Saturday, January 22, 2011

Doughnuts for breakfast

These baked cake doughnuts are so easy to make.  The boys love them.  No we can't walk into a bakery and pick up a box of pastries or doughnuts.  But with the right recipe and without taking much time out of my afternoon, I created something that looks and tastes as good as the best bakery!  And with a couple minor adjustments to the recipe, they are milk-free.

Looking forward to enjoying them with my coffee in the morning.  Go here for the recipe.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Dreaded Sleepovers

It is difficult to put into words why a mother of a child with allergies is not fond of letting her child go to a friend's house for what most families take for granted as a regular,  normal, harmless, fun activity for their children.  Sleepovers.  Like I said, it is really hard to put into words all the scenarios of what could go bad that go through my head.  Unfortunately, a parent of a child with life threatening allergies has to go through all the scenarios.

My boys love to have sleepovers. For a long time, we would only allow sleepovers if the friends came to our home.  Of course, I want them to have fun.  But, I have to admit this is one of my least favorite activities.  It is a lot of work and takes quite a bit of courage on my part to let my son stay anyplace other than home.  But with great friends and understanding parents, and a lot of communication, we've been able to start letting our son stay at other homes.

Here are a few tips to help with this transition from the toddler safe at home to the big kids having sleepovers.

  • Start with a friend very close by in the same neighborhood.  That way, you are near by if needed.
  • If it is a birthday party/sleepover and there will be several children eating the same thing, get a list of what foods will be there and send food from home that will be similar.  Sometimes I even ask what color the frosting will be on the cake and send a cupcake from home with the same color frosting.
  • I like to send a enough treats to share.  That will help your child not feel singled out by eating something different.  Often, I make my pumpkin bread for the kids to eat for breakfast.  Go here for the recipe.
  • Make sure your child has played with this friend several times first and that you have had plenty of discussions with the parent about EpiPens and warning signs of reactions, what the allergies are, ect.  Don't let your child stay, if this is the first time the parent has experienced watching a child with allergies.
  • Pack food and have your child only eat what you have packed.  Unless you plan to stay and read every label, that's probably the safest.
  • Recently, a friend's mom wanted to supply all the food and made many efforts to shop and talk to me about what is safe and what is not.  This was so thoughtful and I am so grateful for her efforts. She even bought our son's favorite donuts from Kinnikinnick for everyone to have in the morning.  I couldn't help worry, even though we had gone over the list, what if someone grabs the wrong bag of chips or the wrong cookie.  I also didn't want our son to have a false sense of security and think that every food was safe.  We decided to put stickers on all the packages of foods my husband and I had checked.  This helped us to have more confidence that everything would go well at the sleepover.
It is so important to us to keep our son safe but at the same time find a balance so that he can just be a kid and focus on nerf gun wars, pillow fights, staying up late watching movies and just having fun.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

EpiPen is treating you to a 10% off coupon for your Divvies purchase.

Divvies offers gourmet treats made in a dedicated facility.  They make cookies, cupcakes, popcorn and candy that is peanut-free, tree nut free, milk-free and egg free.

Enter the promo code: EPI at the checkout at

Can't wait to make my purchase for the next holiday.  Maybe a chocolate candy bar for Valentine's Day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How to read a label for a MILK-FREE DIET.

I am often asked "Is there milk in that" or "How do you know if your child can have that?"  The list is long and needs to be reviewed often.  Milk seems to show up in the most unsuspecting places, like bubble gum, crackers, breads, juices, cereals, meats, soaps and the list goes on.  Parents of children with a milk allergy or any allergy for that matter, find themselves reading every food label not once but several times, and sometimes backwards, to make sure they don't miss anything.  Since the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 came into effect on January 1, 2006, reading labels became a little easier.  The law requires that manufacturers clearly identify on their food labels if the product contains an ingredient from any of the eight major food allergens.  However, the list can be daunting.  For a reference, I keep a list in my handbag and in the kitchen of what foods contain milk and what ingredients need to be avoided.

Even after ten years, I find myself often referring to this list.  This list comes from The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

Avoid foods that contain milk or any of these ingredients:

butter, butter fat, butter oil, butter acid, butter ester(s)
casein hydrolysate
caseinates (in all forms)
cottage cheese
lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
milk (in all forms, including condensed, derivative, dry, evaporated, goat's milk and milk from other animals, low-fat, malted, milkfat, nonfat, powder, protein, skimmed, solids, whole)
milk protein hydrolysate
rennet casein
sour cream, sour cream solids
sour milk solids
whey (in all forms)
whey protein hydrolysate

Milk may also be found in the following:

artificial butter flavor
baked goods
caramel candies
lactic acid starter culture and other bacterial cultures
luncheon meat, hot dogs, sausages
nondairy products

This list is available on a wallet-sized plastic card that can be ordered from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.