Trust your toddler, but don’t be foolish

So, here’s a good one…should be winning ‘mother-of-the-year’ after yesterday…

My 4 year old Beach Rose is allergic to nuts.  But, it’s not that simple…

Not all nuts, and even the ones she does have allergies to, not all are scary reactions.  So, she’s not allergic to almonds or pistachios, but if she has a little bite of peanut or pecan, she’ll complain about her tongue being itchy.  However, if she eats a walnut she breaks out into hives, has trouble breathing & her stomach hurts her to the point where she screams out.

There are many schools of thought as to how to approach a child who may or may not have nut allergies. One allergist told me to stay away from ALL nuts.  One said to keep introducing a little bit every day to build up tolerance.

I’ve heard that staying away from all nuts makes the allergy worse.  Without any exposure to nuts at all, any contact, not just ingesting it, touching a nut, touching a doorknob which has been touched by a kid who had a peanut butter sandwich, can set off anaphylaxis.

And the other camp says that the more exposure to nuts you give to someone who’s prone to nut allergies, the more likely the allergy will worsen.

So, I’ve decided to give my Beach Rose a little tiny bite of peanut every day, and a tiny bite of pecan as often as I remember, or have on hand.

Yesterday I played with fire…unintentionally, yet due to my carelessness…

I decided to make apple caramel bars to bring to my Book Club that night.  It was a recipe one of the ladies had passed on to me, so I thought I’d thank her by filling her belly!

The recipe called for 1 cup of nut flour;  which you make by finely chopping 1 cup of any nut you have on hand (pecans, walnuts or almonds) in a food processor.  I used the pecans I had on hand, of course.


I made the bars while my little one was napping and I went to take a shower.

When she awoke from her nap and went downstairs, I followed her, set her up at the kitchen table with her snack and told her, firmly, that she was not allowed to touch the batter left in the kitchen mixer because it had nuts.

‘What kind of nuts?’ she wanted to know.

‘Pecans, and you can’t have batter with pecans.’

‘Ok Mama, I won’t.  I won’t.’

And because I trusted my 4 year old, with her beautiful, innocent, big eyes like a doe’s, I went upstairs to blow-dry my hair for 10 minutes.

My mistake…you can guess what happens next…

…as good as her intentions were to heed my warning, the temptation to get her chubby fingers on some sweet batter was greater than her fear of retribution, from Mama or the pecans.

Long story short, we ended up in the ER for half the night because she had a severe allergic reaction; hives, difficulty breathing & stomach pains.  Everything ended ok, but lesson learned!

as good as you think your child is and as much as you think you can trust them, you can…to a point.  Don’t be reckless and leave a giant bowl of delicious, dangerous batter sitting on the counter and expect your Baby to  turn down the opportunity to get some in her tummy while her Mama’s not lookin’.

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