Taming the (Peanut Allergy) Blame

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This is a guest post from Beth Sumrell Ehrensberger. We love sharing other people’s stories because it’s a great way for us (by us, we mean parents of kids with allergies, asthma, and eczema) to grow as a community, for others to learn about what we experience, and for awareness to increase so our kids are met with more support. As always, please check with your doctor before implementing ideas you see on Scratch or Sniff as we are not doctors, just your friends on the internet. :)

My son has food allergies, and it’s all my fault.

Surely it was the daily peanut butter sandwich I craved all nine months that made peanuts his Kryptonite. Would it have killed me to have given that up while I had a bun in the oven?  I’ve already failed at motherhood, and my kid isn’t even able to talk back.

Dude, that’s some harsh self talk.  But it was my mantra every day until a good allergist set me straight.

Taming the (Peanut Allergy) Blame || SCRATCH OR SNIFF

But the truth is, at some point, most parents of food allergic kids question their culpability in their child’s allergic disease.  Or worse, somebody does it for you. It seems everybody from your loving family to a random checker at the health food store is ready to toss around theories as to why your kid has allergies.

But it isn’t your fault that your kid has food allergies.  You know that, right?

Earlier this year, at the 2013 meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting, researchers offered up more blame-liberating proof:  A Cochrane review including evidence from 5 studies (and more than 950 patients) suggested that maternal dietary avoidance does not prevent development of food allergy.  Tossing the scholarly-speak aside, basically, what that’s saying is that pregnant mamas who waved off the Snickers and egg omelets still ended up with kids with food allergies.  In fact, with my second pregnancy and after having had a first baby with extensive food allergies, wanna know what my son’s allergist suggested I do? Don’t forgo any food.

Of course, there are studies out there that would dispute that. Go do a Medline search and you’ll see.  But that’s science for you. But your take home point from all those disputing researchers?  If there are studies that can point in either direction of an answer, then there’s definitely not enough evidence to mount a case of blame against you.

It’s a given that your kids will blame you for plenty of stuff. At least the food allergies aren’t your fault.

But yeah, it’s probably on you for the Hall and Oats you dork out to while your kids’ friends are in the car.

Beth Sumrell Ehrensberger got as close as she dared to her father’s 1976 prediction that his daughter would attend a women’s college and major in home economics, choosing instead a career as a Registered Dietitian (degreed from a woman’s college!), with a Master of Public Health from the University of Tennessee. Beth’s work has appeared in Self, More, Harmony and Healing Lifestyles and Spas Magazines.  She has contributed to the ebook, the Grocery Cart Makeover, Hint water and Smart balance products, and written for several nutrition websites as well as been on the nutrition team for Bob Greene’s Best Life Diet.

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