Thanksgiving Issues

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 3:27am
pgrubbs's picture
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Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

I am writing to ask for help/opinions from you "veterans" of PA.

We are going to my in-laws' for Thanksgiving. They live 7 hours away from us, and we will stay through Sunday. I have tried to educate my MIL via email about safe foods, brands, etc. As of yesterday, she was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner at her house for us. I was worried and thought I'd still have to be the bad guy some ("No, you can't eat that").While we will be visiting, there will be family reunion- extended family from Ohio will be there, too. It will be a big celebration.

DH just called me and said that everyone is willing to be peanut free- they called and found out they could fry the turkey in canola oil (In FL, that turkey MUST be fried apparently! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]). Anyway, the fryer is not new so it has had peanut oil in it. I am now being told that as everyone is willing to be peanut free, that we will eat there (with extended family). I am VERY uncomfortable with this. Uninformed people, though well meaning, are a nighmare!

I had two options I was comfortable with: have MIL, FIL, and DH go to the reunion and we (kids and I) eat at their house (sandwiches, for all I care), and then we will join everyone after naps, etc.; or we take safe food. DH is VERY opposed to both. He thinks that if they make the effort, we all must eat there. If we do not eat there, we don't go. He thinks it is important to go. He says that since food will be out and people will be "picking" all afternoon, taking our own is offensive. I say that since food will be out and it will be one long meal, even if we don't eat there, everything should be "safe" (PA DD is 3). So now DH is mad, I am the "crazy person", and this will start an entire family, interstate war.

Oh, and the dinner is 45 minutes outside of town- I figure me 4 epipens might get us to a hospital. Help!

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 3:53am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by pgrubbs:
[b]I am writing to ask for help/opinions from you "veterans" of PA.
We are going to my in-laws' for Thanksgiving. They live 7 hours away from us, and we will stay through Sunday. I have tried to educate my MIL via email about safe foods, brands, etc. As of yesterday, she was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner at her house for us. I was worried and thought I'd still have to be the bad guy some ("No, you can't eat that").While we will be visiting, there will be family reunion- extended family from Ohio will be there, too. It will be a big celebration. [/b]
Bear with me as I cannot remember your PA story. What kind of reactions and how many reactions has your child had in the past?
I would start with a list of all the food that will be prepared. Are the out of town guests bringing food as well?
One thing to ALWAYS remember, YOU are NOT a bad person for guarding your child's safety. Do not consider yourself the "BAD GUY" just because you want your child to be safe--PLEASE!! I will assume that your dh isn't aware of HOW BAD a reaction could be. I'm sure that he has been told but it apparently hasn't sunk in yet.
[b] Quote:DH just called me and said that everyone is willing to be peanut free- they called and found out they could fry the turkey in canola oil (In FL, that turkey MUST be fried apparently! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]). Anyway, the fryer is not new so it has had peanut oil in it. I am now being told that as everyone is willing to be peanut free, that we will eat there (with extended family). I am VERY uncomfortable with this. Uninformed people, though well meaning, are a nighmare![/b]
Try to keep in mind that not all family members are going to "Get It". The only thing that you can do is to remain calm when explaining your child's allergy. State the general facts and what is needed to be done in order to keep him/her safe. Almost as if it's a "matter of fact" statement.
I think that so far with having them agree to being "peanut-free"--that's a BLESSING that they truly want you to be there to celebrate Thanksgiving and they really care about your child. They WANT to try to help!! You can check the boxes and ingredients of everything being made as I will assume you will arrive a day before. For food that is being prepared earlier, have them keep the packaging so that you can read the labels--this will make you more comfortable (at least it would me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )
Call now and ask what was bought at the store. If there is a specific brand you would rather them use, just ask if they would mind buying that product. You could even offer to pay for it.
[b] Quote:I had two options I was comfortable with: have MIL, FIL, and DH go to the reunion and we (kids and I) eat at their house (sandwiches, for all I care), and then we will join everyone after naps, etc.; or we take safe food. DH is VERY opposed to both. He thinks that if they make the effort, we all must eat there. If we do not eat there, we don't go. He thinks it is important to go. He says that since food will be out and people will be "picking" all afternoon, taking our own is offensive. I say that since food will be out and it will be one long meal, even if we don't eat there, everything should be "safe" (PA DD is 3). So now DH is mad, I am the "crazy person", and this will start an entire family, interstate war. [/b]
I think you should definitely go. They are willing to be peanut-free. I know that not all family members understand what exactly "peanut-free" is but it will be good for you to educate them. I'm sure that they will have questions.
I also think that if you are still not comfortable with the food that you should feel free to bring anything you want for your children. This should not even be an issue. Even if it is a dessert--bring it for your kids. If it will make you feel more comfortable so that you can enjoy your day with family, then do it.
[b] Quote:Oh, and the dinner is 45 minutes outside of town- I figure me 4 epipens might get us to a hospital. Help![/b]
I think that everything will be just fine for you and the kids. You might be a little on edge with the food but I think in the end it will be fine.
I hope this helps. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by e-mom (edited November 24, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 4:55am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

My outlook is this: Being "peanut free" or trying, as they do not really understand all the subtle-ties of cross contamination, and foods prepared at homes and brought with only someone's word that there "aren't any nuts in it" are no guarantee to me, only means a safer environment for my dd. It does not mean she can eat the stuff.
I always bring her own food. If it so happens I have the opportunity to check labels and decide to allow her something, I do. I also will genrally allow her fresh fruits and veggies if they are plain.
I would think the non-allergic family members should be able to eat if there ar enot nuts and no peanut oil. Except for younger children perhaps on preventetive restrictions.
We had an out of town wedding(dh's brother), and trust me, the guests are not very focused on you and what you are feeding your child. They are having a good time visiting and could care less, or will ask thoughful questions about the allergies. That is my experience at parties all the time. I have to tell my dd to stop boasting about her cupcakes being better than the other dessets, though... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] becca

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 5:24am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

ok here's a cheat...
Feed your kid JUNK that she loves before going. Chances are she won't eat a thing there. Your perfect excuse: the party is having her too excited to eat.
I know my kids at the Christmas dinner are way too excited to stay at the dinner table. We let them go to the basement and play there and we eat quietly. Make sure your kid is surrounded by new toys (at least new to her), and not hungry, and you should be in the clear :-)

Posted on: Mon, 11/24/2003 - 9:39am
deegann's picture
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Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

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[This message has been edited by deegann (edited March 15, 2004).]

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