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A Year Later

Exactly a year ago, we found out that our little man was allergic to peanuts and almonds. At first, upon receiving the diagnosis from the allergist, my initial reaction was relief since he was not allergic to wheat as we had originally suspected.

Epinephrine saves lives.

As we drove home, my husband's voice broke and mentioned the implications of our little man having food allergies: cross contamination, dealing with people who do not understand allergies, eating out, traveling and bullying. I started to panic. What on earth was I thinking when I said that I was relieved?

When we got home, I started to research more about peanut and tree nut allergies and my heart sank. Pouring over all the articles, I discovered that the chances of outgrowing a peanut allergy is up to 20% and outgrowing a tree nut allergy is up to 9%. Whereas children allergic to wheat, milk, eggs have 80% chance of outgrowing it. All the websites I have read said that we need to avoid bakeries and most restaurants due to cross contamination and that many foods contain peanuts and tree nuts.

We insisted that our allergist conduct a RAST blood test which told us how likely the little man would react to peanuts and almonds. The blood results for his peanut IgE was > 100 (99.99% chance of reaction) and almond IgE was 12.4 (95% chance of reaction).

Every article I read had a tragic ending where a life was lost too soon. Every email I saw was yet another food related recall. Everywhere I went, I saw peanuts and almonds lurking in the most obscure things, from hand moisturizers to dog treats. I felt defeated.

A Year Later
Fast forward a year, we made a lot of changes: making our own food, educating family on food allergies and using epinephrine, reading labels, carrying epinephrine injectors everywhere we go, just to name a few things.

In the last year, as a family we have learned to manage food allergies on a daily basis. We are learning to trust others to make food our little man: my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and reputable allergy aware restaurants. (We still do a lot of due diligence in this area like reading labels and asking lots of questions.)

I have also become a better and more efficient home cook, learning to make many dishes from scratch. As a result, we have almost completely eliminated dining out saving a good amount of money. We also started focusing on what our little man can eat, rather than what he cannot. This made us realize that eating whole foods is better for us and healthier too.

We have learned a lot about food allergies and how many families like ours manage multiple food allergies on a daily basis. I have come to realize that many families with multiple food allergies do not stop living a normal life. Seeing this was inspiring for me as it gave me hope and made me realize that many other food allergy families shoulder a lot more than we do.

In the last twelve months, I have also learned to not agonize over every food allergy article. I read the latest research with cautious optimism, the tragic stories of lives lost as a reminder of how to better protect my little man. I have also started noticing more allergy-friendly products on store shelves and hope that with awareness, there will be more compassion for those who live with food allergies.

But the most important thing I have learned is not to take life for granted and be grateful for what we have: supportive family, good friends and an amazing food allergy community.


  1. Great post, I had never seen the stat about likelihoods of outgrowing certain allergies but that is probably because I was afraid to know the answer. Good luck on another year in this allergy parent world!

  2. Thank you Homa, for your kindness and support for the food allergy community. :)