Friday, September 16, 2011

Acorns: The Overlooked Tree Nut

Did you know that an acorn is a tree nut? Yep, those little things that run rampant in the fall and are often found in piles of leaves are actually a tree nut. If your child is allergic to tree nuts they may or may not be allergic to acorns.

The good news is, according to FAAN, is that there are no cases of anyone actually having a serious allergic reaction to acorns. This is probably at least partly because people don't actually eat acorns. (Well, they've never my "eat very bizarre things" 4 year old!).

I have always made it a rule just to stay away from acorns for my peanut and tree nut allergic son. There's really no need to play with, giving his medical history. It's also a great opportunity for us to talk about what exactly a tree nut is. I think these conversations where we see the "nuts" on the ground and can look up at the tree have helped him understand what a tree nut is more than anything else I have ever said. For that, I'm thankful for the acorn.

With fall upon us, it's a good reminder that acorns are out there. If nothing else, let them be a great conversation starter if your peanut allergic child also deals with tree nut allergies. It's a perfect "teachable moment" when it comes to food allergies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our babysitter worked in a daycare and she saw a young boy having a severe reaction to acorns. I'm not sure if he actually put one in his mouth or just touched it, but she had to administer his Epipen. So yes, it can happen. She did say that the boy had severe allergies to many different foods, so he may have been an exceptional case.

Anna H