Monday, October 20, 2008

Aw, Nuts! Not Another Scary Halloween Treat Guide

The people at AT&T have gone a little nuts with their Halloween treat suggestions this year. I was flipping through my e-mail when a Halloween treats guide popped up. As soon as I saw the first "kids treat mix" containing almonds, I just had to see what else they were offering as "kid" Halloween treats.

Several recipes had peanut butter or peanuts--these were specifically under the "treats for school aged kids" section of their Halloween Treats Guide for parties.

Um, OK. What's up with that??? Just about everyone with school-aged kids knows to stay away from the peanuts. Just today, my youngest daughter went to her new friend's house for a lunch play date. (My youngest does not have any food allergies.) The new friend lives just down the block from us. As they were getting ready to walk to her house, she asked me if my child had any dietary restrictions or allergies.

Most moms I meet now ask this if they are planning to serve the kids any food. I know of almost no classrooms at my daughter's elementary school that does not contain at least one child who is allergic to nuts. And food allergies have been all over the news lately, especially as Halloween approaches.

So why is this online magazine telling you to stick nuts in everything for kids?? I have no clue. So here's my suggestion, learned the hard way after our neighborhood block party's "peanut hunt" a couple of weeks ago: Tell EVERYBODY about your child's nut allergy. Tell them right when you get the invite to the Halloween party or play date. Assume nothing!!!

Give people all the info they need so they can avoid their version of nutty "Fright Bites" or what have you. Then you can avoid Halloween drama that you didn't bargain for.

With all the food allergies out there, I really don't get why magazines and newspapers are still pushing nuts for the little kids.

Have any of you seen this type of thing lately in the print media or online? I tend to notice this stuff more than most would, but I bet there's some other stuff out there. Let me know what you find.


Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Every magazine I pick up has a nut filled treat recipe in it..

I am not looking forward to any of the holidays, can I just pass this year? :)

Anonymous said...

few months ago on the Parents magazine there was a pretty good article about food allergy (the top 8) but again, all other issues (including that exact same issue) have recipes of kiddi food full of nuts. I don't know how much this will make a difference, but I want to write to the editor, one article is not enough, and while we cannot stop people keep on printing "healthy" nut recipes, what they can do is at the end of the recipe, make a remark something like "peanut is considered one of the top 8 allergen that causes fatal food allergy reactions..."
This way, people are still getting their recipes, but also getting educated.
What do you think?

Unknown said...

I am always amazed at the number of peanut butter-containing recipes I see in magazines and children's publications. Another similar thing that strikes me as odd are that the cute little holiday packages of cookies that Hallmark sells are made in facilities that use nuts and peanuts. Don't they realize they'd sell more if they had the cookies made elsewhere?! I suppose it's good that we eat less junk, but that stuff looks so pretty and appealing!

Jenny said...

I agree that there should be disclaimers at the end of any recipes that target kids, esp. for nut recipes.

This can be done easily--in fact, one of my favorite food magazines, "Saveur," ran a huge cover story on peanuts a couple of years ago. However, they included an extensive side bar that discussed peanut allergies. While I didn't love looking at all the full-color photos and recipes of peanuts, I appreciated their sensitivity in this matter. And that magazine is definitely not for kids! So parenting mags should absolutely get on board with this. I guess it's back to the e-mail for us, ladies!