church pot luck, family reunions and etc.

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 5:57am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

I would like help in learning what you all do in these pot luck situations. I have done a search on this and still can't figure out what I need to do.
My husband says we should just carry our own food for DS, but I worry about all the other people and kids eating PB treats and getting it all over DS.
Also, well meaning people sometimes will surprise DS with a kiss (he's so cute! ha) before I can yell "stop!".This would bother me especially at a meal!! It doesn't always happen, or maybe it's just a southern thing! LOL! Ha!
Help, we've been dealing with PA for at least 2 years and I can't get this one figured out. DS is peanut with only low levels on all the other nuts. He is almost 5 years old.

[This message has been edited by TinaM (edited February 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 7:05am
jayD's picture
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Joined: 09/20/2000 - 09:00

I guess, for me, it would depend on how sensitive your son is and what causes a reaction for him. if he is going to have a reaction from someone touching or kissing him, I would probably not go, especially to a church function- with family, I would just be blunt- if you ate nuts, don't touch him! My own PA child is not terribly sensitive at this point, so we do attend functions with outside food, but we always bring something safe for him. good luck! Jen

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 9:00am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

DS is contact sensitive and has reacted to a kiss. However, the reaction was not drastic and did not require us to use an epi or anything. Anyway, I'm sure there are others out there that are just as sensitive and I would like to know how it is being handled by others.
Thanks for your advice!
BTW, we do tell our close family about DS allergy (they are aware). However, we have extended family get togethers with lots and lots of people attending. This is a hard one.
It's hard to get to know people at church (we are in the visiting process) without attending the functions. So, I'm left wondering!
[This message has been edited by TinaM (edited February 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 11:55am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I am adult PA.
I never ever eat at a potluck. I eat before I go.
I also take my own meals to family gatherings that I can heat in a microwave. (Also, take my own plasticware and drinks.)
We do have a lot of gatherings at my house which makes it easy to control the food.
(My daughter-in-law showed up at Xmas with peanut treats...out the house they went...she was fine about it.)

Posted on: Mon, 02/20/2006 - 4:20am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

Thanks Cathlina!
I appreciate your input.
There are lots of things in my personal situation that I can't control. It's hard to explain it all on a bulletin board. I'm sure lots of folks understand what I mean.
Dealing with this allergy just can be so hindering to your social activities.

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 1:49am
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

This is just our experience. You obviously might not be comfortable with this.
We eat at church potlucks once a month. You might say it's an occupational hazard. DS is ready to turn 8, and he's been PA since he was 1. He's contact and airborne sensitive.
He's not limited to what we bring (although his new-found vegetarianism has made this more of a thing than his PA at times), but we are obviously very careful about what he eats. He tends to stick with basic stuff where nuts don't hide. People in the congregation tend to tell me if they've brought something with nuts or label it, but I don't rely on that for obvious reasons. The same people also tend to make the same things most of the time, and I've gotten to know those dishes and what's in them. :-) We stick with basics like green beans and mashed potatoes and deviled eggs. Then it's just the comfort level thing that kicks in here, and we haven't had a problem with this. I could stress out about what else is in their kitchens, but we've not had a problem, so I don't. I have Epis and Benedryl with me, they are also strategically placed near the fellowship hall at church, and he's gotta eat.
The kissing thing: I live near Houston, and they hug DS, but nearly as much at this church as our last one. But maybe because he's getting older.
DS spends a significant amount of time each week at church, and he has not had a reaction there, except for once during a ministry fair when someone brought some PB cookies from a bakery. I closed the box and put them away and washed my hands. And noticed later DS had a rash (he was only standing near them).

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 7:00am
Darkmage's picture
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Joined: 10/01/2004 - 09:00

DS (also age 5) is not contact sensitive to PN. At family functions etc. we always pack his own food, but not because of his PA, it's because of his DA. Peanuts are pretty darn easy to avoid when you compare it to trying to aviod dairy. Butter on the veggies, sour cream in the mashed potatoes, whey in the bread. Shall I go on?
Have never gone to a church potluck. But I sometimes worry about the local playgrounds...
------------------
[i][b]Allergy Eliminator [/b][/i]

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 7:36am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

Thanks McCobbre and Darkmage! It sure helps to get ideas from others.
What makes it so hard these days for us is the fact that we're just "visiting" for now and that involves trying to get to know folks. However, we do a great deal of mingling outside of the food arena, which helps.
When we were members of the other church, the pastor just asked, "no peanuts" and it worked. Don't as why we're not there anymore, long story, but not about the allergy! LOL!
Since, I'm still unsure about what I need to do, I guess I'll just sit the dinners out for now.
Keep your ideas coming in everyone, it helps me so much!!! It's not like you can discuss this with just anyone without getting "the look".
As far as family reunions, it will be awhile before I have to worry about that one again, thank God!
[This message has been edited by TinaM (edited February 25, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 11:19pm
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I wanted to be clear that even with mashed potatoes and green beans and deviled eggs and ham you could worry about cross contamination. You could worry about that spoon and that bowl and that cooking surface. I used the term "where peanuts hide," but frankly we all know they're dangerous because trace amounts are invisible.
My comfort level at church potluck dinners has grown, and it's taken time. And I know DS can always eat what we bring.

