Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe of the Week

Ahhhh, Autumn!  Cooler weather, beautiful colors of the changing leaves, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hayrides, and of course many  reasons to enjoy this season!  One of my favorite things about Fall though is the fact that our little fruit trees are full of delicious apples and I can walk right outside my door and pick just the right one for Brody's lunchbox every day! 

Easy Apple Dip
8 oz soy cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
sprinkle of cinnamon

Cream together brown sugar and cream cheese, then mix in vanilla and cinnamon.  Chill for about an hour.  Enjoy with apple slices or other fruit!


Monday, September 26, 2011


Epi-Inject is a new concept for epinephrine autoinjectors which are not yet available on the market. I like that these not only are equipped with audio instructions but also include a count down timer to help you through the very stressfull situation of giving yourself or someone else an injection during an anaphylactic reaction.

Epi-Inject Article

"The Epi-Inject is a series of both personal and public emergency adrenaline injectors that provide an easy, non-jabbing method of treatment for even the most inexperienced to administer. The personal injector is a small 3-inch by 2-inch device that can be attached to any bag or backpack using the integrated carabiner. Users simply have to press the spring-loaded button and the adrenaline is administered immediately through the injector. The public injector is a larger device designed to be installed at restaurants, schools, parks or any other place where an allergic reaction may occur."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Something to Think About

A couple of days ago I was browsing through a food allergy message board and read a story from a mom whose child had recently had an allergic reaction while at school. While the mom was happy with how the school staff responded and followed the child’s Action Plan (gave EpiPen, called 911, then called the mom) she realized that she had no contingency plan set up for what would then happen regarding her other children.

While we mostly focus our time, energy, and thought into setting up the plan of action for the school to take, do we tend to forget the other factors involved when one of our children has an allergic reaction?

For example…

· Who will pick up your other children at the school, bus stop, or home? Perhaps a neighbor, close friend, or family member? Make a list of people you can rely on to pick up your other children and go over the emergency plan with them.

· Do any of your other children have food allergies? Be sure these friends or neighbors also know what to do in case of an allergic reaction!

· Have all contact phone numbers entered into your cell phone so you aren’t frantically looking through a phone book or trying to remember someone’s number while riding in the ambulance or at the hospital when all you really want to be doing is giving all of your attention to your frightened child having the allergic reaction.

· Give a list of these contacts (with their permission) to the school in case they need to call someone to pick up your other children for you.

· Who will pick you up and drive you home from the ER if you rode in the ambulance with your child? Unfortunately sometimes we are not able to reach our spouses while they are at work.

Can you think of anything else we should be thinking about for an emergency plan? Please feel free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wendy's Warning

Just a warning to anyone who has a child with a dairy allergy and eats at Wendy's...the fast food chain has tweaked some of their recipes and will now be toasting and buttering their hamburger buns.  I'm not clear as to whether this is only for one specific burger offered or for all of their buns, but either way, I'm really disappointed with the decision.  As it is there are only a handful of restaurants I am comfortable letting Brody eat at, and now I'm no longer feeling safe about this one.  Very frustrating!

"Among the proposed changes were some golden nuggets. Tasters said they wanted a thicker burger, so Wendy's started packing the meat more loosely, trained cooks to press down on the patties two times instead of eight and printed "Handle Like Eggs" on the boxes that the patties were shipped in so they wouldn't get smashed. And Wendy's researchers knew that customers wanted warmer and crunchier buns, so they decided that buttering them and then toasting them was the way to go."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Recipe of the Week

I've always wanted to try grilling pizza but for some reason have been intimidated by it.  Not sure if I just assumed the crust would stick to the grill, or worse, fall through the slots.  The boys really wanted to see how it would turn out though so we went ahead and finally gave it a try.  To my surprise and delight the crust didn't stick, it didn't fall through the grill, and was by far the quickest cooking pizza I've ever made!  The crust had a nice crunch to it too!  I used refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust just because I had it on hand and didn't have time to make it from scratch.  We make homemade pizza often enough and this was an easy last-minute throw-together meal.  Next step will be grilling pizza over a campfire!

