Category Archives: kids

WIN A Food Allergy Gift Basket!

As contest (1)

We have teamed up with Smart Allergy Friendly Education (Daniella Knell) for a fantastic food allergy give-away. We both hold dear, the importance of food allergy education and safety. Daniella knows and lives with food allergies as a mom of a food allergic child. She is passionate about making it easier to navigate the food allergy world through books, resources, recipes, community and products both food and non-food that make life easier. That is why she created S.A.F.E. Food Allergy labels.

These brightly colored, simply stated labels are the EASIEST TOOL AROUND to make sure a LIFE THREATENING MISTAKE doesn’t happen!  Your family and friends will  ‘thank you’ for making it easier to keep your loved ones SAFE while in their care.

“No Need to Memorize My Kid’s Food Allergies because I label the safe food with S.A.F.E food allergy labels.”

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At Allergic Solution we know food allergies, are not the newest fad or marketing gimmick – it’s our reality and yours. Did you know that one out of thirteen people suffers from some type of food allergy? So, we created products that were not only allergen-free but tasty and nutritious.

All of our food mixes are food allergy safe from farm to the manufacturing facility and top 10 allergen-free. They do not contain refined starches such as potato or rice. Instead, we use nutritious bean flours.

Our mixes are free of corn, dairy/casein, eggs, gluten/wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Try our All Purpose flour, Pancake/Waffle Mix,  Vanilla Cake or Yeast Free Bread Mix. 

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And now for the contest! It’s easy to enter and you could win a basket with our delicious allergen-free mixes and lots of S.A.F.E. Food Allergy labels. Bake up a storm of tasty allergen-free goodies and then label them!

You just have to tweet about our contest to enter and you can do it once a day to get extra entries. If you visit the Facebook Fan pages or follow us on twitter then you get extra entries! It’s that easy.

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More Mis-Information and Bullying over Food Allergies & Sensitivities.

So May was Celiac and Allergy awareness month.  This month there were a couple of high profile stories about basically people making fun of celiacs and their diets. Toast being thrown, the disease being called trendy etc.  I learned of an incident recently where a child was bullied at a party because he has Celiac Disease.  Another kid tried cramming cheezies in his mouth saying “can you eat this can you eat this?”

This is completely inexcusable and just mean but where does it come from?  Food Allergies/sensitivities are a fairly new phenomenon.  When I was a kid you never heard of food allergies/sensitivities even though they existed.  When I was 4 I was diagnosed with hyper activity.  The doctor put me on Phenobarbital which did nothing but make me sleepy.  Then an old Indian nurse my mother worked with told her to take me off all food dyes as I may not tolerate them.  At the time I lived on Tang, this fake orange juice full of red and yellow food dyes.  Within a few days of being off Tang I calmed down to normal 4 year old business.  No mention was ever made to the fact I may be allergic to food dyes.  I had a friend that couldn’t drink milk because he got a rash around his mouth, was he allergic, no he just couldn’t drink milk, that was the thought back them.

Fast forward to today and we hear of food allergies/sensitivities almost every day.  Unfortunately attitudes and knowledge has not kept pace.  15 years ago when I went gluten free because of an intolerance, my friends thought I was just being difficult.  “just eat it, why do you have to be so difficult?” was a phrase I heard all the time.  Many times I did “just eat it” and dealt with the consequences after.  I am very conscience of today of ‘putting’ people out because of my food allergies/sensitivities.  Should it be that way, NO! Do I shout it from the roof tops, no, I try and educate where I can.  For the most part when I let people know how bad I feel when I eat certain foods and that I could die from eating certain foods then they have a better understanding.  I don’t scold, I don’t make them feel bad because they don’t understand and I don’t lash out, I try and always come from a place of love when there is an issue around understanding.  I am sure if I was still feeling like crap and just starting to deal with my food allergies/sensitivities my coming from a place of love would not be so much of a place of love but from a place of being p’ed off for having to defend my food choices.

Nothing good ever comes from anger, all around we need more understanding, more compassion from both sides.  Was Disney trying to get a laugh?  Yes of course, what they didn’t understand that for someone with Celiac disease getting toast thrown at you can not only be embarrassing but scary as well. Would they do a show with someone with a peanut allergy?  Probably not but then again there is way more understanding around peanut allergies. Many people have jumped on the no-gluten bandwagon not because there has been a diagnosis but because they feel bit better not eating it or they think they will lose weight.  I think that is great but for those of us diagnosed with either celiac disease or gluten intolerance we get lumped into the ‘trendy’ category.

