Nut Allergy - Riverside,CA

Updated on December 31, 2008
A.M. asks from Riverside, CA
15 answers

I recently found out my 2-year-old son is allergic to several different types of nuts. Does anyone have any advice on where I could buy him healthy nut-free foods, what to buy and/or have any easy recipe ideas? He eats Cheerios often, but when he gets sick of them I used to pick out the nuts from my Basic 4 cereal. Now that I know for sure he's allergic (based on his blood test) his pediatrician told me not to take a chance. The problem is that he LOVES Basic 4 cereal. Does anyone have any other recommendations for healthy nut-free cereal that would be similar to what I eat and/or other food? His pediatrician is going to give me a prescription for an EpiPen and told me to keep Benadryl Allergy on hand. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

I forgot to mention that the first time my son was exposed to nuts (peanut butter) he immediately got a rash just on his face. My mother-in-law, who is a nurse was babysitting him and gave him Benadryl. He was fine later that night. Since then (which was almost a year ago) I have avoided giving him nuts, but I've given him food that is manufactured in a facility with nuts and he hasn't had any reactions. His doctor recently had him undergo blood testing to see if he outgrew his allergy, but that's when I found out he's allergic to peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, and walnuts (which shocked me!!). Now I'm told to avoid giving him foods that are manufactured in a facility with nuts. I hope what I've been doing doesn't cause him to be more allergic to nuts when he gets older or worse, to never outgrow the allergy.

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answers from Los Angeles on

No matter how much he loves, if you buy other yummy choices, I guarantee he will be happy. You can make mixes of healthy flakey cereals, raisins, chex mix nd even pretzels. Variety can be great for kids.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Check out The founder's daughter is allergic to nearly all foods so she has very helpful information on how to deal with allergies as well as lot's of other helpful info for mommies.

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answers from Los Angeles on

find Classical homeopath in your area. Certified Classical is important, but most important is the practice of homeopathy NOT mixed with any other modality. After classical homeopathic treatment your son will be able to eat basic 4 and many other things you thought off limits.
Good Luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Cereal and granola bars, etc are the hardest to "replace" with nut free similar items. You can look for a similar cereal, read the labels carefully as many will have been processed on the same lines with the ones that contain nuts. Of course a nut or 2 will end up in the non-nut varieties! If your son has a severe nut allergy this can mean an a very serious reaction requiring the use of the epi-pen/hospital visit! (I'm sure the Dr. gave you the prescription for the epi right?) Anyway, both my boys are nut allergic (as well as other things) so I have been where you are!! I shop at Trader Joe's a lot but you can shop anywhere you just have to become an expert label reader. There is a book I got when I found out. It is called The Parent's Guide to Food Allergies by Marianne S. Barber. It has a lot of practical info on how to keep your child safe, label reading, testing, recipes, much more. There is also a cookbook I use but mine is for multiple food allergies (dairy egg nuts peanuts) but you may want to search "Nut free cookbook" Mine does have nut free recipes but they may be more restrictive than you need but I'll give you the name just in case..."What's to Eat? The Milk free, egg free, nut free food allergy cookbook" by Linda Marienhoff Coss. I agree with the person who told you about the legume connection (peas, beans, etc) also be very careful - a lot of people give their young kids Hummus as a snack and that is chickpeas - a legume. My son had a bad reaction to hummus - I had NO idea at the time! YOu will learn a lot about it very quickly as you go but one thing for sure I would say is for you to NOT EAT ANY NUTS/PEANUTS during the rest of your pregnancy and the entire time while nursing as your infant can be exposed to the allergens in utero and thru your milk!! I learned this too late. If the child is not exposed to a potential allergen until MUCH later the chance is greater their body/immune system will be developed enough to not create an allergy with the first exposure. I'm sorry this post is so long! I would love to talk more if you want to contact me, feel free! I'm always happy to help another mom with this issue so really, please do even if you have a question that pops up I've probably been there (My sons are 8 and 5 now and still allergic)Best of luck to you! :-) J



answers from Las Vegas on

Most grocery stores now days have lists of certain allergen-free foods that you can print out from their website, or you can ask for it when you go in the store. If there is a particular product that you have a question about, like the Basic 4 cereal that you used to feed your son, you can probably call the company that makes it or go onto their website to see if there is a nut-free version of the cereal that you can give your son. Also, if you google "nut" and "allergy," I think there maybe a nut allergy organization or association of some type that you can gain more information about nut-free foods and recipes from there.

