Thursday, January 29, 2009

Let's Do Lunch

If you have a school-aged child with food allergies (especially multiple food allergies), then most likely you’re sending your child to school with a lunch box every day. And if your child is anything like mine, then when it’s time to eat he/she tends to take everything out of their lunch box and spread it out all over the table in front of them so they can see what they have. So I’ve been on the lookout for some fun ways to pack a school lunch, preferably with cross contamination safety in mind. I’m always worried that my little guy will take his sandwich out of the plastic baggie and set it right on the table between bites. Even though he sits at a peanut-free table in the lunch room, he does have several other food allergies to think about and who knows what has been touching that lunch table before he sat there.

Here are a few of the nifty ideas I have come across thus far. Click on the product name to view each of the websites.

This is a reusable sandwich wrap and place mat in one!

Laptop Lunches
A cool design features a thermal, zippered carrying case that houses a large snap-shut tray, five reusable microwave safe food containers, a sport bottle, and a stainless steel fork and spoon.

Check out this blog for lots of ideas of what to pack in the Laptop Lunch Box! Vegan Lunch Box

Lock & Lock
I actually just bought this divided container for my son's lunch box. So far I'm quite happy with it as he can remove the top and leave all his food right in the container to eat out of.

As a bonus, if you are a first time buyer from this website, you can use coupon code F7777 at the time you place your order and receive a $2.00 discount!

Lunch Skins
These reusable, colorful cloth pouches are food safe, extremely durable, grease-proof and can even be thrown in the dishwasher.

Whether you send a cupcake in your child's lunch box or take one to a birthday party, this container will keep cupcakes intact while in travel. Comes in a variety of colors.

And don’t forget to tuck into your little one's lunch box an encouraging note if you know your child will be having a spelling test, a joke to brighten their day (Where do you put a loud dog? In a barking lot!), or maybe even a fun lunch box survey. The whole gang at the peanut-free lunch table will get a kick out of it!
Family Fun Lunch Box Jokes
Lunch Box Notes
Lunch Box Survey

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Baking Brothers

The boys made pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with cinnamon frosting for Grandma's birthday yesterday. All I did was supervise to make sure the right amount of each ingredient was added to the bowl. Way to go Josh & Brody!

The recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

Fun at Mt. Olympus in Wisconsin Dells!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away!

Here's another one of Brody's favorite desserts. I wish Josh wasn't such a picky eater. He loves apples themselves, just doesn't care so much for the texture of cooked apples I guess. Crazy kid!

Apple Crisp (milk, egg, & nut-free)
6 medium apples
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup dairy-free margarine, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
Grease 9 x 13 pan. Peel and slice apples. Place apples in pan and toss with lemon juice. Mix rest of ingredients with a fork and sprinkle over apples. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve with a dollop of Rich Whip or your favorite dairy-free ice cream!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What a find!

At last, just what every allergic child needs! Their very own stuffed dust mite toy!

"This soft toy measures about five inches long, thousands of times larger than an average dust mite, and it's guaranteed not to leave behind any allergenic waste particles or to cause any allergic reactions. Each plush toy comes with a dust mite fact sheet."

But at least they're cuter than the real thing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Food Allergies a Trend?

"Our troubling economy, concerns about the environment and the desire to prevent age-related ailments are behind many of the top 10 food and nutrition trends that will shape supermarket shelves and restaurant menus in 2009."

Top 10 Eating Trends Promise Healthier Products For 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Food Allergies Are Nothing To Laugh About

Dr. Robert Wood responds to the LA Times article, "Nut Allergies - A Yuppie Invention", wherein columnist Joel Stein states that the rise in food allergies is simply due to "a parent who needs to feel special".,0,2215559.story

"Stein says that food allergies kill about as many people a year as lightning strikes, suggesting that we therefore shouldn't take this medical condition seriously. The point he completely misses -- or worse yet chooses to ignore -- is that deaths are so infrequent only because of this high level of vigilance."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Berry Delicious Fruit Smoothie

I make these smoothies for the boys almost every single day, either as part of their breakfast or a quick after school snack. I'm always worried about Brody's calcium intake, so I tend to add calcium powder to just about everything. Ditto flax seed for a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Feel free to leave those ingredients out if you don't need/want them.

1-1 1/2 cups frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
1 banana
1/2 tsp flax seed meal
1 tsp calcium powder
1-1 1/2 cups apple juice

Combine in blender. Adjust amounts of berries and juice until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Label Reading

Just a reminder to not only read all labels all the time, but also look over the entire package for allergy warnings in odd places! Just before Halloween, I had picked up a package of Jolly Rancher Doubles and was happy to see that they were safe for Brody's allergy set. I was thrilled to have found a new treat for Brody and just in time for Halloween!

When Brody put the first piece of candy in his mouth, he almost immediately said that it made his tongue feel funny. My mind instantly flashed back to a very severe reaction he had had to milk several years ago where his first symptom was the feeling that his tongue was "burning". But I reassured myself that the ingredients were fine and decided that he probably just didn't like the flavor combination of Grape/Green Apple. Can't say I would either! After a couple of minutes he decided that he really didn't like the Jolly Rancher Doubles and spit out the piece in his mouth. Later that day I decided to try one and happened to take a closer look at the individual candy wrapper in my hand. If you can manage to uncrinkle the entire wrapper without totally distorting the words, you will find this interesting tidbit of information...

Allergy Information: Manufactured on the same equipment that processes PEANUTS/MILK.

Based on Brody's tongue feeling funny, I would certainly assume there is cross contamination with these candies. Why was this warning not on the outside of the main package? Unfortunately right now cross contamination warnings are not mandatory, but the FDA is accepting written public comments on "May Contain" labeling until January 14, 2009.

Let Your Voice Be Heard!! We need to work together to keep our food allergic children safe!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


We are invited to a birthday party for a friend's little boy today. Brody really doesn't like cake whatsoever for some reason, but loves cookies. So I decided to make him a milk, egg, and nut-free Cookie-Cupcake for his treat at the party today. Same concept as the cookie-cake I made for Josh's birthday...just smush a glob of cookie dough into the cupcake pan, bake, cool, and decorate. A nice alternative for those who are non-cake lovers! The cookie recipe I used was the Simple Sugar Cookies from an awesome cookbook called Baking Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro. I highly recommend this cookbook for anybody looking for lots of delicious dessert recipes while avoiding eggs in their diet.