PB&J sandwich debate: Should allergies lead to nut ban?

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    All these restrictions on what kids can eat at school, can't eat at school, etc... is making me re-think my whole position on homeschooling my son when he's that age.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 25, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    There was a rather interesting story online the other day about a 7 year old boy who is so allergic, he attends school by robot.

    While I agree that there should be as little disruption as possible in the lives of other students, and while there are times that accommodations are at cross purposes - such as autistic children who will only eat pb&j versus children with peanut allergies, I find it highly interesting that there is so much resistance to prohibiting a substance such as peanut butter - especially when you consider all the other things that schools prohibit for reasons that don't include potential death.

  • laogden VANCOUVER, WA
    Sept. 24, 2012 6:10 p.m.

    Let me speak from personal experience ... I've already been "dead" once from this little legume (not a 'nut'). I have to ingest it (eat it) in order for the anaphylactic reaction to occur ... HOWEVER, some people are so extremely allergic to peanuts, or just the peanut smell, or just the peanut dust - that they die. I will agree with this seemingly extreme case for any school to ban the product for the entire year that the 'sensitive' person is on that campus.

  • katamb-midvale Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 6:00 p.m.

    I noticed the last few times I've been on an airplane they're having peanuts again (if they have snacks at all).

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 5:07 p.m.

    Are parents even allowed to make snacks for classes anymore? All the school notices I've ever seen have said 'no'.

    Ordinarily I'd say the needs of the many really do outweigh the needs of the few, but given the potentially lethal nature of peanut allergies, I think some accommodation, such as the peanut-free zones mentioned in other posts, is reasonable (though I can already hear cries of "Segregation!" from the radical "nuts" [pun intended]).

    The kids who know they have peanut allergies ought to always carry an epi-pen with them and know how to use it. They can't go through life expecting everyone to know about and accommodate their allergy.

    In this particular case, the mother mentioned should have been aware of the school's no-nut policy, which had been in place for six years. It's when I hear about incidents of school personnel reaching into from-home lunches to confiscate "unhealthy" items that I get incensed. If that ever becomes the policy at my school, you can bet I'll pull my child out.

    Maybe in the future kids will be forced to buy school lunches, but I can't afford that.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    I don't think it is appropriate to make an entire school nut free. There should be nut free areas set aside and increased faculty training on dealing with allergies and allergic reactions.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 24, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    My now 27 yr old son was diagnosed with a peanut and egg allergy when he was 1 yrs old after suffering an asthma attack. I think he must've sensitized to peanuts through breastfeeding because I had never given him peanut butter. (I began to suspect something might be wrong when I took a cross-country flight--eating peanuts--and he ended up crying all night). We avoided eggs entirely for 4-5 yrs at which point we re-introduced him to eggs without any further reactions. However, he remains highly allergic to peanuts. When he was young I would occasionally give his younger brother a peanut butter sandwich but found that my allergic son would end up with severely swollen eyes which I could only guess was due to peanut residue from his little brother somehow getting transferred, so I stopped giving peanut butter to little brother. We made some trips to the ER when he was accidentally given peanut-containing food by those unaware and always had an epi-pen and benadryl on hand. His reactions included vomiting, asthma attack, and swelling (think Will Smith in Hitch). It is a challenge for schools to deal with.

  • Okieland Edmond, Ok
    Sept. 24, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    Okay, we can all agree that the general population should not have to alter their lifestyle or contents of their lunch-pails to appease the handful of kids that do suffer from peanut allergies. At the same time, we know for a fact that there are children who can be killed by even inhaling peanut dust. And that is cause for accommodation. How about the school designate a table in the cafeteria (or a ROOM in the school if necessary) as a "PEANUT FREE ZONE" Kids who can't risk coming into contact with nut products, there is a table (or room) clean and peanut-free to keep you safe! And in the meantime, my kids who LOVE PB&J can live their lives and eat their sandwiches happily as well.

