\"May Contain Tree Nuts\" When Not TNA

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I do believe I've posted this question before in some form or another, but recently it has become, not an issue, but something, for us.

Jesse is PA only. He is not TNA. However, we also avoid tree nuts because of cross-contamination and have also avoided "may contain tree nuts" since we developed this current comfort zone (when he was 2-1/2, he is now just 9).

We were at his Grandmother's a couple of weeks ago and she had a coffee cake, very well labeled and "may contain tree nuts". I okayed it for Jess to eat.

So, a "may contain tree nuts" has a 1 in 5 chance of containing something that Jesse is not allergic to.

In my strange logic, I am not going to change anything that comes into our home - still no "may contain tree nuts" and I guess I'm trying to sort out if I should be changing my comfort zone at all or if I should have said that Jesse couldn't have the "may contain tree nuts" coffee cake that day, just so I wasn't saying no to Grandmother in front of the SIL and his three cousins.

I mean, one doesn't put one child's life at risk simply to fit in. And I wasn't doing that. But he was eating something that I wouldn't have in my own home. Can you see where my logic is kinda screwed up?

For example, one of the Cheerios (I think it's Multi-Grain, here in Canada) says "may contain trace almonds) and I DON'T buy them even though I think they're probably the healthiest Cheerios to buy.

This came back to me last night when my SIL invited us to come over to-day (not clear if I'm going - not PA related) and her DH was in the kitchen making cookies with pecans. She asked if Jesse could have some and I said no because the pecans were probably "may contain trace peanuts". She checked the label and of course, they are.

I've really thought about how I've loosened up a bit since moving back here close to family and whether or not it does have to do with not looking like Psycho Mom. I mean, the family (my husband's side) know that Jesse is PA and NOT TNA.

I'm not comfortable with change of ANY kind, but I'm definitely not comfortable with change when it comes to our comfort zone, except when it's something that has made it tighter (like when we got the keyboard and mouse for Jesse at school).

I'm kinda lost on this one and need some wise words.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Dec 21, 2004

We've struggled with this one too, with our son.

We've just recently started on this journey, though, and I think we are still in the process of "tightening up" our comfort zone, instead of loosening it.

I'm actually terrified of my son injesting tree nuts (even traces), even though he had eaten several varieties with no problems prior to his PA diagnosis (although he did make a comment about almonds once that make me wonder). Our allergist even said we could feed them to him if we wished (of course provided there was no cross contam. w/peanuts).

We never did pass this little item of information along to the relatives. As far as they know, he's allergic to ALL nuts. But we have relatives that would not undertand that we are only avoiding tree nuts as a precaution, and would underestimate the seriousness of the peanut allergy ("he's only AVOIDING tree nuts - does that mean he's only AVOIDING peanuts too?).

My DS has never been tested for tree nut allergies either, and I think I would be a lot more comfortable with the prospet of letting him have traces if I knew for sure that he wasn't allergic to them. I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned it before, but has Jesse been tested for an allergy to tree nuts?

Sorry, I know I've kind of rambled on, and I'm not sure if this has helped you in any way. It's just where we're at, at this point in time. As far as the future goes, I do see a point where I would be willing to "loosen up" so to speak, especially if it allowed our son more freedom in his food choices.

On Dec 21, 2004

happycat, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Jesse was skin prick tested when he was about 5. He wasn't allergic to any tree nuts (he came back with a bunch of weird false positives that I had to post about here to figure out). No, right now, touch wood, he's solely PA.

When we first started out, over 7 years ago, Jesse still ate tree nuts. I knew NOTHING about PA, cross-contamination, etc. NOTHING. We still even ate pb chocolate bars or peanuts around him. Only within this last year, I questioned whether or not Jesse's two asthma attacks could have been PA related when he was 2-1/2 years old because my step-son was visiting for March break and I honestly don't remember if he had a peanut chocolate bar or not.

As I say, we knew absolutely NOTHING. Now, that part of knowing NOTHING isn't what nearly cost Jesse his life (it was not knowing anything about the Epi-pen - we had one and did use it, but didn't realize it just bought you time to get to the hospital).

After Jesse had his first anaphylactic reaction (not the one above where he almost died, that was his second), I developed the comfort zone I have now. I don't know how, except perhaps seeing that most tree nuts that you buy packaged (and even most sunflower seeds) have a "may contain trace peanuts" warning on them.

So, once I decided to cut out tree nuts (which I still will not let him eat), I also cut out the "may contain tree nuts", even though he had been eating the Cheerios with the "may contain tree nuts" warning on them all the time.

We have led a very sheltered life in not living close to any family and not having a lot of friends, so it's been fairly easy for me to just say no to "may contain tree nuts" as well. It never required an explanation.