Posted on: Thu, 03/02/2006 - 8:06am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

McCobbre, I understand what you mean. I hope one day I'll get to the point were we can join in also.
However, it's just one thing that I have to work out for now. We have Kindergarten to tackle for next year, now that's a biggie!!!

Posted on: Thu, 03/02/2006 - 2:37pm
krasota's picture
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Joined: 04/24/2000 - 09:00

Our family reunion is a huge potluck (often over 100 people). I take a few dishes to share that I know I can eat, then I place them near other dishes I'm unlikely to react to (fruit, veggies). I usually take a pasta-bean salad (made with Tinkyada pasta) and a dessert. I sometimes take some of my own bread and salad dressing, too. If my mom is thinking ahead, she makes stuff I can eat, too, often cole slaw or potato salad made with a safe-for-me mayo.
I do label the dessert I typically take with a card that has all the ingredients. It's a pumpkin cheesecake with a pecan crust (I'm okay with treenuts). Nobody in the family is allergic to nuts or peanuts, *but* I discovered after the reunion that a couple of small children are being evaluated for celiac disease. If they end up having it, they'd be able to eat anything I would bring. I'd probably pack some chebe bread rolls, too.
I always take food for myself for potlucks. For outings in restaurants, I eat beforehand and order drinks.
ygg

Posted on: Sat, 03/04/2006 - 1:08pm
Laifong's picture
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Joined: 07/12/2004 - 09:00

Just wanted to tell you that I know how you feel. Last summer, we were "visiting" a new church and had to decline their many invitations to the church lunches. They were not potluck, but almost always Chinese take-out, so just as risky! Then we started attending one of the small group Bible studies and I found that it was easier to explain the PA issue and people were understanding, for the most part. It was definitely easier, in a smaller group, to ask about ingredients in foods and to request that people make nut free dishes when we ate together. So, if possible, maybe you can try to get to know people in a smaller group setting? But I know the frustration of having to limit my social interactions because of the FA issue...sometimes I'm just too tired to put in the extra work required to stay safe, so we just don't go.

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 7:05am
jayD's picture
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Joined: 09/20/2000 - 09:00

I guess, for me, it would depend on how sensitive your son is and what causes a reaction for him. if he is going to have a reaction from someone touching or kissing him, I would probably not go, especially to a church function- with family, I would just be blunt- if you ate nuts, don't touch him! My own PA child is not terribly sensitive at this point, so we do attend functions with outside food, but we always bring something safe for him. good luck! Jen

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 9:00am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

DS is contact sensitive and has reacted to a kiss. However, the reaction was not drastic and did not require us to use an epi or anything. Anyway, I'm sure there are others out there that are just as sensitive and I would like to know how it is being handled by others.
Thanks for your advice!
BTW, we do tell our close family about DS allergy (they are aware). However, we have extended family get togethers with lots and lots of people attending. This is a hard one.
It's hard to get to know people at church (we are in the visiting process) without attending the functions. So, I'm left wondering!
[This message has been edited by TinaM (edited February 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 11:55am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I am adult PA.
I never ever eat at a potluck. I eat before I go.
I also take my own meals to family gatherings that I can heat in a microwave. (Also, take my own plasticware and drinks.)
We do have a lot of gatherings at my house which makes it easy to control the food.
(My daughter-in-law showed up at Xmas with peanut treats...out the house they went...she was fine about it.)

Posted on: Mon, 02/20/2006 - 4:20am
TinaM's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

Thanks Cathlina!
I appreciate your input.
There are lots of things in my personal situation that I can't control. It's hard to explain it all on a bulletin board. I'm sure lots of folks understand what I mean.
Dealing with this allergy just can be so hindering to your social activities.

