Is Your PA Child Afraid of Peanuts?

Posted on: Sat, 06/02/2001 - 2:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pTo me, this question was really raised in another thread and I'd like to see what the response is./p
pIs your PA child afraid of peanuts? Have you taught them to be afraid of peanuts?/p
pA little under a year ago, a member who doesn't post here that much anymore, if at all, MKRuby, told me about showing her PA children peanuts in the grocery store so that they would be able to recognize what one looked like. I was absolutely terrified to do this. But, I bucked up and when we go to the grocery store, I will show Jesse packages of peanuts (I do not feel comfortable with open bins). I do not do it often. But now, he knows what a peanut looks like./p
pJesse knows that he doesn't have to be afraid of peanuts because he knows we have a good system in place. However, I'm wondering if fear, at the age of 5, is simply a "normal" reaction. /p
pLast summer, when we were walking along the highway, his sister purposely stepped on a chocolate bar that I had asked her not /
I didn't know if it was a peanut chocolate bar or not but I didn't want the muck on her shoe. Well, as it turned out, it was chock full of peanuts. I was beside myself. I had her remove her shoe and I smeared most of the offending matter on some grass. Then, we went to the local donut shop and I washed it thoroughly and washed myself thoroughly. Jesse wasn't actually afraid but he was terribly angry with his sister asking her if she was trying to kill him (as if a 3 year old would understand really)./p
pJust about a month ago, I posted about a trip to the doctor's office. There was a plain MM on the floor. Jesse went up close to it without picking it up and said, No, it's not a Smartie, it's an MM. As soon as he realized that, he backed far away from the MM and asked his sister to kick it as far away as possible so that it was not even within his sight./p
pI don't know where he got this from. Perhaps it is because he knows what could possibly happen to him./p
pI'm not asking how I should further handle this as I have assured Jesse time and time again that he is "safe". We have everything in place to ensure his safety as best as we can./p
pWhat I'm wondering is if anyone else has a PA child that is afraid of peanuts. Did you teach them to be afraid or did they develop this fear on their own?/p
pBest wishes! [img][/img]/p

Posted on: Sat, 06/02/2001 - 3:31pm
Triciasmom's picture
Joined: 08/03/2000 - 09:00

The first time I offered Patricia a taste of soy butter, she whimpered, turned ashen with eyes wide and ran to hide behind her daddy. She was 15 months old when she had her reaction to PB. She was probably 19 months old when I showed her the soy butter.
Since then, I have made a point of showing her peanuts at the store. She points at them and says "Those are peanuts. Peanuts are yucky."
I point out different foods that aren't safe for her, such as PB, PB cookies, jars of nuts, pb candy bars. And I tell her that "Mommy and Daddy don't eat peanuts. Patricia doesn't eat peanuts. Peanuts make Patricia sick." And she repeats that to us sometimes.
One time when we stopped at a rest area, I took Patricia over to the grass so she could run around. She walked over to the picnic table and froze. She whimpered turned around and walked straight back to the car and wanted to get back in. There was a pile of peanut shells by the picnic table that I hadn't been able to see until we got over there. And she was already walking back to the van before I saw what was upsetting her. She was probably about 22 months at the time.
Now she is just 2 years old. When we pass the peanuts in the grocery, I ask her what they are. "Peanuts," she says.
"Does Patricia eat peanuts?" I ask.
"No. Mommy and Daddy and Patricia don't eat peanuts."
"What happens if Patricia eats peanuts?" I ask.
At this, she gets a worried look on her face. "Peanuts are yucky. I get sick," she says quietly.
I don't know if she is really *scared* of them. But she seems to know to stay away from them. And she is naturally a cautious child.

