Thursday, March 11, 2010


The ASCIA offers a free anaphylaxis e-training. If has been specifically developed for school and childcare staff, but parents, friends and patients are also encouraged to take it brush up on their skills and knowledge. I haven't taken it yet, but I will post an update after I take it, which will hopefully be this weekend. Click on the title or the link below to check it out.

Anaphylaxis E-Course Link

Monday, March 08, 2010

WebMD and food allergy prevention

I read an article on WebMD the other day about preventing food allergies in subsequent children when one child has already been diagnosed with food allergies. This is a topic that concerns me for obvious reasons, as my son has multiple severe food allergies. So far, most of the information I've read has been conflicting and inconclusive. The basic debate is whether or not pregnant women should utilize avoidance measures to prevent food allergies in their children. According to the study referenced in this article, women that took avoidance measures were less likely to have children with food allergies. However, at the end of the article is the following disclaimer:

Robert Wood, MD, director of the division of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, tells WebMD that pregnant women should not feel guilty if they do not want to follow avoidance measures.

"I explain to my patients that exposure [to food allergens] in pregnancy seems to be a risk factor in some studies, but the results are not consistent. We don't have the answer," he says.

I think that for the mother of a child with one, or maybe even two, food allergies, taking avoidance measures would be fairly straightforward. But for someone like me that would have to avoid multiple foods it is considerably more complicated. Although I work hard to ensure that my son has adequate nutrition despite his food allergies, it would be more difficult for me to do the same for myself and a growing fetus. Not impossible, but difficult. And eliminating multiple foods has its own risks, which have to be weighed against the risks of the baby developing food allergies.

Unfortunately, past experience has shown me that the numbers might not be on my side. For example, the majority of women experience their water breaking with their first child while they are home in bed. Only a small percentage of women experience their water breaking while they are standing, because the baby's head acts as a cork. Very few women are in public when this does happen. I was walking around Wal-mart when my water broke, I was one of the few. Children who are breastfed develop food allergies at a lower rate and of those who do develop food allergies, they are less likely to have multiple food allergies. I breastfed my son well past his first birthday, and yet he is allergic to four of the big eight. He is one of the few. To be honest, I would be quite upset if I avoided all of those foods, breastfed, and my child still developed multiple food allergies. There's a lot to consider when making this decision.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Binky's Big Day

It was Arthur's birthday and the whole class sang Happy Birthday. He brought special treats for everyone at snack time.

Mr. Ratuburn asked Arthur to pick a friend to help pass out the birthday cookies. "Pick me!" they all shouted. Everyone wanted to help except Binky. He knew he couldn't eat birthday treats or even help pass them out because of his food allergies.

"I want Binky to help me," said Arthur. "Binky has food allergies," said Francine. "He can't help you."

Arthur smiled. "We checked with Binky's mom, and my dad made chocolate chip cookies from Cherrybrook Kitchen that everyone can eat!"

Binky jumped up to help Arthur. "The first one is for you Binky," said Arthur. Binky took a huge bite. "WOW these are awesome?" said Binky.

The class cheered as Binky passed around the cookies. When he finished, he whispered to Arthur, "Thanks. This is the best day ever!"

This is the story that was on the back of the Cherrybrook Kitchen chocolate chip cookie mix. I hope you enjoyed it, I know we did.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Yay for Cherrybrook Kitchen!

After being informed by another food allergy mama that our local Target had some peanut, egg and dairy free cake mixes, I finally got to check it out. Initially, I went to the wrong Target and was frustrated by the blank stares and dumbfounded looks of the employees when I asked if they had them. Then I went to the bigger Target (I think the employee said it was a "Target Fresh") and found them. They had a few varieties, mostly from Cherrybrook Kitchen. I chose the chocolate chips cookies because I've successfully made amazing cakes and cupcakes that he can eat (a modified vegan recipe) but I haven't found a cookie recipe that I like yet. So, we came home and whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Most of us ate one, my son ate two, and I put away the rest for another day. So, what's the verdict?

Drum-roll please...

They were good! The taste and sweetness were just right, they were quick and easy to make, and everyone liked them. They were a little "cakey", but I took them out a little earlier than recommended because I wanted them to be soft and chewy, which they were. Overall, these were a hit and something I would buy again.