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Nut allergy and pesto - always eaten it.....

(17 Posts)
beggsie Sat 27-Jun-09 10:31:58

Hi all

Question for all nut allergy sufferers (and parents of) - once diagnosed, did you let your child continue to eat things they always have done which they have had no problem with?

I ask because my ds is allergic to brazil nuts, but we haven't yet had the test for cashews among other things (4 weeks away and counting!). Since he was tiny, he has adored pesto pasta and has eaten it at least once a week. The brand I buy has cashews in it, and he has never had a reaction to it, but now I am too nervous to give it to him as lots of advice says even if allergic to one nut, avoid all nuts. He is so unhappy about this - it is his real comfort food!

Any advice would be gratefully received!


tinytalker Sat 27-Jun-09 13:12:11

My dd has just been diagnosed through a RAST test to be allergic to Hazelnuts and no other nuts. This was a complete shock as she regularly eats Nutella and has had cookies in the past with hazelnut! The specialist said this is probably what has prevented her having a massive reaction and to continue eating it in small amounts maybe once a month. He said for her just to avoid museli, sweets etc. with whole hazelnuts and not to eat large quantities of things with hazelnuts.
She is 11yrs and has never had a severe reaction to foods, she sometimes gets a tummy ache or black eyes the day after eating sometimes. Her severe reaction is to animals.
Allergy to 1 type of nut doesn't automatically mean an allergy to all nuts. So don't worry too much, either carry on as you have always done or just wait the few weeks 'til you get a definite result.
Good luck.

DesperateHousewifeToo Sat 27-Jun-09 14:11:00

Could you make your own pesto?

Ds is allergic to peanuts and hazelnuts. He sometimes has fruit bars with almonds which, I think , is the only thing with other nuts that he has regularly.

We were told to be careful with other nuts because peanuts are 'dirty nuts' and can contaminate others.

beggsie Sat 27-Jun-09 17:12:33

Thanks for your responses. I have thought about making my own pesto but frankly would rather not if I don't have to! Maybe I will try to hang out till we have the tests and cross fingers that I get similar advice to tinytalker.

Thanks again.

EldonAve Sat 27-Jun-09 17:25:10

why not buy the pesto that is made with pine nuts instead?

sweetfall Sat 27-Jun-09 17:31:04

if he's always eaten it with no issues I'd continue to let him have it

beggsie Sat 27-Jun-09 17:35:22

I've tried to find pesto that is made just with pine nuts but they all seem to be packed out with cashews - presumably they are cheaper? I've even tried expensive italian deli's and the like, but no joy.

Maybe I am over-thinking it and like you say, if he's always eaten it, it should be fine. Aargh! It's just a minefield!


EldonAve Sat 27-Jun-09 17:58:09

I was sure that the Sacla stuff used to be pine nuts only as I used to buy it but seems to have cashews now
sains ttd looks ok
The fresh pesto from the chiller pasta section at Sains or Waitrose should also be pine nut only

beggsie Sat 27-Jun-09 18:16:58

Oooh, thank you EldonAve - I'll take a look at them. Sacla is the one we use too - v. annoying!

bruffin Sat 27-Jun-09 18:27:41

tesco's finest has pine nuts, however my dh is allergic to brasil nuts and has no problems with the cashew ones. My DS is allergic to most tree nuts so I tend to avoid them for him.

tealady Sat 27-Jun-09 18:29:17

My ds has peanut allergy and also adores pesto (Sacla one with cashews and pine nuts). I asked the allergy consultant if it was ok to keep giving it to him. She said yes (he was tested for cashews as well and was fine) so he has continued to eat pesto very regularly- its his favourite food!

We have had no problems doing this and he is now 11 (diagosed with allergy 5 yrs ago). We do have an epipen though and live near a hospital!

tatt Sat 27-Jun-09 18:40:15

I've been told florentino pesto on the free from shelves in Morrisons is nut free. We were also told nuts are often stored together and therefore to avoid all nuts. However that was before the work at Cambridge.

It's possible to be sensitised to something (i.e. have a positive RAST test) and not react. For that reason we continue to feed one food to our nut allergic child despite a grade 3 positive test. But we also have epipens, I don't think I'd risk it otherwise.

girlsyearapart Sat 27-Jun-09 19:48:54

It is VERY easy to make your own pesto just put ingredients in blender and whizz it for a bit. I had to do it in all different combos as my DH was reacting to something in the homemade one but not shop bought. I put basil, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts in and have made it without pine nuts and it was still nice. You can vary it with different ingredients too to cater for allergies. HTH.

beggsie Sat 27-Jun-09 20:20:06

That is all very helpful, thanks. It's all so new and confusing to me but we are working through it. It's such a shame to think about everything you put in your mouth but we are getting there. I am coming to terms with having to do a bit more home cooking/baking etc - so not a domestic goddess!!

girlsyearapart Sat 27-Jun-09 20:24:00

No i'm no Nigella either! v pissed off my dd2 can't eat all the easy peasy pasta dinners or many other things for that matter!Will have to get creative...

tatt Sun 28-Jun-09 06:23:46

it is possible to get pasta sauces that are nut free. We used to have a childrens one that had hidden vegetables but they have mostly stopped selling it here. I can look in our cupboard for some tomato -ey ones if you like.

beggsie Mon 29-Jun-09 19:59:18

Thanks tatt. We went to the childrens food festival near oxford at the weekend, and Peter Rabbit had a stall there. I'd seen on here somewhere that their pasta sauces were nut-free, and spoke to them and they confirmed this. So, have stocked up on loads. Just need to get moving on making my own pesto now!

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