Disclaimer

Posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert. Please always consult your physician for medical advice. This blog is not a substitute for professional advice. Due to the ever changing manufacturing process and/or ingredients, please check food labels each and every time to make sure they comply with your food allergies. The Alherrgy Mom Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn very small advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But NO, we won't let that sway our opinions, all products listed, are found in our home and are regularly used by us.

Family Vacation and Food Allergies

July 20, 2019

Sorry this took so long but here it is!!





We recently vacationed at Massanutten Resort in Massanutten, Virgina. It was absolutely wonderful! I had a little bit of anxiety because it took multiple emails to finally get a hold of the main chef for the resort and it was a few days before we left, that I actually heard back from him. However, once we did speak, I got a feeling of calm. Don't get me wrong, I still had anxiety about going away. I mapped out the nearest grocery stores, Chik-fil-a's as back ups plus the local hospital.

I normally don't shop at Walmart but my son's daycare does for their snacks. As much as I dislike the corporation, they actually do put cross-contamination warnings on their brands of food. So that's enough to get me on Team Wally-World. There was a Walmart right in the heart of the town. So, I knew what we couldn't pack at home, we'd stop and get some staples there.

What food we packed:
My son is a little bit of a brand snob. He will only eat Wegman's Chicken nuggets. I've tried another brand, that look exactly the same and he refuses to eat them. Heat up some Wegman's nugs and their gone in a minute. He lives on nugs. In order to have a semi-stress free vacation, we needed to pack those frozen suckers on ice and haul them along.

I also packed some pouches, some snack size bags of chips, pretzels, allergy friendly cupcakes and juice boxes.

What items we took along:
A few pans, silverware, cooking utensils, his cups and I think that's it. Oh and Clorox wipes!

Medications:
Basically, I took the whole medicine cabinet. Inhaler w/spacer, Epi's, Benadryl, Tylenlol, Sun block, Bug spray and threw it all in a bag.

Once, we arrived at our condo, complete with our own full size kitchen. (Whenever we go away now, we always get a full size kitchen. Managing food allergies and vacations are hard enough. Get the full size kitchen. It's worth it.) I unpacked the Clorox wipes and got straight to cleaning the kitchen, the cabinet hardware, stove, microwave buttons, fridge handle, counter tops, kitchen table, everything! Then I moved onto the living areas, door knobs, end tables, coffee table. I wiped down my son's room.

We then hit up the local Walmart and did some food shopping. We didn't want to eat out every meal. So we got some lunch items and got ingredients for two dinners. Paper plates, paper towels. tin foil, plastic cups. Sorry, mother earth, we didn't do you any favors that week.

We didn't use anything that was provided at the condo. Community dishes, cups, and all that stuff, really turn me off and now, even more so with my son. I could stomach it in vacations past, if we re-washed stuff and ran it through the dishwasher but I was all for enjoying this vacation as much as I could.


Eating away from the condo:
The resort was great! Very allergy friendly!!! We ate at Virgina BBQ and Pizza. They had a binder full of what Top 8 allergens were in each item. We stuck to just pulled pork and we took all our meals to go. We ate back at our condo, so my son could have the chips and more sides to choose from there.

One night we ate off the resort at Capital Ale House. The service was wonderful. We ordered my son a plain burger and baked french fries. That's his favorite meal.

The other resort restaurant that we ate was Campfire Grille. That place was awesome inside! I told the server of our food allergies and showed him our chef's card (more on that below). The chef actually came out to our table and talked with us. We went over the card, what my son could eat and the chef was more than willing to personally cook his meal. Of course, my son wanted.....a hamburger and baked french fries. However, these were curly fries, so it was love at first bite. Funny thing is, we got curly fries at home after our vacation and he hates them! There is that brand snob again.



The only semi issue with the resort was at the Water Park. They didn't have legit restaurants there. They only had little snack bar areas. So cross-contamination was a high risk. I was never planning on eating there for my son, but if we were, with our allergies, it would've been very hard. The manager at the one snack bar was more than willing to try to work with us, I thanked him for the offers but I declined. It was just too risky. My husband and I got some food there and we got our son a slushy. He was more than happy with that. We ate off our laps because I didn't have my wipes with me to wipe down the tables. Even if the tables are clean, I always wipe them down. We left soon after to go back to the condo for lunch for my son and a much needed nap.