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 1:10 p.m.

    To Hutterite, a true food allergy has absolutely nothing to do with lack of exposure to certain items. I am 58 years old and have had a severe tree nut allergy all my life that became apparent at a very young age. According to your theory my mother should have just kept feeding me tree nuts from the time I was one or two. I certainly wouldn't have had the allergy any longer because I would have been dead.
    Ever since I was a child, I have had to be very careful of what I eat. I never expected tree nuts to be forbidden in school just because of me. I have learned to ask and ask again about restaurant preparations of food items and to let a dinner party hostess know of my allergy. Even then it is amazing how people forget, or think just a bite won't hurt, or nuts can just be picked out or off of something. Not so. True allergies (not just food intolerances) are serious and deadly business. It is good to help these kids, but as they get older they need to become responsible for avoiding the allergin.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 12:46 p.m.


    My family is constantly in the outdoors. But my son has a peanut allergy. It is so severe that just the scent of peanut butter makes him vomit. Just touching peanut products brings hives. Eating peanut products could kill him.

    So if your child brings peanut butter to lunch and pops open their lunch box when sitting next to my son, my kid will puke on your kid. Nothing personal...

  • MC Ute Midvale, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    @ Hank. I agree, ( please see my comments above). My daughter was 3 when we discovered this and she does not eat any nuts of any kind, however with that being said, she must also watch out for the "hidden" nuts ie: peanut oil, almond extract, etc. It is very easy to detect these things in packages, however until she had an reaction a few years later, I did not realize that nuts are ground into imported chocolates and that this type of item is not required to have that listed on the lable. Things such as Pesto sauce also have nuts in them. Believe me as a parent when she was young we checked every lable, every restaurant of any kind we went to we asked if any nut oil was used in their cooking. To this day if she goes to anything where homemade items are, she will not eat until she finds the maker of the items. Unfortunatly for her there have been a handful of times that even with our best efforts she has come in contact with nuts and has spent more than 1 occassion in the ER as her breathing is cutoff from the swelling.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    Here's a thought...

    If you are allergic to something; don't eat it!

  • MC Ute Midvale, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    @ Hutterite. While I am not advocating for a total ban on these products in schools, I am here to let you know that I have 3 children (all now grown) and nuts and nuts products were in my home from the day all 3 were born. My Daughter has a extreme allergy to ALL nuts products in all forms and unless you have EVER been around a young child or anybody who experiences the effects of the allergy you have no room to talk. She would never eat Peanut butter at home always asking for a PBJ with just jelly. The first time she had a reaction was with a homemade peanut butter cookie which she took 1 bite and spit it out. Within 2 min she had hives the size of softballs all over her (she was 3 at the time) her eyes rolled back in her head and she passed out. We rushed her to the emergency room and luckily she survived. We were given shots to help and to this day she still has the allergy. She carries the shot everywhere she goes. So for some nuts ARE NOT GOOD for them. Become educated before judging.

  • PH801 Draper, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    @Hutterite: I agree with you 100%. I believe we are way too paranoid about germs these days and we're constantly sanitizing everything when a newborn comes home. I'm sure parents believe it's in the best interest of their children, but they're not getting exposure to things like we used to and I believe there was a report that mentioned the possibility of a link between over-sanitizing our newborns and the rise in allergies.

    @Florwood: I believe there was a report that mentioned the possibility of a link between over-sanitizing our environment and the rise in allergies. It wasn't conclusive, but there was strong evidence in that direction.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    Early in the article it states that food allergies are increasing. Any idea why?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    We're isolating ourselves from the environment when we need exposure to it most, as a child when we're developing our immune systems. Remember when there was no such thing as nut allergies? It wasn't that long ago. As ubiquitous as they are, I have never used a hand sanitiser dispenser in my life. And the kids can go out and play in the dirt, and drink whole milk, and eat nuts. It's good for 'em.