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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, August 9, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Peanuts in Schools

Yes, friends!!! Touchy Topic Tuesday is back by popular demand!

Many weeks ago, one of my wonderful readers requested that I do a specific TTT as she was wondering about my feelings on the matter. So, today, I'll be covering Peanuts In Schools. Also, I'd really like to invite anyone who has a great touchy topic for my (in)famous Tuesdays to drop me a message or email! I can only be just so snarky on my own. I'm going to need some ideas soon!

So, here we go!!!

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Peanuts in Schools

Everywhere you turn, if you're like me, you're hearing more and more about peanut allergies. It used to be believed that eating certain foods while pregnant or breast feeding could help a child avoid an allergy. Now-a-days, pregnant and nursing women are cautioned to eat such things as strawberries and peanuts sparingly so as not to CAUSE them.

Yes, the peanut allergy has become a terrifying thought to many a new mother, and, she may add it to a growing list of fears and things to be guilty about. As a result of the growing epidemic of peanut allergies, schools around the country are banning peanuts and peanut products from schools altogether.

This means no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no nutty bars in the lunch boxes, no Reese's peanut butter cups on Halloween, or peanut M&M's. Absolutely NO peanuts.

For some, this is a controversial matter.

Luckily I have never had a child with a peanut allergy, and I am not yet sure if Lilly's school is a "Peanut Aware School", but if it is, I will be perfectly fine with this. Yes, it will take a bit more thought, but let me explain.

There are many many things that kids can be allergic to. Strawberries and cheese/dairy are some very common ones, and I have known several parents of allergic children. There was/is a decent mix of parents who either refused to let their child participate in activities where there happened to be a food containing their allergy, and those parents who taught their children that though, throughout life, the foods that they weren't able to handle would be around, they needed to avoid them on their own.

For the most part, I would ignore the parents who treated their children like a fragile set of precious china, with nothing more than a sarcastic thought, and admired the parents who taught their children how to handle real life situations. After all, a child will grow up. And an office or a spouse's family at a holiday dinner is not going to cater to an adult, who, like the over protected child they were, cannot handle cheese or strawberries or any other number of foods on a table. (Yes, I do actually know adults like this too. You'd be amazed and impressed at how much more childish an adult can be than an actual child.) Not to mention, it kind of knocks out a heck of a lot of great Mexican restaurants if you refuse to be anywhere near cheese.

I think, for the most part, it's very important to teach children how to deal with things that are going to stare them in the face their whole lives. Including foods that they may be allergic to. I think it would be positively ridiculous to ban such things at cheese or milk or strawberries.

However, if a child who was allergic to dairy were sitting next to a kid who had cheese cubes in his lunch, his life would in no way be threatened. Even if he ATE a cheese cube, he'd have a bad bout of diarrhea or severe constipation, and then be right as rain once it was out of his system. If a child who was allergic to peanuts were sitting next to a child with a peanut butter sandwich, that child could easily slip into shock simply by touching them. Eating them isn't even necessary.

I feel that, because peanuts actually pose not just a health risk, but threaten lives, that a school's choice to keep them out altogether is justified. If it were MY child, I would like every precaution to be taken to protect their lives. And since the allergy to peanuts seems to be growing, I want to protect other people's children too.

BUT...that doesn't mean they can stop me from eating this:

at home.

Let us all know what YOU think about schools banning peanuts!!! Not only do I love to debate, I LOVE comments. So bring 'em on! Tell us how you feel!


Lourie said...

We can't even send baked goods to school anymore. And a lot of times they want healthy choices for the class parties and birthday parties if they even have them. I just think we are being micro managed to death.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Lourie- I AGREE! I am ALL for eating healthy- and beleive me, my kids will choose an apple or banana over gummies or another snack any time they can. I love that about my kids. But they love Halloween and Valentines and Easter and Christmas and whatever other holiday candy there is. And I let them have it. Healthy choices are fine,and even encouraged, but I think they need to start in their own cafeteria with the "healthy choices" instead of deny the kids a cupcake when there's a birthday party. I mean, what fun is getting a package of pretzels on valentines day? Really? Uh, no thanks. Bring on the caremel cremes!

I don't really mind the idea of baked goods being off limits though- I have had one too many cookies with finger nails or hairs in them to really feel like that's violating my rights. LOL- but that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

When we were growing up there were 2 kids in school (all throughout same elementary school with me) that had SEVER allergies (peanut amongst others). They had the medical ID/bracelets. They knew what they were allowed to eat, and the teachers were all aware. Nothing bad ever happened because there was an overall awareness. Control over those individuals.

SO I'm in favor of that, the kids knowing what's up, and people watching out for them.

But in the schools there are rules. And for the safety of kids, and if it makes other parents happy, I'm fine with our school being a nut-free zone. And baked goods-free.

I can save the cupcakes & cookies for when they get home from school...then I get to share ;)

The mom of 4 monkeys! said...

I agree with you 100%! Fortunately my children, to this point, have no known severe allergies, however if they did I would hope that other parents would be willing to keep my child safe.

Natasha and Ethan said...

My son has a peanut allergy. It isn't as severe as some, but it isn't easy either. I am always worried that he will get peanuts somewhere. We went to the bowling alley the other day and they had switched oils in their fryers in the food section. Yeah, they switched to peanut oil and didn't tell people when they came in. They had a small sign by the food stand which is in an area of the bowling alley that you would only go if you were getting food. Of course we bowled a game first, but before we left, my hubby and I decided to get the kids a snack. We noticed the sign and decided to get a snack somewhere else. My son had hives for the next 4 days. The oil was in the air. My son didn't even eat anything from there, and if we would have been notified before we went bowling that there was peanut oil in the air, we wouldn't have stayed. Even though my son has a peanut allergy, I am not going to make everyone avoid it. Canada has products that have a nut free symbol on them. While we were in there, my son got to have a granola bar for the first time in his life. I love peanut butter. I try to eat it while he is asleep though, or I eat it in a different room and completely wash my hands and everything to make sure it doesn't touch him. I am trying to teach him to ask if there are peanuts in it. I worry whenever I send him to another person's house because, let’s face it, nobody is as careful about things as a parent is. He is getting pretty good about asking about peanuts, and has even decided to use it as an excuse. He will see a food he doesn't like and say, "I can't have that mommy it has peanuts in it." I think it might be sinking in a little.

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