Sweet Frog was wonderful as well. They left me look at the ingredient list for the vegan fro-yo and left him use the oreos out of the original container to avoid the cross-contamination. Plus the pink color changing spoon was the most amazing, best thing, he ever saw.





We don't eat out often with our son. So this vacation was definitely, a lot, outside of my comfort zone. He's at the age where he doesn't want, what I pack. He doesn't get his situation yet. He ate a ton of meals that I didn't prepare that week. It did feel good to feel --- some what--- normal. When your a mom of an allergy kiddo, your control is strong. You control everything. It's hard to take a step back. I get it.


Some helpful hints for any restaurant that we go to:
We also opt for restaurants to bake the french fries, toss them in some oil. I don't trust fryers unless they are strictly for french fries. Only fryers I trust are Red Robin and Chik-fil-a.

I always carry a Chef's Card, that I printed off of the Food Allergy Research Education (www.foodallergy.org) It's very helpful when trying to explain your allergies and cross-contamination to servers, managers and chefs. Whenever, we do go out. I always have the server take the card back to the kitchen to show the chef or the manager.

We always wipe down the table and the chairs before I let my son sit down. Even if it looks clean.


Fun on vacation:
It may seem like a daunting task but it can be done. I left him play on playgrounds, I left him touch things. I left him feed animals at a petting zoo. He touched the play equipment at the water park. Was I freaking out inside. Uhhhh yes. Did I let my anxiety show to him? No. I just watched him, like a hawk. We constantly washed hands, if a sink was available I used our hand wipes. I was always on high alert. Outside of our condo, it wasn't very relaxing but vacations are now for the kids.





Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. If you ever have any questions. Please feel free to email me anytime!

Allergy Friendly Strawberry Shortcake

June 4, 2019


Allergy Friendly Strawberry Shortcake



Fresh strawberries
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco shortening (contains soy) or coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup almond milk or rice milk


Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. If the berries are already pretty sweet, you can skip this step.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and Grease 1- 8 inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl combine with a whisk: the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. Mix in shortening or coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (I use the whisk to help break up the shortening or coconut oil). Mix in applesauce and milk. Stir until just combined. If the mixture seems too dry, add a splash more of almond or rice milk.

Pour batter into the pan. 

Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

Before serving, top with strawberries and a dollop of coconut whipped cream, if desired.



I usually make my own coconut whipped cream but I haven’t perfected the recipe yet. So that recipe is still a work in progress. In the meantime, some grocery stores will stock coconut whipped cream in cans and some other dairy alternatives.

Tag #thealherrgymom and let me know what you think!

PA State Representative Ryan Warner's speech on Food Allergies and Act 93 of 2018

May 19, 2019

PA State Representative Ryan Warner's speech on Food Allergies


If the video doesn't work. Here is the link https://youtu.be/sBZ3B7zR1vM

This is such a great speech on food allergies! One I can relate too. However, we had Epi in our house since my son was 6 months old. I can't imagine the fear waiting 30 minutes till EMS showed up.

His also got a law passed. Act 93 of 2018. Please see the illustration below.





How to advocate for Food Allergy Signage at Community parks. Part 4- Success!!

May 15, 2019

How to advocate for Food Allergy Signage at Community parks. Part 4- Success!!



Thank You to everyone who donated!! My GoFundMe doesn’t reflect the actual donations. I got the majority through private transactions. I was able to meet my goal. The signs have been printed and are starting to pop up around the township at the parks. I’m beyond happy with how Amity Township has handled my proposal, how the road master listened to where I wanted them to hang. I’m so happy to be living in such a great area.

I’m also excited to announce that I have had multiple people contact me regarding getting signs hung up in their communities. The ripple effect has been working it’s magic. Two communities in California are getting food allergy signs. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if every park had these types of signs??!

Thank You Amity Township Board of Supervisors, the Parks and Rec and the Road crew!!!