Posted on: Sat, 06/02/2001 - 9:54pm
Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Hi Cindy! Just posted this info on another site! Boy I could have saved myself some typing!LOL! No Mike is not afraid of peanuts. As you may know he is almost 9 and treats it matter-of-factly. Not to say he is complacent my goodness no! He just knows to avoid them and there is no problem. (MOM SECRETLY FEARS THEM EVENTHOUGH I ACT LIKE SUCH A TOUGH GUY! *whimper*) Blessings to you! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sat, 06/02/2001 - 10:57pm
maddiesmom's picture
Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

Our daughter Madeline is 2 1/2 and is PA. I don't think she is "afraid" of peanuts, but doesn't even like to talk about them (or sing about them). The other day we were in a friends car and they were listening to a Barney audio cassette. The kids were singing along and while us mommies were chatting up front. Suddenly I heard Madeline say "Excuse me mommy". When I asked her what she needed she replied "We need to change this song. I don't like it. It's about Peanuts". When I listened to the song is was the "Peanut Butter and Jelly song".
She also takes Gymnastics class and her teacher told me that one stretching excercise is that she has them stretch out and pretend to spread peanut butter and jelly on their legs. (so they can try to reach their toes). Madeline froze and stopped participating. When her teacher asked what was wrong she told her that she was allergic to peanuts and wanted to go home. (I hadn't told the teacher of her allergy because there isn't any food around and I am right outside the classroom door). The teacher told me that they changed it to just jelly and Madeline was ok with it.
It is so great that Maddie is aware of her allergy and will tell people. I am glad that we have gotten to this stage. I secretly want her to be AFRAID of peanuts-just like her mommy and daddy are!

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2001 - 12:03am
Linda-Jo's picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

I know exactly what you are talking about. I don't think it's afraid of peanuts, rather than I think they are being cautious from all the training we've given them! At least I think of it that way with Meggie.
I, too, show Meggie the different pnut/nuts and their products when we go grocery shoppping. If she suspects someone has peanuts, she will back far away from them, almost as if she is protecting herself from them.
Her teacher at school has an "estimating jar". She has a list of safe snacks that she puts in there that is OK'd by me. I let Meggie know that these snacks are OK, too.(sometimes she uses stickers or marbles or something non-edible). One day, the teacher asked me if York Peppermint Patties were OK, I said 'yes' but Meggie doesn't like them so she probably won't take one. It slipped my mind to tell Meggie about the candy, so when the day came to use these candies, Meggie insisted that she couldn't have them, that they weren't safe. On the other hand, the teacher was insisting that they were OK and she talked to me. Well, both Meggie and the teacher got upset, but Meggie stood her ground and didn't touch any. I am so proud of her! I've taught her to "just say no" because you never know these days what may be safe.

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2001 - 12:55am
kelly01's picture
Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Dan is 4.5 yrs and although understands he can't have peanuts, he does not seem to be afraid of them. I have always told him that "peanuts make him sick" and he is aware (well, as aware as a 4 yr old can be) that lots of foods can have tiny bits of peanuts in he always needs to check w/mom or dad (or babysitter,etc) first before eating food that someone has given him.
He loves to watch PB&J otter w/his brothers, and he loves the PB& Jelly song (go figure!) so, at this point, I don't think he is "afraid". On the other hand, a child handed out treats last week in their gymnastics class (go figure, again! Since when is it necessary to hand out bday treats in a park district class!). Anyway, I had checked them ahead of time and knew they were safe but did not get a chance to tell Dan. I was very proud that when he got his, he did not open them, and instead walked over to me first (it was at the end of class so I was right outside the door) and asked "does this have peanuts?".
I have never told him that peanuts were "bad", only that they made him very sick. I try to stress that everyone is different. Some kids can't drink milk,etc, and that there are LOTS of other foods he can eat. He is a triplet. His 2 brothers are not PA...but since preschoolers are messy we do not have any peanut products in the house. But I have told him that peanuts do not make his brothers sick, and he understands that others can eat (and enjoy them.) Take care!
Mom to Ben,Jake, Dan (4 yrs)

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2001 - 2:47am
mkruby's picture
Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

