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Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts

Jan 20, 2019

Allergy Friendly Travel: New York City

I've been intending to share this post for months but am just now getting my thoughts and details together. We haven't traveled much with our kids, other than short, nearby destinations, so this was our first big trip together. I knew there would be a multitude of food options in New York City that we don't have in our local area so I wanted to make the most of it and find allergy-friendly places we could all enjoy.

Aug 1, 2016

Road Trippin' with WaterWipes

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

This past week, we went on our first family vacation since long before our littlest was born. I was super anxious about the trip, knowing that traveling with a 10-month old was going to be a challenge. Not only were we going to be completely out of our normal routine for 10 days, we were going to try and manage a four hour road trip, ideally with only one stop along the way. For a child who hates going in his car seat with a passion, it was going to be a miracle if we pulled it off. 

Jun 23, 2014

Summer Days ~ Fishing!

I love the stage we are in with our boys right now. Although we do have some difficult days when it comes to listening, following directions, getting along, etc. But both of the boys are really into fishing, which lends to some pretty fun evenings and weekends as a family. When we haven't been busy with camps, practices and the like, we've spent many evenings fishing at a local lake near our house.

#camping #fishing #sunset #kansas #kids

Jun 1, 2013

Food Allergies and Camping: Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 of my Food Allergies and Camping series, I shared my concerns, my lists and food prep, as well as EpiPen storage solutions. After all that work, here is the fun part! :)

Packing the trailer...can't find the boys?

He couldn't make it all day...

It's hard to take clear pics when canoeing into a cave!

Hanging out in the tent.

Grilling kabobs... the foil wrapped one was M's.


Pancake Muffins!
Practicing ball for a bit. 
Catching minnows and crawdads.

Food Allergies and Camping: Part 2

In Part 1 of my Food Allergies and Camping series, I shared some of the concerns I had while being far away from just about anything while going on a camping and canoeing trip.

A large part of my planning included my lists upon lists of groceries, meals, snacks, etc. Here is one of those lists:

Cereal (the boys can't seem to live without it...I buy Mom's Best brand)
Breakfast burritos
Banana Oatmeal muffins
Pancake Muffins

Lunches: (two of these needed to be packed to take on the canoe with us)
Ham & turkey sandwiches
Shredded chicken wraps
Hot dogs & brats

Dinner: (as I mentioned in Part 1, we agreed to each cook two dinners to share, so this includes the dinners my sister-in-law made also)
Turkey burgers, black bean & corn salsa, chips & fruit
Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken, grilled veggies & fruit
Grilled marinated salmon, corn, potatoes & fruit
Steak & chicken kabobs with veggies, bacon wrapped shrimp & fruit

Snacks: (I packed quite a bit more than was necessary, but planned for the 6+ hour drive both directions in addition to the 4 days we were gone)
Go-Go Squeeze applesauce
ClifKids fruit ropes
Kashi soft baked cereal bars
Oreo Handi-snacks
Fruit & nut trail mix
S'mores trail mix

Easy snack mixes: Mom's Best Honey Squares cereal, mini marshmallows & Enjoy Life mini chips; dried bananas, cashews, honey roasted peanuts & blueberry flavored Craisins.

Almond or Soy Milk singles
Gatorade G2 (with no artificial colors or flavors)
CapriSun Roarin' Waters pouches

Breakfast was pretty simple. I made both muffins in advance and just packed one box of cereal for the boys to share. We did bring skim milk for the non-allergic kiddo, but kept it contained in case it spilled so we wouldn't contaminate everything else. I also brought along pre-cooked turkey sausage crumbles, a carton of eggs and a bag of shredded cheese. We cooked up quick breakfast burritos on our last morning.

For lunches, I brought along a loaf of wheat bread, gluten-free bread, wheat hot dog and hamburger buns, GF buns, and flour and GF tortillas (all of which were free of any milk products). For the chicken wraps, I bought a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken that was free of any milk products, shredded the chicken and placed it in a zipper bag. This made it easy to prep the morning of.

For the two days on the canoe, I just made the sandwiches and wraps the evening before after we finished eating dinner. This made it super simple for getting around early in the mornings. I packed each of our lunches in separate baggies and placed them inside insulated bags. We had one bag (our AllerMates lunch bag) for Mason and one for the rest of us. Then we just placed the bags at the top of the small cooler of drinks we took on the canoe. The one day we stayed at the campsite for lunch, we just grilled the hot dogs and brats there.

For dinner, I made the turkey burgers in advance at home, formed patties and froze them with a small piece of waxed paper between each one, stored in a gallon-size bag. I also cleaned and prepped the chicken breasts for the grilled chicken and placed them in a bag as well. For the chicken marinade, I just mixed all the ingredients in a plastic container and placed it in the cooler along with everything else. About an hour before dinner, I added the marinade to the bag of chicken while waiting for the fire to get started.

I made my black bean and corn salsa before we left since there is a little more prep work required for that. We had "safe" (milk & gluten-free) chips for everyone. For the veggies and fruits, I debated prepping those ahead of time, but was worried about how well they would keep being in a cooler of ice/water for a few days. So I put the veggies for each meal into separate bags and stored them in one cooler that we only put ice in the very bottom of so that it wouldn't freeze the fruits and veggies too much.