"Lucas takes his food allergies to daycare" A children's board book

“Lucas takes his Food Allergies to… Daycare” Children’s Board Book Series



I have some very exciting news to share with all of you!

In the fall, I will be releasing my first book. “Lucas takes his food allergies to Daycare”. It will be a board book written from, what I’d think, would be my son’s point of view. Mixed in with some educational points. Why handwashing is important, why not sharing food with friends is important and why it’s so important to tell a teacher when you don’t feel good. This book will be geared towards the toddler in a daycare setting but the valuable information inside can be used in other real world situations.

I’m currently working on other books like “Lucas takes his food allergies to an allergist appointment”, “Lucas takes his food allergies to a friend’s house”. I hope they will be released in Early 2020.
I want to continue writing books for these real world situations because this is what our allergy kiddos need!

I know my son absorbs so much information from books. Information, that I feel, I just can’t get him to understand with a conversation. He’s at the point where he knows something is different about him but he doesn’t exactly know what. I’m absolutely positive, there are other food allergy kiddos in the same boat! I want to help out my son but I also want to help out other families as well.

If you would’ve told me, a few months ago, I’d be an author….. I would’ve laughed. It’s definitely not something I had ever envisioned for myself. Lucas’ daycare teacher, actually brought it up to me. I took a few books in one day to his school about food allergies. However, the reading level was still above what I thought, he’d understand. She said “Megan, if anyone can write a children’s book, you can!” and I looked at her and laughed it off. But on my way to work those words stuck with me. During my 40 minute commute, I already had a title and ¾ of book already written in my head. As funny as it sounds, it just came to me.

I’m going through the publishing process, picking out illustrators, looking over portfolios, editing with Mascot Books. It’s a fun process but also very stressful. I want this book to be perfect! So there is pressure.


I’m so excited to take you all on this journey with me! You can follow along on Instagram at @the_alherrgy_mom and @lucas.takes.his.allergies_book or my facebook page The Alherrgy Mom Blog for all the latest information.

How to Advocate for Food Allergy Signage at Community Parks- Part 3 "Fundraising"

March 25, 2019

How to Advocate for Food Allergy Signage at Community Parks- Part 3 "Fundraising" 




** I've updated the GoFundMe with a picture of a sign, that my signs will resemble. THIS ISN'T BANNING FOOD FROM THE PARKS!!!! IT'S STRICTLY EDUCATIONAL AND SPREADING AWARENESS. FOOD PROTEINS CAN SPREAD FROM TACTILE CONTACT. HAND SANITIZER DOES NOT WORK!!!! IT ONLY SPREADS THE FOOD PROTEINS AROUND ON YOUR HAND**

I finally got the last of the plans approved. The signs are ready to be printed! Now, I just need more of your help! Please visit my GoFundMe page. Your donations will go towards purchasing 12 Food Allergy Awareness signs for our 4 local Amity Township parks.

Thank You so much for you continued support of my son and many others in our community who have life threatening food allergies. Education is the first step towards change!

Link Below:
Food Allergy Signage at Amity Twp Parks



Thank You,

Megan

Food Allergies, the "D" Word and what your state can do for you!

March 19, 2019

Food Allergies, the "D" Word and what your state can do for you!



If your child has anaphylaxis food allergies and carries Epinephrine, they may qualify for state funded medical supplemental insurance. Regardless of income! Anaphylaxis Food Allergies fall under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Coverage can vary from State to State, however.

We spent so much money within the last 2 years with 2 Emergency room visits, countless allergy specialist appointments and a trip in an ambulance for our son. My husband is a Partner in a small to mid size Accounting firm and so, we have a high deductible family insurance plan. Before we switched over to Auvi-Q auto-injectors, we were shelling out $800 for 2 packs of generic EpiPens (one for daycare and one for us). Auvi-Q has a copay assistance program for those who just have commercial insurance. You'll receive free Auvi-Q's. Yes, Free, through their pharmacy. They ship them to you overnight. However, children that have medical assistance or other state funded programs will not qualify.

Until last month, I had no idea that my son would be eligible for Medicaid, a State funded, medical insurance plan. Regardless, of our income! As much I hate to view my son as "disabled" he technically is. So we might as well, get some state assistance to help with the thousands of dollars in medical bills we could potentially see each year.

