Chef Solus and The Explorers Learn about Food Allergies
We were taking a lunch break after a fun morning exploring the food pyramid. All the
explorers sat down and opened up their lunch bags. Elena and Ashley had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Ashley wanted to trade her sandwich because she didn’t really feel like peanut butter. She asked Jasmine if she wanted to trade her sandwich for a peanut butter sandwich
Jasmine looked up and said she could not trade her sandwich.
“But why? Asked Ashley, “My mom makes the best peanut butter sandwiches!”
Jasmine told all of us that she had a food allergy to peanuts?
The boys came over to listen. “What is a food allergy?” asked Tony.
“A food allergy is when your body just doesn’t like a certain kind of food. And if you eat it, then you can get really sick because your body will attack it because it thinks it is bad for you,” said Jasmine.
“Oh no, that sounds really scary?” whispered Katlin to Elena.
Of course, I knew about Jasmines’ food allergy to peanuts. I thought it was time for me to chime in, “It may sound scary but it really isn’t as long as you don’t eat that food and follow some rules very strictly. But it is a very serious thing. That is why Jasmine never trades lunches because she can’t be sure if there are any peanuts in it.”
“Luckily, there are so many foods that Jasmine can eat that she has lots of other foods beside peanuts she can eat,” I said.
“But Chef Solus, how did she know she had a food allergy to peanuts? Do I have a food allergy to peanuts?” asked Tyler.
“Well, Jasmine knows because the first time she ate peanuts she got a little itchy and noticed a little red bumps, called hives, on her arms. She told me right away and we went to see her doctor. Her doctor did some checking and told us that she is allergic to peanuts. Then he gave us a plan to follow on how to avoid peanuts and what to do if she accidently ate some peanuts.”
I continued, “If you were allergic to peanuts you would start to feel funny, sick after eating it. There are lots of different ways your body could react to foods it is allergic to. Jasmine only gets sick if she eats it but some kids are so allergic that they get really sick if they touch peanuts or are near peanuts. Lots of kids do have food allergies so it is important not to swap your lunches.”
I continued to explain to them. “If you ever eat a food, or even touch a food and notice:
- a rash
- you feel itchy
- you feel like it is a little hard to breath
- you notice some swelling
- your tummy hurts
- you really just don’t feel right
you need to tell me or the nearest grown-up right away,” said chef Solus in a very serious tone.
Peanuts are just one of many foods that kids can be allergic to and it is a very serious thing. Really, you can have an allergy to any food. But there are eight foods that are the most common for causing food allergies.
- Milk (dairy)
- Nuts from trees (such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds)
- Fish (such as salmon, tuna)
- Shellfish (such as shrimp, crab, lobster)
Jasmine then said, “I have some special rules I always follow so that I won’t get sick.” She began to list them:
- When she is not with chef Solus, then she tells the adult in charge that she has a food allergy to peanuts.
- She has a special paper she always carries with her that has her “Food Allergy Plan”. She gives that to the adult in charge.
- She always checks if there are any peanuts in foods by looking at the label before she eats it.
- She does not eat foods when she is not sure what is inside. And there are no exceptions.
- Whenever she goes shopping, she helps chef Solus read food labels to look for foods that have peanuts in it.
“Yeah, it fun because we make a game of it so it is like a hunt to find the peanuts!” exclaimed Jasmine.
“Whether you have food allergies or not, we all know that we should read food labels because that helps us find the foods that are good for our bodies,” I said.
Well that’s it for this month. Remember to have fun and keep exploring!
Jasmine has a food allergy
and teaches the explorers what is a food allergy.
Don’t swap your lunch, your mom or dad made it special just for you!
Food labels will tell you exactly what is inside foods. Check the ingredients.
Go to the grocery store with a parent and find different foods that contain peanuts. What is written on the food label about allergies? How many different types of food can you find that contain peanuts? Are the food labels all the same?