I had another post I was going to run today, but the influx of e-mails in my inbox have prompted me to re-run a post that is very timely for the holidays.
A little over a month ago I asked parents of non-allergic kids NOT to bake for the allergic ones. My reasons? Cross-contact, lack of food allergy education and risk of allergic reaction due to lack of understanding. Also, studies have shown that desserts cause the most allergic reactions. Many kids also experience allergic reactions while at school: my daughter has.
With the winter holidays upon us, I am now getting many, many e-mails from well-intentioned moms who want to bake for the allergic kids in their classroom. This post is for them. First of all THANK YOU for caring. I, and the other moms who deal with food allergies, seriously appreciate your concern for our kids. You rock.
Secondly, and don't get your feelings hurt now: Please don't offer to bake for my allergic child. The only exception would be that your child has the EXACT SAME allergies as another child and you have kitchen free of those particular allergens.
I know it's hard to grasp, but your cookies could land a kid in the hospital. Put yourself in our shoes: would you want others, who may not be quite sure how to go about it, to bake for your severely food-allergic child?
I urge everyone interested to follow the link to my original post. Here I outline all the reasons why non-allergic peeps baking for the allergic is a bad idea.
A much better idea: Bring something with a label that's not homebaked. Or bring non-edible treats.
One other note that I will follow up on later: Almond extract. Don't use almond extract for the nut-allergic.
Dealing with nut allergies isn't like trying to get out of a parking ticket, unfortunately. When you are severely allergic, wiggle room doesn't exist with regard to what you ingest. Either you're allergic to nuts or you're not and if you are, you just avoid anything that says "almond." Period. Unless you want to risk the ticket, i.e., the possibly fatal trip to the emergency room.
Sorry if I sound cranky but there is real lack of education out there and I am concerned for all the nut-allergic kiddoes as they head to their winter parties or what have you.
Allergic families, this is for you. Please step up! Offer to bring something so that the room moms and family members aren't put in a position where they even feel like they have to bring a treat specifically for your allergic child. Be proactive and it will pay off, I promise. Your kids will appreciate your involvement, too.
Readers, your thoughts? Am the only one worried about this?