Peanut Butter

I’ve been working with kids over a decade – since I was still a kid myself actually. Started babysitting at 12 and have moved on from there. My years of working with kids both in schools and in camps has really made me notice how peanut butter is a bit of a controversial subject. However, no matter how hard people try to push no peanuts , and by default – no peanut butter – every child I have ever met loves the stuff.

I myself eat the stuff regularly – almost daily even at breakfast. I’ve always liked it. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple of any child’s diet. The year I lived overseas was difficult because I couldn’t find decent peanut butter and PB&J is one of my main comfort foods. Only the other North Americans understood the importance of decent peanut butter.

PB&J

I distinctly remember we used to have frogs on a log as a snack in preschool – this meant celery sticks with peanut butter in them and raisins on top. Can you imagine the outrage that would happen now if anyone even suggested such a thing in a school? Everything must be peanut (and often nut) free. Why? Because there are an astonishingly large number of children who are allergic to the stuff. How did this happen? How did a staple of childhood become this evil thing that could be fatal to another child?

When I was in elementary school there were two kids who were allergic to the stuff – brother and sister. Their mother felt it was unrealistic to ask the school to ban peanuts altogether so all she asked was that if someone did bring anything, that they eat it in another classroom and make sure their hands were washed before returning to their regular classroom. Fair enough. I was the grade behind the girl, so often people came from her class to mine at lunch with peanut butter treats. Now though – any kind of nut can be banned which is very sad given that nuts make a wonderful and healthy snack. Even if there isn’t a single person in your school allergic to the stuff, it’s still banned.

If this is the lengths to which we go for peanuts, what will we do when the next big bad allergy comes along? Are we going to ban shellfish? There’s a heck of a lot of people allergic to shellfish out there. What about eggs? I’ve met a number of people allergic to eggs. And strawberries. And peaches. And any other number of food stuffs. I understand there are a number of children who are fatally allergic to any number of things – it’s not just peanut butter. I suppose the blanket ban is because of the number of children who eat peanut butter as a staple.

It’s just very sad though. If I’m ever in an elementary school or at camp I can’t even take most granola bars as a snack because they’ll contain some sort of nut. Not to mention all the millions of food items that “may contain traces of nuts.”

The one thing that makes me quite happy though is no matter the fact that peanut butter can’t go to school for lunch, there are still millions and millions of kids who love a good PB&J sandwich.

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About Miss Substitute Teacher

Working as a substitute teacher. Kids really do say the darnedest things!
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4 Responses to Peanut Butter

  1. Aw, it’s sad when a whole school has to be changed because of a few children. But it’s also sad when those few children are deprived from some of the most wonderful foods on earth. It’s a pity doctors haven’t figured out a way to get rid of food allergies like that. Wonder if there’s something in the genes…

    • Apparently the reason for so many peanut allergies in North America has to do with the fact that there is only one type of peanut that grows here. Thus people develop a reaction to it. They’re now started to find a way to allow kids to tolerate low dosages of peanuts by feeding them increasing amounts in controlled environments apparently. Though not sure of the long term effectiveness since it’s not really a “cure.”

      I suspect that the rise in allergies is linked to the fact that our immune systems are looking for something to protect us from now that everything is so clean. I keep saying people need to let their kids eat dirt.

      • Whoo! *highfives* I actually wanted to say something about that but I didn’t know your views on that. I grew up basically living outside. We had an outside dog too. I’m pretty sure I pet it and then ate without washing my hands many times while growing up and I’m both alive and allergy free. So I do hold to the belief that germs are good for you, even the bad ones. That doesn’t mean live like Pigpen on Charlie Brown but you don’t need to panic about the simplest germ.

        • Well think of how sanitized everything is now. It’s kind of ridiculous how clean every thing has to be. I mean I still do the 5 second rule on occasion if I drop food. You’ve got to let your kids eat dirt. Literally in some cases. If you keep you kid inside and they don’t go out and scrape their knees and roll around in mud – they’re going to probably be sickly little kids.

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