questionsanyone needing to deal with a peanut allergy?

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I have pondered over your question, and found that I can't answer you w/o saying other things. Such as, this is ONE child who has a TOUCH allergy to peanuts and the entire school is penalized? That seems like (pardon the expression) overkill.

I searched on the touch peanut allergy & found that it is not lethal. At all. I think you must literally touch something w/peanuts. I could be wrong on that. But.... Seriously, why would your child's PB sandwich endanger THAT child? And yes, you could probably direct me to sites that say the very essence in the air, the smell of peanuts, will harm that child in some way. :-/

I often wonder how I lived through childhood. The restrictions/laws/etc. pertaining to children now seem to be gross interference. Guess I'm lucky to be alive.

A pathetic answer to your ?. Try the usual - Carrot, celery sticks. Small cans of tuna, chicken that are designed for lunches/snacks. Fruit.

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Hard boiled egg, salad, pasta salad, various fruit, string cheese, yogurt, crackers w/sliced cheese and ham. I've seen the interesting tip of putting a raw hot dog in a thermos of boiling water. By the time lunch time comes around the hot dog is cooked and still warm. Never have tried it out, though.

I've run across a blog of a woman who photographs her kid's lunch every day. She's had some creative ideas. I'll try to dig it up a bit later.

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My son's preschool is peanut-free as well.

There are peanut butter alternatives that you use the same ways (and as easily) as peanut butter. You'll usually find them at the supermarket on the same shelf as the peanut butter (or nearby). There's almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter, and others.

The almond butter isn't very tasty, but there's a "Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend". It's all natural, and contrary to what you might think since it has chocolate, it's lower in calories than peanut butter. I have a jar of Skippy Superchunk Peanut Butter and a jar of Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter here in front of me. Both have a serving size of 2 tablespoons. The peanut butter has 10 more calories (also, 10 more calories from fat), 1 more gram of fat, and twice as much sodium. It does have fewer carbs and more protein, but I don't think those make up for the extra sodium and calories.

It's good stuff.

It's also kind of expensive, but well worth it, and he loves it.

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Different schools have different rules. Does your school allow other nut butters? If they do, as @mrgrogg suggested you can try any number of other types, including soy, sunflower seed, almond, and cashew. Of course, when it is your child that has the allergy, you have to be sure the nut butters are made in peanut free facilities. My (now grown) daughter has a peanut allergy, and her favorite was almond butter (the others reminded her too much of peanuts and that made her nervous).

Otherwise, what you make depends a lot on what your child likes. Try to get them involved in planning lunches before you shop so you can pick up a variety of interesting foods. The practice also helps to get them started thinking about ingredients and nutrition at an early age. Another thing we found helpful when my kids were in school was to make lunches the night before so we could take our time and occasionally be more creative.

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@gmwhit: When we went to school, I'm not sure anyone had heard of peanut allergies. I know I was dumbfounded when my toddler had her first reaction, because I'd always thought of it as such a harmless food. The problem with any exposure is that each subsequent reaction tends to be worse than the last. My daughter went from hives and vomiting in her first reaction, to an anaphylactic response on only her fourth accidental exposure.

In a school setting peanut butter has a way of traveling from sandwich to hand to table, doorknobs, books, supplies, etc. My daughter made it through school by being very aware of her food (reading ingredient labels at a young age), vocal about her allergy, and careful of her surroundings (lots of hand washing). My only concern about the peanut-free rules in schools today is that it might cause some people to let down their guard; lifelong vigilance is an important skill for people affected by severe allergies.

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@mrgrogg: This child is also tree-nut sensitive. But thanks for the suggestion on the other nut butters! The entire staff of the school had to be trained with an EpiPen and from what I heard, strategically placed EpiPens are located for the staff to use in case there is a situation. Apparently this allergy is that bad. I suppose homeschooling is not an option for this child (honestly, not every parent is cut out to take on that task, even with the best intentions)

So, my kid took a jelly sandwich to school (no PB), and he got asked by several kids and lunch staff if it had PB in it. They are watching, very carefully.

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A friend found me this link to 15 peanut-free recipes -- pretty good looking and a decent variety:

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/nut-free-recipes?pnid=114306

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Myopic view of things. It's not that they changes the rules to accommodate 1 child but that one child raised a larger issues that's not reported, i.e. other kids likely suffer from it as well.

"Better to be thought the fool than to speak and remove all doubt."