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Popcorn & fish & chips - nut allergy

(29 Posts)
beggsie Mon 20-Jul-09 12:05:27

Hi all

I've posted this on another site but wondered if any mners had a view....

Just a quick straw poll to see how people handle these foods! We went to the pictures yesterday (Ice Age 3 - brilliant!). Obviously ds wanted popcorn but I got a bit freaked out and couldn't work out if it was OK. I asked the manager and he said it was popped on site and cooked in coconut oil but otherwise was OK. I still couldn't decide so ended up with a bag of Skittles instead. Now, ds is not allergic to coconut (just tree nuts) - do you eat popcorn from places like this? I've seen the posts on microwaveable Butterkist (and incidentally he's had toffee Butterkist in the past with no reaction but haven't given it to him recently).

Also, just an aside - we obviously avoid indian and chinese takeaways but do you eat fish and chips? We have with not much thought but realised recently that one shop we have used in the past also serves chinese food so maybe things are fried in the same oil and therefore the risk of contamination might be higher? Would an ordinary fish and chip shop be OK?

Such a minefield!
TIA
Beggsie

brimfull Mon 20-Jul-09 12:09:21

Hi Beggsie,

My ds is also allergic to tree nuts

he has cinema popcorn and fish and chips ,but I would avoid the chinese/fish and chip shop.

beggsie Mon 20-Jul-09 12:27:44

Thanks ggirl

DS was only diagnosed a month or so ago so we are doing this all for the first time! I'm glad you said that you had these - poor boy was a bit upset (although he is very sensible about it). I am hoping to relax a bit more over time, and that is coming to be fair. Off to France in a couple of weeks - whole new can of worms!
Beggsie

brimfull Mon 20-Jul-09 14:23:21

How old is he beggsie?
Ds is nearly 7,diagnosed at 18mos so we have become used to it.
I remember well the first months and how worrying it is and it does get easier.

We have travelled loads with ds, france,italy,greece,canada,dubai,turkey all without a problem but all self catering to make it easy.

I did get allergy translation cards but tbh we hardly used them as ds is quite fussy when we eat out and it's alwasy stuff like fish and chips anywya.

He's a good eater at home but not out and he is quite careful which is a good thing.
Hope you have a good

brimfull Mon 20-Jul-09 14:23:58

good time !

alittlebitfat Mon 20-Jul-09 14:33:06

Hi 2 of my 3 dc are nut allergic, I take M&S popcorn to cinema as I just cant be bothered with the hassle of asking the spotty teenager serving. Also, we check which type of oil the chipshop uses beforehand. Havent been brave enough to go on holiday abroad yet.

alittlebitfat Mon 20-Jul-09 14:36:43

Also, recently went to a parent workshop run by anaphylaxis campaign...good to meet other families and gauge how we are handling it

CarriePooter Mon 20-Jul-09 14:36:55

I give my ds fish and chips and would have given him the popcorn. We own a chinese takeaway so he eats that but not indian. He is only allergic to peanuts though which is a lot easier than tree nuts.

beggsie Mon 20-Jul-09 14:37:44

He is 4.5yrs. So far we only know he is allergic to brazil nuts - have skin prick tests for almonds, cashews, pistachios and hazlenuts on Wednesday - gulp. The first lot of skin pricks showed he is not allergic to walnuts or peanuts, but we have been avoiding all nuts at the moment as find it too stressful. The doctor actually told us to give him peanuts on a regular basis to keep his tolerance up (apparently it is unlikely that he will become allergic to peanuts - it can go peanut to tree nut but rarely the other way) but I just haven't dared to do that yet. But then would I be making him sensitive by not letting him have peanuts?? AAARGHHHH!

We are self catering in France so feel OK about that but am dreading facing the decision about the boulangerie/creperie. I have ordered the translation cards too, but find them a bit scary!

My ds is also not a reckless type so he is already asking whether things have nuts in before he eats, which is very comforting.

It is also comforting to hear it gets better - I bl*y hope so - my anxiety levels are through the roof with the whole thing!