But even last night, when my SIL said the cookies had pecans in them, she said, Jesse isn't allergic, he can have them, right? I said, well, no, L., I'd have to check the package. And she checked and found they were "may contain trace peanuts".

But the coffee cake that I did let him eat at his Grandmother's, it was so clearly labeled "may contain tree nuts", so I knew it would be labeled for PA as well, and I just let him have a piece.

I think, for me, even though we've been dealing with PA for so long, we haven't had family and friends around that we've really had to explain it to (except for say when Grandmas came to our house for a visit - and they both "get it"), so in some ways I'm almost like a person with a child newly diagnosed.

The journey has changed for us because we have moved closer to family.

As I say, I'm not going to let Jesse eat something life threatening (or potentially) like "may contain trace peanuts" just to appease (?) family or save myself an explanation, but I am wondering about the "may contain tree nuts" with the understanding that he still isn't going to be eating tree nuts.

And some days, I do have to wonder, if I'm always going to be "dazed and confused". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Dec 21, 2004

Hi Cindy,

I have always eaten "may contain tree nuts" products. Since I am not allergic to tree nuts, I have not worried about eating these products. I don't consider them to be a risk to me.

As an example, my local Dominion bakery does not use any peanuts. However, they do bake many cakes with tree nuts. Logically, their cakes that do not contain tree nuts would be "may contain tree nuts" due to the usage of tree nuts in the bakery. However, I still eat their products as I will eat "may contain tree nuts" products (the most recent being a Yule LOg cake from the Dominion bakery this past weekend). Some Entenmans baked goods also are "may contain tree nuts" and I eat them too, in addition to some Cadbury chocolate bars. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Dec 21, 2004

Hi Cindy,

I just recently bought pecans from Costco. They are Kirkland brand and the Allergy Alert: Contains Pecans(ds in only pa) This product is packaged on equipment that also packages products that contain wheat, soybeans, and milk. Consumers with Food allergies, please read ingredient statement carefully.

I bought them because I love pecans and so does my dd. Ds could eat them but doesn't like tree-nuts. I also thought the labelling was well done. I am waiting to hear back from Danille at Costco(she is calling the distributor to find out for me if they are shipped in shells or already unshelled when they get to the Costco Wholesale in Ottawa Canada. I just made pecan tarts and dd loves them. If their is no cross-contamination issue I will buy tree-nuts around this time of year for baking. If ds wanted them, I would feel totally fine if I knew there wasn't a chance of cross-contamination involved.

[This message has been edited by smack (edited December 21, 2004).]

On Dec 21, 2004

erik, see, your post made perfect sense to me because in the bakeries where I have bought birthday cakes for Jesse (after checking out the moulds and icing for their labeling to make sure they were PA safe), they've always used tree nuts but not peanuts. That was why I was okay buying birthday cakes in grocery store bakeries - because they weren't baking peanut products there, just some things with tree nuts.

So what the he** is wrong with me? Why didn't I connect the two? You had to do it for me.

smack, can I come and have some pecan tarts? Oh, just how yummy! And GREAT labeling.

Jesse has tried an actual tree nut when we lived in Belleville (not in the old barn house) when we had some type of walnut tree growing in our back yard. No way of cross contamination when the bloody things are dropping from the trees. So, he did try it, and of course, Jess being Jess, didn't care for it.

Jesse has never tried say a tree nut chocolate bar that was labeled safely. Wow, I might be opening up a whole new world or a whole new can of worms, I'm not sure. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

I appreciate the responses. Now I have to find out somewhere about some glazed gingerbread cookies that are imported into Canada and of course, I never carry a pen with me when I'm in the grocery store.

Oh, and upon acquiring a cell phone yesterday, I did try to call Loblaw's re their President's Choice Soy Sauce while in the grocery store (oh joy, oh bliss, not - thankfully the call didn't go through for whatever reason, probably because I don't quite know how to use my phone yet).

Many thanks and Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 31, 2005

Hey Cindy,

We've struggled with this one too, but since Helen's anaphylaxis in 2002 we haven't brought may contain TN stuff back into our comfort zone. I haven't even eaten pecans and macadamias my parents grew on their own trees (so no chance whatever of pn contamination there). I'm just not comfortable with it...

It's not an issue for Helen - she's always (from when she was little) hated the taste and texture to any nuts. But her allergy tests showed no reactiions (except a BIG one to pn!).

So - our comfort zone is bit irrational, but it doesn't do us any harm to miss out on the occasional treat!

All the best,

Geoff (Helen's hubby)

On Jan 31, 2005

I'm only allergic to TN although i avoid peanut products and 'may contain peanut' however i do eat may contain TRACES of PN. Im not allergic to them but they still give me the creeps!