How to Teach Cross Contamination to a Food Allergic Child

Cross contamination has been a HUGE learning experience for us.

When J.C. was first diagnosed with peanut allergies, we had no idea what it would mean for our reality.

When you hear peanut allergy, you can pretty easily figure out we shouldn’t have peanuts in our home.

Easy enough. 

We threw out the peanut butter and Reese’s Cups.

What we didn’t know was anything about cross contamination.

One day at work I enjoyed a little bit of chocolate. Okay, a whole bag of regular MnM’s.

Not a second thought about it, right?

Think again.

When I got home, I covered my adorable boy in kisses per usual.

Just moments later, his entire face was covered in hives.

The reason – cross contamination.

Just this month a 22-year-old lost his life to cross contamination. And it’s not the first time either.

I had a friend compare peanut dust to glitter.

I mean have you worked with that stuff? It gets everywhere. And it stays everywhere.

So I wanted to teach J.C. exactly what I mean when we talk about cross contamination.

I skipped the glitter (again, that stuff gets everywhere) and went for flour.

Step One: Lather Up in Flour

And lather it up good. You want your child to walk away knowing how dangerous cross contamination is.

how to teach cross contamination to your food allergic kid

Step Two: Gather Up a Couple of Food Items

We used a Hershey’s bar, raisins and wheat bread.

how to teach cross contamination to your food allergic kid

Step Three: Combine the Two

Let your little guy or girl pick up each piece of food with their flour-covered hands.

The result – a lesson in cross contamination.

how to teach cross contamination to your food allergic kid

 

I explained to J.C. that this is the result of flour cross contamination. I told him when someone touches something like flour or peanuts, and then touches something else – the dust gets on the next thing. If it were peanuts, these would be dangerous.

He responded with, “Cross contamination isn’t good for me.”how to teach cross contamination to your food allergic kid

Last tip – put that container of flour somewhere your little one can’t get it. J.C. went on to “cross contaminate” the whole kitchen.

Might as well have been glitter.

How do you teach cross contamination?

how to teach cross contamination to a food allergic child

If you liked this, check out What I Want My Son With Food Allergies to Know (to Save His Life).

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11 thoughts on “How to Teach Cross Contamination to a Food Allergic Child

  1. This is a perfect example of cross contamination. My daughter (almost 16) is severely allergic to all nuts and explaining to those outside our family how serious cross contamination is, can be difficult. Preparing her for college is our next big hurdle…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so relieved to have found a way to show my son what I’ve meant so many times when I say “cross contamination.”
      You’re at a scary spot in the food allergy world – I think a lot about what those years will be like. Let me know what works best for you as you guys prepare for college!!

      Like

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