Nuts or Not for Tots

Packing a ‘day care’ lunch box is no easy feat. The laundry list of ‘unallowables’ is enough to make any parent question what exactly their child is going to eat the next day. No nuts; nothing containing nuts; nothing with a trace of nuts; or nothing that has been packaged along side nuts. WOW! It’s no surprise I’m often doing a last minute dash to the local IGA at 8pm on a Sunday night, ensuring nothing in the beloved blue plastic box has the slightest chance of triggering an anaphylactic reaction in one of his new ‘besties’.

As a new parent, the fear of your children developing ‘food allergies’ as a result of the impending decisions associated with introduction of those ‘controversial’ foods is a significantly anxious period for us all. Seriously, I’m sure you can identify with the idea of ‘waiting till next week’ to introduce solids. Peanut Butter toast, just Peanut Butter, Eggs, just Eggs white, Wheat, no let’s go with Rice Cereal. I must have had these conversations to myself, husband, mother, and Google more times than changing nappies in the first 3 months. In the end, I stumbled across some wonderful advice, and the following night found myself serving my 12 week old a smorgasbord of egg, nuts, butter, and bread. They were all a huge hit I might add. I’m not here to tell you when, or how to introduce these foods to your children. I’m simply here to encourage you to have the confidence to make your own, independently validated and researched decisions that are right for you and your child and most of all not be completely and utterly scared to even walk you child down the nut aisle of your local supermarket.

It’s probably the nurse in me. However, something I needed to understand better was the ‘allergy’ versus ‘intolerance’ matter. Not sure if it’s just me, but I feel like every second person I met these days is ‘gluten free’? Improved diagnostics, or a bandwagon craze? Who knows, I’ll let you know when I figure it out. What I do know though is that allergies and intolerances are very different. Challenging to all in their own right, but characterized by significant differences. It makes sense that this ‘grouping’ of the two could be responsible for a lot of the scare associated with introduction of these ‘risky’ foods to our little ones. Food intolerances do not involve the immune system, and therefore do not cause anaphylaxes (a true allergic reaction). Intolerances however, can cause anything from hay fever, to stomach upset, via a nasty rash. I encourage all new Mums to take some time to really familiarize themselves with the true facts around our little ones developing food allergies. Without doing this it is extremely easy avoid the introduction of solid foods all together, out of fear. Then, before we know it… our two year olds are still sucking pouches dry, unaware that ‘food’ comes in different textures.

Did you know there is a small window of opportunity in our babies’ gastrointestinal development where the risk of reaction is substantially less than a few months later? I didn’t, but as I said early thankfully stumbled across this fascinating fact at the perfect time. I won’t tell you when it is, rather will let you find out for yourselves. Just know, you should start looking now, because it’s earlier than you think.

So, without further ado I invite you all to go and sample some of The Produce’s amazing natural Peanut Butter, and why not give the little guys a taste while you are at it. Sometimes in life it’s the fear of the unknown that is responsible for the development of a potentially avoidable circumstances.


Name: Laura Skirrow

From: EmpowerMums

Occupation: Clinical Nurse, Wife, Mum, writer and motivator

Facebook: Laura Skirrow/empowerMums

Instagram: em.empowermums

I’m Laura Skirrow and I am a Clinical Nurse, Transplant Coordinator, wife, ‘writer’ and ‘words’ enthusiast and a ‘Mum’ to a beautiful little boy. I have a reasonably newfound passion to empower women to maintain their self-identity, physical and mental health, and overall lifestyle balance during the motherhood journey. Like many, progressing through the transition from independent career woman, to ‘Mum’ presented its challenges to say the least. For me, balance with a baby came by coupling my existing passions of self-growth, words, people and my career with my newfound love of health and fitness. It’s beautiful, and as a result I seek to share it with the masses of other women sharing this path.