My daughter has a slight nut allergy that is slowly increasing in seriousness from non-anaphylactic to anaphylactic.

Our medical specialist has prescribed various treatments that include but are not limited to dark chocolate for reducing anti-oxidants, and boiled nuts to boost her immune system's tolerance of nuts. She despises both.

At the dinner table she puts up a big performance when asked to eat either, and generally wants to bury her head in the sand on this issue.

My question is: How to approach a child who finds allergy treatments repugnant?

My daughter is 12.

Edit: We're giving them to her plain. Medical specialist is a Doctor who specialises in allergies (who are pretty much all kids).

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Stephie
    Aug 26, 2021 at 14:41
  • I want to share a perspective on the issue of her burying her head in the sand. I came across some young people in my life with medical issues like type 1 diabetes or lactose intolerance. It made them, in their mind, somewhat different from others. Maybe uncool. They couldn't mindlessly do what their friend group was able to do. You know, eating the cool new burger at a fastfood restaurant or drink a beverage everybody else drank. They all started ignoring their health and condition to fit in. My friend with the diabetes faced numerous issues for just trying to be "normal".
    – Korinna
    Aug 27, 2021 at 6:06

1 Answer 1


I've always been partial to the idea that kids (and adults) who don't like vegetables don't like them not because vegetables are tasteless and disgusting, but rather that how they are prepared makes them tasteless and disgusting. You can make most vegetables pretty tasty just by cooking them in a way that makes them so.

I think that same idea could work here.

I know dark chocolate isn't the sweetest thing in the world and is a bit of an acquired taste. So you may have to do some things to make it more palatable for your daughter. The easiest thing that comes to my mind is to put dark chocolate chips in cookies. You could also dip strawberries or other fruit in dark chocolate. Go hit up Google for some ideas.

Boiled nuts fall in that same category where it takes some getting used to them to like them plain. It might be worth trying to add a honey glaze to them or season them with different spices (maybe a BBQ seasoning mix or something reminiscent of sweet and sour sauce). If it still works, you could try incorporating the nuts into peanut brittle or something like that. Again, Google will be your friend here.

Try different things. Try lots of different things. Involve your daughter in deciding what to make and in actually making it. Hopefully you can find a solution.

If you are still struggling, ask her doctor for ideas or other treatments. I can't imagine they've never seen someone who couldn't stand boiled nuts before or don't have some other treatments available. Get a second opinion if her primary doctor isn't helpful.

If all else fails, you may have to explain that even though it sucks, your daughter still just needs to do it like taking any other nasty medicine. Use this as a last resort.

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    Might as well eat milk chocolate then, no? Not sure what benefits dark chocolate actually has, but it’s just ‘higher percentage actual cacoa’ …
    – Joe
    Aug 25, 2021 at 14:19
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    I would add that after boiling the nuts, they could be dehydrated and eaten that way (maybe spiced up a bit) or ground up to a powder and incorporated into nearly everything baked... um, make that everything, full stop. Spaghetti sauce, pasts dishes, etc. Really good answer on all points. Aug 25, 2021 at 15:13
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    @Joe - Milk chocolate has much more sugar and much less cocoa powder. Less sugar is always preferable. Dark chocolate is high in anti-oxidants, whereas milk chocolate does noting in this category. The idea of dipping fruit in dark chocolate is a very good one, Strawberries, oranges, kiwi slices, etc., all taste good with dark chocolate, and it increases fruit consumption. Aug 25, 2021 at 15:43
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    That worked. MC does have some flavinoids, and it sounds like about the proportion that it contains in cacao % is the difference. (White chocolate contains little or none, and that's not unexpected, it only has the cocoa butter in it). So I think the amount of flavinoids in a milk chocolate bar (20-25% cacao) would still be higher than that of a cookie that's single digits percentage of cacao at most.
    – Joe
    Aug 25, 2021 at 16:11
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    Dipping the nuts in dark chocolate maybe? It likely still won't be their favorite food, but probably still more enjoyable than the things plain
    – Hobbamok
    Aug 26, 2021 at 9:04

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