Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
- check out the health services when you go on a college tour (just you --no children necessary).
- Or that many many school districts across US will not allow a kid to carry an Epi pen.
- And that "surimi"* is actually fake crabmeat made with egg. of course--fake shellfish made with another really potent allergen-- everybody knew that.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
So I did it again. I have accepted the "good enough" solution--the one where someone says, "I think I can manage that"--and I say "thanks." Sometimes I think I should say--as I would in business--that's not enough, need to make it better. But, at the program my child is at, the food service said they would provide X, Y and Z. Well I got the "I'm hungry " call and the "there's not what they said would be here" call. And, I checked in with food service-- and viola, some of it got fixed, and some--like "have to take some food off the line" stayed the same--rather unaccpetable--way. And, I said --sure, we'll make it work,.
And work it is--I haven't gotten a call about food or being hungry or not having any good snacks-- actually I haven't gotten a call so I guess all is good and fun and busy!
But I feel like I should press for the best of the best--or is good enough enough? (confusing huh?) I sometimes feel that if the solution is solid and safe, then go with it, and don't act like a ninny and ask for the moon. But, then again, is asking that food be plated and not taken off the line(cross contamination) acting like a ninny? No, it's safety .
ugh I really go crazy when this happens, I get so emotionally washed out from it-- and I hate that my kid has to negotiate, and work the system so much for something so basic.
But I'm happy that for three weeks, this kid o'mine is making it work and is living away at school --doing the laundry, making friends AND dealing with the food. gotta have the bright side!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Shout out to Wendy Mondello who wrote a great article in Living Without magazine about teens and food allergies and vulnerabilities. in depth and solid article.
other than that having lots of discussions at my house about how boring food is and how I need to change it up, but I seem out of ideas -- so anyone with a clue, let me know. Just click on comment and send me a message.
I've been wondering if allergies get easier to deal with as kids get older and make their own choices or harder because the limitations pinch more as time goes on. Does the pizza always smell that good? I guess that's the real question.
During adolescence, maturity helps me let go a little, but the adolescent identity struggle goes on, and allergies sometimes become the focus for that. will keep thinking on this, keep safe,
Thursday, June 18, 2009
getting a bit stymied about what to serve as healthy snacks-- got the fruit, salad, crudite down pat--looking for some other ideas that are good to fill you up, but are still healthy--no wheat or dairy or nuts please.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It's 9:00 at night... that's overtime in anyone's book.
This is the pediatrician who, at two weeks, took one look at my baby and said--food allergies. The baby had eczema (atopic dermatitis, excuse me) and the Dr. said--the baby's nursing--what else could it be but what you're eating-- so no more: eggs, soy, corn, peanuts, oranges, and not too much milk and cheese. Guess what--eczema cleared up. and the Dr. who suggested RAST testing and plenty of other smart moves too.
I officially have the best pediatrician.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
All in all a great day to network with other parents about socializing, about how to do a food challenge--about how our kids are dealing with new foods and how they are willing to step in and take charge situations all across their lives because they know how to advocate for themselves about their allergies.
Pretty heady stuff-- and seeing old friends and watching the kids gravitate to each other like magnets. It was great-- everyone there is one of us-- with Epi-pens in one hand and a lunchpack in the other-- and it's easy to share the good and the bad and the everyday. I met a woman who has a 2 year old with the same allergies as my 16 year old. Well seeing me--having made it this far--and seeing my kid standing tall next to me, obviously in find health and welfare very nearly overwhelmed her. She was ready to go home and know that all would be OK. very moving.
check out the next conference in your neck of the woods.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
so I continue to be ovenless--for anything over twenty minutes.
Friday, May 1, 2009
- Egg substitutes may contain egg whites; egg replacers do not. (Always read those labels.)
- Baby food in jars can make excellent snacks: They pack /travel well and can be eaten with a straw if necessary. (The sweet potatoes were a big favorite at my house.)
- Sometimes shipping dry foodstuffs to your destination can relieve some of the anxiety of trying to find what you need once you arrive. Most hotel front desks are very nice about holding packages. Note, however, always take what you need for your travel day-plus extra in case of delays or the unexpected.
- When at a restaurant and served a meal that is incorrect--like cheese on the burger--keep the plate and ask for a replacement, as the meal is still as dangerous if only doctored--like the cheese is scraped off the top.
- A stainless steel thermos--though it has to be heated up by filling with boiling water for a few minutes--keeps foods much hotter than the plastic version.
