Tag Archives: peanut free

Food For Thought

I’ve been doing some thinking…

Often, when non-allergic parents complain about dietary restrictions in the classroom they blame the parents. Sometimes, the child but, it’s often the parents. It’s my fault your kid can’t take peanut butter and jelly to school. I’ve heard it, I’ve heard people complain about how hard it is to send a lunch to school that doesn’t involve nuts. Believe, I know it’s difficult. It’s not impossible.

Charlie’s class is nut free. But not because I asked or demanded that it be. In fact, I didn’t even mention it. The school had a policy in effect for food allergies that stated that I would send in his food for snack time. When he started in the two year old program, I showed up to orientation with a shopping bag full of snacks, with his name on it, for the school to serve him. I was ready to comply with the set of standards. Only I was met with his teacher informing me instead of that, they would like me to provide a list of food that is safe for him to eat and they would buy class snacks based on that. They would make the class nut free and for the other kids “special days” (when the parent of the child brings in the snack) I would be responsible for coordinating with the parent and either alerting the school if they could eat it or send him something comparable. Easy.

Again, I didn’t ask for it. As it turns out, the school is staffed with teachers. They aren’t doctors, nurses or really anyone that feels comfortable giving a child an injection. They are teachers. They teach. They manage a classroom of 2, 3 and 4 year olds. They don’t want to have to inject my son with epinephrine anymore than I do. They make his class safe because it benefits him, me AND them. It’s a win-win-win.

Now, I ask you, don’t imagine that it is your child that could die or that would need to be injected as they struggle to breath, but imagine it’s you. It’s you that is holding a scared, flushed, vomiting, suffocating child that is covered in hives and YOU have to save their life by jabbing a needle into their thigh, how would you feel about allowing the peanut butter and jelly in your classroom? Something tells me you wouldn’t sign up for that situation. Schools don’t either; or teachers, or scout leaders, or camp directors, or whomever. It’s a scary as shit situation. I know, I’ve done it. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was lucky enough to have a friend react as quickly as I did and hold my burning hot, vomiting child while I jabbed his thigh. I couldn’t imagine doing it by myself in a classroom of 16 other kids. I doubt YOU would want to do it.

So instead of cursing at an innocent child or a parent that wants to protect them, try to sympathize with what the caretaker of that child would have to go through in the extreme accident if the allergen is consumed. Then, maybe we could all be a little more understanding because it affects us, not them.

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Baking from scratch

It’s a cold snowy day here, so what else would I do but make a cinnamon coffee cake this morning. We need something to warm our bellies in these close to single digit temperatures, wind gusts and snow flakes. Loving to bake is something I probably take for granted. I’ve been doing it my whole life. Now that we have food allergies, I realize I’ve been taking something else for granted, fresh bakery bread.

There are the obvious foods that we can’t eat. Nuts. Peanuts and most tree nuts are off limits. But what most people don’t realize is that it opens up a wide array of foods that are also considered “unsafe” and that includes bakery goods. One of our local bakeries won’t even accomodate food allergies with special orders. They say they cannot guarantee 100% safety from cross contamination. Honestly, I don’t know if I would trust a bakery that would accomadate us. Not unless they would allow me to apron up and join them in the kitchen.

So, with that being said, I thought I would share some of my new at home favorites that I’ve learned to make over the past 21 months since we ventured to the hospital with our first episode anaphylaxis. For each I’m just going to direct my readers to the webpages where I have stumbled upon these great recipes.

First, I’ll start with the cinnamon coffee cake I made this morning and have been eating all day. My friend shared this on Facebook not that long ago and I knew the first snow day we had I would be making it.

photo by flourmewithlove.com

Who wouldn’t drool over that? Or eat it all day long? I have done both. Great delicious cake that was pretty quick and easy to throw together.

Next up. Fresh bread. I tried on multiple occasions to make homemade loaf bread and I failed every time. So, I moved on to good hearty bread that is awesome with soups, stews or Italian dishes. Plus, it’s the easiest thing ever to make. I actually feel foolish for buying bread after making these next two recipes.

This is my tried and true no knead bread. It is a fix it and forget type but always gets rave reviews. This bread is also egg and dairy free! This is always a staple around our house and it doesn’t last long.

Photo courtesy of http://www.yumsugar.com

Then over the weekend I realized I was a Pinterest hoarder and thought I should put some pins to good use, so I made garlic rosemary bread. This bread will be a repeat offender. It was as easy as it was delicious.

 Garlic rosemary dutch oven bread loaf

Photo courtesy of http://www.sheknows.com

Next up in the bread catagory are dinner rolls. I will admit that after failing at loaf bread and biscuits, I wasn’t too keen on wasting time and ingredients to make rolls. But the snow got to me into a baking mode (it isn’t hard) one day last winter and I experimented and fell in love. These are pretty simple and delicious. A big shout out to user “Jean” at Food.com for submitting this recipe!

Photo courtesy of amireidey @ food.com

The last DIY recipe is granola bars. Where these aren’t “bakery staples” they have been a staple of my diet for longer than I can remember and I miss them terribly now. It’s hard to find decent ones that won’t break the bank and are safe to eat. Most companies have nuts in one variety of bar so all are contaminated. The ones that are safe I usually end up giving to the kids and not inhaling them myself, so I’m still missing out. Then my friend turned me on to these chocolate chip granola bars from Weelicious. These got rave reviews from the kiddos and were beyond easy to make. I highly recommend them. Also dairy and egg free!

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Photo courtesy of Weelicious.com

So there it is. Easy, simple baking that is allergy friendly. All of these even the most novice and “time crunched” bakers could tackle successfully. I hope you enjoy making and eating these as much as I do!

Photo courtesy of peanutallergy.com

Ryan Gosling approves 🙂