As I've already mentioned, my one year old daughter (who will be 2 in two weeks), Leila, has food allergies. Her blood tests have shown her to be allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts. But technically, she is only sensitive to eggs and milk and can tolerate them in small amounts. Her peanut allergy on the other hand is not to be toyed with. An episode of anaphalaxis and a trip to the ER proved that to us. But I've also found that she has bad reactions to oatmeal and peas. . . which may not be surprising to those who are up to date on their botany because a peanut is not technically a nut. It's a legume like peas and beans. So peanuts are more closely related to peas than to walnuts. Anway, when you put it all together, the list of foods that Leila has to avoid is peanuts, milk, eggs, oatmeal, tree nuts (which sadly includes coconuts), shellfish (because her allergist told us to avoid them until she is older), and of course anything processed in a facility that also processes treenuts and peanuts (making the list exponentially long).
All this is to say that tonight for dinner I made shepard's pie. I like to put peas in my shepard's pie, so for our family, half of the pie had peas in it and half of it didn't, for Leila. This has always worked out well for us. Well, today while I was at ballet class and my family was eating dinner, I get a call on my cell phone from my husband. "Leila ate a pea," he says. It turns out that Leila had eaten all of her food, and while Robert was getting her some more to eat, Gabrielle decided to share her dinner with Leila and offered her a pea. Leila's reply: yummy! (Leila eats everything she can get her hands on. . . she's our human garbage disposal.) Well long story short, Robert made her spit the pea out and she seems to be just fine. But this just goes to remind me that I can never lose vigilance when it comes to feeding Leila, because let's face it, I have no desire to stick that epi-pen into her thigh.