My oldest daughter’s second word was Bamba. Right after Abba (daddy). Mommy was way down on the list. I was a new mother, a new immigrant, and it was a bit daunting that my child’s most important word was a peanut-flavored snack shaped like larvae.
However, after living in Israel for 25 years, I now appreciate the wonder that is Bamba and how it not only has shaped a nation but possibly saved us all from nut-free school hallways forever.
Back in 2015, a groundbreaking article was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It seems that Jewish children in the United Kingdom were ten times more likely to develop a peanut allergy than Israeli children of similar ancestry, perhaps due to the fact that by 7 months, most Israeli children have eaten a
The researchers performed a novel experiment
You don’t see those statistics every day, an extremely significant result that pretty much proves that avoidance to the possible allergen can create
Please don’t think I’m saying throw away your Epipen if you’re allergic to peanuts and just start eating Bamba. Those of us who have read the Law of Similars know that doesn’t end well. But it is pretty cool to realize that the snack that my daughter loved so much that she knew its name before mine, can actually save many children from childhood suffering, and even future death.
It’s also an interesting wake-up call to us as parents to try and expose our children to more food options as toddlers and not limit them. Perhaps, this way, we can avoid future allergies and not create more.