We applied for medicaid through the https://www.compass.state.pa.us/COMPASS.Web/Public/CMPHome?preference=desktop&owner=user

You'll have to check out your own states website. I'm not sure if they're all the same. I was able to find the application online, print out the gazillion pages and then spent a few days filling it out. It's not easy but it's well worth it! You have to show proof of income, even though it's regardless of income. Then it takes a few weeks to get approval but they may be able to back date the start date of the insurance by 2-3 months.

So, once you get approved for Medicaid. You'll receive a Medicaid card in the mail. You'll have to pick your Insurance provider for the program as well, there are a few different providers. You'll want to choose the provider who covers your child's Primary Care Physician or Pediatrician, Any specialists they may see, Urgent Cares and hospitals. We had 5 providers to choose from but by the time you factor in all the medical providers, only 1, passed the test.

Normally, how Medicaid plans work in Pennsylvania are, they will pick up whatever your Primary insurance doesn't cover. Hospital visits, Ambulances, etc. Prescriptions will have low copay of a few dollars. As long as you stay with the in-network providers for your insurance policy.

I hope this helps you, as much as it helped us!






How to Advocate for Food Allergy Signage at Community Parks- Part 2

March 17, 2019




So my food allergy signs PASSED the governing board. They will be hung up by late Spring, beginning of Summer. YAY!!!! I'm so relieved. If there is one thing about me, if I set my mind to something, I.cannot.fail!

So let me go back, to my last meeting.

I had to attend the Township's Governing Board meeting. That was the final meeting. The make it or break it moment. It was a new set of Board members from the Parks and Recs Board. So I used my first presentation, just went over the key points from that and then added the new information.

At my first meeting, I didn't have costs or placements of the signs. So I made sure to go over that information, now that I had it. I reminded them that, this wouldn't be coming out of the tax payer dollars. It would totally, 100%, be privately funded.

They were all really receptive about it. There was lots of smiles, nodding in agreement and great feedback from the other members of the community. It was a packed house! It made me proud that I had so much support from everyone there, including my neighbors, who have been great with being supportive and coming to the meetings with me. There will also be a write up about it in our township newsletter.

So the next steps will be:

-The wording of the signs need the final ok by the township's lawyer, once that comes back then they will be off to production!

-Then I will go out with the Road Master and hang the signs or show him where the hang the signs.


------

I hope by sharing this journey with all of you, that you will reach out to your townships and get food allergy signs hung up. I can be with you every step of the way. Just email me or drop me a DM on Instagram @the_alherrgy_mom I have complete faith in you, that you too, can achieve this!



Allergy Friendly Fried Cake Doughnuts

March 3, 2019

Allergy Friendly Fried Cake Doughnuts



Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup Earth Balance Whipped Organic spread, melted (Always double check the ingredient list to make sure it is safe for your allergies!!)
1/2 cup almond milk or rice milk, if you want to be tree nut free
2 cups flour (plus a little more if dough is sticky).
oil for frying
powdered sugar


In a bowl mix the sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together.

Add applesauce, melted whipped spread, almond milk or rice milk to dry mixture.

Add half the flour and mix well. Then add the rest. mix until well blended. If the mixture is too sticky, add more flour. Mixture should be firm with a bit of sticky to it.

Heat about 2" of oil in a sauce pan to 360F

On a floured surface, roll dough to about 1/2" thick. I use a drinking class as my cutter and a shot glass for the inner hole. Cookie cutters work well or a large biscuit cutter, if you have them.
 
This next step be careful! Gently place the doughnuts in the hot oil. I use a fork to guide them in. Once the underside turns a nice golden brown, flip over to brown the other side. Total time is about 3 minutes. 


Remove from oil and place on paper towels to soak up the extra oil. 


Once cool. Toss in powdered sugar and ENJOY!! 


Please always consult your physician for medical advice. This blog is not a substitute for professional advice. Due to the ever changing manufacturing process and/or ingredients, please check food labels each and every time to make sure they comply with your food allergies.


Remember to tag @the_alherrgy_mom so I can see all your yummy doughnuts creations!



