Friday, October 30, 2009

Healthy Times Teddy Puffs

Healthy Times Teddy Puffs (they come in Apple-Cinnamon or Original Flavor) are great! Allergen Free! Great little finger food. When I give them to Brody, my older, non-allergic son says, "One more mommy, just one more." So...there you go!

This is the same company that makes the maple arrowroot cookies that I posted about here.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soup for Lunch

Today is a rainy day in TN, so I grabbed a can of Muir Glen Organic Savory Lentil soup for the boys to share for lunch. It is Vegan, so there are no dairy products in it (which is perfect for Brody).
You can always find $1 off any Muir Glen product on the computer. I paired my coupon with a sale and got it for pretty inexpensive, considering it is organic and safe for Brody.

It's a great soup to have on hand for a quick lunch.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Dr. Sears...America's Pediatrician

I just got back from Memphis, and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Bill Sears (America's pediatrician) and speak with him about Brody's food allergies.

I wanted to see what his opinion was about giving Brody soy milk, since he is allergic to regular milk.

I asked him specifically about the isoflavones in soy (genistein and daidzein) that are similar to the hormone estrogen (which made me concerned to give this to Brody). He told me, "it is a myth" and he felt soy milk would be better for Brody than the rice milk I have been giving him (as I am starting to wean him). He mentioned that the Rice Milk had too much sugar to use solely as a supplementation for milk.

Someone on Ask Dr Sears had a question regarding giving soy to infants/toddlers and this is what Dr. Jim (Dr. Bill Sears' son, who is on the TV show The Doctors) said.

I guess everything in moderation. Too much of anything is not good..(except fruits and veggies :).

I was so excited to be able to talk to him for a few minutes. He was soft spoken and seemed genuinely concerned with what I was speaking to him about. I am jealous of the mom's who get to have him as their pediatrician :)

Dr. Sears...America's PediatricianSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, October 16, 2009

Smarties are Allergen Free

With Halloween approaching quickly, I was thinking about candy (maybe I was craving some too). In the past, I always given out some sort of chocolate, and I will admit, most of the time that meant Snickers (I know...the forbidden peanuts).

This year, with Brody's food allergies (not that he is going to be eating candy), I started thinking about the kids who I will be handing out candy to. I have heard from many parents that have children with food allergies that Halloween is difficult because so many of the candy is unsafe and even if they "think" it might be safe, they would have to read the label (which is on the bag that the person who actually bought the candy has) or go online and read the label for the product and even after all of that time and effort, there is a pretty good chance (especially if it is chocolate) that it is processed in a place with peanuts. I decided to be "safe" this year and give a candy that every kid could eat, regardless of food allergies.

SO...I heard from a friend, (thank you Courtney) that Smarties are allergen free. Sure enough, I bought some this evening (on sale) and on the package it says "Smarties contain none of the following: gluten (from wheat, barley, oats and rye), milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts or soybeans". Yep...they are free of the top eight allergens (and gluten). Although, they do have food coloring, (red 20, yellow 5, yellow 6 and blue 2...YUM, YUM) which I try to avoid; I can't afford to buy my neighborhood organic, allergen free candy. Sorry kids, you will have allergen free candy this year with food coloring from the Brown household :)

Know some other candy that is allergen free? Let us know. I think it is great to make a little difference by handing out "safe" Halloween candy. I bet the kids will never notice :)

Allergen information on Smarties webiste

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Tomato Basil Soup at Tossed

I was flipping through the new clipper magazine just now, when I saw coupons for Tossed (on page 6) and it said, "NEW! GLUTEN-FREE, DIARY FREE, TOMATO BASIL SOUP." I had to do a double take...REALLY? I called to confirm with the manager (at Tossed in Cool Springs), thanked her and got the prices for you.

A cup of the soup is $2.95 and a bowl is $3.95.

I am really starting to see some companies really step up and have items for people with food allergies and for those who choose not to eat gluten or dairy. I applaud them. This is one more place that I can add to my very small list of places to eat out...but the list is growing. I am really excited, especially with the cool weather approaching :)


Cool Springs Blvd. at Aspen Grove Drive

Cool Springs


Open Every Day 11am-9pm

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some more Answers

Picture of Brody's scratch test at the Allergist's Office

We took Brody to an allergist in our area to get some more of our questions answered.

You might be wondering, "How did you find out that Brody has food allergies?"

