About two years ago, one of my boys was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. When we first got the diagnosis, I was in denial. I had eaten peanut butter on toast for breakfast nearly every day for most of my life. And now, I couldn’t even have it in the house.
I thought – and quite wrongly, I might add – that it would be okay if I just ate peanut butter as long as he didn’t have any. But after giving my son a kiss on his check after I had eaten peanut butter and saw that I had left a welt from my lips on his face, I knew that I was putting my son in SERIOUS danger. I gave away all the peanut butter and peanut products we had in the house and felt sorry for myself for awhile.
I truly believed that peanuts were in all things that were good. Of course, I knew that I had to give it up because my son is more important than anything else, but I was still pretty bummed about losing a staple.
A friend of mine actually said, “Oh my goodness! What do you eat for lunch?”
Well, we’ve adapted. We eat a lot of other types of sandwiches (the boys’ favorite is ham & cheese). We have grown to love SunButter. We’ve figured out that our son is not allergic to other nuts, and we eat those instead of peanuts. We’ve learned there are a lot of great foods out there that don’t have peanuts in them (or even chocolate for that matter!).
Once I got over the shock of not having any peanut products in the house, I had to absorb a new shock. Peanut Butter substitutes are not cheap. A 16 oz jar of SunButter at my local discount store is $6.99. If I shop at the local grocery store, the jar is $8.99. I tried soy nut butter – and thought it was gross – but haven’t really tried other butters (i.e. Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, or Wowbutter) because it’s been cost prohibitive to buy just one jar locally. It’s hard to spend $6+ on a jar of something you find out you don’t like.
About a year ago, I discovered that I could get a decent deal on SunButter if I bought it by the case through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program. I’m able to get the jars for about $4.25 each. While it’s still more than regular peanut butter, I don’t feel quite as guilty slathering it on a piece of toast or eating it with some crackers.
I’m also starting to see more coupons for products like Nutella and Jiff’s Hazelnut Spreads, which gives us other options, although, I’m not sure if added chocolate and sugar is a good thing for my kids.
So for any of you that have had to deal with the diagnosis of a peanut allergy, I’m here to tell you that there is life after a peanut allergy diagnosis. Your family is more important than anything in your pantry, and paying a few extra dollars to deal with a food allergy is worth every penny if it keeps your family safe and healthy.
Your turn: Have you had to deal with food allergies in your family?
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