It makes us easy targets to make fun of unfortunately.  I have gotten miffed when a waiter says in a condescending tone “oh you are gluten free”.  Yes, yes I am and I was before it became ‘trendy’.  If you don’t believe this is real I dare you to feed me gluten then stand down wind of me 2 hours later, it really is not very pretty and certainly not fragrant!

So whether I eat gluten free or because it is trendy or because I have a medical need what business is it of anyone else’s.  When my kids were little I chose to feed them very wholesomely, I didn’t allow them to have sugary cereal or treats, they ate gluten free and didn’t drink juices or soda pop.  Did everyone agree with my decision?  Of course not, my own mother told me I was being abusive to my kids for not letting them eat Fruit Loops.  Here is the thing though, I have never judged those moms I see going through the McDonald’s drive through handing their kids a Happy Meal and a soda pop, why?  Because; it is their choice; for their child.  I have no right to question the way another child is fed or another person chooses to feed themselves.  I have no idea if the mom is just being lazy or if she has had a really crap day and all she can muster is a trip to McDonald’s, I have no idea if 364 other days in the year she feeds her kid organic home cooked meals.  It is none of my business as it is none of anyone else’s business as to what I choose to feed myself or my children.  If you are not living in my shoes you have no idea why I have made the choices I have.

Bullying is all over the media, schools have anti-bullying policies, we run seminars on bullying but somehow it is ok to bully someone about their food choices which for many of us is not a choice it is a necessity.  It shouldn’t matter if you have a medical condition or not what you choose to feed yourself or your family should never ever be the fodder for a tv show or news feed or as a way to sell media.

Watch 10 minutes of any Real Housewives show and you can see how bullying is completely ok to sell a show and ok for us to sit and watch and be entertained by; but if a troubled kid bullies his classmate well that is taboo they are painted as being evil.   If the media is going to get behind this anti-bullying campaign then they need to take a very long look in the mirror and realise how they are contributing to the problem.  Hello Disney!  How is a child is suppose to watch a show where someone is throwing toast at a person that is Celiac/gluten intolerance etc and separate that from bullying their classmate with words or worse their fists?  How do they separate a bunch of ‘housewives’ calling each other names and shouting at each other; from calling their classmates names and shouting at them? Let’s be examples for our kids in every aspect, let’s not support media that promotes bullying as entertainment.

So from a place of love and tolerance I am asking the media to think before they act or speak and have some compassion for their fellow man.  Whether you think someone is being trendy or difficult you don’t always have the whole story so just keep your opinions to yourself and let them eat <gluten free> cake!

 

Having a Child with Autism and the Son-Rise Program

This month we are donating 15% of all on-line sales to Jordyn’s  goal of getting a service dog.  We asked Jordyn’s mom, Kelli to a write a post for us describing the Son-Rise Program and how it has helped Jordyn.

Having a Child with Autism by Kelli

Having a child diagnosed with autism I felt as if I’d been dropped at the bottom of very large mountain with no equipment to climb, but knew that was the only way to go, there was no looking back.  When first dropped at the base of the mountain, I went through all the standard stages – “why me” stage, then the “what did I do wrong that landed us here” stage, then the “what now” stage, all whilst not moving up the mountain.  Then there was a moment where I got the opportunity that this climb could be – not just for Jordyn, but for all of us – he was a gift given to teach us all sorts of lessons. 

It was soon after that moment that the Son-Rise Program came into our lives.  In reading the website I knew it was for us.  Grounded in loving and accepting Jordyn (and his autism) for all he is, while wanting more for us we began the climb up the mountain.

When we started our Son-Rise Program Jordyn was non-verbal, in his own world perseverating every waking hour on one activity or another, and not exhibiting his awareness of our presence except to guide our hand to food or drink.  Through loving play and joining Jordyn in his world he has come into ours – he now communicates with 3-4 word requests, LOVES being with people and including them in his games, and trying out their games.  We (including everyone we’ve trained to work with him) have enjoyed every moment and have had our lives altered over and over inside of playing with and loving him deeply.  We would not parent any other way.   We model exactly how we want him to interact with others – with loving respect, adventure, persistence, peacefulness, and passion – and he has blossomed!

