Saturday, December 17, 2011
I hope everyone is preparing to relax and spend time with their family over the holidays. I have to share something that I purchased a few weeks ago that we are really enjoying. It has been a part of us making some great memories this season while watching Christmas movies.
A friend of mine was talking about a hot air popcorn popper, and I realized that Brody was 3 years old (milk, egg and peanut allergy) and has never had popcorn. This was enough motivation for me to purchase the popcorn popper. I also loved the idea of being able to buy organic popcorn kernels (so I can avoid GMO's) and control what, and how much "butter" and salt goes on our popcorn.
The popper pops wonderfully and leaves very few kernels (so quick and easy). It is easy to clean and is so much fun to wait and watch the popcorn overflow out of it (the kids get a kick out of that). Sometimes we use Earth Balance dairy free butter, and sometimes we just eat it plain (what a great low calorie snack).
The best part, you don't even have to leave your home to purchase it. I bought mine online at walmart and paid .97 to have it shipped to my house...AWESOME! It was so worth it to not have to go in and look for it and "hope" they have it this time of year.
If you are looking for a last minute gift or want to treat yourself with something that the whole family can enjoy together, I highly recommend it!
Go make some memories!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I was really excited to see that So Delicious has a new Greek Style Coconut Milk Yogurt. It was "on sale" at Whole Foods, so I grabbed a couple. Coconut milk yogurt, in my opinion, is much tastier than regular yogurt (and also safe for my milk allergic child).
The greek style yogurt is decadent; it is thick, creamy and delicious! We put some granola on top and had it as a snack today. We tried the strawberry, but I am thinking I will have to buy the chocolate next :)
Click HERE to request a coupon
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The initial Food Allergy-Band will be available in three styles:
Each band is designed for a specific allergy, is 100% latex free and incorporates a "kid friendly" design.
USA Baby & Big Kids Too
1113 Murfreesboro Rd. Suite 370
Franklin, TN 37064
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 1pm-5pm
"Like" on Facebook
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
A friend of mine told me that the Nashville Sounds have had a few peanut free nights this season. I know some of the food allergy moms worked hard to make this possible. I also want to thank the Nashville Sounds for bringing awareness to food allergies by setting aside nights so children that have life-threatening peanut allergies can enjoy a baseball game with their families. This is wonderful!
The last peanut free night is Wednesday August 17th 2011 at (against the Padres) at 7:05pm in Section D. Click HERE to read more. *Section-D will be designated as a peanut-free zone at Greer Stadium. For more information, call (615) - 690 - HITS.
Tickets are $12 in advance (prior to game date). Children 2 and under are free, if they do not occupy a seat. Ticket prices include tax. To see more details, click HERE
Enjoy a night out with the family!!!!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Popsicles are the perfect summer time treat!
I love being able to make my own pops so I know what's in them. It is fun to make different flavors with fruit and the kids enjoy being a part of creating them.
The hardest part of making your own pops is finding the right popsicle molds.
I found these popsicle molds from Tovolo and I really like them (I actually found them at TJ Max but it looks like you can get them off of Amazon).
I like that these molds have a base that each pop sits on so they do not fall over when you put them in the freezer. They are durable and even have a drip guard. They come out star shaped, which is fun AND they are BPA free and dishwasher safe.
*Tip: do not fill the pop up to the top with smoothie or the stick has a hard time staying in.
How to make Smoothie Pops
1. get a great popsicle mold (I like the Tovolo Shooting Star Freezer Pop Molds)
2. get out your blender (I am in love with my Vitamix and we have definitely have gotten our money's worth, as we use it at least 2-3 times a day).
3. real fruit juice and frozen or fresh fruit
Here is my recipe for one of my favorite smoothie pops, but you can be creative and use any fruit combination
OJ (not from concentrate) (about 2 cups)
Frozen chunks of mango (I buy at Trader Joe's)
Frozen pineapple tidbits (I buy at Trader Joe's)
Frozen organic strawberries (I buy at Trader Joe's)
I sprinkle in some ground flax seed for Omega 3's
Blend ingredients in blender and pour into the molds. Whatever does fit in the molds, we drink ;)
Also, if you want to make what we call around our house "Shrek Smoothie Pop" add a handful of kale or spinach. Both greens are extremely nutritious and will turn the smoothie a cool green color. Bonus: you will be sneaking in some veggies.
