The Peanut Battle: Part III (Reading Labels)

Reading labels is a pain in the butt.

Oh, sure, the Great Peanut Act of 2004 (a.k.a Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act) requires that manufacturers label allergens with a “Contains…” warning, and to identify ingredients by names a 7-year old can understand, but it still seems to me I am searching around the entire container for these words. And I still check the ingredients list.

And thank goodness for this law! I was checking a site with a list of ingredients to check for. The volume of ingredients to avoid isn’t that bad. But… “food additive 322” ? “natural and artificial flavoring” ?? I’d like to see the product which doesn’t have that one.

But buying new foods for our peanut-allergic daughter isn’t even my biggest worry. My biggest worry is when my daughter asks for a food she knows we have and knows she likes and I have to check the label and inform her she can no longer have it.

At least until we ask the doctor to clarify what we should and shouldn’t avoid. Of course we are going to err on the side of caution and avoid those foods which are “manufactured in a facility which also handles peanuts,” but do we need to? I’m not asking you, the readers, of course. We’ll talk to the pediatrician.

I didn’t think dealing with a peanut allergy would be easy. But buying groceries used to take a lot less time.

Of course, research doesn’t help because you only learn stuff that makes you worry more. For instance, I read a warning that you shouldn’t depend on a product which was once safe to always be safe, because manufacturing processes change. A product which was once safe, may suddenly not be safe. Be sure to check the label every time.

It is worth it to keep our daughter safe. But, just when you think this parenting thing isn’t so difficult after all, life throws you another curve ball.

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2 Responses to The Peanut Battle: Part III (Reading Labels)

  1. Dave says:

    Welcome the the club, we have a 3yr old with a peanut allergy, one suggestion is to join the The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

    (Kaz: Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the link, Dave! We’ll have to check it out. There is so much to learn…)

  2. paula says:

    the discussion boards on http://www.peanutallergy.comhave a lot of great info too.You really have to pick your own comfort zone.

    (Kaz: One thing you’ll learn over time is that I have no comfort zone with anything. I will always err on the side of worry 🙂 Thanks for the link!)

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