Since my little Beach Rose loves Curious George, she started asking about coconuts and eating them and how George cracks them open and why they look different than the coconut we used to put in our cookies.
So I figured it was time for a food lesson and took it upon myself to purchase one of these delectable hairy orbs.
We made a huge production of drilling a hole in it to fit a straw and all the tools Daddy had to use to saw and crow bar it open. She was thrilled.
And we felt like heroes.
And then she started complaining that her mouth felt itchy. My husband looked at me and said, “She’s had this before, right?” And she had. Sweetened coconut in our cookie batter. And she’d been fine. Plus it wasn’t a nut.
“Are you sure?”
I guess not?
It made me nervous that she was reacting this way so I ran to the computer to look it up…
Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. “- according to Wikipedia
Then the rash around the outside of her mouth came. And we gave her Benadryl.
And here’s what else I found when I did some more extensive research after that dramatic night…
“*The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) states: “Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet.”1 “- states the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) website.
If you’ve got a little one with any type of serious allergy, ask their doctor what other things they may be allergic to, even if it’s a stretch. Apparently, allergies to coconuts are pretty rare, but look what happened.
Always play it safe. You can just simulate eating a coconut like Curious George does using a piece of your child’s pretend food, or a ball or just show them a video of how it’s done!