Mom feeds child PB&J in a Target shopping cart, people get upset

It’s common for schools and daycare centers to have nut-free policies. But what about public spaces frequented by children?

Even if it’s technically not a nut-free zone, should people avoid walking around while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a common courtesy?

That’s exactly what people are debating after a mom was told off by a stranger for allowing her daughter to eat PB&J while in a shopping cart at Target. The mom recently posted about the encounter on UrbanBaby, writing, “Has it become unacceptable to eat peanut butter in public? DD was eating a pb&j at a store today, and a woman stopped me to lecture me about peanut allergies.”

And honestly, the reactions seem pretty mixed.

Some commenters clearly sided with the stranger who gave this mom an impromptu lecture.

“That’s really inconsiderate,” one person wrote. “So many kids have life threatening allergies to peanut butter. Eating it in a shopping cart GUARANTEES it will be smeared on the handle, etc. Its really awful you would do this. Sorry, but imagine if it were your child with the allergy.”

Another commenter chimed in with, “That’s actually kind of lousy of you. you are aware that kids with peanut allergies exist in the world, so it’s kind of a D move to let your kid smear peanut butter all over the child seat of a public cart.” (For the record, the original poster eventually clarified, “There was no peanut butter on the cart. Seriously. She ate the sandwich, I wiped her hands. Done.”)

Still, plenty of commenters didn’t see a problem at all.

“Peanuts are part of life,” yet another person commented. “If your kid is that allergic to something than the onus is on you to do your due diligence to either A: Not take your kid in public or B: Super clean anything they touch.”

“Take care of your own kids,” another commenter wrote. “I am not going to worry about every one else’s kid. I deal with my own, thank you very much, and so should you.”

Well, okay then. *Deep breath*

I’d like to start by saying that none of my children have food allergies. My husband, however, is severely allergic to peanuts. So I have a pretty good idea of the potential repercussions of kids eating PB&J sandwiches while in shopping carts. (Spoiler alert: Hives, throat swelling closed, difficulty breathing, and possibly full-on anaphylactic shock.) Food allergies are no joke, folks. And they’re definitely not made-up.

Maybe it’s because of my husband that I have a heightened awareness/concern for others with food allergies. The way I see it, if something as simple as not contaminating public areas with peanut products can save a life, then why the hell not? It’s not that difficult, folks.

I can’t imagine how scary it must be to have a child with a severe food allergy. And this whole, “Well, it sucks that peanuts could kill your kid — but it’s not my problem, so I’m going to do whatever I want because it’s my right” attitude is downright alarming. As hard as parents may try avoid allergens, and as diligent as they may be about wiping down surfaces, certain things are simply out of their control.

Sorry, but the freedom to contaminate a shopping cart with a PB&J sandwich is never more important than another person’s life.

Images by iStock

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Copyright or Author: Michelle Stein
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