Monthly Archives: August 2014

STICKYJ Medical ID tag: Review

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Squid got his STICKYJ Medical ID tag and bracelets today!  It’s so tiny and it fits perfectly!

Ordering
I think the hardest part of ordering was deciding what information I wanted engraved. The front engraving was preset and included in the price of the tag ($7.95), which was a big plus. I like that all of my toddler’s sensitive information is safely concealed on the back of the tag. On the back ($5.95 for the first line, $0 for the next 7 lines) I have his name, allergies, carries epipen,  and emergency contact information. The engraving was dark and legible with my 5 lines. I also like that I can put his tag on any bracelet in the future so it will grow with him!  The bracelet 4 pack I ordered fits 4-6″.  Perfect for Mr. tiny wrist.

Checkout & Delivery
At checkout,  you can choose to expedite the engraving process. The typical engraving time is 3 day. After that you can choose the speed of shipping. I picked 2 day shipping because I wanted it here before leaving for Hawaii. The other options would have been delivered way too close to leaving day for my liking.

As I was checking tracking, I noticed the site lists what stage the order is in and who is working on it, by name. If you have any issues, you know exactly who did it.  It arrived the day it was promised.

Fit & Wear
As mentioned,  it fits perfectly!  It came with a small pouch to store the tiny bracelet… I know that will come in handy!  The clip is tight and secure. A little difficult to fasten onto a wiggle worm but once it was on, it wasn’t coming off. My son, however, was a little picky about which wrist I put it on. Who knew a 16 month old would have a preference.

The only complaint I have is the way the rounded tag hangs over the band. It looked uncomfortable but he didn’t seem to mind.

Overall, I love it!  I can’t wait for him to wear it!

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Squid’s Alfredo Pasta

Since we discovered Squid’s allergy and its severity, we’ve banned dairy and egg from our home because we want it to be his “safe place” when he’s old enough to understand.

That being said, we do, on occasion,  CRAVE our forbidden temptress (dairy) so we have to look for Squid safe substitutions.

Squid’s Alfredo Pasta

Thank you buzz feed for putting together a list of 19 Creamy And Delicious Vegan Pasta Recipes!

#4 on the list is an Oh She Glows recipe for Cauli-power Fettuccine “Alfredo” (Vegan).  This recipe is toddler approved so we’ve had it twice already. Pretty awesome substitution for Alfredo.

We did make a few adaptations. We basically use any egg free pasta that we have on hand at the time. It’s difficult to find a pasta that does not have a “may contain traces of egg” warning. Although, we’ve never had a reaction to Skinner, it is processed in the same facility as egg.

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We also added spinach and mushroom sauteed in extra virgin olive oil and garlic.

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That addition is probably the best decision we’ve ever made. Delicious!

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We also went without the parsley garnish.

YIELD
4 SERVINGS (OR 3 CUPS SAUCE)

PREP TIME 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME 30 MINUTES

 

Ingredients:
4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 small/medium cauliflower)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 med/lg cloves)
1/2 cup unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
Fettuccine pasta of choice (I used one (8-oz) box of Eden Organic Spelt Ribbons)
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Add cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 3-7 minutes until fork tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, add the oil into a skillet and saute the minced garlic over low heat for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant, but not browned.

We added mushrooms to this step. When they’re soft, add spinach.

In a high speed blender, add the cooked and drained cauliflower, sauteed garlic, milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until a super smooth sauce forms. If using a Vitamix use the tamper stick as needed. The key here is to get a really smooth sauce so don’t be afraid to let it run for a minute or so. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your desired amount of pasta and boil for the time instructed on the package. Drain pasta.

Add cauliflower sauce into the pot (you can use the same pot!) and add the drained pasta. Heat over low-medium until heated enough to your liking. Salt again to taste (the pasta dilutes the flavour).

Serve with fresh minced parsley and black pepper. Feel free to add in your favourite sauteed or roasted vegetables. I think peas, spinach, or broccoli would work very nicely! I added mushrooms, but I wasn’t overly crazy about them in this dish.

Notes: 1) To make this pasta sauce extra decadent-tasting, add a tablespoon or two of vegan butter into the sauce. 2) To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. 3) To make this nut-free, use a nut-free non-dairy milk such as soy milk instead of almond milk. Be sure to use unsweetened and unflavoured milk.

