Date nights are pretty rare around here. Five kids makes babysitters expensive and often difficult to find. Also, the Dude and I are usually just too busy to take a whole evening off. So when Beaker's preschool offered a Parent's Night Out (siblings welcome) on the same night that we both were free, we jumped on it!
The kids had a blast. The preschool had a Wii set up, and a movie, and lots of games and crafts and toys. They had dinner there, too ~ pizza and popcorn, major favorites!
Of course, Beaker can't eat pizza unless it is specially made to be safe for him (no gluten, no garlic, no nut or soy flours), so I packed up a dinner to send with him. I wanted to make a nice hot meal for him, but was limited in time and transport ability. But hey, that's where the thermos comes in handy!
For Beaker's dinner, I cooked a box of Annie's Organic Rice Mac & Cheese and mixed in a little extra shredded cheese. I tucked a serving in to a Crayola insulated Thermos to keep it nice and hot.
I also packed him a side dish with some mini sausages and ketchup, and some Van's Multigrain crackers. He also has veggies ~ carrots, mushrooms, and snap peas ~ with some sour cream with dill for dipping.
What is that up in the corner? It's a gummy frog! I stumbled across these at a local grocery store. They're adorable, and pretty detailed for candy. Beaker loves frogs, especially the brightly colored Poison Dart Frogs. These taste like gummy worms, and are Beaker's favorite sweet treat.
Unfortunately, I just looked up the company information and found that while the ingredients are Beaker-safe (gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free!), they have a cross contamination warning for all three. I am going to have a very sad little Beaker when he finds that out. And I have packed them in several lunches over the last week... so that explains the little red bumps on his face this morning.
And that? Is the hardest part of food allergies. Reading ingredients isn't always enough. You have to look up company information to make sure they practice safe manufacturing policies, too. And frequently have to contact the company directly to make sure that there isn't cross contamination from something that isn't listed. And be so. very. careful. All of the time.
But? They're totally worth the effort and work. Since we started this new diet for Beaker a little over a month ago, his eczema has cleared up. The random rashes ~ often so bad they would bleed ~ have completely gone away. He hasn't needed his inhaler, not even once (where before he was using it often several times per day). He sleeps better, with less snoring. And he seems happier, because his body feels better! Worth every minute of the effort, just to see his happy smiling face each day.
And our date night was fantastic. The Dude and I got to sit through a grown up movie AND dinner!