Having a peanut allergy doesn't mean that you can't enjoy all of the sweetness that a trip to the candy aisle has to offer. It does mean, however, that you have to be more conscious of the candy you grab out of your candy jar.
Among all food allergies, an allergy to nuts is one of the most common, and it seems to be on the rise—especially among children. Experts think that prior recommendations for pregnant and nursing women and kids under three to avoid peanuts may have played a part, says Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, CLT, a registered dietitian specializing in food allergies.
Today, recent research has brought about new guidelines, urging mothers to introduce nuts to their children much sooner. “Now, we recommend that pregnant and nursing moms include peanuts in their diets, and parents should introduce peanuts to infants as young as four to six months of age,” Janeiro says. With this new guidance, clinicians hope to see a reduction in peanut allergies.
Parents of allergy sufferers must be diligent about checking the ingredients on popular candies and be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Typical signs of a peanut allergy range from minor to severe, including:
If you think you're experiencing minor signs of a peanut allergy, consult your doctor, but a severe allergic reaction requires emergency medical attention. In the meantime, get ready for Halloween by stocking up on peanut-free candy that's safe for your little ones to enjoy on around holidays and throughout the rest of the year.
It's important to keep in mind that, while a food may have been peanut-free right at one point, brands often change their product formulas and processing methods, Janeiro says. We've rounded up the tastiest peanut-free candy to pick up this fall, but keep in mind that you should always double-check food labels, even those of your favorites, before anything before adding anything to your shopping cart.
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