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Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas cookie exchange!


So, it sounds like a brilliant idea, a cookie exchange! You bake one type of cookies, pile it up on a platter and meet a bunch of friends who have each baked a different type of goodie. When you arrive, you also bring empty plates and plastic wrap. Then you choose a few cookies from each of your friend's trays and pile them on your plate. You have a beautiful plate of assorted flavored cookies, yet you only had to bake once!

What could be better than that. Well.........

You knew this was going somewhere, didn't you?! Food allergies. It's hard to find desserts without nuts. Son #2 is allergic to tree nuts, so I am always nervous when it comes to any baked goods. There are A LOT of desserts that have nuts in them. And, even if I choose one that doesn't have nuts, how do I know that there hasn't been a cross contamination?

If I scan a platter of cookies, I look for anything with nuts. Are people picking up desserts with their hands or using tongs? Are they using tongs from one tray to pick up desserts from another tray? It only takes a tiny amount of what you are allergic to to cause anaphylactic shock. That can easily come from using one set of tongs for two different trays.

I decided not to risk having a problem with tree nuts. So Son #2 didn't get any treats on the last two cookies exchanges that I have gone to. Don't worry, I have plenty of nut-free goodies at home to tide over the teenager.

If you are visiting family this week for Christmas, make sure they know of your food allergy. If they still want to serve something that you are allergic to, make sure you bring a dish of food that you can eat. You can bring a main dish and a dessert, that way you know you are safe. And make sure you are the first one to serve yourself, so people aren't using the same serving utensil for different foods. It's no fun having anaphylaxis! I have spent A LOT of money on Son #2's Christmas presents. I would like him to be alive to open them.

Here's hoping for a nut-free Christmas dinner. (Yes, you can insert all sorts of jokes here about nutty family members if you wish.)


  1. Dear Andrea,
    I can’t begin to imagine the challenges you must face on a daily bases having not one, or two, but THREE children with asthma! I am a patient education specialist with PMD Healthcare and I greatly appreciate your efforts in reaching out to the community and sharing your story with the world. I understand how sharing your knowledge with others can help so many. That is why I felt inspired to reach out to you and tell you about Spiro PD. Spiro PD is truly the world’s first personal spirometer which empowers patients and caregivers to monitor lung function anytime and anywhere, at work, school, vacation, play, and more. Spiro PD has an intuitive color touchscreen and is super easy to use and understand. You can now track lung function over days, weeks, months or even years if desired. The information you get from Spiro PD can be uploaded to the computer with a USB and emailed directly to your doctor. Spiro PD can alert you of a declining lung function before your child begins to feel symptoms. It can also make you feel a lot more confident in making decisions about potential activity. No more guessing and no more worrying if it’s okay to play or not. Spiro PD is priced at $219, which for most people pays for itself if it prevents just one emergency room visit. Spiro PD also has a medication tracker which helps you remember when it’s time to administer medicine. For more information please contact me or visit or show your support and spread the word by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook
    Thanks again for the work you are doing. I will continue to enjoy your blog!
    Rebecca Russell

  2. Rebecca, what a great device! Thanks for the info, things are always changing with asthma. I'll check out your website!