Can You Identify Types of Nuts?

As an Allergic Reactor to all tree nuts and peanuts, I have always stayed as far away as possible whenever I have seen them.  There have been some articles recently about whether children and adults who have nut allergies, can actually properly identify the different types of nuts (article and Huffington Post Link).

The study was done at Ohio State University.  The article states that only about half of the participants, both adults and children, could identify the different types of tree nuts and peanuts.  The results showed that adults were able to identify them better than children, but not by much.

I think they are missing the main point though of having these allergies.  I am not sure how important it is to necessarily know the name of each type of nut, as it is to know “oh hey, that is a nut and I need to stay away.”  If you have had these allergies since you were a child, like me, more than likely you were shown visually what nuts were.  The names of each type were not as relevant since I couldn’t eat any of them.

I am always a promoter of more education, so I agree that maybe there should be more education for people who are Allergic Reactors.  Most importantly though, recognizing visually that you can’t eat it because it is a nut is really the main concern.  If your child recognizes what nuts look like and know to avoid them then that is most significant.

What do you think?  Did you read these articles?  I would love to hear your thoughts!



  1. Hi Heidi,

    Thanks for your comment! Yes, I think both of those golden rules are great! I definitely agree that educating your children about what they can’t eat and what it looks like is most important. Whether they know the name of each nut though, is not as important, as knowing they can’t it eat!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Miss Allergic Reactor

  2. My initial thoughts, too, when I read these findings! I think recognizing something as a nut (or fish, egg, etc.)is key, not necessarily being able to differentiate between a walnut and a pecan, a tuna or a perch. My DS is 5 and can’t name all nut or egg products, but he knows the two golden rules for keeping himself safe:
    1. Never eat anything that you don’t know ALL the ingredients in. Then (bc he’s 5) still check with a parent to be safe.
    2. Know what most nuts and egg products look like, even if you can’t name them.

    Of course we stop every once in a while and I let him observe and try to name the bagged nuts in the grocery aisle, but that is not, to me, key in keeping him safe.
    Thanks for your insight!

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