Raising a Sensitive Child

Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

Tree nut challenge


As a follow up to Moses’ allergist appointment, we gave Moses some tree nuts in the parking lot of the children’s hospital ER today. We were advised to do it in the morning, in case there were any problems.

To bring any new readers up to speed, Moses is able to eat almonds and peanuts and he didn’t have a reaction to his last tree nuts prick test, so his allergist felt that we should be able to try feeding Moses the rest of the tree nuts on our own (and not in the hospital, as the almond oral challenge was done). We opted to do the rest of the tree nuts together because it is virtually impossible to get nuts that are not cross-contaminated with other nuts.  As it is, most nuts are cross-contaminated with Moses’ other allergies (milk and wheat), which makes it complicated.

We brought a lot of toys to keep Moses occupied, and he played with his toy cars in the snow next to the car between eating bits of nuts.

This is how we did it:

  • 11:20 am – put  his hand in the bag of mixed tree nuts.  Then touch his lips with his hands.
  • 11:30 am – bring 1/4 of a cashew to his lips.
  • 11:32 am – eat 1/4 of a cashew
  • 11:42 am – eat 1/2 of a cashew

He felt fine up until this point.

  • 11:49 am – bring a walnut to his lips. Eat 1/4 of a walnut

Within a couple of minutes of eating the walnut, he told us that he had a tummy ache. He went to the bathroom and had diarrhea. He told us that he still felt sick after. After a few minutes, we drove home (we knew that he wasn’t having an anaphylactic reaction).

When we got home, he told us that his tummy didn’t hurt anymore, but he didn’t want to eat any more nuts.


On the good side of things, we now know that Moses does not have life-threatening anaphylactic reactions to tree nuts!!! We  no longer need to avoid products that are cross-contaminated with tree nuts.  This will simplify our lives tremendously!!  But we will not actually feed him any other tree nuts for awhile. Based on his reaction (diarrhea and tummy ache), it seems like he still has an intolerance to cashews and/or walnuts. We might try another oral challenge in another month or so.


2 thoughts on “Tree nut challenge

  1. Pingback: My son is healthy and well « Raising a Sensitive Child

  2. Great post! I am happy that he doesn’t have a full-blown nut allergy! You don’t really understand the severity and complexity of having to deal with a food allergy until someone you love has one.

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