Brett Nasuti has battled bullies who have taunted him with put-downs like “peanut boy” and had to sit at the highly stigmatized ‘peanut-free table” at school. Even so, he could be the poster child for living well with food allergies. He’s even taken it upon himself to educate his peers by organizing an annual Food Allergy awareness week at his school, during which he raises money for food allergy research. Here, watch Brett in action and hear what his schoolmates have to say about what they’ve learned from him. …
This week, watch the Nasutis take on their regular challenge of food shopping—no easy feat, considering that two out of the three children have life-threatening food allergies. Brett was born allergic to 15 foods, and his little brother, Nicholas, is allergic to 16. Their sister, Taylor, doesn’t have any food allergies, like her parents. In order to keep them all fed, Robyn makes three different meals every time her family eats, which requires her to drive to three different grocery stores. And the specialty foods don’t come cheap; dairy-free milk alone costs her $10 a gallon. “I spend about $850 a month on groceries,” Robyn says.
My name is Robyn Nasuti and I’m the mother of three children: Brett, 11, (who’s featured in this series and pictured here), Taylor Marie, 10, and Nicholas, 5. Brett is allergic to dairy, peanuts and eggs. Taylor has no food allergies and Nicholas is allergic to peanuts, dairy, eggs, lamb, chicken, turkey, sesame, almond, wheat, oat, spelt, banana, pea and walnut. He just outgrew his soy allergy last month.
My husband, Alan, and I found out about Brett’s allergies when he was 1. I started keeping a journal because every time I went to the doctor, they’d ask me questions about his skin, asthma and reactions, and I couldn’t keep it straight in my head. By writing down my thoughts, I was able to find peace — and also helped doctor’s determine how to best deal with Brett’s allergies.
Here’s an excerpt from my journal.