When Brody was 8 moths old, I introduced plain organic yogurt and he immediately broke out in hives. milk allergy? Yep. I called the triage nurse at my pediatrician's office and was told to give him Benedryl (which I didn't even have in my house and thankfully my mom was in the area and was able to pick it up for me) and make sure that he wasn't having difficulty breathing. After our episode with the yogurt, our Pediatrician wanted to see Brody the next day. At this point, the pediatrician did a blood test to see if Brody was allergic to anything else. The results came back milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat and this is where my journey began and the inspiration for this blog came from. Since I am nursing, these also became my food allergies.

Brody is almost a year old now, and time has flown by. I have soaked up so much information in the past couple of months and I am amazed at how far I have come in such a short amount of time. But, honestly, I am not to patting myself on the back...when it comes to eating, you have to figure something out if you still want to enjoy your food :)

Our next step in our food allergy journey was to find an allergist. Ginger (whose son is allergic to the same foods as Brody) recommended Dr. Brothers here in Nashville.

We took Brody to see Dr. Brothers and he did a scratch test (the picture looks worse than it was...Brody did great, he didn't even cry) so we could compare it to the blood test. We were very impressed with Dr. Brothers. He answered all of our questions, took time with us, and was very up to date on research that is going on with food allergies. The office staff was very friendly and accommodating (I feel this does make a difference in choosing a doctor).

One of our questions for Dr. Brothers with flu season coming up, was "what about the flu shot"? Did you know that the flu shot has egg in it (you do if your child has an egg allergy)? I was worried that we wouldn't be able to give Brody the flu shot since many doctors in our area have companies come in to the office after hours and administer the flu shots to the masses (therefore, a doctor is not administering it and the child is not being observed afterwards). This concerned me, especially since this is the first time that Brody would be getting the flu shot.

After speaking to Doctor Brothers, he felt that it was important for Brody to get the flu shot even though he has an egg allergy, as long as it was given in his office and he was monitored afterwards for about 45 minutes. He said he has never witnessed a child that is allergic to eggs have a reaction to the flu shot (this was good news). Brody did problems. Again, I am thankful to have found an allergist who fits the criteria that we were looking for.

Allergy & Asthma Associates

Donald T. Brothers, Jr. M.D.

300 20th Avenue North, Suite 100

Nashville, TN 37023


Some more AnswersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crockpot Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli

I think this soup taste "similar" to Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli. It is easy to make and perfect during cool weather.

Sundays are always busy for us. We go to church, serve afterwards, run errands, eat lunch, kids nap and then we head to our community group (a small group for our church that meets in our area). I love to have food ready to go when we walk in the door. I have been trying to use my crockpot on Sundays. This way, we have affordable meals that are ready to go and takes the guess work out of what we are going to eat when we get home so there is no temptation to stop and pick up something.

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

1 lb browned ground beef (I cook the onion in with the meat)
1 can cannelini beans
2 cans kidney beans
1 large onion chopped
5 garlic cloves, pressed
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp parsley (or 1 bay leaf...remember to remove at the end)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 bag of shredded carrots (you could add more if you like)
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu tomato, garlic & was on sale and is safe)
1/2 32 oz container of chicken or vegetable broth (Progresso is gluten free)

Throw all ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hrs.

*If you are not allergic to dairy, put lots of Parmesan cheese on top when serving
*If you are not allergic to wheat, you can make ditalini pasta to serve with the soup. You will only need 1/2 lb of the ditalini noodles (save the rest of the box for the next time you make this recipe). Cook noodles according to the package and put some in each bowl as you serve the soup. If you add the noodles directly to the crockpot of soup, they will soak up the juices and get soggy. Also, I would not recommend freezing the noodles with the soup if you have leftovers.

This soup makes a crockpot full, so you will hopefully have leftovers to save for another day, or freeze.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Country Style Ribs

*This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

  • Safe Barbecue Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce. It does have high fructose corn syrup in it (which I try to avoid), but it is safe for us.) Lisa over at Lisa Cooks Allergen Free found out from the company that Sweet Baby Ray's is Allergen Free.
  • Pork Ribs (I prefer boneless, but you can use bone in, baby back ribs, etc. Sometimes I even buy a huge Pork Loin on sale (a good deal would be between $1.88-$1.99 lb.) and cut it up into "country style ribs." Since I buy about 8 lbs of pork loin, I cut the rest of it into 2 lb. sections to make pot roast, pulled pork for BBQ or for pork tacos. It is great to have inexpensive meat ready to go in the freezer, just pull it out and throw it in your crockpot, etc.
Put ribs in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Rinse off pork with water. Put rinsed pork in a 13x9 pan and pour Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce (or other safe sauce) over top. Cover with foil and cook on 250 degrees for 2-3 hours.

They are DELICIOUS! (Perfect food for watching Football games!)

Serve with your favorite sides. We enjoy fresh broccoli sauteed in garlic and baked potatoes.
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