These molds come in handy when you make a blender-full of smoothie and you are not able to drink it all....we just have smoothie pops for later on and it is not wasted.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Franklin Farmers Market behind the Factory in Franklin from 8am-1pm
Spring Hill Farmers Market at the TN Children's home from 3:30pm-6pm
Franklin Farmers Market at the Whole Foods at West McEwen Drive from 3-6:30pm
Thompson Station Farmers Market near Thompson Station Church from 2-6pm
If you not local, find some farmers markets around town and check them out. It is a fun way to try new foods, support local farmers and maybe you will be excited to try something new for your family...they might even like it if they are a part of picking it out :)
Let me know if I am missing any local markets
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
- Certified Organic
- No artificial dyes
- No corn syrup
- Tree Nut-free
- Real Fruit Extracts
- 100% Natural Flavors
- Gluten Free
- Peanut Free
- Soy Free
- Dairy Free
- No MSG
Friday, April 15, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Have you found yourself asking this question to your family, friends or doctor?
Robyn O’Brien is a former food industry analyst turned crusader for safe, healthy food talks about the link between food allergies and our food system.
The facts about our food system are eye opening. As Robyn says in her talk, “one person can make a difference.” She encourages everyone to “Do One Thing” to improve your health and that of your family and our country. What’s your one thing?
Monday, March 14, 2011
This video will touch your heart
Me my son Brody
Our journey with food allergies started with our son Brody having severe eczema at 4 months old. The eczema on his face would get so bad, that it would be open and weepy. People would make comments about his cute red cheeks and I would just smile, knowing that it was not normal. There were times when his face looked so bad it made my stomach turn.
I remember calling doctor offices crying and asking them to see our son as soon as possible. We took him to our pediatrician, a dermatologist, and a pediatric dermatologist. We tried expensive topical treatments (that I did not like to use because of the steroids) and nothing completely took it away. I asked all three doctors if something that I was eating could be getting into him from nursing, and all of them said it was not possible and wrote me a prescription (I now know otherwise). It was frustrating to watch him be so uncomfortable; I felt helpless.
At 7 months old, I introduced whole organic yogurt, and he immediately broke out with hives all over his body. It took me a minute to process what was going on, because I had never seen anyone have an allergic reaction, nor did I anticipate our child would have one. I called the triage nurse at our pediatrician’s office and was told to give him Benedryl and watch to make sure his throat did not close. We were asked to come in to see our pediatrician the next day, and he recommended a blood test.
A few days later, the pediatrician called and said, “Brody is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat.” I said “Ok.” He then asked if I was going to continue to nurse him; I immediately said, “Yes, of course” and he replied, “You know that what he is allergic to is in everything?” I realized that what I had been eating was hurting him. I cut those allergens completely out of my diet and went on what we affectionately called “ The Brody diet.” His eczema went way, he was a happier baby and I was overwhelmed, yet relieved to find out the root of the problem. I was on the "Brody diet" for 6 months, since I had decided to continue to nurse. I am glad I chose to do this; it forced me to find safe foods and recipes that tasted good.
After I learned a little more and had time to digest what was going on, we decided to see an allergist and do a skin test to compare to the results of the blood test and begin a relationship with a doctor who takes care of children with food allergies everyday.
We have since had some accidental exposure to allergens, which have been both eye opening and scary. We have also done a baked egg challenge with our allergist and Brody’s lips turned blue, his eyes rolled back in his head and he was given the Epi-pen. This incident built our belief in the Epi-pen and we do not leave home without it.
Being allergen free was a dramatic change for our entire family, since none of us have any food allergies. We were completely immersed into this new lifestyle. I began to look at food differently. I always knew that what a person eats could eventually hurt them, possibly causing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc. but for our family, certain food could cause our son to stop breathing.
Reading labels has made our family so much more aware of what is actually in the food that we are eating, and we have cut out a lot of processed foods and are eating whole foods, fruits, vegetables, food made from scratch and with fewer ingredients (which is much healthier). This has definitely been the silver lining since Brody has been diagnosed with food allergies.
