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Family First: Food Allergies

Have you ever tasted peanuts in your burger and fries or in your pancakes at a restaurant? Those with food allergies haven't tasted it either, but the nuts could be in those foods. Tonight we introduce you to a local mom who's done more than just ask the waiter. To keep her daughter safe she wrote a book!

Six-year-old Molly doesn't remember but her mom will certainly never forget the scare when her daughter was only 18 months old.

" She was eating sliced bananas that had been cut with a knife that was also used to make a peanut butter sandwich for another family member so at the time we had no idea."

Molly started vomiting excessively, and having a hard time breathing. They got her to the E-R where she was quickly diagnosed with allergies to peanuts and tree nuts.

" Our lives changed a lot since then. "

But luckily, Molly hasn't had an allergic reaction since.
What they've been surprised by, though, is how many nuts are hidden in foods you'd never expect. French fries used in the same fryer as a pecan encrusted fish or worse!

" We went out for breakfast and we found a restaurant that prepared pancakes with peanut oil in the batter!! And so those types of things you just would never expect and I think that's what is the most surprising for other families that don't live with it."

So, Amy makes it a point to chat with Molly's friends' parents about what to look for on labels and what to ask. She likes to use this example two plates that look alike but the food on the left has potentially dangerous ingredients, while the right is o-k. And to make Molly's allergy something easy to live with, Amy decided to write a book.

" Rather than have it be a huge source of anxiety for her, I wanted it to be more positive and focus on the good things and that it's not all about the food, it's about friendship and fun."

It's called "Bugabees: Friends with Food Allergies," designed for kids, about kids. Eight bug friends represent the top eight food allergies in the country.

The book is available at www.thebugabees.com, or locally at Oompa Toys
in Middleton.


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