The Amazing Mumford


My son was a big Sesame Street fan from ages two to three but dropped off from watching it a year or so ago. During the time he was watching SS, the Amazing Mumford character *always* prefaced his magic tricks with "a la Peanut Butter sandwiches" and I would flinch each time as yet another subliminal message gets tossed his way on how peanut butter is a kid's best friend.

So we were watching Sesame Street together and Mumford was the featured character. Just as he was about to perform his magic trick, I cringed in anticipation but out of his mouth came: "a la egg salad sandwiches." Wow! Even Sesame Street has become enlightened. :-)


On Mar 11, 1999

Noreen, I was just thinking today about how often peanut butter is mentioned on Barney. It drives me crazy. My 3 year old isn't quite aware of his allergies yet but every time they sing that Peanut Butter and Jelly song I always say to him, "Brett is allergic to pb". I was wondering if they (the Barney people) would be open to a suggestion to have on a child with food allergies (preferably peanut) so it can be discussed on the show. I may start working on that letter!

On Mar 11, 1999

That letter to the producers of Barney, Lisa, sounds like a good idea. Just to set the record straight, I was watching Sesame Street with my son a week later and peanut products were mentioned four times within the same hour. Why couldn't my kid have a life-threatening allergy to artichokes! (argh!)


On Mar 11, 1999

I have also noticed how much pb is mentioned on Barney (my 2 yr olds all time favorite). There is a Barney web site - [url=""][/url] and we should all e-mail them about this. I am going to do this as soon as i get out of this site.

On Mar 11, 1999


I was just at the Barney web site and the site is [url=""][/url] However, once I got there I couldn't figure out how to e-mail unless i was a member of the Barney Fan Club!! They are only interested in $$. If anyone else figures out how to e-mail them, let me know as I am fairly new with the internet thing. Thanks.

On Jul 23, 1999

My daugher was taught a song about a peanut on a railroad track--it's really cute until you think of the reaction she has when she eats it. So one day I asked her about the song and if it bothered her. She told me that songs are for pretend and have nothing to do with things that are real. She likes the song and at the same time understands that singing and tlaking about peanuts are not going to hurt her it is the real thing that will.

Have you talked to your kids to find out what they about the tv and thier allergy?

Mary Lynn

On Jul 23, 1999

Oh, Mary Lynn, don't get me started on my favorite soapbox topic, television. Once you get me started, you'll never get me to shut up. [img][/img]

I abhor commercial television and have restricted my son's tv viewing to PBS and children's videos for the past four years. Only recently, have I allowed him to watch Nick Jr.

According to the most recent Harper's Index, the average number of murders a child will witness on tv by the time he finishes elementary school is 8,000!!!

I find this horribly appalling and we institute a ban on commercial television in our home. As for the peanut connection, I think my son has benefitted from not seeing hundreds of commercials telling him great peanut butter is. When he does see the mentions of peanut products on PBS, he just says "Yuk" for he knows peanuts make him very, very sick.

I have made my share of mistakes in parenting my first child but I have never once regretted the limits I have placed on his television viewing. He was recently tested by the school district to determine whether his sensory defensiveness would qualify him for an IEP. My son tested off the charts cognitively and he is never pushed to learn in our household. He spends most of his time with imaginative play rather than soaking up all the violence on commercial television.


On Jul 24, 1999

For those interested in writing Barney the address is: P.O. Box 7497, Red Oak, IA 51591-0497. I did not see an email address at [url=""][/url] either.

I hate to admit it but we are recent members of the "Fan Club." Barney is all my children talk about. It was Spencer's second word after "DaDa" if you can believe that. I swear the only reason my daughter is starting to potty train is to wear her Barney underwear.

We have invested a lot of money into this company and would love to see an episode on this! If they can have all of the "culturally correct" children, and one with a hearing disability (which I think is great), then lets get a PA child and talk about their limits!

Noreen, I completely agree with you on the TV issue. Other than PA/kidney problems our children don't have any disabilities but I do notice behavior changes related to the activities going on, on the tv. We just started pre-school in June and I am so thankful that there is not a tv there except to watch lesson related videos (e.g. last week was water safety/wearing your life vest). In the home day cares (which have their benefits too) I was finding that tv was playing the whole time.

(Ok, I'm off my soapbox too.)

If anyone is interested in doing a group letter I think there is power in numbers!

------------------ Kelly M Another Mom in Michigan

On Aug 19, 1999

Noreen, I wouldn't necessarily use the word "enlightened", as eggs are also a very highly allergenic food. But nonetheless I would agree with your optimism. It's hard to tell if the writers of Sesame Street did this because they have become more aware of the severity of peanut allergies or if it was just a fluke. Anyway, my daughter is PA and I often subsitute other foods in place of peanut butter while reading Sesame Street (CTW) books. (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies instead of Penut Butter Chocolate chip cookies.) God Bless!

