Fort Worth, Texas,
12
May
2014
|
07:47 PM
America/Chicago

Hidden allergic foods

The 5 worst mistakes I've made

As moms, we all make mistakes. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could take back the one I’m about to tell you. When my son was 15 months old, I gave him a bite of my pistachios. He got red marks on his face and body, and then he started to swell. He kept swelling all the way to the ER. He was so swollen his diaper was pinching is body and his eyes and mouth couldn’t open. Thankfully we made it in time before his airway closed and the Cook Children’s Emergency Department staff saved his life. I was told he had an anaphylactic reaction to tree nuts. Our entire life changed.

A few days later we went to an allergist who had to prick his back 100 times to tell me he is deathly allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish and eggs. I learned this information almost 10 years ago and despite my best efforts to educate my son and everyone in my family, I still make mistakes. These *#!@ foods can be hidden.

Here’s my top 5 list of the strangest places to find deadly allergic foods:

  1. Hamburger patties and meatballs. Eggs can be used as a binder in these.
  2. Kids multivitamins. Check these for fish oil.
  3. Frying oil. Ask every restaurant every time if they use peanut oil. Someone different could order the oil from the last time you ate there.
  4. My own mouth. I stopped eating all nuts in case he drank after me or I gave him a bite from my fork.
  5. Read all food labels. I have found egg in bubble gum.

Where have you found allergic foods? Please share.

About the author

Missy Staben is the manager of Public Relations at Cook Children's and the mother of two boys. 

Comments 1 - 3 (3)
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Kelly
13
May
2014
Mayonnaise and ranch were 2 foods I didn't realize had eggs until I had a kiddo who was allergic to eggs. He is also allergic to tree nuts, but not allergic to peanuts. So peanuts are the only nut I allow him or anyone else to give him because it can get so confusing. Best of luck!
Dee
21
May
2014
I'm allergic to corn as well as a host of other things (olive, carrot, tree nuts, eucalyptus, and way too much more to list here). My oldest son also has the corn allergy. We live with daily reactions, because it is so hard to figure out where it is in foods - most citric acid, caramel coloring, and modified food starch is not labeled according to source, and corn is one source used widely. Unfortunately the milk they serve in school lunches here ALL has corn ingredients in it. Even the white milk. Why oh why do they add corn to my kid's milk? There is not ONE THING on the school lunch menu that does not have corn in it aside from baked potatoes and fresh fruit or 100% juice (unless you count the added citric acid). If he eats school lunches, he has reactions at school, and he actually GETS IN TROUBLE WITH THE SCHOOL for his reactions!!! The only time I truly know he is not going to be subjected to a reaction is when I cook all organic, non-GMO, from scratch. Which is EXPENSIVE for a large family like ours. We've started a home garden just to make sure we have more options. A lifetime of allergies like what I've suffered through is NOT what I want my children to deal with.
Christie Meldrum
22
May
2014
READ your labels almost all chocolate brands have peanuts or processed with peanuts. Chocolate Some of the Herchy's milk chocolates and the Special Dark is allowed for lack of the peanut ingredient. My son can eat tree nuts so that has opened a window of opprotunity for things like Honey nut Cheerios and Nutella ( hazelnut) in place of the peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches. others include veggie straws, bulk candies, pretzels (Rold Gold is our brnad tor use)