Cheerios & Quaker Oats- questions (and a bit of a vent)

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 2:51pm
momjd's picture
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First, do most of you consider Cheerios (the regular ones) "safe" for your PA or TA child? I'm trying to eliminate the cause of our ongoing rash and wondered if cc could be the cause b/c he loves Cheerios. Do you trust all GM cereal labels or are there select few that can be relied upon?

Second, - does anyone other than Quaker make quick oats? I want to cook with some but Quaker makes theirs in the same factory as their nutty nut nut oat cereal with nuts (ok maybe that's not really the name- I quit listening right after she said walnut). So I don't want to use their oats. (Sorry this is about TN, I can't remember if she mentioned PN or not).

Finally, Bob's Red Mill (which is the only oat flour I've found) doesn't have any dedicated lines for anything according to the person I spoke with and they make all kinds of ground things that I'm afraid of, so is there anywhere that I can buy oat flour?

I've already resigned myself to the fact that I will be making everything from scratch due to the ever oppresive scourge of cross contamination, but I can't even find "safe" base ingredients. (Did that sound whiney, it did didn't it- apologies to all. I'm a bit testy tonight b/c my ds is refusing to eat meat, can't have nuts, tree nuts or eggs and appears to have developed an allergy to either milk, wheat or both- he is tired of rice and likes to make me aware of this when he wakes up at 2 a.m. wanting a snack) For those of you who have been taking the baking challenge for years, where do you get your stuff?

I can't thank you all enough for your advice. I promise to some day be informed enough to attempt to return the favor- but I'll have to wait until I learn a little more.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 8:32am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I echo your frustration- big time.
We've never really found a GOOD solution to this problem...
I buy organic steel cut oats and grind them with a dedicated coffee grinder (or a decent blender... I'm just too cheap to buy one of those [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]) to make my own flour. I have done this also with buckwheat groats, quinoa, amaranth, and millet. I feel that the grains are definitely safer than the processed flours, but there is a limit to the time I have to do all this, so I also buy milled flours!
There are a few other people that we've had success getting non-wheat flours from. (But we've used Bob's Red Mill products for years without any issues... we're just careful when we start a new package.) Arrowhead Mills (from TX) has a lot of different flours and are reputed to be very safe and aware. Guisto's of Central CA is the supplier for some of our flours at this point.... but we're pretty restricted, since we now cannot use anything more closely related to wheat than corn. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
We will not use Quaker's hot cereals nor their cold cereals, but we have routinely used their quick oats. Same policy as with Bob's though... do a small scale "challenge" with a new lot.
Crushed rice or corn Chex make a tasty coating or pie crust, by the way- and they are very safe.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 11:58am
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Joined: 02/24/2002 - 09:00

My mom is going to get in touch with the nearby Amish community to see if we can purchase our grains "fresh" from them. I told my dh he was going to have to learn how to mill flour. (ha ha) Hopefully after we see the allergist again on Thursday I will know if our current problem is wheat or milk, right now we're avoiding all milk and I'm trying to limit wheat just in case.
Thanks for the info. on Bob's and Arrow, I have products from both of those companies and have been afraid to use them. Maybe I will relent and give them a go. I also have a big container of Quaker's quick oats, my hubby votes yes to using them but I don't know... walnuts in the same factory scares me. (Logan's skin test was higher for TN than PN) Maybe I can phyche myself up and make some cookies tomorrow.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 1:36pm
Concerned's picture
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Joined: 02/27/2002 - 09:00

My son is allergic to peanuts, brazil nuts, milk and eggs. He has been eating Cheerios and Total for almost a year with no reactions. General Mills is one of the few companies I feel very comfortable with. They seem to be very allergy conscience. When I call a company and they say a product is safe I usually call back at least one more time to see if I get the same answer. At General Mills I was told that even if there was any chance of cross-contamination from any of the major 8 allergens, that allergen would be listed in the ingredients or after the ingredients in bold print. If you look at the ingredients label for Whole Grain Total at the end you will see in bold print Contains: Wheat Ingredients. Accross the top of the box they also have a statement for food allergic individuals to read the ingredient label.
FYI, when they explained all this to me I said that Total had lactose in it and it didn't say Contains Milk Ingredients and they said that is because the lactose contains no milk protein. My son is allergic to milk and has not had a reaction. The Cheerios contains wheat starch and I asked about that and they said the wheat starch also didn't contain protein - my son isn't allergic to wheat so I can't be sure about that.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 1:58pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Check with your local health food co-op, if you have one. If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Indianapolis, you should also be able to go through the Wild Oats store there. We purchase quick oats in bulk (we buy the 25 lb. bags; you can also order 5 lb. bags), and I think they're quite good -- they have a far "fresher" flavor to them.
We make a very simple granola -- oats, honey, sugar, oil and apple juice -- and really enjoy it. If anyone would like the recipe, let me know.
Corvallis Mom -- have you looked into the purchase of a grain mill? They have dropped considerably in price -- and it's honestly fun to do. I can do twelve cups of flour in less than ten minutes -- and can do other things while it's milling. (I used to use a coffee grinder myself, so I can relate to the time factor!) The other nice part about using a mill is that you can produce talcum-powder fine flour without any extra effort.
We have been experimenting with tortillas and pita bread lately. The tortilla press comes in handy for salvaging failed yeast bread experiments. ("Hamburger buns? Umm -- here, try a pita pocket, instead!")
I'm going to see what I can do with rice flour, next -- I think tortillas will be pretty easy, and will probably use them like crepes, if they have the "sweet" flavor I'm anticipating.
momjd--
Which Bob's Red Mill products are you concerned about? We have used their gluten without incident, but the only product that I would be somewhat concerned about would be the garbanzo flour. (DS is also TNA/PA, allergic to eggs, and has some problems with dairy. He's fine with wheat, but I'm trying to expand our horizons a bit for the sake of a new playmate.) (Hi, Jen! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img])
I'm not minimizing your concern about Bob's-- I'm wondering if I may have missed something!
Sue