All the things we have done have been complimentary to the Son-Rise Program, and/or in line with underlying principles of the program.  We continue to work and play with Jordyn to allow him to grow into the best version of himself.

Watch Jordyn’s journey Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 9.10.22 AM

Thank you Allergic Solution for being part of this Journey and your ongoing support.

Kelli

 

Dealing With Food Allergies – Part Two

In my earlier post, I made you aware of different symptoms that might indicate that your child is reacting to a food/s.  I also explained that the foods we eat the most often are usually our worst culprits unfortunately.  I then explained to you how to eliminate a potential culprit from your child’s diet and watch for any reaction when you reintroduce that particular food.  It is now time to tell you more!  Are you ready?

People go to medical doctors or food allergists to detect problematic foods.   Here is the problem with those tests.   Those tests only measure IgE reactions, meaning allergic reactions.  But most reactions are actually sensitivities.  What is the difference between allergies and sensitivities?  When a small amount of a food is consumed and a reaction ensues, that constitutes an allergy.  When a larger amount is consumed, often over time, and a reaction ensues, that constitutes a sensitivity.   And when there are sensitivities, often the reaction in the body is delayed.  A child can eat 2 eggs for breakfast and have no apparent reaction but 3 days after consumption, they may not go to washroom that day or a rash might appear or their asthma might get worse.  These sensitivities do not show up in regular allergy tests, which is why they can go undetected for decades.

What is the other problem with these tests?  Allergy tests only detect skin reactions to problematic foods.  The majority of allergic reactions take place in the intestine!  Many show up in the brain, joints or organs, just to give a few examples!

The most accurate way of detecting problematic foods is by keeping a food and symptom journal.  A parent records what their child eats and any symptoms their child is experiencing.  Some would say, “It can’t be the carrots causing my child to break out in a rash 2 days later.”  They might attribute the rash to the swimming lesson the child just completed instead.  It is only by seeing the patterns recorded in the journal that links can be made between certain foods and adverse reactions. And carrots DO cause reactions!  In fact, any food can be problematic.

Some would say that their child is eating too many things and that they need to have some way to narrow down the problematic foods.  There is no 100% accurate form of testing, not even a blood test.  Interro testing can certainly narrow things down and it is a lot less expensive than a blood test and provides immediate results.   Around 200 foods are tested on an adult or child over the age of two, using accupuncture points and a computer that has the foods programmed into it.  Many naturopaths and some nutritionists offer this form of testing.  After recommending others to perform this testing on my clients, I finally purchased the system myself and it is such a help in narrowing down the culprits.

The majority of us have food sensitivities, wreaking havoc in our lives, by causing or worsening over 200 symptoms or conditions.   Sensitivities to dairy products are a huge contributor to ear infections.  Sensitivities to chemicals are a huge culprit for ADD.  Wheat sensitivities contribute to stomach aches and IBS.  I implore you to look into the problematic foods for you and your child and make each one of your days more comfortable and healthier!

Extra information at The Resourceful Mother 

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by Meredith Deasley from The Resourceful Mother Pediatric Nutritionist and Life Coach 

 

International Pancake Day is Here! Do you Like them for Breakfast or Dinner or BOTH?

 

I have such warm and fuzzy feelings around our pancakes/wafffles because my fondest memories of my 2 sons growing up were all the Saturdays, the three of us sat around the breakfast table eating our pancakes or waffles and chatting.  Then as  we discovered food sensitivities in our family there was some frustration to create a pancake we all could enjoy and maintain our health. Eventually I created our Allergic Solution Pancake/Waffle Mix  and we could once again dependably enjoy pancakes while maintaining out healthy diet. We all could eat pancakes happily without any gastro-intestional or skin flare-ups! You know what it is like. You just want to eat delicious familiar food and feel great too. Now they are teenagers and most Saturdays I would just like to wack them upside the head with the waffle iron! :)

#1 Our Favourite Dinner Pancake Recipe

Many nights in the rush of getting two teenagers off to work after school and also having to have dinner for me and my hubby, I resort to this ultra quick pancake or waffle dinner.

I generally keep a ziploc bag full of waffles or pancakes in the freezer that can be pulled out, popped in the toaster and eaten.  Even if they have to be made fresh it rarely takes more than a few minutes to get them mixed and on the waffle iron or in the pan.

Recipe

Make AS Pancake/waffle mix according to directions on bag.  While your pancakes or waffles are cooking start broiling or frying your sausage (to save time cut the sausage into bite size pieces it will save time).

