Please note: I am not a doctor or a nurse or any other kind of professional health care provider. This post is merely to introduce you to a different point of view. I will be glad to hear your thoughts.
When Maya (our first born) was 4 months old I took her to the doctor for a routine check-up and shots. The doctor started talking with me about starting to feed her solid foods in the next few months if I’d like. He was telling me what is good to start with, how much to feed, the consistency and what I shouldn’t give here.
When he said no peanuts I stopped him.
“What? Why?” I asked very much in surprise.
He explained that peanuts are very allergenic, that many kids are allergic to peanuts, and that the reaction can be fatal.
I looked at him in disbelieve. Growing up in the Kibbutz in Israel, we had to work for the community one day a week, it was part of our education. I worked in the early education system since I was 13, I thought horseback riding to kids of all ages for 8 years, I came across so many kids in Israel, and have never, not even once met a child allergic to peanuts.
Apparently, More people die from peanut allergy than from any other food allergy every year in America. In 2008, it was reported that 2.1% of children are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts in the U.S. A severe allergy can result in anaphylaxis with symptoms like itchy rush, low blood pressure and swelling of face and throat, this can be fatal.
I was reminded of this topic recently because we spent sometime with family in Israel. Benny, who is 6 month old and just starting to eat solid foods, needed something to snack on. I asked my mother if she has anything I can give him and of course she had Bamba.
Every house in Israel has Bamba in a kitchen cabinet. It is the Israeli national snack, kinda like potato chips in America. Adults eat it, kids eat it, and babies eat it. For many, it is the first finger food.
Bamba is a peanut butter flavored, puffed corn snack.
It’s enriched with several kinds of vitamins, contains no preservatives, cholesterol or food coloring. It’s very fatty (544 cal per 100 grams) and salty.
When I came back home and thought about writing this post, I did some research and found that the percentage of kids allergic to peanuts in Israel is 10 times smaller than the percentage of allergic kids in America.
Researches suggest that the early exposure (sometimes starting as early as four months) to Bamba is the reason.
Of course, this is not to say that there aren’t any kids allergic to peanuts in Israel. There are, and the symptoms can still cause death. But it is just not very common and Bamba is allowed everywhere, in nurseries, pre-schools and schools. The instructions in Israel are to introduce kids to all kinds of foods (except honey) as early as possible.
So let me ask you…. Does our “clean-living” causes the opposite of what it supposed to? Are we making our body weaker by playing it safe? I would love to hear your thoughts.
**If you would like to purchase Bamba for yourself or your child you might be able to find it in the Kosher food area of your supermarket. You can also find it here (affiliate link). Any kid will LOVE it, but adults love it too. I pair it with grapes. The Bamba is salty and dry while the grapes are juicy and sweet. It is a perfect Summer snack for me.
(The link above is for a big box of 24 3.5-ounce packages)
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