Along the way, I have met and have been encouraged by other moms who are on similar journeys. I have met local bakers who make delicious allergen free treats for special occasions, which makes my heart happy. We embrace this path for our family and are learning that being allergen free can be healthy and delicious.
There are days where I feel anxious, but other days I am so thankful that God has put our family on this journey. It is stretching and growing us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) Philippians 4:6-7
What are food allergies?
It is estimated that approximately 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies.. Food allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks a food protein. Ingestion of the offending food may trigger the sudden release of chemicals, including histamine, resulting in symptoms of an allergic reaction.
What are the top eight allergens?
Milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
What are some symptoms of an allergic reaction?
Symptoms may be mild (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) or severe (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.). A food allergy can be potentially fatal.
How a might a child might describe a reaction?
Children have unique ways of describing their experiences and perceptions, and allergic reactions are no exception. Precious time can be lost when caregivers do not immediately recognize that a reaction is occurring or don’t understand what a child is trying to tell them.
Some children, especially very young ones, put their hands in their mouths or pull or scratch at their tongues when having a reaction. Also, children’s voices may change (example: become hoarse or squeaky), and they may slur their words.
Here are some examples of the words a child might use to describe a reaction (from FAAN)
• "This food's too spicy."
• "My tongue is hot [or burning]."
• "It feels like something’s poking my tongue."
• "My tongue [or mouth] is tingling [or burning]."
• "My tongue [or mouth] itches."
• "It [my tongue] feels like there is hair on it."
• "My mouth feels funny."
• "There's a frog in my throat."
• "There’s something stuck in my throat."
• "My tongue feels full [or heavy]."
• "My lips feel tight."
• "It feels like there are bugs in there." (to describe itchy ears)
• "It [my throat] feels thick."
• "It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue [throat]."
If you suspect that your child is having an allergic reaction, follow your doctor's instructions.
What is the best treatment for a food allergy reaction?
We carry Benedryl and an Epi- with us everywhere we go. For a very mild reaction, Benedryl is great. For a severe reaction, Epinephrine, is the medication of choice. It is available by prescription as a self-injectable device. If you have been prescribed this medication, carry it with you at all times. It could save your child’s life.
How to Grocery Shop?
Grocery shopping takes more time, because the ingredients and each ingredient statement must be carefully read. Manufacturers change the ingredients of their products all of the time, and these changes may not be seen by looking at the front of a package. Make sure to read the ingredient label every time you purchase a food, even for “safe” food you have previously purchased.
FAAN (Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network)
Food Allergy Initiative
Kids With Food Allergies
Local Resources (Nashville Area)
Allergen Free Please
www.allergenfreeplease.blogspot.com (Also on Facebook)
F.A.C.T. (Food Allergy Community of TN) is a support group that meets at the Whole Foods in Green Hills the first Tuesday of every other month.
Email me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
GRAND OPENING - Aunt April's Bakery
In addition to being GF, all our items are soy & dairy free. So we are the premier 'allergen friendly' bakery & cafe in middle TN. April's OMGoodies will be for sale and there will be a coffee tasting to let you help us decide our "house coffee."
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
When melting chocolate, mix in milk alternative and vanilla extract.
Friday, February 4, 2011
4-6 ripe avocados
1/2 red or yellow onion, minced
1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
coarse salt to taste
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped (optional)
*if you want, omit the onion, serrano chiles, and tomato and just add some fresh salsa (about 1/4 cup). Doing this makes this recipe SO easy!
1. Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl. (See How to Cut and Peel an Avocado.)
2. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness.
Keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve.
Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.
3. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.
4. Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix.
Serve with tortilla chips
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Our next F.A.C.T meeting (Food Allergy Community of TN) is tomorrow, Tuesday, January 4th at 7pm at the Whole Foods in Green Hills (we usually meet upstairs).
Start the new year off with some great tips on allergen free baking!
April Graves from Aunt April's Bakery (an allergen friendly bakery in middle TN) will be teaching a workshop on baking with food allergies. April is passionate about baking safe, tasty treats for those with food allergies and will teach us tips on how to prepare safe baked goods for our families.
She will be bringing some yummy allergen free treats for us to try. For more information, go to www.auntaprilsbakery.comShe can accommodate any food allergy. Email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.