Santa is AWESOME!

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Maxx was totally thrilled with the fact that Santa found some "granola bars" that he can actually eat.  He enjoyed opening up his stocking and all of this other gifts but the stash of the new Chex Mix bars that DO NOT contain any tree nuts and are not manufactured in a facility that processes tree nuts brought the most enthusiastic response.  He exclaimed "Santa is AWESOME!" and insisted on eating one right there, for breakfast.

Maxx is a picky eater and does not enjoy many foods.  He loves granola bars and, until recently, he could have the Quaker brand snack bars.  They were the only brand on the market that were safe.  The last time I went to stock up on these favorites, the company had either moved their production to a new facility or introduced a new product to the old facility because suddenly tree nuts appeared in the allergy warning label.  No more easy granola bars for Maxx.   We've all been sad about that and I started looking for reasonable home made granola bar recipes without much success.  (If you have a good recipe - please share!)

The whole Christmas Holiday season has been a bummer in terms of goodies and treats for Maxx.  He was given several diferent fancy wrapped novelty chocolates that I had to take away from him because of tree nut contents.  (Did you know that ALL of the little foil wrapped Santas and reindeer and polar bears and large Santas and even all flavors of LINDOR BALLS are potentially deadly for a person with nut allergies?) Lots of people gave us cookies  - some with nuts, some without and because we do not know which were produced where or whether or not there was any cross contamination, Maxx was not allowed to eat any.  Christmas Eve was an especially big bummer for Maxx because all but one of the chocolate containing treats available at Gramma's snack spread that night had tree nuts in them or were contaminated with tree nuts.  Gramma had very carefully made a fudge especially for Maxx to enjoy but it acidentally was cut into pieces After the same knife was used to cut the fudge containing walnuts. 

"Is that really a big deal?" some of you may ask.  Maybe, maybe not.  If there's any tree nut pieces or tree nut oil in a product, yes, it is a big deal.  Trace amounts may not cause a full blown reaction including anaphylactic  shock, but those small doses can contribute to his general respratory irritation levels and that could result in an asthma attack hours or even days later.  In fact, I'd almost rather have someone come up to my kid and stick a walnut in his mouth than give him something with small traces of nuts in it.  He'll spit that walnut out immediately, scream, cry, foam at the mouth and start to swell up.  I know how to deal with that and I feel pretty confident that between the epi-pen, Benadryl and rescue squad he would have a pretty darn good chance of survival.  But an asthma attack in the midle of the night while the rest of us are sound asleep brought on by trace levels of tree nuts that he ate hours or days earlier really could be deadly.

Sometimes I feel like Thetis trying to convince the local school master that Achilles really does have to wear those brass sneakers in gym.  People who haven't seen or experienced an anaphylactic reaction or a near death asthma attack just don't get it.

So discovering 4 boxes of granola bar-like things that he could actually put in his mouth on Christmas morning was a wonderful Gift - for both of us.   Thanks Santa!

Oh - and if any of you out there find a case of these - buy 'em and send them to me.  I'll pay you back!


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