We decided to leap out of our food allergy family comfort zone and give the Toronto Blue Jays Peanut/Nut Reduced seating section a try. Let me tell you, honestly? The experience was amazing, felt safe and if you are thinking of going to a game, you should absolutely give it a go and here’s why.
Part of the joy of going to any Major League Baseball game is the food right? The greased up hot dogs loaded with the classic MKR, crispy nachos drowning in plastic cheese, and of course the peanuts and cracker jacks right?
Dah dah dah dah dah daaaa – CHARGE!
To be honest, the idea of people waving their peanut greased palms all around, smearing their finger tips all over the seats and hand railings was enough to give this food allergy mom intense heart palpitations. So, we have stayed away from Toronto Blue Jays games because the fear of an allergic reaction was just not worth the risk. Enter, the Toronto Blue Jays Peanut/Nut reduced section tickets!
Before the big germ caused the world to take a giant pause, the peanut/nut reduced section at the Toronto Blue Jays was on our summer bucket list. I found said list, and decided to investigate a bit further into the details.
When we arrived, we walked around to Gate 1, it was clearly marked and we were welcomed by very friendly gate attendants who checked our bags and tickets. The first attendant gently rummaged through our two backpacks but it was not intrusive. Because the Jays organization is awesome, and gets it, they allow Food Allergy Families to bring in their own water and snacks – amazing right? There were zero questions about the food we brought with us which included: bottles of water, Enjoy Life Lentil chips, Made Good granola bars, and some fruit. It was such a non-event, unlike other locations where they can make bringing in safe food equivalent to an act of smuggling. Gate 1 however, no questions, just checking.
Once our bags were cleared and our tickets scanned, we headed to the Sales Representative, who had personally emailed us earlier to make sure we were feeling comfortable. He was fully available for any additional questions or concerns via email and again right at the gate. He collected our waivers and assured us that no food in the adjoining concession stands would be serving any peanut/nut products and that the kiddos were entitled to a cute little, “My First Blue Jays,” certificate from Section 212.
Where do we sit?
Heading to our seats? Super easy. We were greeted by a very kind yet authoritative usher who monitored our section very closely. During the game there was a group of people who stopped at the top of our section during their lap around the stadium. Our usher eagle-eyed them real-quick and politely asked them to keep moving and to take their snacks and drinks to the top of another nearby section.
Something to think about is whether or not your family member has an airborne peanut/nut allergy. We did not see one peanut or peanut shell while we were there, however they are still very much in the building. There are no dedicated food allergy family washrooms, however the main ones right beside the section were clean, in my opinion, and again no signs of peanuts.
OIT (oral immunotherapy) has also been a huge factor in our comfort level with expanding our activities as a family. This is a treatment for peanut allergy (not a cure) and has left us feeling more comfortable with the possibility of a peanut being in our shared space. This process has taken years and I write in more detail about it here.
Our family had a great time at The Toronto Blue Jays game and it really was refreshing to be able to relax and just be a regular mom taking her kids to the game. Thank you to the Blue Jays organization for this opportunity – we will be back!
xo, Mel and Family
P.S. A few things to consider before heading to the game.
- Book your tickets in advance, really easy, link here.
- Don’t forget to fill in the waiver before you go.
- Pack your safe snacks and water.
- Remember your epi-pens.
- Have fun and please share your pics with us!
Disclaimer: always follow the advice of your family’s physician / allergist with regards to food allergies. What is safe for one family, may not be safe for all.