Peanut butter and Cheerios are two kid favorites, but some parents don’t think they belong together. In a recent interview Gina Clowes, founder of Allergy Moms, said that some parents are opposed to the new Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter cereal, because they are worried that the popular toddler snack could accidentally fall into the hands of a peanut-allergic child. Although there’s an allergy warning on the box, it’s difficult to see the difference between peanut butter Cheerios and regular Cheerios.
“It has become the norm to have toddlers walking around with bags of cereal to snack on,” she told the The Washington Post. “Toddlers are notoriously messy eaters. It [would] be difficult to distinguish this variety from ones that are ‘safe’ and one misplaced peanut butter Cheerio can cause a serious reaction.”
My child doesn’t appear to be allergic to peanuts, but I can absolutely sympathize with Clowes and the other moms of the estimated 8 percent of American children who have food allergies. Peanut allergies terrify me–so much so that Mason only recently tried peanut butter because my mother-in-law accidentally gave it to him. Last week’s horrible story about Ammaria Johnson, the 7-year-old Virginia girl who died at school of an anaphylactic reaction, suspected to be caused by peanuts, still haunts me.
What’s the best solution here? I’m torn. I don’t think it’s right to boycott peanut-butter containing snacks, but I know first-hand how easy it is for peanut-containing snacks to get into schools. Mason’s daycare is a “peanut-free zone”–there are signs posted everywhere–yet parents still bring peanut butter treats into their child’s classroom. And every time we have a play date Mason and his little buddies delight in sharing snacks.
What do you think? Should parents boycott peanut-butter containing snacks? Should schools come up with stricter rules about what foods can and cannot be brought into schools? Or is it up to parents to manage what their kids eat?
(Image via: http://www.cheerios.com/)