Hi, thought I'd pop in and say hello, since you mentioned me, Cindy [img][/img]
My kids are not afraid of peanut products or does their allergy really cause us/them a problem anymore. They are so much in control of their own allergy that I can now trust them to be cautious and read labels, etc. When I gave the presentation in the beginning of the school year, and had them participate with the faculty meeting, it empowered them and it also brought the teachers to be more comfortable, as well as more educated about it. If their friends are eating it, they just tell them to not touch their stuff or them as it could kill them. They get a "wow" reaction and are respected for it, too. The one thing I continue to do with them is teach them how to be courteous but assertive when ordering out. When a child says to the waiter/waitress that peanut oil or anything with peanut in it could kill them, the personnel are more cautious about answering that question, not to mention it also demands immediate respect for my children. The whole thing is a learning process and passing the responsibility onto them has made them more comfortable with saying no to products they are unsure of, and helps them feel more control over their own lives. It works for us anyway; I am not saying this will work for everyone. My kids are older and know all there is to know, even stuff that could be a little scary. Everyone has their own way of dealing with PA and for us, we're at a point where we can be relaxed, but not stupid. Cindy, it seems that maybe you are on your way there now, too. As the kids get older it does get easier!
Best wishes to you all and if you want to see my site, it is still up for now at: [url=""][/url] It just has my motherly philosophies on dealing with life threatening allergies. Take care everyone...and sorry for being absent. I just finished my novel, and am now awaiting word from a respected publisher.
I am a mom of two anaphalactic PA boys and my daughter and myself also have allergies.

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2001 - 4:11am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

MKRuby, how wonderful for you to show up in this thread! Does that mean if I mention YOUR name in ANY thread where I need help, you'll come calling? Now, that would be wonderful! I could tell you one thread I'm having much difficulty with right now! LOL!
It was great to see your post because I do often refer to you when speaking about how you have taught your children to be responsible for their PA, how you have, in fact, empowered them.
And, it was also you that saw me through a lot of difficulties with Jesse's school and other things on this board even, when I was a newbie. Your knowledge, combined with warmth, will never be forgotten.
I'm glad you popped in! I just wish you could stay! [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2001 - 4:13am
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Cindy, It depends on how you are thinking of afraid. yes Christopher will not go near a peanut,but he does not freak out or anything. He will just avoid going near it.If he thinks he may have touched something unsafe he will immediatly wash. I think it more to keep himself from reaction,and I guess there would have to be some kind of fear or you would not take care of yourself properly. My little guy is the one that is afraid of peanuts. He is so afraid of having anything go wrong with his big brother. I am the one that will get mad at the stores if I see samples of peanut products,but yet that is silly of me. They have a right to sample things,but you know what us PA mothers feel like. I still feel it is because of lack of education that stores will sample peanut butter. Just Saturday the store was sampling peanut butter products. I didn't have Christopher with me,but I had Stephen and i started commenting how I wish they could not sample nut products. People think I am crazy half the time I thinkl. Take care claire

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2001 - 5:30am
Pnuts R Evil's picture
Joined: 01/17/2001 - 09:00

This thread made me think of an incident that happened to us several weeks ago. We were shopping and my 2 year old bent down to pick something up off the floor. Lo and behold it was one of those little Ritz pb cracker things. I guess I overreacted a bit in the way that I told her to put it down and frantically searched through my purse for something to wash her hands with. She started to cry and I felt so bad! She is so sensitive that I have to be very careful how I react to things. She is a very cautious little girl but I don't want her to be afraid. I think we have alot to do with our children's reaction to this allergy. I tried to explain to her afterwards why I "freaked out" and she didn't say much. A couple of weeks later, she told my mom the story of how "Mommy 'freaked out' at the Gap". To this day, she still brings it up from time to time. Next time, I will have to try to stay a bit more composed!

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2001 - 10:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Jacob is terrified of peanuts. I have tried to teach him the danger involved with peanuts and him. I try to not be overprotective and do not become insane when there is someone eating PB near him because I want him to learn that peanuts and pb products are everywehre in the world. I think what has caused this 'fear' is because he remembers his near fatal reaction last year so well that he still talks about every detail. I can't get this child to forget anything....he still inquires about when I nursed Aaron and Jacob was only 2. Well, I do think his natural fear is normal and healthy for him. He has not let it interfere with his diet or eating habits. The one thing that helps him the most is that we label everything in our cabinet with a green sticker. We do not have any may contain items in our house but it makes him feel safe. He also reminds us to inquire about oils and ingredients at resturants. We would never forget but I want him to be a little responsible.


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