Peanut-free spreads that look and taste like peanut butter...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by MStory, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. MStory

    MStory Member

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    My niece is allergic to peanuts and I noticed that some stores sell this peanut-free sandwich spread that looks and tastes like peanut butter. Initially, I thought that it was great idea because I think every child should experience the joys of peanut butter and jam sandwich. Then my husband brought up an interesting point. He suggested that products like this could be dangerous because they give children a false sense of security. His thoughts were that giving a child something that tastes and looks like something that will make them sick could lead to confusion.

    What do you think?
     
    MStory, Mar 12, 2014
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  2. MStory

    SmartPea85 Well-Known Member

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    I would hate to let my child try a peanut butter and then have them love it and crave it all the time. I would think it would make it even harder to resist. However, there are alternatives, and you can explicitly teach your child that while one kind is ok, real peanut butter is dangerous for them. Depending on how old your child is, you may want to wait until they're a little older so they can better grasp this -very confusing- concept.

    Someone I work with is off gluten, so instead of peanut butter she bought this white powdery stuff that is actually made from coconut or coconut oil. You mix a tablespoon at a time with water and whip it up to taste like peanut butter. Because of its color and consistency, it doesn't look like peanut butter, so you could present this to your child and teach him or her that THIS is the only kind of peanut butter they can eat. If you are clear about the difference, they won't feel it's ok to go around tasting everything peanut buttery now that they've had a taste.
     
    SmartPea85, Mar 12, 2014
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    MStory likes this.
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  3. MStory

    Becky Administrator

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    Here in the UK you can get cashew nut spread and hazelnut spread fairly easily - they are both in my local supermarket which is fairly small. They will have a different taste, but I imagine would work in place of peanut butter. I guess it depends on which nuts she is allergic to though!
     
    Becky, Mar 25, 2014
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  4. MStory

    Jessi Well-Known Member

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    It can definitely create some confusion, but I feel like that comes down to parenting and careful monitoring to make sure the kids learn how to choose their foods wisely. Realistically, they're going to run across traces of peanuts in all sorts of products, so that creates an even bigger false sense of security (like when peanuts are used in the same factory and could contaminate a food that doesn't look like it even has nuts). I think it should be called something different than peanut butter, though, so the name itself isn't a problem.
     
    Jessi, Mar 26, 2014
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  5. MStory

    CandlexBread Member

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    I agree with everyone else. I wouldn't give a child the product until they knew how to read well, have good judgement, and understand that the allergy is life threatening. My reason for saying read well, is because they'll be able to read the ingredient list and know if the product contains anything that may cause them harm. I saw have good judgement because other children may not be informed, which is okay. It is the job of the parent and the child to know self-control; to have knowledge on their situation. The child should know not to take anything from anyone, because it may be harmful. Also, good understatement that the allergy is life threatening is very important. Children think they are invincible, so they think the reaction may not be that bad. Multiple times of having the reaction usually makes it worse, if the first couple times don't lead to death.

    With that said, when all of that is established and understood I think something like the other person suggested or sunbutter would be a good thing. I hear that sunbutter tastes very similar to it. Make sure to never refer to any alternative as peanut butter.
     
    CandlexBread, Mar 29, 2014
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  6. MStory

    VTEC 9/12/44 Well-Known Member

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    My mom uses cashew butter but I have always hated the smell and taste of peanut butter even before I knew I was allergic so when I tried it I didn't like it. Still, it was a good try, and at least I didn't simply refuse because I thought I wouldn't like it.
     
    VTEC 9/12/44, Jun 9, 2014
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