Thanks for replying, ggirl.
beggsie

beggsie Mon 20-Jul-09 14:42:02

Ooh, x-posted with other replies - thank you. I agree totally with not trusting the teenager on the popcorn stall - that's what freaked me out! It's good to hear others who sound so on top of things. And how great to own a chinese takeaway, CarriePooter, and so know it is OK to eat - my idea of heaven!!
Thank you so much for replying.

beggsie

beggsie Mon 20-Jul-09 14:49:44

Also, just a thought, CarriePooter - why do you think it is easier to deal with an allergy to peanuts rather than tree nuts? I don't mean that in anything other than a curious way - it's just that when we had our skin prick tests, my first reaction was 'thank goodness it isn't peanuts'. Maybe I thought that because most of the press is about peanuts rather than any of the other nuts? I honestly don't know and wondered what your thoughts were on that?
I suppose some of the other tree nuts are used a lot in desserts etc so in that respect it is more difficult. Hmmm...just wish it were none of them to be honest!!

CarriePooter Mon 20-Jul-09 15:12:36

Peanuts just aren't in as many things. Ds can have some cadbury chocolate but it may contain traces of treenuts. I wish the labeling was better so it told you which kind of nuts there may be traces of. Sometimes they will state peanuts or treenuts but its rare for a label to say 'may contain traces of almonds' for example and it would make so much difference to people who are only allergic to one or two types of nut.

beggsie Mon 20-Jul-09 15:14:38

Yes, I see what you mean. And totally agree about the labelling. Maybe one day it will improve - here's hoping!

Hatlady Mon 20-Jul-09 17:09:45

Dear Beggsie,
Haven't read all the posts so apologies if I'm repeating stuff. I have found many fish and chip shops fry with peanut oil because it gives a good flavour and can withstand high temperatures so it is always a good idea to check. I have not found a problem with popcorn at the cinema. Good luck.

Hatlady Mon 20-Jul-09 17:16:29

Dear Beggsie,
Just read down and saw that you are travelling to France. They use 'huile d'arachide' - peanut oil - routinely there (as well as olive oil). Also peanuts in a caramel coating are handed out free to kids on the beach (in the hope they'll ask their parents to buy a packet). I would get in touch with the Anaphylaxis Campaign before you go to get advice about travelling with an allergic child.

beggsie Mon 20-Jul-09 17:34:51

Thanks HatLady for your advice. It's good to get lots of info/advice at this stage as it is all so new!

beggsie

madretierra Thu 23-Jul-09 21:18:55

Hi, new in musmnet, been reading all your messages. Found out my DS is allergic to a few tree nuts... so sharing this new feeling with you all, my heart stops everytime he puts a biscuit/chocolate in his mouth. He's always been a brilliant eater so struggling not to spoilt that. Happy and confortable with supermarket lists of safe products but very scared of eating out, what do you do? what do you order? what is safe? not that I cannot live without a cafe but it was such a lovely thing to do with him and not is too scary...also, cannot seem to find one ice-cream that does not show the "may contain trace of nut", just some basic lollies from sainsbury's that haven;t managed to find yet...any advice? I am very afraid, although better than 4 weeks ago when it all happened after half a cashew (which he'd had before and was fine), ambulance, etc...but don;t want to drive him mad ... please help!

beggsie Fri 24-Jul-09 09:40:51

Hi madretierra

Sorry to hear about your DS. I fully recognise the heart stopping moments - the first party we went to after we discovered my DS's allergy, I spent some time in tears because I was just so anxious. I have to say that it really is getting better already though (a couple of months in now). One of my biggest bugbears was the eating out thing too - my DS really is a boy who loves to lunch! it was heartbreaking to think we couldn't do this anymore. I have had some really good advice from people on here and elsewhere which has helped with this.

