I am the mother to a wonderful daughter who happens to have a severe nut allergy. Not just peanuts, not just tree nuts, but ALL nuts. We first discovered Faith’s allergies when she was about 6 months old and was spitting up a lot in addition to not gaining weight. Our pediatrician referred us to an allergist to be tested and we found out she was allergic to almost everything it seemed. As she grew up she grew out of many of the allergies and by the age of three, she was only testing allergic to nuts and eggs. We carried on with life, buying the epipen, but not always carrying it.
However in December 2010 our world and how we viewed Faith’s allergies took a huge spin. During an event where there was a cookie potluck, Faith had been playing with another kid (who it turns out had eaten a peanut butter cookie). She was in the restroom when a friend came to me and said, “Does Faith ever have trouble breathing?”. My heart went into my throat. I said yes and ran to the bathroom. By that point Faith had taken off her shoes and was crying and gasping. I picked her up and ran for the epipen.
Now here is where the BIG bad mommy moment comes…I didn’t GIVE her the epipen because she was still breathing. I thought, “do I just give it if she stops breathing”? I was on the phone with 911 and begging them to tell me what to do. They advised, “do what your doctor told you.” Wow, thanks a lot. I didn’t recall my doctor telling me when to give the epipen…was it trouble breathing or no breathing?? Wasn’t there something that had to be given after an epipen?? The medics arrived quickly and still NO epipen was given. They didn’t really know what to do either. She was still gasping for breath and her skin had started to show petechia. We were loaded into the ambulance and rushed to the ER. Once admitted it was discovered her oxygen sats were down in the low 80s and she was given a breathing treatment and hooked up to an IV. Thankfully, the treatments succeeded and she recovered.
I’m sharing this because I’m going to start sharing the nut free school lunches I make for my daughters each day. I’m hoping hearing my story will help others see that “nut free” allergies are a life or death threat to some of our kids. To my kid for one. At the end of the day I just want her to live through school, literally. Hopefully this will inspire some of you who have to pack nut-free school lunches because of a school rule or because of your own child.
So, onto the lunches! :)
Week 1 Nut-Free School Lunches
Top Right: mini whole wheat bagel with garden cream cheese and turkey; cheese stick; snow peas & tomatoes; strawberries.
[Items used: Rubbermaid LunchBlox Kid’s Tall Lunch Box Kit]
Bottom Right: chicken noodle soup in thermos; mini cucumbers & mini bell peppers; strawberries.
[Items used: Thermos Foogo Leak-Proof Stainless Steel Food Jar]
40 Weeks of Kid’s School Lunches: Week 1 (Why we’re Nut Free!) | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 |
Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21 | Week 22 | Week 23 | Week 24 | Week 25 | Week 26 | Week 27 | Week 28 | Week 29 | Week 30 (Spring Break) | Week 31 | Week 32 | Week 33 | Week 34 | Week 35 | Week 36 | Week 37 | Week 38