Category Archives: Life

Moving!

I will no longer be updating this site as of today. You can now find me at my very own new site; Frugal Food Allergies! I hope to see you there!

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5 Tips to Better Manage Food Allergies

Living with food allergies can be complicated and scary. I have 5 simple tips for you to help ease your mind and keep your kiddos safe.

1) Labels

Read your labels!!!! Every single time you shop. Yes it takes time, but trust me, it’s totally worth it. I found something new on the label of a spice I haven’t had to purchase in a while: (May contain milk). Those are scary words for our family as dairy is our major anaphylactic food. If I hadn’t read the label, I would have used that particular spice in just about everything I cook. Be familiar with different names for your food allergens. You can check out the Food Allergy Initiative for specific lists of each of the major food allergies and common variations of names.

2) Soap and Water

WASH YOUR HANDS! Warm water and soap is the best way to remove food proteins from surfaces, especially your hands! With multiple food allergies it is not feasible for us to completely eliminate them all from our house. We also have people stop by quite a bit. Our family and friends know to wash their hands when they walk in our door so they/we don’t have to worry about what they’ve touched or eaten during the day.

I often have to cook with foods that aren’t safe for Maya, so every time I touch something that isn’t safe for her, I wash my hands. For example: if I touch garlic, I wash my hands before I touch the salt or pepper. If I open a carton of soy milk, I wash my hands. Especially if I touch something that contains dairy, I don’t touch anything else until I’ve washed my hands. It’s always a good habit to wash hands before eating, but with food allergies wash hands after eating as well. That can help cut down on reactions significantly; at least it does in our house.

3) Out and About

Be aware when you are out and about. I used to travel with wet wipes, now I travel with a tiny spray bottle of soap and water in my purse. I spray down the seat and parts of the buggy my kiddos will touch. We don’t even mess with the buckles now that my kiddos are older and know how to behave in the grocery store. Pay attention to the parking lots, spots on the floors, all those sorts of things. People leave wrappers from all sorts of food items and drinks all over the place. Be aware so that you don’t track your food allergen everywhere.

4) Your Mouth

If you have multiple children and not all of them have the same allergies, keep tabs on your tooth brushes. Store each tooth brush separately to avoid cross contamination. Also think about your toothpaste, I know a lot of kids may touch the tube to their toothbrush and may transfer allergens on it.

Now what about your mouth? Always always always think about what you’ve eaten before you give your kiddo a kiss, or a raspberry, or anything such as that. It’s an awful thought to give your own child a hive or even just an itch because you kissed them with an allergen on your lips.  For example: If I haven’t made it to the sink to brush teeth and I need to dispense a kiss, I kiss the top of Maya and Joshua’s head, on their hair, so I don’t have to worry about them reacting. Maya knows the routine and dips her head down at bedtime to get her goodnight’s kiss. Most of the time after I eat or drink something that is unsafe for either of my food allergic kiddos, I brush my teeth very thoroughly with warm water. I also wash my lips with soap and water so I can kiss my kiddos. This is of course after I wash my hands with soap and warm water *see #2*

5) Be Prepared

Take your emergency medications with you EVERYWHERE. Keep them on your person or within hand reach at all times. I keep a small supply of our emergency meds and our epi pens in my purse. I always have my purse with me. In our house I know exactly where it is because I put it in the same place every time so I never have to think about where it is. I also have a supply of Benadryl and Prednisolone (Orapred) in my pantry and Singulair in our medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  Have your emergency action plan accessible at all times. Know it well. Keep a copy of it with your travel meds.  Our allergist gave us a case for Maya and Joshua’s epi pens, so it’s really easy to keep things together. I stuff everything they’ll need in case of an allergic reaction in each one along with an index card detailing the plan. I’ve also written their names in bold sharpie on each case so I can easily see whose is whose.  I keep our original copy in my home management notebook in my Emergency section.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me! You can find my contact information in the About Me page at the top of the site.  We’ll be exploring kitchen safety next week, so if you have any questions you’d like me to address please let me know in the comments or email me!

Do you have anything you’d like to add to the list?

Menu Plan…Tuesday

It’s time for menu planning Monday again. Due to some vehicular issues, I haven’t been able to get to the grocery store until today. Therefor, we have Menu Plan Tuesday this week 🙂

Dinners:

Lunches:

  • Leftovers
  • Smoothies
  • Various Seed and Fruit Combos
  • Apple Sauce

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal
  • Baked Oatmeal
  • Granola (I modify slightly using 1.5 cups of sunflower seeds and 1.5 cups of coconut since we can’t do the almond. It’s delicious!)