In terms of keeping him eating well, just try to remember that the vast majority of things are perfectly safe for him. If he has to cut back a bit on biscuits/cakes/icecream etc, it's not really a bad thing. Also, I spoke to someone who was so together and calm about it, she really inspired me to take this and deal with it head on. Just be really on it, and find out as much as you can. Tell everybody, and if people (like other mothers/carers/party organisers etc) are scared by it, who cares. Your child is the most important person in all of this. The day after I spoke to this woman, I marched into a pub kitchen to speak to the chef as I wasn't happy with the answer I got from the waitress. Really not the sort of thing I do, but I actually felt really empowered by it and after thought 'we can deal with this'. And so can you. Don't be afraid of asking as many questions as you need to in order to be comfortable. As my DH says, we are not going to let this rule our lives, we'll just tweak things slightly and carry on having fun! If we go out, we order very simple food for him - no dressings or sauces for instance. So maybe pizza, or sandwiches, chips etc. And we are obviously wary of desserts.

Honestly, at least you know about this now, and you can deal with it. Knowledge is power!

Oh, and I think classic magnums (not the little ones - the huge ones!) are nut free , and also strawberry cornettos.

HTH a little bit.
Beggsie

madretierra Sat 25-Jul-09 00:29:35

Beggsie, thanks so much for your reply and support. I imagine it will get better as time goes by...Yes, fully agree knowledge is power. Thanks so much, it really helped.
I also find difficult to talk to people who don;t know a lot about it as they just think a bit of nut will give him a little rush and that will be it...so donlt trust anyone, even a grandma is being a bit silly and does not get it.

madretierra Sat 25-Jul-09 00:32:01

Carriepooter, where is your takeaway?

beggsie Sat 25-Jul-09 09:26:05

I know what you mean about other people not taking it seriously but just remain firm. I caught my mother buying a pecan danish for my DS recently and nearly freaked! It wasn't deliberate and she was mortified but it highlighted to me how vigilant you need to be, and that naturally it won't be at the top of everybodies agenda unfortunately.

BlueBumedFly Sun 26-Jul-09 14:08:29

Don't forget guys that this may not be something you have to live with forever. A year down the line of my SDD being desensitized to peanuts she is now not allergic to tree nuts. She started the study not being able to tolerate an eighth of a peanut, now on Friday she is having her next challenge of 17 whole (32 halfs) peanuts. Life is good.

We always allowed popcorn and fish and chips too. She has never had a takeaway but if she passes the next challenge depending the results of her rast we may be allowed to try Chinese !

Beccabell Mon 27-Jul-09 15:09:20

Hi there - my dd2 has a serious treenut allergy.
I buy packets of popcorn - that way I can read the allergens on the packet. I avoid pick and mix like the plague (they have chocolate covered brazil nuts in our local cinema!). We eat fish and chips from the chippy, but wouldn't ever get it from a chinese takeaway - too much peanut oil etc around and a higher risk of cross contamination. My dd2 has had a reaction from traces of peanuts before - but has no peanut allergy...only an allergy to brazil nuts.

beggsie Mon 27-Jul-09 21:25:52

Hi Beccabell

Thanks for your message. It has just been confirmed that my ds is only allergic to brazil nuts too. Not peanuts or any other tree nuts. I feel much better about things because of that but we will still have to obviously be ultra vigilant. Very odd that your dd2 would have a reaction from a trace of peanuts - must just show the risk of cross contamination.
We've had the skin pricks done but not RAST blood tests, and my ds came up with a 5mm for brazil nuts - can I ask about your dd2? He's only had one reaction so far which did not involve any problem with his breathing, just some slight swelling to his eye, but we have been given anapens anyway. I am very grateful for this, but am really trying hard to gauge the severity of his allergy, having no knowledge of this before now. We are being ultra cautious, and suspect we will always be so as you can never tell what the next reaction would be, but I am very interested to hear other peoples stories.

Thanks
beggsie

specialmagiclady Mon 27-Jul-09 21:34:19

Beggsie - we're so like you. Positive prick tests and in a food challenge 1 hive for peanuts, but no idea of severity in practice. I have been quite lax, if I'm honest. "May contain traces of nuts" is fine by me. He's eaten popcorn and fish and chips etc.

But he's never had breathing difficulties so it's easy for me to relax...

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