For the grilled veggies, I took potatoes, zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, and purple onions. For the burgers, I brought along tomatoes, sliced onions and romaine lettuce leaves. We also had watermelon, strawberries and blueberries with our meals. All I needed was one knife and cutting board to prep all of this, along with a couple of plastic containers to put them in. Easy as pie!

When grilling, we were using a community grill and I had no idea what had been cooked there previously. For each grilled meal, we placed Mason's portion on a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the grate. This allowed his food to be cooked without touching a possible source of contamination!

Snacks were simple since everything was prepackaged and easily stored no matter the weather. 

Our kitchen looked as though a grocery store exploded for a few days beforehand...

I also knew I would have to find a way to store our EpiPens at just the right temperature. They need to be kept between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be tricky when you are basically living outdoors with only coolers full of ice to keep things cold and no real way to ensure just the temperature is just right. I also wanted to take two sets with us, just in case we lost one in the river or something. Knowing how far away we would be from help during a medical emergency, it was a big deal to make sure we had constant access to this life saving medication.

I brought multiple insulated lunch bags along with us and used a combination of them to keep both sets of EpiPens just right.

This is one set of EpiPens in their case, inside a small insulated bag which I then placed inside another insulated bag.  This was stored inside my veggie cooler (with ice only at the very bottom) while we were away from the campsite in case it became very hot during mid-afternoon.
The EpiPens we kept with us were stored inside multiple insulated bags as well, and kept out of the sun. We did have a large dry bag to keep everything dry in case we flipped our canoe (which we did not!). It really helped that the water was cold, so I kept the Epi's in the dry bag and placed it all in a corner of the canoe, out of direct sunlight. They were room temperature the whole trip!

Thankfully, we did not have any allergy issues while on our trip and it was a very fun and relaxing time. Check out Part 3 for pictures from our trip! :)

Food Allergies and Camping: Part 1

Months ago my husband and I started talking about planning a summer vacation. We wanted to do something fun with the boys that wouldn't cost too much, but would still be lots of fun for them. We decided on camping and canoeing with his brother's family. They camp and canoe often (and we don't) so they were an awesome resource for knowing where to go, what to take, etc.

Once we began to plan, as the parent of a child with food allergies, the first things on my mind were:
  • How close is the nearest town/grocery store?
  • How close is the nearest hospital?
  • What would be the plan if the worst case (an allergic emergency) occurred?
When I realized the nearest town and hospital was nearly 30 miles away, I began to panic. Panic really isn't the right word, I guess. But my anxiety skyrocketed. I wanted to have a peaceful, relaxing trip without driving everyone else crazy. So, as the planner that I am, I began making lists. 

Luckily, my sister-in-law had a really great list of items to bring from their previous trips. She was also familiar with the area, and happens to be an RN, which made me feel better about being far from a hospital. And...as the wonderful person she is, she planned to bring mostly food items not containing milk to help limit the possibility for contamination. 

I knew I needed to plan and prep meals ahead of time, to be sure we had plenty of meals and snacks that all of us could eat at the camp site, but we also planned to canoe during two of the days. The canoe trips were 11 miles each and would take about 4-6 hours. Meaning we would have to pack lunches to take out with us. 

We agreed that it would be easiest for each family to make our own breakfasts and lunches, and to each make two dinners that we could share. She provided me with a list of ingredients (with pictures!) so that I could review the labels in advance. I really didn't want her to have to go out of her way to accommodate us, but she was great and made me feel SO much better about everything. 

Food prep worked seamlessly and was a breeze due in part to the enclosed trailer we had with us. We were able to pack everything in it for the trip, then once we unloaded it, we set up a table and kept the coolers inside so that all of our food was in one place and we didn't have to get everything out for each individual meal. 

We also had a water jug, hand soap and paper towels easily accessible at all times for everyone to wash up. This worked out very well with the kiddos, even though the majority of our foods were milk-free and they wouldn't really have had to wash up as diligently (even though it's a good idea for hygiene's sake!). 

I'll be sharing my meal lists and how I prepped everything in my next post, so check out Part 2

Mini Pancake Muffins {Dairy, Egg & Gluten Free}

During my week of list-making and recipe-creating for our camping excursion, Tanner mentioned that his teacher had made "pancakes in the shape of muffins, served with syrup" on one of the last days of school. What a brilliant idea! I had been trying to come up with breakfast ideas for our trip that could be made ahead and then served one morning at the campsite. These little muffins are perfect to make ahead and freeze them in a large bag. We like to take ours on camping trips. So fun and simple!

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #pancake #muffins

Mini Pancake Muffins {Dairy, Egg & Gluten Free}

Makes 24-30 mini muffins                                                 Printable Recipe
2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup almond milk (or other dairy-free milk), at room temperature
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp maple extract

Optional mix-ins or toppings:
Chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chunks)
Pecan pieces
Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, coconut oil, vinegar and maple extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. (At this point, you could fold in any additions you would like, or they can be added just to the tops after the next step.)

Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, fill each well of the muffin pan nearly to the top. (Add toppings if desired.)

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until top of muffins are set and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool approximately 5 minutes. Carefully remove each muffin and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Serve with maple syrup for dipping or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #pancake #muffins

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #pancake #muffins

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #pancake #muffins

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #pancake #muffins

#breakfast #camping #pancake #muffins

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #pancake #muffins

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #pancake #muffins

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