Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Can you imagine life without cashews?  No more broccoli, beef, cashew dishes at the Chinese resturaunt. No more sitting down with a can of Planters and devouring the salty, nutty goodness. No more trail mix or snack bars. No more fruit snacks, which all seem to be made in factories processing tree nuts. Oh, how sad life would be.

Josie is officially allergic to cashews. After two allergic reactions and some conjecture, we got the blood tests back. Peanuts are good, as are coconut and other tree nuts. We shouldn’t complain, this certainly can be worse. But I love cashews and Spencer loves cashews.

The allergy is surprising. Teddy ate cashew butter sandwiches, before I started him on peanuts. I thought I had done the same with Josie. We had given them trail mix before, that contained the nuts. It was the trail mix she had been eating during our move to Lesotho that caused the first reaction. But even that happened a couple of days into snacking. The second reaction was while eating a bag of planters nuts on the car ride to Pretoria. That was a concentrated dose. We are now trying to figure out if the allergy is building. So far though, the reaction is relatively mild and can be treated with Benedryl.

Even though this is one nut, I am surprised by how many foods we can no longer eat. Many cereals contain trace amounts of tree nuts. As do many things at our local grocery store, like the processed dried fruit snacks.

The other moms in the playgroup are supportive of my proposed ban on cashews. The nanny is interested in learning more about allergic reactions, so we hopefully have our little explorer covered. There are even some moms here I can talk to with extensive experience with more acute allergies in kids, and even peanut.  There is a lot of information out there, which is good. I just hope Josie doesn’t get put at the “no nut table” when she starts going to school.

For now I dream of cashews. On special date nights with Spencer, we will no longer order the fancy steak, but the cashew dish. They are tasty.

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