Daycare and Food Allergies

March 2, 2019

Daycare and Food Allergies



Personally, I try not to get too overly anxious about daycare and food allergies. I've heard the horror stories and I try not to think about them. I trust our daycare 110% or else I wouldn't be working. It also helped that he has been in daycare, full time, since he was 12 weeks old before he had diagnosed food allergies and I got to know the teachers before life got really interesting.

Our daycare never had an infant or toddler with food allergies. So no policy or procedures were in place before us. It is, however, in their training and certification to be trained in Epi administration. The administration and teaches have been awesome with my son's food allergies and setting up clear procedures with what I felt comfortable with to keep my son safe while in their care.

A few things that I liked about our daycare when we enrolled him, was the wait-list, yes, the wait-list. Wait-lists mean your center is obviously doing something right and everyone wants to be there. We actually had to get him enrolled when I was 5 months pregnant. They are 1 of the only 2 daycares in our county that are a Keystone 4 Star program. It's conveniently located 5 minutes from our house and it's a Christian faith based program. The teacher to children ratio is excellent, class sizes are small. Another selling point for me was, parents provide the food for their children. Snacks are provided by center. I'll talk more about that next.

How we handle food allergies at his home away from home:

He always eats in a highchair. His highchair has followed him from the infant room into the toddler room. While, everyone else eats at a small childrens table, he is high above, looking over his kingdom. This keeps him from sharing food from a neighboring child and keeps him in one spot.

He's the first one to get ready for Lunch time or snack and the last one down. This is so they can clean up the other kids, clean the table, clean the floor and get everything put away.
Some people will ask me about why the center isn't nut or peanut free. My feelings are- All food that I, personally, haven't looked at and vetted is a bad food for my son and needs to be kept away. I'd love to trust other families but in all reality, you can't. A center can be tree nut or peanut free, all they want, but what about cross contamination, shared lines, shared facility foods? I can't expect another mom or dad to put in the same time and energy into vetting food for their non-allergy child, so that my food allergy child can be safe. So at that point, what is the point in being a "free from" center?? Plus, my son is also anaphylaxis to peas. That is not a Top 8 allergy.

Snack time- Our daycare will provide snacks to the children, twice a day. For my son, he only eats the snacks that I pack for him. However, lately, they've been buying snacks that are safe for my son to eat, so he can feel apart of the crowd. I obviously vet the products. So whenever they go shopping, they set the boxes out for me to look at and then I put his initials on the box. If it doesn't have my initials, then my son doesn't eat it. They will also text me pictures of boxes and labels, if they forget to set the food out.

Open lines of communication are key. This is the first they're dealing with it in the younger classrooms and it's the first I'm dealing with it. Education is key and I will pass along info to them, regarding allergy information, I find along the way.

He will soon be moving up to the Toddler 2 room, which will propose a new set of challenges. We're still ironing out the eating situation, highchair or a separate table near by. But the Director is thinking about keeping all snacks in that room, safe for my son. So the teachers would only have to really worry about the outside Lunches. Which means, I'd vet each snack that they'd buy. I also, threw out the idea of buying all the snacks myself.

Playtime- Some markers, chalk, and other odds and ends will make my son get hives. I'm used to it, just wash it off his skin, and the hives go away but it will freak out the teachers. Which I understand. They see hives and I will get a phone call. I love that they call me. I tell them to wash him off and call me back in 15 minutes if the hives don't go away or if they start to get worse. It shows me that they are actually paying attention.

I've shown the teachers pictures of his anaphylaxis reactions, so they know his typical reaction pattern. Not all reactions can be the same. They can differ but so far, knock on wood, my son has had the same reactions- clusters of hives that are the size of quarters and that are full body, swelling of ears, eyes, belly button, vomiting and diarrhea.

My son has paved the way. After his enrollment, 2 other children, who are in the infant room and toddler room have new confirmed food allergies. So, I've been a wealth of knowledge for the daycare and I'm always happy to pass my knowledge along.