Enjoy! 🙂

Baby wearing… how I created my Ring Sling

I’ve gone back an forth over whether or not I want to take a stroller to the airport.  My son does horribly in the stroller.  He wants to stand up in it all the time!  Needless to say, I’d probably end up pushing an empty stroller while carrying my luggage and a toddler.  Once I decided that the stroller was not an option, I thought, “Now what?”  I know, baby wearing!  But how…

I have a Moby, which was wonderful when he was smaller but after trying out a few new carrying positions I quickly realized that I DO NOT want to wrestle the Moby and an angry toddler in the middle of the airport.  He refuses to back carry so only option is in the front or on the hip. The Moby is just too much work for this situation.  I had to find something easier…. and thinner.  3 layers of woven fabric over my already sweaty toddler and the rest wrapped around me several times is probably not the best option while making my way through the airport.

A friend of mine had mentioned that she made a ring sling that she loved.  She sent me the instructions and I decided to give it a try. (Amazing how-to video, by the way.)

I bought a 2.25″ piece of fabric from Joann’s. I went with the Batik cotton fabric because it really caught my eye and, as the tutorial suggests, it didn’t have a “wrong” side.  If I make another one, I would go with something thinner.  Yes, it’s 100% cotton but it’s not very soft.  However, it serves its purpose and serves it well.

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After I picked out my fabric, I ordered my sling rings.  I went with the large, aluminum, silver rings.  Large because my fabric is on the wider side of the tutorials suggested fabric width.

Width: If you choose fabric that is 36 – 45″ wide you will not need to hem the sides unless you choose to do so. If the fabric is wider than 45″ you will have too much. (The Maya Wrap Sling is 34″ wide.)

The rings came in the mail and I went to work.  I started by sewing one of the cut edges to give it a nice hem.  Then I sewed two straight lines down either side in different colors.  This stitch does not hold anything together.  I use to to tell me which side is which during wear.

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The hardest part of the whole project was the pleats… and the toddler tugging on the end of my fabric like an overgrown kitty cat.  After getting everything pinned and stitched, I attached the fabric to the rings and we were ready to wear!

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I searched YouTube for tutorials on baby wearing in a Ring Sling and we gave it a trial run at the grocery store and he didn’t mind it one bit.  I did decide afterward to tie up my loose fabric around my rings. I think this is going to work!

More on our Hawaiian adventure to come!

Allergy Alert! Epipen Inside!

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Squid and I are gearing up to fly to Hawaii to visit an old friend….how convenient that she lives in Hawaii 😉  Needless to say, the though of flying (his first flight) with a 16 month old with food allergies had me a little on edge. Thankfully, no nut allergy here but I wanted to be prepared.

I’ve been wanting to refresh his backpack allergy tag for a while now so I searched Google and Pinterest for some ideas of what information should be included. I came across some awesome “Epipen Inside” tags during my search and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I printed the template on card stock, “laminated” them with packing tape, and secured them to our bags with safety pins.

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For his information tag, I bought a pack of self laminating luggage tags from Academy and drew out my design on Photo shop using the preprinted tags that come in the luggage tag package as a template for size. Sadly, I made the mistake of printing on card stock. If I could do it over, I would print it on regular paper. Two pieces of card stock is almost too thick for the tag.

The backside of his tag says:

I have a LIFE THREATENING allergy to
Dairy and Egg
Please only feed me the snacks provided in my bag.

In case of exposure
Benadryl dosage 2.5 mL

In case of ingestion
Epipen in bag
Call 911

Emergency contact numbers

The verbiage is more for childcare purposes and not so much for the trip. Squid has a contact and ingestion allergy to dairy.

In addition to the bag tags, I also ordered him a medical id tag and teeny tiny bands for his teeny tiny wrist. It was 20% off with a coupon code so I feel like I scored a good deal. Hopefully it will stay on better than his AllerMates bracelet.

More to come on our Hawaiian adventure!

Food Allergy Awareness Week: My Mommy Confessions

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Blessed Little Family

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It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week. Maybe you already know that food allergies affect 1 in every 13 children under the age of 18 years old in the United States. I’m not going to wow you with a bunch of facts. I’m going to let you know more about us. And how food allergies affect our lives.

So here are my ramblings and confessions about our life and food allergies:

1. We don’t want to be different. Oh, we don’t want to. But we are. We didn’t ask for this lifestyle. We only do what we have to do to keep our child safe.

2. We are not crazy. Yes, sometimes I feel crazy. Or “cray cray”, as SG has come to say.

3. We are not out to ruin anyone’s traditional treats and foods. Birthday cupcakes at school or traditional holiday foods can be DEADLY to children with food allergies…

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Food Allergy Awareness: How to read labels

No dairy?! Hidden dairy?! What in the world does Squid eat?! That poor deprived boy can’t enjoy any of the “good things” in life!

These days there are endless options to be dairy free! Almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, soy milk, hemp milk (yes, that’s a thing), 7 grain milk and most of these options can be made into yogurt, ice cream, cream cheese, cheese, butter, and pudding. Very tasty options! He will NEVER be deprived of ice cream and cake!