Grilled (dairy-free) Pizza
Pillsbury Pizza Crust (or homemade if you prefer)
pizza sauce
Daiya vegan cheese
olive oil

Preheat the grill to medium.  Unroll pizza crust and divide the dough into how ever many sections you want.  (I cut the dough in half so each tube made 2 grilled pizzas).  Brush the crust with olive oil, then carefully lay the dough oil-side down onto the grill.  Now brush the side facing up with oil.  Watch for the crust to start to bubble (like making pancakes) and then flip the crust over with a large spatula.  Quickly spread pizza sauce, pepperoni, and cheese onto the crust and then close the lid of the grill to help the cheese melt.  Keep an eye on the crust though, because it doesn't take long at all for it to finish cooking!  Transfer your grilled pizza to a plate and enjoy the crunchy goodness!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Smoothie Idea!

To go along with my smoothie post from a couple of days ago, I thought I'd add a link to this GREAT idea I found on another blog.  If you are adding yogurt to your smoothies, you can freeze the yogurt in ice cube trays to easily divide it into appropriate serving sizes!  This is one of those times when I really wonder "why didn't I ever think of that?".  None of our local grocery stores carry soy yogurt, so I tend to stock up on it whenever I can get to Whole Foods Market...which is about an hour away from my house.  And since I buy quite a few at a time, I'm always worried that it will expire before we use it all.  This just seems like the perfect solution!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Recipe of the Week

Smoothies are a big hit in this house.  I make one for the boys pretty much every day, sometimes twice a day...especially since I'm trying to get as many calories into Brody as possible per the endocrinologist's orders.  A smoothie beats out water as far as calories go any day! ;-) Plus it's a great way to get a couple servings of fruit into your child's diet!

Strawberry-Orange Smoothie
1 cup OJ
1/2 pkg (16 oz)  frozen strawberries
1/2 pkg (3.4 oz) Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding (yes, this is dairy free!)

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.  Makes 2 servings, 1 cup each.  You can substitute the pudding mix for a different flavor if you choose...banana perhaps?

That's just a simple quick smoothie I make occasionally, but lately when I'm really trying to get some extra calories into the Ninja Boy I've been making this much more calorie-dense smoothie...

Fruit Smoothie
1/2 pkg (16 oz) frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 of a frozen banana
2 Tbsp vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 pkg. (3.4 oz) Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 1/2 cup soy milk (I use half soy and half almond milk)

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Add more soy milk if too thick.  When I remember sometimes I will also add in 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed for a good source of Omega-3!

After I pour a cup for my older son, then I add a scoop of DuoCal powder and blend again for Brody's portion.  Gotta add those extra calories any way I possibly can!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Food Allergy Printables

Head over to and check out the FREE food allergy labels and posters you can print out. You can print them on sticker paper or laminate them to use as stickers, classroom door posters, or school and lunch bag tags!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is Your School Allergy Ready?

FAAN recently sent out to its members this wonderful online training course geared towards managing food allergies and anaphylaxis in the school setting. Check it out and then send the link on to your child's principal and teachers!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Recipe of the Week

I'm going to try my best to add a new recipe each week that is free of milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, and shellfish.  Although now that Brody tolerates baked-in egg, the recipe might include that.  We'll see how long I can keep it up between working and being a busy might end up being a Recipe of the Month instead! ;-)

So the first recipe is going to be egg-free french toast!  I'm waiting patiently for the day when Body completely outgrows his egg allergy so we can feast on real french toast every day if we so choose, but for now, this recipe tastes very close to the real deal in my opinion!

Egg-Free French Toast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup rice or soy milk (now that Brody can eat almonds, we have been using almond milk for most everything!)
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp vanilla soy yogurt
a dash of cinnamon

Whisk all ingredients together.  Dip safe bread into mixture and cook on preheated oiled skillet on medium heat.  Cook about 2-3 minutes per side.  Serve with maple syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Yummy!!

Where has the time gone?

