5 Things Every Nut-Free Household Needs

Boy about to eat peaanuts

There are a lot of unfortunate myths about nut allergies.

They’re over-diagnosed. They’re all in the minds of overprotective parents. They’re not that serious.

But as parents of kids with peanut or tree nut allergies – and as a maker of nut-free candy – we know better. These allergies are very real and very serious and living with them can mean making significant changes to the way your family lives.

If your child has just been diagnosed with a nut allergy, here are a few things you’ll need to make your life in your house easier and safer.

1. Medical professionals you trust

Allergy doctor testing child for allergies

One of the first things you’ll need to do is find doctors that you trust.

“Typically, a board-certified pediatric allergist is the specialist of choice to advise families and prescribe epinephrine auto-injectors,” writes Caroline Bologna in a Huffington Post piece on advice for parents of children with nut allergies.

She also spoke with parents who recommend shopping around until you find the doctor that’s the best fit for your child.

“Don’t worry about offending people because it’s your child’s safety at stake,” said Becky Bergman, founder of the Peanut Allergy Mom blog and mother of a teenage son with a peanut allergy. “If they’re not the right fit they’re not the right fit.”

2. A plan for avoiding allergic reactions

The only sure way for your child to avoid allergic reaction is to keep away from foods that trigger symptoms. It often only takes a trace of an allergen to cause a reaction.

Avoid those reactions by:

Woman reading lbel for nut safety
  • Paying close attention to food labels each time you buy food products, even ones you’ve bought before, as ingredients can change. Teach your child to read labels when they get old enough
  • Let your child’s school, friends and relatives know about the allergy diagnosis.
  • Ask about the ingredients in dishes other people make for your children.
  • Wash your hands and your child’s hands with soap and water before handling food. Prepare and serve food with clean kitchen items and on clean surfaces.

Try to focus on the foods your child can have rather than what they need to avoid. You can even try out new recipes that use safe ingredients. And thanks to the advent of nut-free candy, they can still enjoy the same sweets their peers cherish.

2. A keen eye for allergy symptoms

No matter how vigilant you are, it’s still possible that your child will be exposed to allergens. If that’s the case, you need to be able to recognize the symptoms, which include:

Child with allergic reaction
  • Rashes, hives and itching
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue and throat
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and/or fainting
  • Stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting
  • Panicky/uneasy feelings

Your child’s doctor can provide you with a complete list of symptoms. Some allergy symptoms can be severe, leading to a potentially life threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which we’ll deal with in the next section.

3. A plan for dealing with anaphylaxis

Talk to your child’s doctor about how to recognize the signs of anaphylaxis and how to treat it. You can prepare yourself by:

  • Working with the doctor to create an emergency plan for dealing with anaphylaxis
  • Learn how to administer epinephrine shots to your child. This drug comes in a safe, easy to use auto-injector and is the medicine of choice for treating anaphylaxis.
  • Always make sure there are two epinephrine auto-injectors close at hand and teach the people who are with your child when you’re not there how to use them.

You may also want to get your child a medical alert bracelet to let people know about their allergy.

4. A good support system

Moms support group discussing their kids allergies

Finally, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Nut allergy diagnoses may be on the rise, but the silver lining here is that you’ll have an easier time finding other parents in your community who have been where you are.

As the Huffington Post story puts it, “A group of fellow allergy parents can help by answering questions, hearing out rants or even just being there to drink a bottle of wine and cry during hard times.”

Searching for nut-free candy options? Skip’s Candies is your source

Nut-free chocolate Butterfly pop

Since 1993, Skip’s Candies has prided itself on providing the finest candy options. We proudly provide nut-free candy to retail and wholesale customers alike.

For the last eight years, we’ve operated a dedicated nut-free facility, ensuring that the raw materials we purchase come from manufacturers who either work in nut-free facilities or have dedicated nut-free areas and/or adhere to safe handling practices.

Contact us today to learn more about our nut-free candy and our facility. We’re confident we have something everyone in your family will enjoy.

Easter is Coming. Are You Stocked Up?

Marshmallow Bunnies

Easter candy is big business. Last year, Americans spent $2.6 billion on things like jelly beans, chocolate eggs and marshmallow chicks.

We expect this year will be the same, with countless parents heading to their local bulk candy store to find treats to populate their kids’ Easter baskets.

And it got us thinking: How did Easter, first and foremost a religious observance, turn into big business for candy companies?

In this blog post, we’ll look at the history of Easter and Easter candy.

Easter and Eostre

Why do we call Easter “Easter”?

Pope Gregory I

To answer that, we need to go back to the 6th century, when Pope Gregory sent a group of monks to England to convert the Britons to Christianity.

Essentially, this meant letting the early Brits keep the basics of their seasonal festivals, only with a Christian twist.

As the British magazine The Field put it, those feasts gradually became days to honor Jesus or one of the Christian saints.

One of those Anglo-Saxon feasts was the celebration of the goddess Eostre, whose feast was in the springtime, around the same times Christians marked the resurrection of Jesus. Eventually, the feast of Eostre became known as “Easter.”

Pennsylvania’s Easter connection

Although he’s not part of the Christian Easter tradition, the Easter Bunny has become a key part of Easter celebrations.

No one is sure exactly how that happened, but rabbits are an ancient symbol of life and fertility. People in Germany told stories of the “Osterhase,” a hare that lay eggs.

German kids would make nests where the Osterhase would leave his eggs. This tradition would eventually come to America in the 1700s when immigrants from Germany arrived in Pennsylvania.

As time went on, the tradition evolved. The rabbit didn’t just bring eggs, he also delivered candy and little gifts. And instead of making nests, kids began to leave out baskets, along with carrots so the bunny would have something to snack on during his deliveries.

From Easter eggs to chocolate bunnies

Sitting bunny

Eggs have been a part of Easter celebrations for decades. According to some sources, people began painting eggs during Lent, which is a time of fasting and penance. There was apparently a time when eggs were off-limits during Lent, so decorating them and eating them on Easter was a way of marking that tradition.

Easter candy doesn’t date back that far. Chocolate bunnies first emerged in Europe in the early 1800s, as chocolatiers began mass-producing bulk candy.

The first chocolate molds were made by hand in the 1830s and by the end of the century, mold-making had become an art-form, giving us everything from simple chocolate eggs to lovingly-decorated chocolate bunnies. Cadbury unveiled their Crème Egg in 1875. It remains a popular – although divisive – Easter-time treat.

Another popular Easter treat, jelly beans, date back even further, if you consider them an ancestor of the delicacy known as Turkish delight, which are believed to have first appeared in – where else? – Turkey in the 1700s.

First produced in the 1800s, they became popular during the Civil War when a Boston candy merchant named William Schrafft asked people to send the candies to Union troops.

But jelly beans would not become associated with Easter until the 1930s, perhaps due to their egg-like shape. Today, American candy makers produce 16 billion jelly beans every Easter.

Are you searching for bulk candy this Easter? Turn to Skip’s Candies, where we offer a wide range of Easter candy, from chocolate bunnies to jelly beans to peeps.

And remember that have a dedicated nut-free facility, so that people can enjoy our candy without having to worry about nut allergies. We hope your Easter celebration includes our candies this year.

Meet Chessy, the Nut-Detecting Dog

She’s only a few years old.

She doesn’t know how to talk.

But her job here at Skip’s Candies is absolutely crucial.

Meet Chessy, our allergen detecting dog.

Chessy is a German Coolie from Prince George in Canada. And although she’s a beloved family pet, she also plays a vital role in our business, helping ensure that our plant remains dedicated to nut-free candy.

Continue reading Meet Chessy, the Nut-Detecting Dog