- You can often buy direct from a manufacturer on those items your household uses frequently--can be less expensive than the specialty store, and more convenient. Fruit leathers, rice milks, baking mixes, and candy are all items we buy direct.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tomorrow's lunch menu will be sliced pork, cooked carrotts, and brown rice bread with an applesauce and an energy bar for afternoon sports... the bread mix is new, and never gets unsoggy in the middle so I have to brown it in the broiler every morning before it pops in the lunch pack. what happened to Orgran Quick White Bread??? I loved that--so easy and never even needed egg substitutes. I am not a "let's go in the kitchen and bake some bread" kind of gal--so that Quick Mix was awesome for me...oh well...
gotta get the pork off the stove.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
also, the sheer number of people there connected to someone with a food allergy really brings into sharper focus the rise in food allergies in the last 15-20 years. Most of the moms had little kids--and mine's a teenager. The increase is real; I didn't know but a few other food allergic families--and now there were 500 in one room. Granted this was in support of an organization, but the numbers are growing. And, the vast difference between now and when I had a young 'un is awareness. The public at large is more aware of food allergies (and the danger of them) than even 10 years ago. Thank goodness.
So, I will think on this large network that's out there, ready to raise awareness even more through education and ready to reach out a hand to help.
Friday, April 17, 2009
on the other hand, we went to dinner at family this week--and the cook called about all the ingredients, made only food my kid could eat and lots of variety--so I guess the moral is, take the good with the cold.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
It’s Monday morning and you’re doing the final shopping for Easter (substitute as necessary: Passover, graduation) and your cousin calls and says “I’m making strudel for the holiday dessert and I know that Johnny is allergic to nuts, but it really doesn’t taste good without them, so I just wanted you to know.”
You hang up the phone and (circle one):
D. Shake your head
E. All of the above
“All of the above” is the correct answer--and then you get the baking mix from the cupboard and learn how to make a strudel.
This is a typical conversation for a food allergic family. We’ve all been there, and we all know what it feels like to substitute one ingredient for another or forgo that special family recipe all together. Food allergies can cut us off our roots, our memories--and this is especially true around holiday celebrations when ritual meals, steeped in tradition, are the standard fare.
Personally, it hurts me--yes hurts me--that I can’t plunk down a plate of pasta for my son on Christmas Eve.
But I can’t. And neither can my mother or my Aunt Sadie. Instead, I can select a menu that does not include a pasta course--and no one will know the difference. I can ask Cousin Pesky to bring a green salad, since that would be ‘easier’ for her--and ditch the strudel altogether. I may feel a pinch at giving up a family tradition, but over the years I’ve already picked and chosen which traditions I keep anyway. Christmas Eve dinner is supposed to be the “fast” in Italian tradition: Fish courses before midnight and meat after. I’ve already given up that timeframe--I’m in bed by midnight--so why not serve the roast beef at 7:00?
What really makes the meal a tradition is that we gather our family and close friends to share it. That part doesn’t change.
On Thanksgiving my family always served ravioli then turkey. When I got married and some of my in-laws kept kosher, no big deal--we substituted pumpkin ravioli instead of cheese and meat. So when my son was diagnosed with wheat allergy, we shifted again--this time to an antipasto course where there’s lots of peppers and olives and meats that he can eat--and I can still include a nod to my Italian roots.
Of course, you must think ahead, prepare, and possibly substitute traditions--that’s a given in the food allergic household.
But, while the menu may need to change--the message of these meals does not. What we are eating should not be as important as who we are eating it with--no matter if it’s ravioli or rice cakes and jam.
The love, the sharing--as well as the laughter and gusto we bring to the table--are what truly matters and there is no substitute for that.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I have tried a few different cuts of meat too--did not like the chuck pot roast I got--too fatty and even when cooked for four hours, tough. But I liked "kebob" chunks--which are like first cut stew meat but in larger chunks--not a bad price tag either. And those I simply simmered with onions and garlic and salt and pepper over rice with some greens. That made a nice change from stew or meatloaf.
Also I made a great three layer birthday cake for my teen. Did I mention I am not a very good baker-- Three layers because without eggs the rice flour doesn't rise too high--and anyway who doesn't like that much frosting. Guests and all family liked it (witness second helpings) and I was pleased because aside from the thorny issue of how to get layers on top of one another without breaking --Any help out there???-- it looked, tasted great and wasn't too tough to make.
Monday, January 26, 2009
And and overnight debate trip that only meant two meals to store. What I think is a riot is on Sunday, we were going out to lunch with old friends who suggested a burger and fries place which is great for us--easy to eat a burger without bun and fries were purportedly great. Well my teen --who with the debate group had gone to a TGIFridays at midnight and ordered a burger and fries--my teen went nuts about how possibly unsafe the lunch place was (I had asked about dedicated fryers) and how it's tough to try a new place!!! Ah the teenage years.
I was glad about the "Fridays " dinner-- spontaneity is what is so hard with allergies --and the camaraderie of it. I suppose I should have anticipated the spillover anxiety/ tiredness the next day. Live and learn . Hope all's well out there with you.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
We always say that allergies shouldn't define these kids, shouldn't stop them from doing things,. Well, in reality, the allergies CAN redirect them, CAN even stop them in their tracks.