As far as the hidden dairy goes, it all comes down to reading labels. While some pre-packaged items contain milk proteins (casein and whey), not all do. Finding safe foods for him became easy once we learned how to read labels. Some people have told me “that’s just too much work!” Well, I’ll do whatever it takes to protect my child.

Avoid foods that contain milk or any of these ingredients:

  • Butter, butter fat, butter oil, butter acid, butter ester(s)
  • Buttermilk
  • Casein
  • Casein hydrolysate
  • Caseinates (in all forms)
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream
  • Curds
  • Custard
  • Diacetyl
  • Ghee
  • Half-and-half
  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
  • Llactoferrin
  • Lactose
  • Lactulose
  • Milk (in all forms, including condensed, derivative, dry, evaporated, goat’s milk and milk from other animals, lowfat, malted, milkfat, nonfat, powder, protein, skimmed, solids, whole)
  • Milk protein hydrolysate
  • Pudding
  • Recaldent(R)
  • Rennet casein
  • Sour cream, sour cream solids
  • Sour milk solids
  • Tagatose
  • Whey (in all forms)
  • Whey protein hydrolysate
  • Yogurt

 

Milk is sometimes found in the following:

  • Artificial butter flavor
  • Baked goods
  • Caramel candies
  • Chocolate
  • Lactic acid starter culture and other bacterial cultures
  • Luncheon meat, hot dogs, sausages
  • Margarine
  • Nisin
  • Nondairy products
  • Nougat

Some Unexpected Sources of Milk*

  • Deli meat slicers are frequently used for both meat and cheese products.
  • Some brands of canned tuna fish contain casein, a milk protein.
  • Many non-dairy products contain casein (a milk derivative), listed on the ingredient labels.
  • Some specialty products made with milk substitutes (i.e., soy-, nut- or rice-based dairy products) are manufactured on equipment shared with milk.
  • Some meats may contain casein as a binder. Check all labels carefully.
  • Shellfish is sometimes dipped in milk to reduce the fishy odor. Ask questions about the risk of milk contact when purchasing shellfish.
  • Many restaurants put butter on steaks after they have been grilled to add extra flavor. The butter is not visible after it melts.
  • Some medications contain milk protein.

 

Quoted from http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/milk-allergy

Food Allergy Awareness: Day 4

Ok, dairy allergy…. I understand Squid can’t have milk, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, cream cheese, or cheese BUT why won’t you let him eat pancakes if I only add water, boxed cake, hotdogs, or other items that are not marketed as “dairy”?

While most people only see dairy as milk and milk related items, they don’t realize that milk is made up of proteins. Cow’s milk contains at least 20 protein components that may provoke an antibody response. The milk proteins, casein and whey are to blame. Caseins give milk its “milky” appearance and the whey makes up the remainder of the milk substance. Most commercial sources of whey are contaminated with casein proteins, and vice versa, so it can be hard to find truly “milk-free” foods.

 

Quoted from http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=516\

Food Allergy Awareness: Day 3

Squid has a dairy allergy, does that mean he’s lactose intolerant?

The simple answer to that is NO, they are completely different!

Milk allergy should not be confused with lactose intolerance. A food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific food protein. When the food protein is ingested, in can trigger an allergic reaction that may include a range of symptoms from mild symptoms (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.). A food allergy can be potentially fatal.

Unlike food allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system. People who are lactose intolerant are missing the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. As a result, lactose-intolerant patients are unable to digest these foods, and may experience symptoms such as nausea, cramps, gas, bloating and diarrhea. While lactose intolerance can cause great discomfort, it is not life-threatening.

Quoted from http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/milk-allergy

Food Allergy Awareness: Day 2

Food Allergy Awareness Week:

Many have asked “will Squid grow out of his milk allergy?” Here is the answer to that.

“Milk is one of the most common food allergens in children. Studies in several countries around the world show a prevalence of milk allergy in children in the first year of life of around 2% to 5%. Many children lose their hypersensitivity to milk by age 3, but some children remain allergic for a lifetime.”

Basically, only time will tell.

Quoted from    http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=516

Food Allergy Awareness: Day 1

Food Allergy Awareness Week:

How was Squid officially diagnosed with food allergies?  Don’t they have to poke him all over his back? OUCH!

Yes, most allergies are diagnosed with a skin test but at Squid’s age they chose to do RAST. 

RAST (radioallergosorbent test) is a blood test done in a laboratory. It is used to test a sample of blood for antibody to a specific food. While more costly and less sensitive than skin testing, RAST is particularly useful when eczema and other skin conditions make skin testing difficult. It also may be used to confirm a diagnosis when there is a risk of an anaphylactic reaction to skin tests.

Quoted from http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=286