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Showing posts with label food allergies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food allergies. 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.

Nov 20, 2015

Food Allergy Friendships (and Making it Milk-free is Three!)

I realized a few days late that Making it Milk-free turned three years old! November 11 is a special day for many reasons. It is Veteran's Day, our wedding anniversary, and the day I decided to start a blog. In all honesty, I didn't know what I was doing three years ago when I decided to start blogging. (If you followed back then, I'm sure you could guess that!) As I reflect on that time, I have discovered so much more than I ever thought I would.

Photo Credit: Food Allergy Jams

Nov 11, 2014

Two Year Blogiversary!

Today is a special day for many reasons. It is Veteran's Day. A day to honor and thank our current and past military members, who have put their lives on the line for our freedom. If you are one of these brave, outstanding individuals, THANK YOU for your service!

Today also marks my husband's and my 3-year anniversary. What an awesome day that was!

Last, but certainly not least, two years ago today was the day I began this little blog! (Otherwise known as "Blogiversary.") You can read more about what spurred my desire to start this blog over on the Food Allergy Jams blog where I am guest posting today, or here.

Oct 21, 2014

Chicken + Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo {dairy + gluten free}

Creamy, delicious Alfredo sauce epitomizes comfort food for me. Since Mason's dairy-allergy diagnosis, I have only made Alfredo a handful of times, typically making a separate, dairy-free meal for him. Over the years, I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with cooking with milk products due to cross-contamination issues that can easily happen in the kitchen. Whenever I have used milk, cheese or other dairy in cooking, my anxiety skyrockets.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #alfredo

Mar 25, 2014

Fiesta Grilled Chicken {top 8 + gluten free}

As a working mom, I hold myself responsible for making sure the daily lives of my kids (and our family as a whole) run smoothly - from getting to school and work on time to making it to every soccer practice, baseball game and after school activity. When I am able to get a fresh, healthy meal on the table, I feel as though I have accomplished a near-impossible feat. (Maybe I am being a little dramatic, but when you add food allergies and restricted diets to the mix, it is an even bigger task!) I need an arsenal of quick, dairy- and gluten-free recipes that the whole family can enjoy, because I refuse to make different meals for everyone, especially on a week night!

gluten-free chicken, gluten-free recipes, gluten-free cooking, #CookItGF, #CollectiveBias, #shop

Feb 16, 2014

Perfect Cinnamon Rolls {top 8 + gluten free}

#glutenfree #dairyfree #cinnamonrolls

While I thought I'd found my favorite dairy-free, gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe awhile ago, I decided that anything can be improved. So I set to work trying to perfect it. It can be tricky to get gluten-free baked goods to come out perfect. They're often too dense or crumbly. It took several failed attempts and many taste-testing sessions, but it's finally just right!

Nov 8, 2013

Food Allergy Bloggers Conference :: 2013 Recap

When I first began writing this blog nearly a year ago, I never imagined the amazingly supportive community of bloggers and advocates that exists. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Food Allergy Blogger Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, with so many of them. You may have seen my posts on various social media platforms about how excited I was for this journey, but those posts cannot truly capture the excitement I was feeling.

View of the New York New York Hotel & Casino

Nov 7, 2013

Halloween :: Staying Safe from Allergies

Traditionally, Halloween is a time of fun, festivities and food. But if you are managing food allergies, school parades and classroom parties, trick-or-treating the neighborhood, and even a trip to the grocery store can cause excruciating anxiety.

(This time of year always brings back so many memories for me...this post is a little flashback and a little bit of the present.)

I have learned over the years that keeping my son safe from his allergens and managing these stressors takes a lot of work. Preparing teachers, other parents, and your child(ren) is crucial. 

Jun 29, 2013

Freedible :: Because food is not one-size-fits-all {and a little bit of a soapbox rant}

"Because food is not one-size-fits-all."

I love this tag line. It speaks volumes.

So often in this crazy, food-driven society, it seems almost an expectation that everyone is just alike and can eat anything they want whenever they want. We are so focused on food as the center of our daily life. As if our children cannot exert any physical energy without following it up with brightly colored sweets and sugar-laden juices. As if we cannot go grocery shopping without trying a sample of this or that. 

