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Child from US visiting for Xmas with nut allergy

(18 Posts)
Lalamum18 Fri 06-Sep-13 20:41:24

Just looking for some advice from wise MNetters. We have visitors from America coming over at Xmas and their 2year old has a severe nut allergy. I'm wondering how I am best to prepare for this. His grandma in the states uses separate chopping boards knives etc for him but this is simply not feasible to go out and buy a set of never before used utensils for 1 visit. I think I can con my children into not having a chocolate advent calender but I really need to find out what else may be in my cupboards that may be a problem that I haven't even thought of. I believe the allergy is quite severe. Thanks for your help

NatashaBee Fri 06-Sep-13 20:47:05

Is it an airborne allergy or just contact with nuts that causes issues? You probably need to find that out to understand exactly what you need to do to keep him safe.

TheYamiOfYawn Fri 06-Sep-13 20:55:52

Check what he is allergic to - peanuts? Tree nuts? Seeds?

Christmas foods are tricky. Nuts in Christmas cakes/puddings/mince pies, marzipan on cakes/in stuffing/in almost every box of chocolates.

Avoid bakery goods - there is a lot of cross-contamination. Chocolate is pretty bad, too.

If your kids have liquid vitamin drops, check those as some have a peanut oil base.

Pesto often has cashew nuts in.it.

The best thing to do is ask the family what precautions they feel it would be appropriate for you to take.

Lalamum18 Fri 06-Sep-13 21:02:53

From what I gather so far it is air borne not just contact - hence concern re cupboards. They threw everything out of their cupboards that had any nut contamination - he is allergic to 'numerous' nuts. However I'm slightly hopeful because he has started going to other children's bday parties at homes and assume they don't empty the house!!!

TheYamiOfYawn Fri 06-Sep-13 21:03:42

I think Kinnerton make nut-free chocolate advent calendars.

You will probably need to be careful what you eat/touch when out and about. I can't kiss or touch anyone who's eaten nuts that day. I had an allergic reaction once from a kiss from a cousin who had eaten.an ice lolly with hazelnuts a few hours beforehand.

superoz Fri 06-Sep-13 22:55:41

What do you use on your chopping boards? Normally for us it's just fruit, veg, meat and cutting bread. Providing your not cutting anything that contains nuts that side of things should be ok?
It's probably worth going through your cupboards and reading the labels to check what you have. Either start using them up or if you don't want to throw them away maybe put them in a zip lock bag and pack them away.

chloesmumtoo Sat 07-Sep-13 14:27:59

Our dd has a peanut allergy so we have a completely nut free house and so do our parents. Christmas is a very bad time to have a nut allergic child. Personally I don't really like visiting other peoples houses at Christmas with our dd. All the boxes of nutty chocolates everywhere, marzipan items, nuts, stuffing ect. I don't even feel comfortable with my dd eating at other houses full stop, but I am very cautious. Feel for you as it is a lot to take on and you are thinking ahead, well done you. One thing which can be forgotten about is to check any cooking oil you use, sometimes these even state may contain nut traces.

Bumpstarter Sat 07-Sep-13 14:46:53

I really think the parents of this child need to be thinking this through, and asking you to do x y and z, and also helping you to plan menus nearer the time. Although it must be a bit never ending for them, and a break would be nice for them when someone else is in control of food environment etc, the reality is that they are responsible for keeping their child safe.

Bumpstarter Sat 07-Sep-13 14:51:20

I say this because a close friend has just had a visit from a friend who is intolerant to an enormous list of foods. She provided the list a few days beforehand, and my friend was completely flummoxed by it. She simply couldn't think of meals that would comply with all the items on the list, and ended up completely drained by hosting this friend.

Lalamum18 Sat 07-Sep-13 17:45:49

Thanks bumpstarter and chloesmumtoo - I am concerned about this - its the items I don't even know could contain nuts that are my issue - eg cooking oil as you've suggested - those 'unknown unknowns!!' I think I will ask them to give me some ideas - particularly how they have modified meals they eat. I think - because they are used to adapting and checking everything they can't quite remember what is like when they started - and tbh he was diagnosed at 6 months so they have always adapted since he has been in solids. Thanks for help!!

ukey Mon 09-Sep-13 01:02:29

well done you for trying to accommodate...

its right that you can buy kinnerton advent calendars that are nut free
(look out for their 'nut free promise' logo.

fab bakin boys do nice wee nut free cakes, as do just love food company (can get them from sainsburys)

Be very careful of ice creams and desserts etc

walls vienetta is safe.

perhaps ask the family what their child likes and we will be able to help you find some nut free alternatives.

