Whole Parenting Family

What to Do When You Find Out Your Toddler Has a Peanut Allergy


We had a bad scare Sunday night. SuperBoy inadvertently had peanut butter spread on his carrot cake waffles, a family favorite from Willow Bird Baking. And yes, we now know he’s allergic to peanuts. This was the first time he’d ever had peanut anything, and the first time we learned of his allergy. Until now. By accident.

After hives, swelling, vomiting (his medicine as well), and a trip to the ER to get IV benadryl, an epi shot, trouble breathing, etc, he is just fine. Thank God, and although his breathing was labored, he made it through all of this like a champ.

The real question is, what is next when you discover your child is allergic to peanuts?

1) Follow up checkup with family practice doc.

We couldn’t love our doctor more. She’s all of our doctor (as a family practice doctor) and we just love love love her natural approach to things. She’s a very wait-and-see-but-not-if-it’s-bad sort of physician. SuperBoy had a checkup with her today. She gave us a referral to an allergist in our healthcare system, and advised against any sort of nut contact until he’s been tested. He has happily eaten almond nut butter, tahini, drank almond milk, and had contact with other nuts aside from peanuts up until this point. No sense in retesting those waters as who knows what this allergic reaction has set off inside his body toward otherwise unsuspecting nuts. She also recommended probiotics for him, and a continuation of his vitamin D drops.

2) Allergy testing.

I don’t know much about this, but will after he goes through it in the next week or so! Any parents out there with peanut allergy experience, please share your thoughts!

3) Research.

My number one go-to-lady on allergies in children is a girlfriend who’s little one, just a little older than J, has multiple allergies. Her blog is food allergies + a toddler and is VERY helpful.

Then, it’s just been Mayo’s website, PeanutAllergy, and other websites google leads me to. Interestingly, it appears that people with other atopic conditions like eczema, hayfever, etc are prone to peanut allergy as well. I’ve got hayfever up the wazoo and J has a tendency toward winter-induced eczema, as I’ve talked about before.

4) Me and my pregnancy.

It’s also been recommended by a few sources for me to avoid peanuts as a pregnant woman with an atopical disease (terrible way of saying I have hayfever). I’m also allergic to shellfish, which I don’t care for anyway. But I LOVE peanut butter! Too bad I just bought a delicious jar of peanut butter from the coop. Also, my doc said I should be taking my probiotics and vitamin D more religiously.

5) Medical ID bracelet & meds on hand.

Since SuperBoy isn’t in daycare or otherwise out of the sight of a family member hardly ever at all, I don’t think a medical ID bracelet is necessary at this point. If he doesn’t outgrow the allergy, he will probably need one as he gets older and spends more time with other caregivers.

I don’t know if we need an epi-pen at the house, or what the allergist will recommend. I’ve disposed of all peanut butter and peanut butter products he might come in contact with. We’ll see what we’re supposed to have to ensure that the next time, if God forbid there is a next time, he has contact with peanut butter that he gets immediate and correct treatment.

Allergies! Ah!! Do share your stories.


  1. ejones217 on January 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Oh, how scary! Glad to hear J is alright.

    • Novice Natural Mama on January 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks, dear! It was scary, but he is a toughie.

  2. abbyanderson on January 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    SOOO scary! Sorry you are having to deal with this. Food allergies are really tough. Anxious to hear what your allergist shares with you. Guessing they will just test him for peanuts as that is the only thing he has had a reaction, too, and they really only diagnose kids with a true “allergy” once they have seen a reaction to the food and a positive blood test. I hope your doctor sends you home with an epi-pen! That is a must! That is the only thing that could save his life should he have another reaction. We don’t go ANYWHERE without 2 epi-pens on us. We also have Bo on Vitamin D drops and a probiotic and I am doing the same while pregnant. This whole food allergy thing is so new that no one seems to know what its from, what to do to prevent it, how to help kids outgrow it etc…. so frustrating so right now the best thing to do seems to be to avoid. Hoping more and more studies and information come out very soon!

    • Novice Natural Mama on January 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Great to know about the true need for an epi-pen. And glad to hear you guys are also doing the Vit D and probiotic. Which probiotic is he on? I have to go to Mastels or the coop and look for one for him. You are an amazing mama and blogger advocate on this topic!

  3. roselady on January 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I say get the epi. Better to be prepared! And the bracelet is always good to, because sometimes separations aren’t expected, but they happen. Glad that it turned out ok. That’s certainly a scary thing.

    • Novice Natural Mama on January 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Really good thought on the bracelet–and the epi!

  4. roselady on January 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    PS TT wears a medical bracelet for his diabetes when we go out, even in the car if I remember. But, I admit, I don’t usually have him wear it in the house — hard to convince him — but I’m thinking maybe I’ll start insisting.

  5. Donielle Olson on January 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Get the epi!!! Even if you never have to use it at least it will keep you prepared!

    • Novice Natural Mama on January 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Okay, I am believing all of you. Epi is the way to go! Are any of the kiddos you watch allergic?

  6. jencliffdominic on January 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    What a scary event but so glad that J pulled through and is a trooper! 🙂 That’s such a bummer to hear about his sudden allergy to peanuts. D hasn’t had any issues thus far to tahini and was about to buy some almond butter. But we have been using probiotics for about a month and a half and it’s really easy to get him to drink it in the morning in his water and he’s been taking vit. D drops since a newborn. I found some great ones at Whole Foods that are everything free and easy to use (compared to the Enfamil ones).
    Even though J is around family and friends mostly, a bracelet might be something good to start getting him used to so when you do need him to wear it he knows what it is, what it means and why he needs to keep it on himself. And an epi is a most definite must! So much easier to just keep one around then not have one when an emergency may arise.

    So glad you have some amazing doctors to help guide you through this new adventure in your life! As well as some amazing support too! 🙂

    • Novice Natural Mama on January 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      That’s really helpful to hear about the probiotics and that they go down easily–I’ll stop by Whole Foods and pick some up soon!

      Good idea about getting him used to the bracelet. And the epi!!

  7. kate on January 12, 2012 at 8:35 am

    A friend of your sister’s reading along… I’m sorry you had such a scary episode! Just a quick point for your other readers, 4 years ago the AAP changed their recommendation about waiting until age 3, now they say there’s no reason to avoid potentially allergenic foods post 6 months of age. More and more research is finding that early exposure makes no difference and may even be protective against food allergies. Lots of peds recommend still waiting on peanut butter until at least a year when kids can better chew/swallow. I only post because especially if a child is going to be in a daycare situation, like mine is, you’ll want to know earlier than later if they have any allergies so the school can notify other parents and/or change what they serve.

    • Novice Natural Mama on January 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Such a helpful reminder, Kate, to actually go and look at the recommendation of the AAP. You are totally correct. It must be for J that the genetic components of hayfever &eczema prevailed to give him the allergy. And very good recommendation to know these things earlier rather than later if there are other caregivers involved. Thanks for chiming in, and hope to hear more from you!

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