Navigating Life as a Food Allergy Mom

Adapting to a parenting challenge, I never saw coming.

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peanuts
Photo by Vladislav Nikonov on Unsplash

I love peanut butter. Love it. In a sandwich, covered in chocolate, straight from the jar with the biggest spoon I can find.

When I was pregnant with my first child, and the thought of all meat rendered me dry-heaving, peanut butter was my main source of protein. There wasn’t a day that went by I wasn’t indulging in some form of it.

Per our doctor’s instructions, we waited to introduce my daughter to any foods high on the allergy list until she was one. I wasn’t concerned as neither my husband nor I have any food allergies. A few family members do, but none serious enough to carry an epi-pen. Parenting a child with a food allergy wasn’t something I thought I’d have to worry about. Back in 2008, I was unaware that food allergies are on the rise, specifically in the United States, and often without a family history.

Just after she turned one, I broke out my favorite cracker sandwiches with peanut butter in the middle. I handed her one in the highchair, watched her take a bite, and then turned to throw out the wrapper. By the time I looked back, little red marks pocked her face around her mouth. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were hives.

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Mom. Combat Veteran Wife. Runner. Writer. Believe Diet Coke and M&Ms will cure all problems. https://www.instagram.com/amandasolimando/ www.amandasolimando.com