Maya Alternatives

  • Neocate Smoothies (Starting tomorrow I hope!!!) Twice a day (that makes her 5 meals a day uber easy! yay!)
  • Pork main dishes. I’m thinking I can do one big carnita style roast to mix into all sorts of things. 🙂
  • Beans and Rice

I’m linking up at Organizing Junkie where you can find literally HUNDREDS of menus to peruse 🙂

Have a Happy Day!

~Lindsey

Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is coming up very soon! We don’t make much of a hullabaloo about the holiday, but I do like to acknowledge it and do a little something special with my kiddos.

So, what can you do to celebrate an allergen free holiday that revolves around chocolate and sweets that are generally laden with milk, soy, nuts, wheat, etc. without breaking the bank? I have a few ideas 🙂

* Let me preface this by saying that we home school, so I don’t have to worry about classroom safety and such.*

  • Make your own chocolates using melted Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips in a chocolate mold or free form on wax paper. (Free of the top 8 allergens, and very tasty, woo!) Put them in a pretty box and you’re good to go!
  • Make Valentines for each other.
  • Give your kiddos a flower and a special Valentines stuffed something.
  • If you have a good wheat free flour mix for cookies or if you can have wheat, make some cookies together and cut them into heart shapes. Then color some sugar and sprinkle it on top to make them pretty and sparkly 🙂 (I think Maya would LOVE this one) Ooo, or drizzle them with the melted chocolate chips I mentioned earlier. Or both! Mmmm, possibilities…..

This is by no means an exhaustive list, if you have any other ideas, please do share! I’d love to hear what you and yours are doing for Valentine’s Day 🙂 I think I’m going to be searching for a good wheat substitute to make the sparkly cookies I mentioned!

So what do you have planned for Valentine’s Day?

 

Links

Our new allergist gave us a list of websites that I would like to offer you. I’ll give them to you as I check them out and see what all they have to offer 🙂

I always want to share The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)

We also have The Food Allergy Initiative

And of course, don’t forget about Kids With Food Allergies!

Happy Saturday!

~ Lindsey

 

Grocery Trip

 

 

 

See what we came home with? This is our grocery run after Maya was given back pork and had soy and wheat taken away.

In the Dairy Section we have:

  • Soy Milk
  • Rice Milk

In the Produce Section we have:

  • Kale
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Jalapenos
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Baby Spinach

In Meats we have:

  • 5lb Chub of Ground Beef
  • Pork Chops (for Maya! YAY!!!!!)

In Everything Else we have:

  • Refried Beans
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Salsa
  • Bar-b-q Sauce
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Quart Freezer Bags

It’s a rather small run, but with this added to my pantry stash I very well may be able to feed the whole family for a week with this 🙂

I hope you all have a lovely day!

~Lindsey

 

 

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

We just made it back home from meeting with the allergist at our Children’s center. I have a feeling of hope, relief, of well… yay, lol. Their whole team is fantastic. They did their job! They talked to me about EoE and explained it in a way I’ve never heard before. The doctor used a sock and pipe analogy. It totally made sense for the first time. He said that the esophagus was supposed to be like a sock, expanding and contracting to suit the food that goes down. In EoE patients, the esophagus turns into a pipe, making food very difficult to go down. He told us to avoid the top 8, validating my concern with wheat and soy. Then he gave pork back to us. Then the dietitian sat down with us and worked with me to figure out what all we could do to help Maya. I left with a plan and not feeling alone. I was very impressed and sooo very grateful. They also gave me a bunch of websites that I will share with you in a separate post so they will be easy to find.

This is the first time I have felt hopeful in a long time. This is the first time since October that my brain isn’t reeling and I feel like I can breathe. I keep taking good long deep breaths and enjoying the sensation. It’s a good day 🙂

So, to expand on the update, we are to avoid the top 8 allergens which are: dairy, egg, fish, shell fish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. We already avoid everything but soy and wheat, so that transition ought to be relatively simple. We are also going to be adding in Neocate powder in smoothie form three times a day to supplement the calories, protein, and fat that are absent from her current diet. Maya has lost weight in the last month being on her highly restrictive diet, so we want to reverse that and get her back on the growth charts.

And with that, I hope you all had a lovely day! Tomorrow is grocery day, so I’ll have a post up with our grocery picture sometime tomorrow afternoon.

See you then! 🙂

~Lindsey