What a busy summer we had! Time to catch up on some blogging! Let’s see, some of the things that have gone on since I last posted include:

• Brody continues to eat baked-in egg. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this means he will eventually outgrow his egg allergy completely…but it hasn’t happened yet.

• Brody passed in-office trials to almonds and hazelnuts!! I still have a hard time believing this one! His RAST for almond and hazelnut has always been quite low and this year when Dr. G did an SPT for each they were negative. I can’t even explain how bizarre and terrifying it was to sit in the doctor’s office and watch Brody eat something that has always been considered poison for his body before! But thank goodness all went well and Brody now eats almonds and Barney Butter (almond butter) almost every day. He wasn’t as impressed with the taste of hazelnuts for some reason, so I guess I’ll have to start sneaking those into cookies once in a while.

• I taught a couple cake decorating classes over the summer for the members of our local food allergy support group, the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin. I know how frustrating it is to not be able to just order a big beautiful cake from a bakery for my son’s birthday, so I’m more than happy to teach other parents how to make one themselves too!

• Brody had an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist last month to discuss growth hormone shots because he is so small compared to all of his friends and it really bothers him. Unfortunately we were told he doesn’t qualify for the shots because he is not under the 5th percentile on the height chart. He is currently at the 13th percentile and she is fairly certain that his short stature is mostly due to the fact that he has been on steroids for his asthma and eczema pretty much his entire life. But the doctor was very concerned about his weight and she was worried that if he doesn’t start gaining weight then that might affect his height growth even more. The doctor suggested I basically fill him with as many calories as possible every day and then go back for another appointment this fall for a weight check. She said she is hoping that the extra calories might help him grow taller too. So I’ve been on a hunt for high-calorie foods/recipes! He’s eating lots of hamburgers and bacon and I’ve been making him slurp down a smoothie every day consisting of strawberries, blueberries, banana, soy yogurt, soy milk, almond milk, and DuoCal powder (a tasteless powder that just adds extra calories to whatever food you mix it into). He likes the smoothie, but I think he’s tired of having to drink it every single day. I also add the DuoCal powder to pretty much everything I cook/bake. The only problem with that is that my husband and I certainly don’t need the extra calories, so I try my best to remember to only add it to his portions.

• We found a new restaurant that Brody can safely eat at…well new for us anyway! Red Robin lets you request allergen-specific menu information through their website. For each allergen you ask about, you will receive a list of items that you could safely order. The trick is when you request information for more than one allergen, you have to take the time to cross reference every item from each list they send you. So as I sat on my bed surrounded by multiple pages of lists for milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, and shellfish-free menu items and with my highlighter in hand, I discovered that Brody could order a bacon hamburger (no bun, no seasoning) or a grilled chicken breast (no bun, no mayo) and all you can eat steak fries! Brody decided on the burger (we took our own bun) and he was thrilled! I’m determined to find a couple more sit down restaurants that I am comfortable with Brody eating at because as he gets older he will eventually want to eat out with friends and needs to know how to order safe food for himself and feel comfortable doing it.

• Perhaps the biggest news is that I am now the mother of a high schooler and a middle schooler! How did that happen? It just doesn’t seem like it was 9 years ago that Josh was just starting Kindergarten and Brody was only 2. My babies sure are growing up fast! I met with the middle school principal, 6th grade teachers and staff the week before school started to discuss Brody’s food allergies. I’m feeling fairly comfortable with the teachers looking out for Brody…the principal not so much. Anyone who jokingly makes a stupid comment like “I guess I should cancel that peanut factory tour” while I’m explaining that Brody’s allergies are life-threatening is not someone I plan on being friends with. And while my husband was waiting for the lasers to start shooting out of my eyes when the principal made this comment, I held my emotions together for the sheer fact that Brody will be in this school for 3 years and I need to pick my battles carefully so nothing is taken out on him. Very frustrating to say the least!

So that pretty much describes my summer, other than a couple of family trips here and there. Feels like it flew by…again. Hopefully this school year will be fun, productive, and reaction-free!