Sunflower Seeds

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I am a newbie here with my first post, so please bear with me if I don't do it correctly. My 5 year old PA son is starting kindergarten in a week and so I have been researching various school plans to discuss with the school nurse. He will be attending a private school that is 2 years old and has not yet had to establish a food allergy plan. Many thanks go to all those with previous posts on the "Schools Message Board", as it made my job much easier. Here's my question:

In the letter home to parents, "Sun Butter" is listed as a safe alternative to PB. However in the Mass DOE "Managing Life Threatening Food Allergies in Schools" on pg 39 it says that sunflower seeds contain peanut protein.

What's the deal?

On Aug 5, 2004

Welcome to the board, BeccaS. I hope we don't confuse you with our other regular contributor known as Becca.

The document you read about sunflower seeds containing peanut protein is completely incorrect. Sunflower seeds do not contain peanut protein.

SunButter brand sunflower seed butter (the one from Red River Commodities) in particular is completely free of peanut protein, even in trace amounts. The manufacturer goes to notable efforts to ensure this. It is, however, a "may contain" for cross contamination with soy beans, if your child happens to be allergic to soy.

This being said, I should warn you that in general, you should be suspicious of sunflower seeds as a "safe" snack, since they certainly could be roasted in peanut oil or otherwise cross-contaminated with peanut dust if they are processed or packaged in a facility that also handles nuts or peanuts.

Best, Debbie

On Aug 5, 2004

Thanks Debbie!

On Aug 5, 2004

We finally found sunflower seed butter this summer and we think it's fantastic! One of my (non-PA) daughter's favorite foods is pb, but she has never liked soy butter. I like soy butter, but sunflower seed butter is much more peanutty-tasting. It is really delicious! We bought three jars of it to take back to Korea with us and sunbutter on toast is my new favorite breakfast.

Interestingly, my PA son gags if he even smells it. He doesn't even want a nibble. He seems to have a natural aversion to anything that even smells like pb.

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