Friday, January 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Cheerios

I am a very fortunate Mom.  The only allergies my kids have suffered from thus far are just from antibiotics.  Thankfully we have no peanut, seafood, dairy allergies.  I do not have to check labels in order to protect my children.  I don't have to worry if I drop my child off at a play date whether or not I remembered to tell the parent that they have a food allergy.  I am one of the lucky 92% of the population whose children do NOT suffer from a food allergy.  There are, however that *8% (5.9 MILLION kids) of the population whose children have to sit at a special table at lunch because they have a food allergy, they are not allowed to eat the same things that other children may be eating at most play dates, birthday parties, or school functions.

I read an article today that sparked my curiosity about food allergies and made me realize just how lucky our family is that we don't have to deal with this.  There are parents in the 8% who have children with peanut allergies that are not happy that Cheerios is catering to the 92% of the population who do not have allergies.  Making peanut butter Cheerios puts their children at a higher risk for accidental ingestion of peanut butter or cross contact.

I do see their point.  As a Mom I know it's hard to keep your kids from sharing with other kids when they have a bag full of their favorite snack.  If I send my 3 year old kid out on the playground with a peanut butter flavored snack and she chooses to share with another child her age who doesn't know any better, this kid could be at risk for a serious allergic reaction from the snack.  So, the solution to this would be to make my child eat her snack by my side so that I can ensure that she doesn't share, right?  Well, what if she happens to drop said peanut butter flavored snack on the ground and we don't spot it?  Later on, another mother sits in our spot and her child grabs the snack and gobbles it up before she even knows.  This child is now at risk all because of us!

As a Mom I do sympathize with the 8% of the population who have to live their lives on pins and needles because of food allergies.  But, in the same token, I ask should the 92% of the population have to suffer as well?  I think that General Mills is marketing to the majority of the population as most companies do.  There is no way that every single person will like their product, but if the majority of the population do, then they will be successful.

General Mills had this response for concerned parents:

Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS. Cheerios has a commitment to allergen management. We can say with complete confidence that MultiGrain Peanut Butter Cheerios will not cross-contaminate other Cheerios varieties. Currently, Honey Nut Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, and Oat Cluster Cheerios Crunch contain ALMOND. Only Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS. All other varieties, including original Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, and Yogurt Burst Cheerios, do not contain nuts. As always, If you’re concerned about allergies, we highly recommend that you always consult the allergen listing and the ingredient label on any product you may consume.

What's your take on this subject?  Do you have a child who suffers from food allergies?  Will you boycott the product?  My inquiring mind wants to know. 

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8 comments, add yours here:

Mr.Clive said...

i have a friend who's allergic to seafood.it's quite scary to take her out to dinner,out of fear i might offer her the wrong foods and if anything happens,it will be my fault. -_-

but fortunately enough,nothing has happened so far.

anyway,good on you for your children not having those allergies! :)

have a good day, m'am!

Mr.Clive said...

by the way,what's wrong with your site header on top? hmm...

Crazy Working Mom said...

Mr Clive, I used to have an allergy to seafood but I eat it now and it doesn't seem to bother me.

What's wrong with the site header?! It looks fine on my end. What does it look like on yours, and what browser are ya using? Thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

My 4 year old son has peanut/tree nut allergies. We like regular and multi-grain Cheerios. We do not purchase Honey Nut or the other Cheerios that either contain or are listed as 'processed with' nuts. We will not be boycotting Cheerios products because of their new product. It is just one more cereal we know to avoid.

I am extremely nervous/nauseous about the day I send him to school with other kids and their peanut products and contamination, but until that day, my main focus is getting him through family or friend functions where they don't know, understand, or stop to consider what he can or cannot have. I am not looking forward to the day when I'm not there to say, "No, he can't have that." very scary....

Mr.Clive said...

hi there. it says there "domain unregistered. to view, register..."

anyway, I'm running a valentine's day giveaway competition on my blog.if you like writing poems,why don't give it a shot! :D

the more the merrier! ho ho

Crazy Working Mom said...

Thanks for your input Anonymous. I cannot imagine your fears. I know it has to be tough! I hear that peanut allergies are the worst kinds, they are just about everywhere!! :(

Anonymous said...

I'm always surprised when people who are not affected by food allergies use the term "suffer" to describe how they would be affected if they were to do without something containing peanuts. Would you or anyone else really suffer if GM had not introduced peanut butter Cheerios? A small child is helpless against the threat of a life threatening reaction. We as parents do so many things to help keep our kids safe. I'm sure it is important for you to do everything possible to keep your kids safe. I have worried so much more about the safety of my child since I watched as doctors fought to save his life 5 years ago. Peanuts are truly dangerous for him and many others. The percentage of people with life threatening food allergies that you condescendingly quote over and over are rising at an alarming rate. They have actually tripled over the past 10 yrs. Almost all food allergy related deaths are the result of a reaction to peanut. Life threatening food allergies don't discriminate. I never thought my family would be dealing with this threat everyday. I would not wish this on anyone. If you think not having peanut butter Cheerios on the grocery shelf is "suffering" I bet you wouldn't have words for one of your children swelling up to the point you couldn't recognize them gasping for air after ingesting a very small amount of peanut butter. I just wish everyone would be a little more understanding about severe life threatening food allergies. They are not the same today as they were 20 years ago. Things have changed.

Crazy Working Mom said...

"Anonymous"

I don't think I will suffer from not having peanut butter Cheerios, nor my children. In fact, we haven't purchased them. When I went back and re-read the post, I realized that I should not have used the word "suffer" in the post. Perhaps, do without might have been a better choice of words. We will certainly not suffer in any way from having them or not having them. My apologies if I offended you with the use of this word.

Of course it is important for me to keep my children safe. As a parent that is my job!

I do apologize to you if you feel like the post was condescending in any way. That is not my style and it was not my intention.

I suffered from a food allergy as a child, swelled up (unrecognizably) and had to be rushed to the emergency room. So, I have experienced first hand what you speak of. Praise God I outgrew the allergy (or so the doctors say) because now I can eat the food without worry of this.

I pray that you never again have to experience this with your child. I do appreciate you leaving a comment.