Should I or shouldn\'t I request a peanut free party?

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 1:56am
perpetually perplexed's picture
Joined: 02/12/2005 - 09:00

This summer we will be attending my MIL-FIL's 50th wedding anniversary. We will be traveling about 1500 miles. We also will be bringing our own pop-up camper so we will free up some bedrooms in the big house. I do not mind this at all. The event sounds like a blast as we have not seen many of these relatives in about 10-15 years. In-laws live in a beautifully, small, quaint town in northern NY. I am already to agree that it will be next to impossible to have a peanut free "big" house and I am ready to work around that. There will be about 60+ staying in general area. Big house, house next door, BIL's house etc... Now that my MIL is better versed in PA, I am hoping that there will not be a lot of peanut items.

Should I request the party to be catered and held in an incredibly awesome boat museum be peanut free or should I just provide our own food? The house is about 5-6 blocks from the museum and the party I imagine will start in the late afternoon.

Over the past bunch of years, my in-laws have gotten much better about the PA but they are still not at 100%. I think this is a big improvement especially when we only see them a few times a year.

I would imagine that the peanut residue would not be any worse than that found in schools etc...

We have yet to bring up this delicate topic and want to do it gently and yet effectively.

Any thoughts? pros--cons??

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 2:28am
PurpleCat's picture
Joined: 01/28/2006 - 09:00

It really depends on who is doing the planning and how the food will be served.
My sister got married two years ago at a Seaport. The reception was stations of food.
Without my asking, she arranged for the kids station (fun food) to be peanut, tree nut, egg, and coconut free. None of the kids noticed, nor the adults. The kids ate happily and played together. My DD knew to only eat from the kids station, not to eat the wedding cake, and to to only sit at the kid's table.
DH and I were careful what we ate from the other stations.
It was subtle and not advertised. The person at the catering company came and met me at the beginning of the party and I noticed her keeping an eye on my DD as well.
When the wedding cake was being served, my DD was treated to a plate of fresh strawberries with her vanilla ice cream. None of the other kids appeared to notice or care.
My DD was not singled out publicly. She said she felt so grown up!
It can be done, but it does depend on a lot of factors........
Can you talk in general with whoever is planning the party to find out the style of party and in particular what kind of meal there will be. After you give it some thought and if you think there is a safe way to participate, then I would discuss the allergies and possible accomodations. If you do not think there is a safe way to participate, then by all means supply your own food and suggest a way your own food can be incorporated so you are not separated from the party at meal time.
My suggestion, make the party the priority and the allergies a secondary issue. It will be less likely people will be turned off.

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 4:06am
k9ruby's picture
Joined: 03/25/2004 - 09:00

Luckily, we've never had to ask, its been done already!

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 4:15am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I hate pot lucks and catered functions...but like purplecat said, focus on the party 1st, allergies 2nd....
we went to a potluck bbq type thing this summer, and totally my fault(I hadn't yet understood HOW careful I needed to be...I've learned since then) but I let my son have some green jello/cool whip dessert, it turned out to be pistachio pudding(which he is also allergic) and his face turned red, he was crying and his neck was squeezing(he told me the neck squeezing part later once we were home...he is scared of th epipen and doesn't tell me what he needs to, we are working on that). But I vowed to NEVER eat at a picnic/pot luck/party....anywhere, we'd always bring our own food.
So this winter hubby's work had an xmas party, being catered, which I was dreading, but Santa was going to be there, so we attended, prepared. We scoped out the food first and then hubby was going to run to McD's...but in the back office they had ordered Pizza Hut pizza(mostly for the kids since the dinner wss kind of fancy) so thankfully he ate that(which he can't anymore after the warning on the red sauce)...but anyways, he knew to stay away for the food tables(the dessert table was really scary!!), I carried his epi in my back pocket(not in hubby's office in the diaper bag down the hall) I was prepared, i was careful....he got to see Santa and all was good. So I think(sorry for rambling so badly) you can make it work, just be prepared and ready. You may need to just provide your son with his own food and then handle the little obsticals as they come that day. It is stressful, we want to be as normal as possible but sometimes we have to be so detailed and so on-top of things....but we can and we do!! Good luck!!

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 4:42am
Jen224's picture
Joined: 05/22/2006 - 09:00

I agree that the party comes first, the allergy second. We've asked a few parties to be straight-up peanut and nut free--meaning, just no bowls of nuts sitting around or blantant nut toppings on desserts. I'm more concerned with people dropping a nut here or there or residue being all over the place.
I would never assume anyone--catering definitely included--could put a major party like this into my comfort zone. I would have to bring our own food for my DS. However, if you can get rid of actual nuts being served everywhere and bring your own food, dealing with the "may contains" everyone else is eating might be easier on you and you'll be able to enjoy yourself a bit more.
It sounds like SUCH a fabulous party! I bet you'll have a great time!

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 11:23am
Sandy1's picture
Joined: 09/17/2005 - 09:00

When our family or friends invited us somewhere I mention to them that because of my ds allergy we will probably not be able to attend. They always say that they will not serve nuts and that's when I ask what is being served and say my speal. You will be surprised how accommodating people are when they really want you to come. It always goes our way. We have been lucky to have great friends. If someone really wants your company they will have no problem bending for you.

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 11:55am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 2:12pm
Lori Jo's picture
Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

It sounds like a fantastic time, party and time with family. We usually ask that there be no bowls of nuts, PB cookies, etc. That way, as was mentioned above, the concern about random PN contamination is cut effectively way down. Then I assume I'll be bringing dd's food, since I don't really trust anyone else at this point. I try not to make a big deal out of it, and fortunately we have very receptive relatives. We've never really had a problem.
Good luck!
Lori Jo,
Rose, 7-31-02, PA
Beatrice & Georgia, 8-14-99

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 11:57pm
DRobbins's picture
Joined: 07/19/2001 - 09:00

We have declined invitations to parties, notably a family member's bar mitzvah, where nuts have been served, even if my son will not be eating there (or would be bringing his own food).
My guideline when he was little was that we wouldn't attend if nuts were served for fear of someone eating nuts and then touching or kissing my son. Now that he's bigger, our guideline has relaxed somewhat. I assume he can prevent people like Great Aunt Agatha from kissing him, but I don't assume we can prevent her from touching him.
So if they're serving nuts in a form that would likely involve the other guests touching the nuts, such as bowls of nuts or nuts in a food you'd hold in your hand to eat, such as peanut butter cookies, or cranberry-walnut bread, then we won't attend unless the menu can be altered.

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 9:12am
perpetually perplexed's picture
Joined: 02/12/2005 - 09:00

Thanks to all that replied. I will try my best to make this an allergy 2nd party/trip. After putting much thought into this I think I will talk to my MIL about going as nut free as possible. I really do believe that she will try work this out but in the back of my mind I will always remember what transpired 6 years ago. We drove for 2 days with 2 small children. Upon our arrival, everyone comes running to greet us. Wonderful!! Now I walk into the porch (WAY COOL PORCH) door and into the dining room only to find a HUGE bowl of nuts as the centerpiece. AAARRRGH!!!! I threw a look at in-laws, didn't say a word, picked up the bowl and put it on top of the refrigerator way in the back. (it is probably still there LOL). As much as I try to "unremember" this I still do.

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