As a general rule, if your son has an allergic reaction to nuts (as opposed to an intollerance, which is a more low-grade, less immediate reaction to certain foods and definitely not life threatening), he probably shouldn't be given any food product that is made in the same facility or on shared lines where foods containing nuts are made because of cross-contamination would be an issue. Even the littlest bit of something with nuts is probably too much for your son. When I was planning my wedding a number of years ago, I told my caterer that I needed a nut-free menu because I was going to have a guest who has a nut allergy. Well, the menu did turn out to be nut free except for the one tiny bit of nut that ended up in the rice pilaf that she ate. She ended up having to go to the ER that night to get a anti-histimine shot and I couldn't have felt worse.

I'm sure that you will get some more great info from others out there who actually have more hands-on experience with nut allergies. Good luck to you and your son and Happy New Year!



answers from Los Angeles on

What does cereal have to do with food recipes? There are plenty of nut-free recipes out there. Instill good eating habits, not snacking habits. Fruit, vegetables, Meat, beans & Legumes are in full bounty. Stay away from packaged cereals. It'll save you money as well as running into an allergic reaction. I know this since I am allergic to gluten, soy, dairy and egg. Stick to the basics and if he puts up a fight, explain it is for his benefit. We have taught our son to ask for gluten-free bread and he knows that he can't drink cow's milk, but is perfectly happy with Almond milk and Rice milk with his Rice Chex.



answers from San Diego on

Henry's Marketplace has a bunch of nut free items. I am on a wheat/gluten free diet so I get products from company's like:

Enjoy Life

You can also order a lot of these items through's Subscribe and Save Program. They give you 15% off their price plus free shipping if you set up regular deliveries of the items on their list. Ends up being cheaper than most sale prices at the grocery store if you factor in gas mileage.

I would also sign up at the individual companies websites as they will often send you coupons.

Have you gotten your son tested for other allergies as well? Often times kids are allergic to more than one category of food/environmental stuff.

I have also found products at Albertson's and Ralph's. But for the most part I find the best selection and deals at Amazon and Henry's. Wholefoods Marketplace has a vast selection, but they are kind of pricey.

Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I would try Henry's or a whole foods. We have a Henry's near us and it carries the widest selection of diary free stuff (my son is allergic to diary). It might be worth checking into for the nuts, especially for the cereal.



answers from Honolulu on

"Kashi" brand, makes GREAT cereal and other products. It's all natural and whole grains.
Here is their link:

Since your child is liking your Basic 4 cereal but can't eat it... I would find another "favorite" cereal he CAN eat, WITH you. So he does not get frustrated, being he is so young.

I would also be SURE that you have an "Epi-pen" with you at all times, in and out of the house, in case he gets exposed to any nuts and has a reaction. It could save his life.

Al the best, hope this helps,



answers from San Diego on

HI A.,
My son also has allergies. He is allergic to peanuts and eggs. Kellogs have a "Heart Smart" cereal that is fortified with b vitamins, iron and others. It has no nuts and taste great. Reading labels is what you have to get used to. Sometimes calling the companies yourselves just to make sure the food is manufactured in a nutfree facility. If your son is good eater, he can eat many other variety of food. Read and find more info on food allergies on Also as a precaution while your pregnant, avoid tree nuts/peanuts yourself and while breastfeeding. I was not told about this myself while I was pregnant/breastfeeding and I had a history of hayfever. Wishing you and your kids all the best.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.~
I am not writing with recipes. I just want to give you a heads up. My daughter is allergic to nuts also. Peanuts, I came to find out as a result of her tests, came back as being deadly. She cannot even sit next to someone who is eating peanut butter- she cannot share that same air.