I would avoid having anything that actually contains nuts/peanuts due to cross contamination risks etc.

never buy anything from bakery etc

Also check shampoos, soaps, lip balms, moisturisers etc

With foods you will have to read every label,

perhaps get him his own wee plate, bowl and cutlery as I have known kids to react after eating something from a bowl that had previously been used to eat crunchy nut cornflakes. (obviously was washed between uses). Plus would be a nice wee gift for him.

Lalamum18 Mon 09-Sep-13 20:21:58

Great idea for the plate etc - could get a nice Emma Bridgwater set .... V trad British and Xmas pressie and safe!!

shelsco Fri 13-Sep-13 21:45:36

There are a good variety of savoury prepackaged foods that are okay for nut allergy sufferers but the Christmas foods are a problem. I've found Sainsburys have the most choice generally with food that is ok for nut/peanut allergic people. You can also find a nut free list on their website and if you press control and f it will search the list for items you type in. so if you want coleslaw, for example, it will find any nut safe coleslaw they sell.
To be honest, desserts are incredibly hard to find. You will find a decent range of ice cream but not much in the way of cakes or ready made desserts. Asda do a couple of individual microwave chocolate pudding which are okay. I think a separate bowl is a good idea. Theoretically, soap and water should get rid of peanut protein so washing the chopping board should be fine, but it depends what has been chopped on it before. I think I would still be worried if it was nutty things but not so much if it was only fruit and veg.

Cooking oil should be fine as long as its refined (most is) as its the nut protein people react to not the fat or oil . Peanut allergic people do not even react to peanut oil according to our dietician so any refined oil is supposed to be fine. I must admit I still stick to sunflower or rapeseed oil to be on the safe side though!
If you want to find a nut free version of any particular product feel free to PM me. I think I've managed to find nut free versions of most (not all) things and have trawled all the local supermarkets so if I can save you some time drop me a message! smile

Lalamum18 Wed 04-Dec-13 21:01:21

Thanks for all the advice. I thought I was getting on top of it - had got adept at looking in super markets but 2 things have presented themselves this week. We normall get our bacon (and gammon and turkey for Xmas) from our local butcher. But because it can't be labelled 'packed in a protected environment' we have been asked to buy bacon and ham labelled like this. Will this apply to turkey and gammon as well? And I found lots of bread in supermarkets with label on the back under allergens as not including nuts - and assumed this meant nut free. Ie allergens: gluten wheat sulphites etc but apparently it still could contain nuts - how does that work? Surely if it contains nuts it should've added as an allergen?
And is nutmeg a nut????

pashmina696 Wed 04-Dec-13 23:28:40

Hi see this for nutmeg

http://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/what-is-anaphylaxis/faqs#3

this website is good for advice in general on anaphylaxis

its not easy checking all the ingredients and allergy lists, but a general rule is if it doesn't state on the packaging there is a cross contamination risk then there isn't one. preprepared food and baked products contain the highest risks.

babybarrister Colombia Fri 06-Dec-13 18:28:52

I second looking at the Anaphylaxis Campaign website and also ringing their helpline if you have any queries

shelsco Sat 07-Dec-13 17:35:35

Nut free tends to be a guarantee that factory and ingredients etc has no nuts but companies that label traces and don't list nuts should be fine for nut allergy sufferers. Ds reacts to nut traces and we take it that if it is from one of the big companies that we know label traces and nuts aren't mentioned then it's okay.
Hovis, kings mill, and quite a few different brands including supermarkets own croissants, crumpets etc are labelled with traces of milk or soya or egg. We take that to be safe, as the company does not think there is a cross contamination risk for nuts.

lljkk Netherlands Sat 07-Dec-13 17:54:23

Let us know how you get on, OP.

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