**This post, and all posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert and encourage you to consult with a doctor on your personal medical situation.**


How to Advocate for Food Allergy Signage at Community Parks

February 12, 2019

Food Allergy Signage at Community Parks



The outcome is still unknown, I could be doing all this work and at the end of the day, they could still reject it. Even though, I’ve made it through the first Parks and Rec meeting with them wanting more information, I’m still being cautiously optimistic.

Here are the steps, that I’ve taken so far in my own community to help advocate for my son and others who have food allergies in our community.


First: I emailed our Townships secretary. Most Townships have emails or a phone number published on their website of who the main contact is. In that email, I gave a short overview of my plans and how I was going to achieve them. I also inquired when the next Parks and Rec meeting was and if they could put this on the agenda. I made sure I could attend. You need to make yourself available and speak on behalf of what you want to do, because if you don’t take it seriously, then they won’t either.

Secondly: A few things that can kill any deal is money and legal stuff. At the time, I didn’t have the legal stuff ironed out yet and I still don’t -- but I’m working on it. I will post an update when I get one. But the money part, I had a solution for, without having to involved tax dollars. Double Win! Fundraising or having a local girl scout or boy scout use this as their Scout Project.

The third thing: When I was preparing for the Parks and Rec meeting, I wanted to make a handout. They will listen to you but they won’t remember it all but if you give them too much info, it will fall by the wayside. So you need to get to that happy medium and stick to the facts! My husband, a CPA ( Certified Public Accountant), he specializes and gives presentations on Government Audit and School Districts. He talks in front of Township boards all the time. He was able to give me some information and talking points. So I was prepared. I had him review my hand-out and get his stamp of approval. I broke my hand-out down into 3 parts: Facts, An Act for Change and How we can achieve this.

  • Facts: I pointed out 3 or 4 facts about food allergies, that would stop, make them think and how much people could benefit from these signs. I didn’t make this all about my son, it’s about my son and all the other kids with food allergies who use our local parks. Ex: 1 in 13 children have food allergies.
  • An Act of Change: Why I want to do this. Ex: Signs would be a “suggestion” and to “raise awareness about food allergies in the community”. It’s not taking away anyone’s rights to eat in the parks and it’s still the sole responsibility of the parent/caregiver to watch their food allergy children.
  • How we can achieve this: aka Money. Normally, the signs you see hanging around would be paid for by the tax payers. I knew going into this, that I could find a way around that, my success rate would be higher. Fundraising!!

On the second page of the hand-out you'll want to attach a few examples of signs with measurements, so they can see exactly what you want to do. I found 3 different examples and attached them.

Lastly: The signs! You'll want to find a Municipal Sign company. If you're local to Berks County, PA. I suggest you look into Miller Municipal Signs. They have great rates on signs and their customer service is top notch! The custom signs I'm looking into are 12" x 18" and they are about $30 per sign (a steal!!! for custom signs, I think). Hardware is sold separately, so depending on how you're hanging them will depend on what you'll need. I thought this whole thing would be in the thousands of dollars. I'm barely breaking $300 for 8-10 signs + hardware. You'll also want to buy a few extra in case they get vandalized or if they grow legs and walk away. 
  • Go out and visit all the sites you want to hang the signs. Townships aren't going to want signs every 2 feet. Us allergy moms would love to plaster signs every 12 inches but we got to be practical. Once you start talking nonsense, your success rate will go down. But go out and look around. Scout out the best spots for the signs. If there are any pavilions, ask to hang one there too. Take pictures!!!! Having as much clear and concise information is best. Pictures are the best way to show exactly where you want to put them.  
Do not forget to add your contact information to the bottom of the hand-out. If they have questions later, they have all your information right there. 


I hope this helps! Our allergy kiddos need us to advocate for them! Don't think someone else will. If you ever have any questions or need any help, I will try my best to help you! Feel free to email me or DM me anytime! 

Remember to tag #the_allergy_mom I'd really love to follow along on this journey with you!






Allergy Friendly Banana Bread

February 2, 2019

Allergy Friendly Banana Bread



Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon rice milk (or almond milk)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Earth Balance Whipped Organic spread (Always double check the ingredient list to make sure it is safe for your allergies!!!!) 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup semi-sweet allergy friendly chocolate chips, we use Enjoy Life Chocolate chips.


Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 2- 9x5" loaf pans.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir bananas, milk, cinnamon in another bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a third bowl until fluffy. Scraping sides. Add in applesauce to bowl with the butter and sugar. Add the banana mixture into the applesauce mixture, mix well. Then, set the mixer to low speed and add in the dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in allergy-friendly chocolate chips. Pour evenly into 2 loaf pans.

Baked until a toothpick, inserted, into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. About 60 minutes. Cool and Enjoy!


Remember to tag #the_alherrgy_mom

Happy baking!!!


FARE's Chef Cards


FARE's Chef Cards

The Food Allergy Research and Education  have these handy dandy little cards. They have seriously been a life saver. We don't go out to eat often (and we only eat at one or two places) but when we do, I always hand our server our son's allergy chef's card. We ask the server to take it to the manager, so we know that his food gets handled the appropriate way. 

I love the fact that you can write in the food allergies and it has, clearly typed, how to properly handle and prepare a food allergy person's meal. Parents or caregivers don't have to try to explain, the server doesn't have to write anything down or remember anything. Only thing they have to do is show the manager. It just makes the whole eating out process, easier. It's still nerve racking but it helps. 

To make the cards hold up longer, I got some laminating sheets off of Amazon. Within seconds, I have a nice sturdy, easy to clean, card to hand around. 






Allergy Friendly Chicken Lettuce Wraps

January 9, 2019



I was craving Chicken Lettuce wraps but -- I’m also trying to cook more meals that my allergy son can eat too. (The days of being a short order cook are wearing me out). With everything else going on, I’m usually writing the grocery list, while my husband is driving us to the grocery store. I came across water chestnuts in the recipe. My heart skipped a beat. Once your kid(s) get diagnosed with a life threatening food allergy, your thought process changes and you get allergy-mom-induced-anxiety. I started mentally freaking out. What if I didn’t remember his tree nut allergy? OMG I almost cooked a meal with water chestnuts! What are water chestnuts? I know they are yummy and I LOVE THEM and this was the whole reason WHY I was craving lettuce wraps! But, what, are they? Are they a nut or do they just share the name with our nemesis? I didn’t have much time to do research on them. In a quick google search, I found they are an aquatic vegetable with no relationship to tree nuts. Still I didn’t want to chance it, they share the name. There is that PITA allergy-mom-induced-anxiety again. Mini Cucumbers!!! Cucumbers are the next best thing to water chestnuts right? Sorta. They crunch. Would they work in this recipe? Won’t hurt to try. I used the mini cucumbers, so the seeds wouldn’t be an issue. I guess you could always get a regular size cucumber and scoop out the seeds.


I was very happy with the substitution! Would I make this recipe again? Hell yeah! Did my ever-so-picky he-only-eats-5-things child eat it? Yes he did! He even wanted more! MORE!!! He even ate some lettuce! I just about fainted. I even went as far as taking photographic evidence. I’m sure the next time I make it, he’ll turn his nose up at it. That’s what toddlers do right?


I also substituted Coconut aminos for soy sauce. Soy sauce still scares me with him (Classic case of AMIA).


I hope you can understand my recipe. I write, how I cook. Fast and to the point. Mom’s and mom's who work full time, don’t have time for these fancy ass recipes and long winded blog posts. Chop it up and throw it in the pan! Just make sure the meat is cooked! Mom’s don’t have time for food-borne illnesses in any family member.



Allergy Friendly Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chicken, turkey or pork

3 mini cucumbers- finely cubed

2 tsp fresh minced ginger

1 clove of minced garlic

2 tbsp of avocado oil

¼ cup of coconut aminos *** Coconuts are a botanical fruit but FDA still classifies them as a tree nut.


Bib Lettuce or Romaine


Over medium heat, in a sauté pan- add avocado oil and chicken. Cook until meat is light brown and cooked through. Add in the cucumbers, ginger, garlic and cook until cucumbers are warm. You still want the cucumbers crunchy, so I don’t cook them very long. Just enough to get the flavors of the ginger and garlic infused. Add in the coconut aminos and stir. Let sit a few minutes then serve with the bib lettuce or Romaine.



Enjoy!


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