On Aug 19, 1999

Peanut butter and children seem to go hand in hand. I too flinch everytime it is mentioned on TV: many commercials, Seasame Street, Blue's Clue's, Disney's "PB&J" Otter, Bear in the Big Blue House, & Barney... just to name a few!! It's often referred to in kids books and at the grocery store PB is in almost every snack or ice cream treat. Her neighbors friends eat it... I feel like we are surrounded!! I've tried to sheild her from the very mention of it. I wonder what effect it might have on my 4-1/2 yo daughter and her self-esteem. I recently ordered a booklet put out by FAN called "Letting Go: Teaching a Child Responsibility". It was very helpful to me in planning for the next several years when much of my control will be gone as my daughter grows up and goes into the world (like school.... without me holding her hand). The booklet suggested to actually show her pictures of PB and nuts in all their forms and hiding places. They suggested to make a collage: cut & paste pictures into a little book. The goal was education. So that the child will learn to recognize what to stay away from and hidden dangers. I apologize for getting off the subject. I wish the focus on PB wasn't so strong... I wish Barney talked about ham & cheese instead. All we can do is get the word out; continue our education to the rest of the public. Good luck to us all.

On Aug 20, 1999

I think sending a suggestion to the "Barney" people to do a show about the allergy is a terrific idea...count me in for letter writing. Rather than shield my 3 yr old PA daughter I have tried to show her that peanuts are everywhere and all kinds of people like it and eat it and may have it around. I wanted her to be aware that the danger from peanuts can be hidden as well as obvious and that the responsiblity lies with us to be cautious... a heavy load for a 3 year old but she has a very calm acceptance of her allergy. We have been careful not to show panic when dealing with her reactions or finding peanuts in a product (although inside we die a little each time). But I too wish peanut butter sandwiches etc wasn't used so freely in children's shows. I know peanut butter is just about a major food group for alot of kids, but I would like to see a balance. If we can't eliminate references to it, then lets educate the viewers with a show about the effects it has on some. We would be targeting alot of preschool children and this could benefit us later on when they hit kindergarten, know about not sharing lunchs/snacks etc...

On Aug 20, 1999

This is going to sound a bit callous but... isn't trying to get all mention of any peanut products (especially pbjs) a bit like the ostrich putting his head in the sand... "if I don't see (or hear) it, it doesn't exist"?

I can understand everyone is trying to protect their loved ones, but wouldn't it be better to teach them (and everyone) that these things do indeed exist and many people enjoy them; however, those of us with PA can't...AND...that this is not a bad thing, it's just the way things are.

My daughter is 3 and we haven't yet started the active bit of showing pictures of peanut products (not to mention wheat, egg, and soy), but we do not worry about it when she does hear the constant references to pbjs, ice cream cones, mickey d's, pizza hut, etc...all the things she can't have/enjoy. We explain to her that she can't have (or go to) these things and why. As I start homeschooling her, I am planning a portion of it dedicated to her allergies.

Sorry to sound critical/callous, but I think education goes much farther than simply ignoring the problems we face, and they will face in the future. [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img]

[This message has been edited by Marielle (edited August 20, 1999).]

On Aug 20, 1999

You have a good point, Marielle, but I still maintain a young child's mind is too impressionable to be bombarded by a zillion commercials which glorify junk food. Despite the commercial t.v. restriction at our house, our son knows very well that peanut butter is hugely popular and knows his friends enjoy it. What he doesn't have to endure is being beaten over the head with that fact over and over again.

What I detest most about excessive television viewing is how it encourages passivity. The vast majority of people in this country spend far too much time living their lives by watching one dimensional characters acting out fictitious scenarios. Passivity is simply not a benefit in dealing with a peanut allergy, IMO.


[This message has been edited by Noreen (edited August 20, 1999).]

On Aug 21, 1999

I agree with you on the TV thing, Noreen, and I'm not trying to say it's OK to bombard our kids with peanut references (or anything our kids are allergic to)...but I am saying it is a fact of life, unfortunately, not just on the TV. I've found that taking Charmaigne to storytime at the local library is just as bad, most of the stories seem to revolve around food and how wonderful pbjs & ice cream cones are [img][/img]

I'm still looking for a wheat-free, egg-free ice cream cone recipe...I'm going to try adapting my aunt's pizzelle recipe and see how it works/tastes.

By the way, we don't have cable in our house. I couldn't see paying for something we rarely (if ever) used. There's so much more for Charmaigne to do AND I have the luxury of monitoring what she sees on the tube.

On Aug 22, 1999


I agree with TV restrictions. I agree it is hard to watch and accept peanut butter songs, poems, etc....

The more we write in the more we educate. As we all have experienced, making others understand why our children can not have PB is all about proper education and even then it is not always accepted.

Don't they tell us not to feed nuts & peanuts to children under 3yrs?? Don't they tell new Mom's not to eat PB when breastfeeding?? This type of information on shows targeted for the young may prove beneficial.

We can all dream...