Place one pancake or waffle on plate, cut two sausages into pieces cover the pancake/waffle evenly, sprinkle cheese on top and cover with another pancake or waffle.  Serve.

You can also roll the sausage (whole) and cheese in a pancake and eat like a burrito.  My kids sometimes put salsa on top of their sausage and cheese pancake sandwich and if truth be told they generally eat these in the car on the way to work.  Once hubby gets home all I do is warm the pancakes in the toaster oven with the sausage.  Once warmed I assemble and serve.

#2 Yummy Breakfast Waffles (or Pancakes)

Saturday morings are traditionally our waffle mornings.  This goes back to when my boys were little and I would be woken by two little boys jumping up and down chanting “we want waffles, we want waffles!”

We would make a batch of waffles (this also works well with pancakes) then assemble all the goodies we would put on top.  My guys like strawberries, kiwi, melon, blueberries, bananas and apples.  While the waffles cooked I would cut up all the fruit and put in small bowls, some mornings for a treat we also used chocolate chips, pecans and whipped cream.  This is great for little kids because they can choose from each bowl and create their own pancakes

#3 Recipe Adaptations

Throw in a half cup of frozen blue berries in the mix when you are finished mixing as per directions on the bag and you have instant blueberry pancakes.  Throw in half cup of chocolate chips and top with banana slices and voila banana chocolate chip pancakes.

Feel free to add your favourite recipe in the comment section.

 

Do you want your child to make healthier food choices?

Are you wanting to get your child onside with making healthier food choices?  Here’s how!

As a parent, how do you begin to get your child onside with making healthier food choices?  I am going to share my method with you that works with children from 18 months old and up. Start by asking your child if they are experiencing any symptoms with which they are not happy?

  • Is your child getting sick frequently?
  • Do they have frequent ear infections?
  • Do the have a bowel movement each day? Are they constipated?
  • Do they have ADD?
  • Do they have asthma?
  • Do they have a skin condition? Eczema?

What we eat affects every aspect of our being!  And what we eat contributes to every symptom, condition and disease.  We eat multiple times a day but we tend to think that what we eat has no effect on how we feel or look, how much energy we have or how well our brains work.  The biggest challenge a nutritionist faces is helping others to see the link between how they are feeling and what they are eating. Now your challenge is to help your child see the link.

If your child is experiencing any of the health challenges mentioned above and is bothered enough by that symptom, he or she may be relieved to know that there is something that can be done to help them!  You could go to a naturopath or nutritionist and have food sensitivity testing done on your child or you could begin your own detective work.  The goal is to determine the food that is your child’s biggest culprit for the symptoms they are experiencing.

I’ll give you two hints on what food might be bothering your child 

  1. The food that your child cannot live without AND/OR the food your child eats the most often
  2. The two biggest culprits in North America, for all symptoms, are DAIRY and WHEAT – it is no coincidence that these are the two food groups of which we eat the most.

Great, you say.  Yes, great! Now we have have a place to begin.

Now, ideas should be forming in your head, as to which foods are the potential culprits for your child.  If you want to test that food on your child to see if it is indeed a culprit, all you need to do is completely remove the particular food(s) from their diet for one week and then reintroduce it.   Easier said than done, I know.  How badly your child’s health challenge is affecting them will determine if your child will be onside with trying this method for improving their health.  Once the week has passed, you will find that when you reintroduce the problematic food, your child will react worse than ever before to that food and you will have found your child’s first culprit food.  I invite you to embark on the journey of discovering the biggest culprit for your child’s specific health challenge and then replace that food with a healthier alternative!

Here are a couple of other articles with ideas and examples

Educating Kids To Make Healthy Food Choices

Dairy – a food we CAN live without

by Meredith Deasley from The Resourceful Mother Pediatric Nutritionist and Life Coach 

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Lunches- Beyond the PB&J, Yogurts and Cheese

This months edition is all about allergy-free lunches. That’s right – zero gluten, dairy, corn, yeast, sugar, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and soy. Packing a lunch for kids who are allergic to one or more of the above isn’t always the easiest because lets face it – everyone’s “go-to” is a quick PB & J sandwich, yogurt and slices of cheese. These ideas are not just for kids either, they make great ideas for everyone. Most of the gluten-free convenience breads are full of artificial ingredients, refined gluten-free flours and little to no protein or fiber which makes them very nutrient depleted and leaves your poor little kiddo struggling for energy. So how can you have a lunch that’s safe for your kid, tingles their taste buds, AND easy for you to prepare? Lets brainstorm! Serve all with fresh fruit and vegetables on the side because those are always allergy-free.

