Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Food Allergy Awareness Week

Did you know...?

(Graphic courtesy of FARE, http://www.foodallergy.org/home - Check them out for some great info, resources, and support for food allergies.)

As most of my regular readers know, my four year old is allergic or sensitive to six of the Top 8. He is also highly allergic to garlic, which isn't in the Top 8 and isn't required to be labelled for in the US, and he has cold induced cough variant asthma and cold uritcaria (which causes hives in response to exposure to rapid changes in temperature from warm to cold). We keep him safe by being very careful with his food - always reading ingredients labels, never giving him anything we aren't sure of, carefully washing hands and surfaces to prevent cross contamination - and by carrying a pair of Epi-Pens, his inhaler, and allergy medicine with us wherever we go. We also make sure that his skin is covered fully anytime it is cold and use extra coverage if it's raining.

My 11 year old also has some allergies - most notably an allergy to latex, and to multiple fruits and vegetables (strawberries, mangoes, pineapple, cantaloupe, and cucumber in particular). She has been loosely diagnosed with oral allergy syndrome - a condition which causes mouth burns and rashes with exposure to raw fruits. Anti-histamines are very helpful for her when she is accidentally exposed, and we take care to watch for natural fruit juice flavorings in food ingredients to help prevent reactions. Luckily she is pretty proactive about her own health and is able to read ingredient labels on her own now.

Ever since Beaker and Bean were diagnosed last year, I have tried to use this blog as an example to other parents of how you can still have fun with food and keep kids safe, even with multiple serious food allergies. I post some of the lunches that I make for Beaker, both as a creative outlet for myself and to give others ideas for preventing allergies from taking all of the fun out of food. I also love to share any new tips or good products that I come across that might help others out.

Here are a few of my personal favorite posts from the last 15 months, in no particular order (click the pic to go to each original blog post):

Food allergies can be scary. They can be life threatening, and the severity can change with little or no warning. And accidents can sometimes happen, even when the utmost care is taken. But generally, with care and precaution, people with food allergies can be kept as safe as possible. And with a little extra effort, the diet doesn't have to be boring or bland - it can be delicious, and fun too!

Have any questions about food allergies? Want help navigating the world of allergy testing? Feel free to drop me an email using the form on the right side of the blog, or leave me a comment here. I would be happy to help in any way that I can!

For more ideas, check out the great posts from these bloggers:

Keeley McGuire Blog - http://www.keeleymcguire.com
Bentos on the Bayou - http://bentosonthebayou.blogspot.com
Biting the Hand That Feeds You - http://bitingmyhand.blogspot.com
Following in My Shoes - http://followinginmyshoes.com/

Want this cool bento gear for yourself? Check out my affiliate links below!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gluten-Free French Toast

No fancy pictures, as it's not really a recipe. For this gluten free French Toast, I used UDI's GF cinnamon raisin bread (which is also free of soy, nuts, and dairy ~ we love this stuff here!), eggs from our chickens, and coconut milk. I whipped the eggs and coconut milk* together and dredged the cinnamon raisin bread through the mix. Then I cooked it with a little dash of coconut oil. They were utterly delicious! Beaker said, "These are the very best dinners EVER!" and then he ate several pieces for dinner, another for breakfast, and insisted I pack them for his lunch, too. High praise, indeed!

(*Tip: Using a sweetened coconut milk, like So Delicious Vanilla or Chocolate flavored coconut milk, adds a perfect sweetness to your French Toast! You can also use soy milk, if soy isn't an issue, and we have had great success in the past using a flaxseed-water mixture instead of eggs. Mix it up and try different things - French Toast is a great forgiving meal to play around with!)

For his lunch, I sliced two pieces of the toast into strips and packed in a small cup of syrup on the side for dipping. He also has another little cup of roasted sunflower seeds mixed with allergy safe chocolate chips. There is a small cup of breakfast sausage sliced up into bite sized bits, as well as some broccoli and peas. To round out the lunch, Beaker has watermelon balls and blueberries.

Simple, easy, delicious ~ our favorite kind of lunches!

Want this cool bento gear for yourself? Check out my affiliate links below!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Star Wars Day, Part IV: A New Lunch

It's May 4th, and in our home that means one very special thing. No, not that tomorrow will be mock margaritas and tacos day (although that will probably happen, too).

It's Star Wars Day!

Hope you have had a wonderful weekend, and May the Fourth be with you!

Took Beaker, Bean, and Lulu on a road trip across the state to visit family for the weekend. Since "road food" isn't really an option for a kid with so many allergies, I packed this yummy lunch up for him to eat on the trip. Four hours in the car with three kids, leaving straight from a soccer game, means a hearty lunch is a must!

Darth Vader is nestled in a pile of delicious mango pieces, next to a looming Storm Trooper.

He also has Canadian bacon with applewood smoked Gouda, and baby carrots. Yoda and R2D2 are carrying raisins and sunflower seeds.

And for dessert, a delicious Enjoy Life allergen free S'Mores bar! Free of soy, gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and utterly delicious. Beaker LOVES them!

Now, click on through to see what is up next on the Star Wars Day hop!

Want this cool bento gear for yourself? Check out my affiliate links below!

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