Jun 1, 2013

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

May 19, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies {gluten free + vegan}

More recipes to use up excess cooked quinoa! The original recipe can be found here at 366 Days of Pinterest. Only I adapted it for our needs:

May 9, 2013

Hidden Allergens: reading labels on everyday products, even if they are not edible!

As parents of food allergic kiddos, we are told to read the labels of all food items before feeding them to our child. When you think of food allergies, you probably think of the "Top 8" allergens that are the most well-known as ingredients in food items. Milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish are the most common allergens (although anything could potentially be an allergen).

What about non-food products though? Do we ever stop to think about them? It seems strange to think you need to look at the labels of your shampoo, hand soap and toothpaste, but allergens are there...seemingly hidden within the list of nearly-impossible-to-pronounce ingredients.

I made a trip to the grocery store today just to see how common this really is. In a matter of about 15 minutes of label-reading, I found 7 products (in just one personal care aisle):

Shampoo and conditioner containing milk protein, egg (albumen) and coconut;

hand soaps containing milk protein;

and body washes containing soy, coconut, milk protein and almond. I am positive that there are many, many more of these products out there that my little experiment didn't even come close to touching on.

These days, out of curiosity, I read labels on everything because I have OCD, even if I'm not planning to buy it. Reading food labels can be difficult at first, but with some practice it becomes second nature. Now add in the difficulty of remembering to check hygiene products, art supplies, even pet foods. It can be exhausting!

Thankfully, there are helpful resources that can make it easier. Kids with Food Allergies, Inc. has a really great chart of items to think about when it comes to products used in school and child care centers. I like to print the list and give it to our providers to refer back to.

Here is a detailed list of possible food allergens in non-food products by Michele A. Fagan from an article in RDH Magazine (read that article here).

"Another point of awareness is for products that are nonfoods, but that may contain food allergens. Be sure to read labels on everyday products even if they are not edible."

• Soaps and hand sanitizers - may contain soy, milk, and nut oils
• Shampoos and other hair care products and dyes - can contain wheat, almond, and other nut oils and soy protein
• Hand and body lotions - may contain milk, soy, coconut, tree nut, or sesame and arachis (which is derived from peanut)
• Suntan lotion - can contain arachidyl glucoside and arachidyl alcohol (arachis refers to peanut)
• Makeup - also may include wheat and sesame oil
• Medications and supplements - gel cap formulations may contain soy, peanut oil, or canola oil
• Play-Doh - contains wheat
• Fruit and vegetable rinses - many contain starch, which can come from wheat, potato, corn, and rice
• Stuffed toys or chairs - some of the stuffing in bean bag chairs or stuffed animals can include the shells of ground peanuts or tree nuts
• Pet food and bird seed - can contain wheat, peanut, milk, and eggs
• Landscaping soil - may contain peanut hulls
• Rolling pins - some may have been treated with nut oil

There may also be food allergens in the dental products we use. You can always refer to websites, or call the manufacturer if you have any questions about ingredients. Here are some examples:

• Recaldent is a milk derivative (may be listed as casein) - found in GC America's MI paste, toothpastes, and some forms of Trident gum.

• Polishing paste - contains gluten (causes gastrointestinal disorder)
• Fluorides - can contain gluten or nut oils
• Topical anesthesia - contains fruit flavorings
• Propofol - general anesthesia that contains egg protein
• Cements - eugenol is derived from oil of cloves
• Nitrous oxide - does not specifically contain egg, but it has a substance that has a similar molecular structure to eggs and reactions have been reported

Jan 20, 2013

Food Allergies - A Constant Learning Opportunity

The subject of food allergies is a HUGE part of our life (obviously...). I could easily dedicate several posts to this topic alone (and I'm sure I will do just that). Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

If you know us or have read my previous posts, you know that my son has a severe, life-threatening milk allergy. He was officially diagnosed at 6 months old, although I was sure of it only a few weeks after he was born. He had a few instances as an infant of blood in his stools and colic that, in hindsight, were a sensitivity to foods in my diet while I was nursing.

