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Niece with peanut allergy, do I have to change my childrens diets?

I was just wondering if some of you moms could help me? My niece has peanut allergies. She is my only niece and I have 3 children as well. I have been extremely careful and always accomodate her needs when she is in my home because I would never want anything to happen to her. My kids fortunately do not have this allergy. They are however educated about her condition, are not allowed to have anything to eat that she cannot have at least in her presence and if I know ahead of time that she will be at our house I make darn sure that there is nothing unsafe for her. My kids do however love peanut butter and for their young ages love almonds and pistachios. These would be the only things in my house that my niece cannot eat and I am very very careful that they are not even in her sight when she is here. My kids are not even allowed to eat any of it if we know they are going to be together. My biggest issue is that my mother-in-law feels that I should not allow my children to have these things at all. I know that it is difficult and scary for my niece to have this allergy but should I change my childrens diet because of it? Please, any advice you can give would be appreciated. I want to make sure I'm not in the wrong for not wanting to feed my kids differently.

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Asked by ditchen4 at 1:59 PM on Dec. 2, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 14 (1,729 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • I would just make sure when she comes over to have everyone eat the same thing. But other than that I would give your kids the other items when just them around.

    Answer by momindiana at 2:02 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I think the way you are going about things is just fine.

    Answer by Melbornj at 2:02 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • no, your mil is being a quack. your kids can eat all the nuts in the world while your niece isn't around, who is she to tell you that they can't have it anymore? you're taking all the necessary precautions as it is, your kids don't need to be deprived of what they like because of some silly claim by your mil.

    Answer by tnm786 at 2:03 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I would not change their diet because of this. I understand that it is hard and as long as they aren't eating peanuts in front of her I think you should be okay. I think if she is not at your house and your kids want a peanut butter sandwich you should let them have it.

    It is something that your neice is going to have to deal with and while it is wonderful that your children are educated and that you are protecting her at your house, it doesn't mean that your children should have to forgo something they like because of it. It is not like she lives with you, which might change things.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 2:03 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • What you are doing is just fine... as long as you are keeping your niece safe... that is all that matters :)

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 2:04 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • You are not wrong. I would understand your MIL being concerned if the niece lived with you, but she doesn't. I see no need to do anything other than what your are already doing.  I think your MIL is overreacting.


    Answer by sunshine06 at 2:04 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I don't think you should deprive your children. My grandson is allergic to peanuts, and I am very careful about what he eats when he is at our house. I keep peanut butter and other snacks that have a peanut warning on them, but I keep them stored high up in the cabinets so he cannot get to them. I have 5 other grandchildren who are not allergic, and they may get those snacks when he is not around. When he's here, they all eat the same things. I think as long as they are safely put away, you don't need to not keep those things in your home. It is a scary thing to have to deal with, and we do have the epi-pens for emergencies, but we don't want to ever have to use them.

    Answer by NannyB. at 2:05 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I do not think you should. What you are doing is just fine with me. It would be different if it was one of your kids. But it is your niece. Who does not live with you. I would do the same thing you are doing.

    Answer by louise2 at 2:06 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • i wouldnt change your kids diets on what they love to eat, my father in law keeps getting on at me cos my daughter loves peanut butter sandwiches so i will let her have some she is 15months old and his grandson has the same problem as your neice and keeps on with she could have allergies im like its my daughter my house she is not her cousin and neither are your kids, its good they know about what she goes through but ignore the mother in law your the parent do what you think is best

    Answer by angelbaby1323 at 2:08 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I agree, it's not reasonable to expect you to totally change your children's diet, and deprive them of things that they love, and that are good for them if they're not allergic. I think you are being very careful, fair and reasonable.

    Your neice will have to be around these things all of her life, she will learn to adjust, while she's little everyone needs to watch out for her, but eventually she will have to see people eating peanuts and peanut products, and learn to handle that. My little brother is allergic to dairy products (not lactose intolerant, actually allertic), he can't have cheese, milk, ice cream etc., When we were kids those things were in our home, everyone else ate them, we knew that he couldn't and were careful about what he ate, and tried to be considerate, but my mom didn't limit the food the rest of us ate.

    Keep doing what you're doing, I think you're a good aunt.

    Answer by ohwrite at 2:12 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

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