Over the weekend, we attended a child's birthday party. There were about 20 children between the ages of 5 and 9 in attendance, and at least five of those children have life threatening allergies to peanuts. My peanut allergic 5 year old son observed the other children eating pizza as long as he could and then asked if he could have some. He has not had pizza from a pizza place or restaurant in about two years--we were too afraid to risk it. I responded that I did not know where they had purchased the pizza and did not know if it was safe. He really wanted the pizza and decided to take matters into his own hands by questioning the father of the birthday child (also a PA child). I sat and watched. Had all of my warnings resonated with him? What would he ask? What would he decide to do? I was ready to jump into action but held back to see how he did.
He asked "Is this pizza from a peanut-free facility?" "Is it safe for me?" "Where did you buy this pizza?" "Can you give my mother directions?" Then, after he had satisfied himself by asking all the questions he could think of, he asked me if it was okay for him to eat it. I said yes, and sat watching. He took a bite carefully and waited. Then, he declared "This pizza is good. I think I am going to eat the whole piece!" He leaned over to the boy next to him and said, "See, I'm eating it too!"
After we left the party, he thanked me for letting him try it. I told him that I was glad he enjoyed it but that it was a little scary for Mommy. He said, "You know what? I was scared too." He enjoyed it so much, we decided to have pizza from a pizza place for supper that night. I summoned up my courage and checked the internet for tips, read websites, and decided Papa Johns seemed a safe choice. We ordered, we ate, and everything was fine.
So now I wonder, what does everyone else do? I know I tend to be on the extra-careful side. How big is the extra-careful camp? Thanks to polldaddy.com, we've devised a little survey to get some sense of what other food allergic families do for pizza. The survey is in the left sidebar under my profile, and also can be accessed thru this link, FAB Pizza Survey. There are only 7 questions, so please take a moment and participate! Thanks! Oh, and as always, feel free to comment too.