In the beginning, as allergies were something I never dealt with before, I used to pick out the chocolate morsels from my trail mix and she used to eat just those just fine. One day, we shared trail mix again with her eating only the morsels. Her mouth blew up, lips burning, hives and everything. This experience not only scared me to death, but was what made me take her to get tested- I didn't know she had actually gotten worse! She had the allergy testing done on her back. Her reaction to the peanuts was like one they had never seen. It is supposed to irritate only the surrounding area, but hers spread to other parts of her body. She now has Epi-Pens and Benadryl EVERYWHERE she goes.

As far as separating the cereal like you mentioned, I would STRONGLY advise you remain stopped doing that. If your son likes it that much, keep it absolutely out of sight and out of his reach. You also MUST check the allergy info provided on ALL food labels. I was buying cereal for the kids and thought I'd try Trix or Fruit Loops- whatever it was... and instinct told me to check the label. Sure enough, in a cereal I NEVER would have even thought, it was processed on machines that also processes other types of nuts. AVOID those foods also! You just never know.

My daughter's allergies got worse; that it possible. Be aware and be very protective of what he puts in his mouth. Make sure EVERYONE knows his allergies. Even in school, post a big picture of his face with allergies listed very clearly and if he needs meds in case of an emergency, MAKE SURE the school or wherever- has them.

All my best~



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.! I have a severe nut allergy. To all tree nuts, but not to peanuts (which are not actually nuts -- they are legumes). I have found some cereal, I like the Kashi stuff. Trader Joe's also makes some good cereals. You may have to try a few to see what your son likes!

I just want to mention a couple of possible cross-allergies that I found out about the hard way :(. Cashews & pistachios are also related to mangos, so keep your son away from them.

Someone mentioned hummus -- one of the leading allergies in the world is sesame seeds (which is a major ingredient in hummus). I wonder if the other woman who posted has a child allergic to sesame (not garbanzos, which would be very rare).

Sesame seeds are related to sunflower seeds, and I am also allergic to both. Hopefully, your son will outgrow his allergies! However, there are worse things than nut allergies, it does take some getting used to though. Be sure to get him tested as he gets older. I also keep Benadryl in my house, car, office.



answers from Los Angeles on

Sorry I do not have any adice for what to feed your son but I know it is tough to find foods that are nut free.

If/when he goes to daycare or school you might want to consider how you are going to handle sending him to school and risking his exposure to nuts. One product that might be worth your money is safety tats, they are tatoos for children that can let others know he has an allergy. My daughter was non-verbal until Sept. I had to use these whenever we went out in public. I put it on her arm so that everyone could see it. They have them with just your phone number, you create what you need.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,
How about buying Total cereal and then adding your own dried fruit, like raisins and craisins and also mixing in some rice krispy cereal.

My advice to you is read, read, read labels.

Best of luck to you and your son.




answers from San Diego on

Hi A.,
I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I also have a son, 20 months, whom is allergic to peanuts, egg whites, and fish. I have known since he was 7 months old. It isn't easy and I find myself giving him a small variety of foods I know are safe. Like you said, I would stop giving him the Basic 4 cereal. A cereal I give my son is nut free, similar to cheerios, called Oatios by New Morning. Since my son is now noticing what others are eating and wanting some my house is peanut free. I keep CherryBrook brand chocolate chip cookies in my freezer for special occasions when others are eating sweets. They are very yummy( the gluten free are yucky). Another brand I found for sweets is called Sweetie Cakes Co., online, They are everything free but if you make the Choc. Gaunache cake with coconut oil as mini cupcakes they are pretty good, my son loves them and there is no sugar in them so it makes me feel pretty good. I feed him chicken, frozen meatballs from Trader Joes, pasta, turkey and cheese sandwiches, bagels, ...... Something els you might not know is that a peanut is a legume, which is anything in a pod. I can't feed my son peas, green beans, beans, ect. It makes him break out and scratch soo badly. I'm not sure if your allergist told you but the more they are exposed to nuts the more allergic they become. So if they are fine when they eat a nut today they may have a more severe reaction the next time. I still feel like I am learning every day and I have to keep reminding myself that I am lucky because there are much worse things that could be wrong. I hope this has helped a little.

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