1. Layered Mexican Dip
* Salsa*** or  (Organic Neil Brother’s Mild Salsa)
* Amy’s Kitchen re-fried beans, or black beans with cumin and chili powder
* Avocado or Guacamole (Garden Fresh)
* Shredded lettuce
* Serve with rice chips and peppers
2. Vietnamese Spring Rolls ***
* Rice paper wraps, slightly damp
* Fill with – Avocado, grilled chicken or shrimp, shredded lettuce, carrot matchsticks, cilantro, sliced mango (optional)
* Hummus – for dipping, or a safe salad dressing of choice
* Or Spicy “Peanut” Sauce (No peanuts or fish sauce)***
3. Tuna Salad
* Mash tuna with avocado, olive oil and lemon juice instead of mayo
* Serve with your wholegrain cracker of choice or Allergic Solution Bread if you have some made up. Some kids even enjoy tuna inside a baked potato.
4. Soup
* Lentil/chicken and vegetable soup using all leftovers and veggie broth, optional gluten free pasta noodles, quinoa or brown rice
* Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup***
* Imagine brand Butternut Squash Soup, Imagine Sweet Potato Soup, or Pacific Coast Butternut Squash Soup (contains soy and cane sugar) add your own veggies and protein
* Pacific Coast brand Curried Red Lentil Soup (contains coconut and cane sugar)
* Amy’s Kitchen brand Lentil Soup, Split pea soup, Lentil and vegetable soup, Tuscan bean and rice soup
5. Dinner leftovers
* Roasted potatoes/sweet potato fries and Roast chicken
* Homemade burger (or Beretta Farms mini burgers)

*** recipe below
If your kiddos need more options or have even further food sensitivities don’t hesitate to contact me at sarah@allergicsolution.com for your own personal brainstorming session.

Thai Cold Rolls

10 – 12 rice paper wraps
1 – 2 large carrots 2/3 of a cucumber
half a head of lettuce
1 cup freshly chopped cilantro
other options – sliced chicken, mango, shrimp

1. Julienne (thinly slice with a mandolin in long matchsticks) the carrots and cucumber and coarsely chop the lettuce
2. Place rice paper wraps in a bowl with warm water and let sit until they become soft
3. Pull one out at a time and lay flat on a cutting board or the counter
4. In each wrap towards the end add a mixture of carrots, cucumber, lettuce and cilantro to fill ¼ of the wrap
5. Fold in the edges of the wrap on each side of your hand and roll the wrap away from you – like a burrito, so all edges are stuck together
6. Repeat this for all the wraps and then slight on a diagonal into two and serve with a sauce of choice

Spicy No “Fish Sauce” “Peanut” Sauce

1/2 cup coconut milk – lite – or 1/3 cup other milk beverage of choice
1/4 cup finely chopped dry-roasted, unsalted roasted sunflower seeds ( Or peanuts if you are not allergic)
1-2 tsp Umeboshi paste
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Jamaican hot pepper – ½ or full depending on your spice tolerance (advised to remove for children)

1. Combine all in a food processor and blend until smooth or leaving some of the peanuts chunky for a great texture
2. Best served with thai cold rolls or veggies for dipping

Tomato Salsa

1 ripe tomato
1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
½ tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
To taste, salt and pepper
Optional: jalapeno or Serrano chili

1. In a medium bowl, seed and chop tomato.
2. Mix all ingredients together
3. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup

1 tbsp coconut oil – can use extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 inches ginger root, shaved, and finely chopped
7 – 8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
6 cups low sodium vegetable stock (ensure gluten free)
1 cup lite coconut milk (or other milk beverage of choice)
1 cup red lentils
3 cups chopped kale (optional)
¼ tsp nutmeg
Sea salt to taste (if used low sodium broth)
1 cup water

1. Heat the oil, onion and ginger in a large pot until the onion is translucent
2. Add in carrots, potato, vegetable stock, coconut milk and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil . Add an extra 1 cup water as needed for desired thickness.
3. Used a hand blender (or regular blender in batches) to puree the soup
4. One the soup is pureed, add the spices and chopped kale and heat until kale is wilted.

-Article and recipes by  Sarah Maughan, B.A, RHN