Thursday, May 19, 2011

Allergy-Free Strawberry Cupcakes

Cybele Pascal's recipe for Allergy-Free Strawberry Cupcakes looks delicious! I'll be making these soon.
Allergy-Free Strawberry Cupcakes
© 2011 by Cybele Pascal

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FDA Meeting: Do Food Dyes Cause Hyperactivity?

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration met to try to determine whether a link exists between artificial coloring and hyperactivity in children. I think it's pretty major that the FDA is even considering that there may be a link between food dyes and kids’ behavior. There is a good NPR article about this debate here.

My girls are pretty calm, so hyperactivity is not high on my list of worries. But in dealing with food allergies, I prefer to limit processed foods that are full of added colors. The girls are already avoiding a few major food groups, so most of their calories need to be nutritious.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Emily's Story: A Food Allergy Angel

Last week was Food Allergy Awareness Week, and I saw a lot of great stories, recipes and discussions. I was feeling pretty confident, because I try to stay up to date on the latest information and we have a pretty good safe-food routine established at home.

Today I read Emily's Story - and it just breaks my heart. Emily died 5 years ago, and it was caused by an allergic reaction. This happened here in Cincinnati. Today would have been her 19th birthday.

I have to admit, I absolutely hate reading stories like this, because it makes me feel anxious and sad, and it makes me worry about my girls even more than I already do.

I'm sharing this because I think other parents need to see how serious food allergies can be. And it reminds me that I cannot let down my guard. I also need to stop worrying about what other people think of me. There will always be people out there that think food allergies are exaggerated, or that I'm just a parent trying to get attention. I've overheard parents of older kids talking about 'The Food Allergy Nazi Mom' in their kids classroom, and it makes me feel awful. I know what that mom is dealing with, and she is just trying to keep her child safe. It can be hard to get other parents to understand that there isn't any room for error. An Epi-pen does not typically reverse a reaction - it can give some relief for about 15 minutes, until an ambulance arrives. (This is why you should always carry two - in case you need to buy more time)

Please take the time to read Emily's Story. It's a good reminder that food allergies are very serious. If your kids don't have food allergies, be thankful, and try to be more understanding of families that deal with this every day. If your kids do have food allergies, ALWAYS have your Epi-pens with you and be prepared to use them.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Reds say no to peanut-free baseball (again)

I contacted the Reds again this year, about the possibility of a peanut-free section for one game. Here is the email I received today, from Sean Brown, Director of Ballpark Operations:

Ms. H,

This offseason, we reviewed the policies other clubs have in place for their peanut free or peanut sensitive areas.

In doing so, we discovered that it would not be advantageous for the Reds or for the families of those affected by a peanut allergy, to host such an area within the ballpark.

I apologize we cannot accommodate your request or that of your children.


There are other Major and Minor League teams that are providing peanut-free sections for games, so please check Peanut Free Baseball for a list of teams and games in your area.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Allergy Eats - a great resource for dining out with food allergies

AllergyEats is a free website, that lists well over 600,000 restaurants nationwide, which food-allergic diners can rate. The site also offers information on restaurants’ menus (including gluten-free menus), allergen lists, nutrition information, certifications, web links, directions and more.

This free, user-friendly website provides valuable peer-based feedback about how well (or poorly) restaurants accommodate the needs of food-allergic customers. The peer ratings and feedback allow food-allergic and gluten-intolerant diners to quickly and easily find restaurants that will more likely cater to their special dietary requirements – and avoid the ones that won’t.

Most restaurant review sites include information about establishments’ food, ambiance or service, but AllergyEats is singularly focused on food allergies, with peer reviews spotlighting where people with food allergies or intolerances have more comfortably eaten. AllergyEats has significantly improved the way food allergic and gluten-intolerant individuals find allergy-friendly restaurants.

AllergyEats has been endorsed by highly-respected food, health and allergy organizations, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Gluten Intolerance Group, Massachusetts Restaurant Association, Chef Ming Tsai and more. 

What a great resource!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What to do when foods become allergens - Q&A

Here is a really good food allergy Q&A interview with Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York, and faculty member of the New York University School of Medicine, both in New York City.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New to Food Allergies?

Make sure you check out this free 47-page e-book from Kids with Food Allergies. It is filled with essential information for parenting a food allergic child.

Learn about food allergies, anaphylaxis, diagnosis and treatment; find nutrition information and allergen avoidance lists for common food allergies and much more.