Changing my diet helped, but at 6 months old we started supplementing formula and the problems worsened. It took a little while to convince our pediatrician it was an allergy but after a severe bout of hives when eating cereal puffs containing a milk ingredient, we were finally referred to an allergy/asthma specialist for a formal diagnosis.

Three and a half years later, avoiding milk and anything with milk or its derivatives as an ingredient, reading every label, being extremely diligent about cross-contamination, and packing food for any meals away from home are now a normal part of our lives. (He was also allergic to eggs, but has since grown out of it and does just fine with them-Praise the Lord!)

Although we have had struggles here and there, my little man is very well adjusted to his allergy and really understands a lot about it at such a young age. He has had a few reactions and remembers them well enough to know he doesn't want to feel that way again. He is SO smart and cognizant of his allergy. He knows to ask if something is "safe" for him before accepting it, and does so regularly.

I will never forget Halloween night when he was not quite two years old. We had been practicing how to knock, say "trick-or-treat," hold out his bag, say "thank you," and not to touch anything inside until Mommy had checked it to be sure it was safe. At one of the first houses I finally decided to stand back and let him do his thing. He did everything just as we had practiced. The neighbor held out a bowl and I watched him stare intently into the bowl, (my anxiety going 100 miles per hour) when he turned and yelled, "Mommy, these aren't safe for me!"

It seems a little silly to say, but that is one of my absolute proudest mom moments right there! It's a toss up between that day and seeing him run across the soccer field with a bag of fruit snacks in hand, yelling, "Mommy, can I have this?!" The looks I get from people who just don't understand are sometimes humorous, but honestly, I LOVE using those moments to educate others about food allergies.

I am incredibly thankful that our families are experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to allergies. Food allergies seem to have run rampant between my son and my nephew and nieces. (I think we could all pretty well be considered experts on the topic by now!) I am also blessed with wonderful in-laws who have learned about allergies and do so much to include the little guy when we get together. I love them all so much!

As for daycare, we have had our share of learning (and teaching) opportunities. At 18 months old, I decided to send my *baby* to a church preschool. It was nerve-wracking for this mommy and took some time for us all to adjust. But over time, the daycare director and teachers were absolutely wonderful and learned SO much about his allergy. They began to provide nearly all of his food for breakfast, lunch and snack. They were all such a blessing to us and made it just that much easier for me to worry (a little) less.

When my hubby and I got married, little man and I moved to a small town about 30 minutes away from the daycare. For nearly a year, I couldn't bring myself to switch daycares, even though it would've been great to not have to drive an hour+ each day. I knew eventually I would be having to educate a new teacher each year once he starts school and figured it was as good a time as any to take the plunge.

So, about five months ago he began attending a preschool only a few miles from our home. After the first few meetings, the director and I decided it best if I brought his meals and snacks each day. We have breakfast at home, I provide almond milk for the week along with his entrees (they do provide fruit and veggies daily) and snacks. Five weekly rotating menus make it easy to keep track of, and I do my best to make him something very similar to what the other kids are eating for each meal.

In my quest to feed my family healthier meals, this is definitely a blessing. I know exactly what goes into his meals, which is a plus from both the allergy and nutrition perspectives. I've tried to educate everyone at the new preschool about his allergies, but I have to admit it is kind of nice to just be able to say, "don't feed him anything that I didn't bring and/or approve of in advance."

There is MUCH more to food allergy education however, such as:
the necessity of handwashing by all kids and teachers before and after meals;
having an EpiPen accessible at all times;
recognizing symptoms of a reaction;
and knowing that accidental exposure could result in any form of reaction from hives to anaphylaxis, requiring hospitalization-or worse. We deal with asthma as well, which studies have shown can result in more severe allergic reactions.

One of the most important rules when it comes to food allergies is there can be absolutely NO guessing. If it doesn't have a label, or you just don't know, the answer is no. Even at such a young age, Mason understands this. He doesn't feel like he's being excluded when he doesn't get to have something that his friends have (although I do usually have a healthy and safe alternative on hand for him).

Just the other day, we were driving through town and I heard him exclaim in his happy little boy voice, "Hey look, there's McDonald's! I can't eat there!"

It just makes my heart swell! :)

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