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.

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.**


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