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 3:11pm
momjd's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2002 - 09:00

Thanks so much for the information on GM, I am so happy that Logan can have his Cheerios back!
With re: Bob's, I purchased the Oat Flour and called the 800 number (as I have learned to do from seeing everyone's posts here) and the answer I received was that they don't have any dedicated lines for anything. I saw at the store that they make several "mixes" for things like pancakes, etc. and have assumed that some of the mixes could have problem ingredients for us. So, since they don't have any dedicated lines- we could be getting anything they make cc'd with our oats.
Re: Indianapolis- we used to live there but now live in a much smaller town 3.5 hours away. : ( I have relatives there so maybe I could get them to ship me some. That would be better than growing my own LOL.
I'm trying to maintain a really tight comfort zone in hopes of 'beating the odds.' Logan doesn't have severe reactions and he's under 2 yrs. old so we have a shot. I know I have to be happy with the little successes, but beating this allergy would be such a great thing to be able to do for my child. At the very least, I want to beat the egg and milk allegies. Besides, trying makes me feel like I'm doing something against a condition that otherwise makes me feel so helpless.
Thanks again for all the tips- you guys are the best!
P.S. Logan finally ate some protein foods today (after a 2 day strike) so I'm feeling much better.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 10:59pm
JSB's picture
JSB
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Joined: 01/30/2002 - 09:00

McCann's Irish Oatmeal now makes a quick version. It is available in the Northeast US, not sure if available nationally. The taste is far superior to Quakers. I have not checked with the company as to what else they manufacture/dedicated lines and so on.
Vermont Bread Company (1-800-721-4057) makes a wheat-free rye bread in a nut free facility. They have mailorder.

Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2002 - 2:31am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

momjd--
Just wanted to add a word of encouragement re. the egg and dairy allergies! We have been *extremely* careful with eggs since M's first RAST, in which he came in a level 4, following just one known exposure (a scrambled egg, which he promptly threw up -- no hives or breathing issues). His latest ImmunoCapRast score was either a level 1, or *barely* a 2, depending on which scale was used. We were pleased, to say the least! We're planning on holding the course, with the thought that it may well mean one less allergy for him to cope with later in life.
Where dairy products used to give him mild hives, he can now eat yogurt, cheese and butter on occasion. He'll have a patch of excema on one cheek if he overdoes it, so we use dairy only when we need to -- a safe pre-wrapped cheese stick as a special treat, for example.
He's four years old, and was diagnosed at 13 mos. Still scores high for peanuts, and is contact sensitive.
Glad to hear Logan is having a good day. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Sue

Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2002 - 3:59am
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Joined: 03/22/2000 - 09:00

I recently contacted Quaker and they told me that their quick and old fashioned oat was free of PN and TN allergens, I just got off the phone with them right now and they told me they are processed in a plant where no nuts are never processed infact they told me they just process these 2 products there and only these 2. I spoke to Amy. Hope this will be of help.

Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2002 - 7:06am
momjd's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2002 - 09:00

RE: Quaker Oats. Wow maybe the rep. that I talked to misunderstood what I was asking. Maybe she thought I meant one of their oatmeal cereals? I guess I'll send a follow up letter to be sure, but based on everyone's responses I'm feeling better about making some oatmeal cookies!
Logan has a very slight diaper rash today but it's little red dots so I'm pretty sure it's allergy related- I wonder if he's been refusing meat b/c he's allergic? Very curious.
We're seeing the allergist again tomorrow, so I guess we'll find out. (fingers crossed)

Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2002 - 8:01am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Just wanted to add my own word of encouragement about the egg allergies- we have also gone from systemic reactions and class 3/4 allergy to yolk and white... down to class 1/2 (YAY!!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]) In ONLY TWO YEARS.
Yes- it definitely CAN be done. (DD is still class 6 for pn, though, but I guess that means that even for these children, SOME of the allergies can be outgrown! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )

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