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Health & Wellness 102

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

babette feasts | Dec 23, 201404:49 PM

A few days ago we had a family dinner to celebrate my Dad's birthday. FWIW, he's 81, has cancer, and this was almost certainly his last birthday. Dad loves seafood, so Mom made paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and mussels. My SIL insisted that she be saved a portion before the seafood was added because her mother has a shrimp allergy (I have no idea how severe) and she didn't want to pass any shrimp through breast milk to her almost 1-year old son. Brother and SIL do not have food allergies that I know of, and the brief searching I did on the subject suggests that though one or both parents having an allergy may increase the chances of the child having an allergy, it would not necessarily be the same allergy, and there was no mention of a grandparent's allergy being a risk factor. I'm not a parent, but I find my SIL to be overly cautious about a number of things regarding the baby, and this request clearly upset and stressed out my Mom and made me annoyed that SIL didn't just keep quiet and eat around the shrimp. Nobody wants their baby having a reaction, but it doesn't seem like the risk was that great, and there is only one way to find out, anyway.

What do you think? Was her refusal of shellfish reasonable? Or was she overly paranoid and should have kept quiet and dealt with it? And do you have multiple generations with the same food allergy in your family, or is it more random than hereditary?

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