, one whole side of the Monkey’s faced swelled up like…well…I don’t even know what to compare it to because I’ve never seen either of my children have an allergic reaction like that before. We gave him some Benedryl and he was fine, but still…it made us wonder.

So last week while we were in for his 4 year well-child checkup, I asked the doctor to do a nut allergy screening. Little guy was so brave. They took 4 vials of blood and he never cried once.

Yesterday the doctor called with results and they weren’t the results that we were hoping for. Long explanation short, the Monkey has minor nut allergies. There weren’t any severe reactions, but some minor ones. But as the doctor explained, minor allergies can turn into major ones with continued exposure. So basically, the poor kid just has to stay away from nuts.

Now, staying away from hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts isn’t going to be that hard. But peanuts? Holy crap that’s going to be hard! Peanut butter is a daily (yes, daily) staple at our house. We eat peanut butter toast for breakfast, peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, peanut butter crackers for snacks…you get the idea. Telling my 4-year-old that he should only have peanut butter every one in awhile is going to suck.

“It makes you itchy baby. You can’t have it.”

“But I wanna peanut butter granola bar!” he says as he sratches the side of his face.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful that his allergies weren’t more severe. I just wish that he didn’t have any allergeries. No one else in our family is allergic to anything (okay, I’m allergic to sulfa drugs but that’s pretty easy to stay away from.) I just think it sucks that for the rest of his life he’ll have to stay clear of nuts…just in case.

Looking up ‘nut allergy’ on the computer didn’t help, but I did find a funny column in the L.A. Times that certainly put the whole allergy fear into perspective.

I’m glad that his allergy isn’t so severe that I have to religiously read food labels. I wouldn’t be very good at that. I mean, I know that I would do it if I had to, but having to worry is something is made in the same factory as something with nuts? Well that would be just a big ol’ pain in the butt.

So for now, we’ll learn to enjoy the Sunflower Butter that I bought at Trader Joe’s today (per recommendation of preschool teacher Miss Sandi.) Yummy!


  1. Dawn

    Oh, that stinks!!!

    I’m happy to hear it isn’t severe. I had a student with a severe nut allergy. It wasn’t any fun.

    And, I must say, he is absolutely adorable!!

  2. Dina

    Stephanie, my oldest son has a nut allergy as well. You will need to read the packaging of most items, because many times there’s a disclaimer that says something like: “Item was processed with equipment used on nuts” or something like that. One time he had a reaction at a Chinese place because they had “wiped out” the pan (as opposed to cleaning with soap and water). It had been used previously to prepare a dish with nuts in it.

    My son is now 20 and his allergies seem to be worse than when he was a kid.

    Good Luck!

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