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 1:49am
McCobbre's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

This is just our experience. You obviously might not be comfortable with this.
We eat at church potlucks once a month. You might say it's an occupational hazard. DS is ready to turn 8, and he's been PA since he was 1. He's contact and airborne sensitive.
He's not limited to what we bring (although his new-found vegetarianism has made this more of a thing than his PA at times), but we are obviously very careful about what he eats. He tends to stick with basic stuff where nuts don't hide. People in the congregation tend to tell me if they've brought something with nuts or label it, but I don't rely on that for obvious reasons. The same people also tend to make the same things most of the time, and I've gotten to know those dishes and what's in them. :-) We stick with basics like green beans and mashed potatoes and deviled eggs. Then it's just the comfort level thing that kicks in here, and we haven't had a problem with this. I could stress out about what else is in their kitchens, but we've not had a problem, so I don't. I have Epis and Benedryl with me, they are also strategically placed near the fellowship hall at church, and he's gotta eat.
The kissing thing: I live near Houston, and they hug DS, but nearly as much at this church as our last one. But maybe because he's getting older.
DS spends a significant amount of time each week at church, and he has not had a reaction there, except for once during a ministry fair when someone brought some PB cookies from a bakery. I closed the box and put them away and washed my hands. And noticed later DS had a rash (he was only standing near them).

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 7:00am
Darkmage's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/01/2004 - 09:00

DS (also age 5) is not contact sensitive to PN. At family functions etc. we always pack his own food, but not because of his PA, it's because of his DA. Peanuts are pretty darn easy to avoid when you compare it to trying to aviod dairy. Butter on the veggies, sour cream in the mashed potatoes, whey in the bread. Shall I go on?
Have never gone to a church potluck. But I sometimes worry about the local playgrounds...
------------------
[i][b]Allergy Eliminator [/b][/i]

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 7:36am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

Thanks McCobbre and Darkmage! It sure helps to get ideas from others.
What makes it so hard these days for us is the fact that we're just "visiting" for now and that involves trying to get to know folks. However, we do a great deal of mingling outside of the food arena, which helps.
When we were members of the other church, the pastor just asked, "no peanuts" and it worked. Don't as why we're not there anymore, long story, but not about the allergy! LOL!
Since, I'm still unsure about what I need to do, I guess I'll just sit the dinners out for now.
Keep your ideas coming in everyone, it helps me so much!!! It's not like you can discuss this with just anyone without getting "the look".
As far as family reunions, it will be awhile before I have to worry about that one again, thank God!
[This message has been edited by TinaM (edited February 25, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 11:19pm
McCobbre's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I wanted to be clear that even with mashed potatoes and green beans and deviled eggs and ham you could worry about cross contamination. You could worry about that spoon and that bowl and that cooking surface. I used the term "where peanuts hide," but frankly we all know they're dangerous because trace amounts are invisible.
My comfort level at church potluck dinners has grown, and it's taken time. And I know DS can always eat what we bring.

Posted on: Thu, 03/02/2006 - 8:06am
TinaM's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

McCobbre, I understand what you mean. I hope one day I'll get to the point were we can join in also.
However, it's just one thing that I have to work out for now. We have Kindergarten to tackle for next year, now that's a biggie!!!

Posted on: Thu, 03/02/2006 - 2:37pm
krasota's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/24/2000 - 09:00

Our family reunion is a huge potluck (often over 100 people). I take a few dishes to share that I know I can eat, then I place them near other dishes I'm unlikely to react to (fruit, veggies). I usually take a pasta-bean salad (made with Tinkyada pasta) and a dessert. I sometimes take some of my own bread and salad dressing, too. If my mom is thinking ahead, she makes stuff I can eat, too, often cole slaw or potato salad made with a safe-for-me mayo.
I do label the dessert I typically take with a card that has all the ingredients. It's a pumpkin cheesecake with a pecan crust (I'm okay with treenuts). Nobody in the family is allergic to nuts or peanuts, *but* I discovered after the reunion that a couple of small children are being evaluated for celiac disease. If they end up having it, they'd be able to eat anything I would bring. I'd probably pack some chebe bread rolls, too.
I always take food for myself for potlucks. For outings in restaurants, I eat beforehand and order drinks.
ygg

Posted on: Sat, 03/04/2006 - 1:08pm
Laifong's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/12/2004 - 09:00

Just wanted to tell you that I know how you feel. Last summer, we were "visiting" a new church and had to decline their many invitations to the church lunches. They were not potluck, but almost always Chinese take-out, so just as risky! Then we started attending one of the small group Bible studies and I found that it was easier to explain the PA issue and people were understanding, for the most part. It was definitely easier, in a smaller group, to ask about ingredients in foods and to request that people make nut free dishes when we ate together. So, if possible, maybe you can try to get to know people in a smaller group setting? But I know the frustration of having to limit my social interactions because of the FA issue...sometimes I'm just too tired to put in the extra work required to stay safe, so we just don't go.

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