Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reason #138 for ice cream

"My foots are getting sleepy, and I need ice cream to wake them up."

Yes, he's pointing at his feet, and he was being completely rational about his request.

I *love* having a 3-year-old!

And, to keep this post on topic -- our choices for ice cream are pretty limited. Soy ice cream is the easiest to get, but I do prefer the rice dream ice cream because I don't want the kids to get too much soy in their diet. (Here's why, if you're wondering.)

I'm not sure if it's playing russian roulette, especially given my last post, but we do let them have ice cream with the "manufactured on equipment" warning on it. I haven't found ice cream yet without that warning, and making our own ice cream is pretty daunting.

Edited post to add: We're not just nut-free, but dairy-free too. Home-made dairy-free ice cream recipes would be welcome! I do have an ice cream maker. Now there's an idea for an allergy cookbook — tasty ice cream recipes with dairy-free, egg-free alternatives!

Hitting close to home

A local woman was almost killed by a Starbucks dessert last year. Here's the story at the CBC website: "Near-fatal allergic reaction caused by Starbucks dessert".

And the worst part of the story: Starbucks didn't change the labelling on the product (subcontracted from another producer) and seemed reluctant to provide incident reports to the local health authorities.

Don't read the comments if you've got allergic kids. There's a whole lot of blame-the-victim in the comments, and several more comments along the line of "bring your own food if you're allergic."

One of my friends has severe food allergies and went out to a local allergy support group once. She commented that a lot of people in that group seemed to never go out anywhere. It's a classic Fear of Food situation, and I sometimes end up in that camp, worried for my kids, and freaked out that something random in their food will kill them.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy new year!

I'm delighted to report ... nothing!

That's right, we had no reactions this entire holiday season. I was prepared, and bought an extra bottle of Benadryl a couple of weeks ago, just so that I had it in the house. Maybe it was my good luck charm because we didn't need it at all.

Andrew's gotten amazing about handling his allergies. He asks clearly if something is safe, and if it's not, he simply moves onto the next thing that's safe. (This year, it was yummy chocolate sprinkle cookies which I love too!)

He's been a very picky eater as well, but this season I also had some luck in getting him to try new things -- and he's loved them and asked for more.

We're going to start implementing a one-bite rule for the kids' meals. If we have a new (safe-for-them) food, they have to try at least one bite before they declare that they don't like it.

I did have some goat's milk cheese for our New Year's Eve party, and asked them if they wanted to try it (hey, I've got a full bottle of Benadryl on the counter), but I had no takers and I didn't want to push it. Goat's milk proteins are slightly different from cow's milk proteins, but still about half of the kids who are allergic to cow's milk also react to goat's milk.

Andrew actually looked at me like I was crazy for offering it to me. Then he said, "I won't try it until my doctor says it's okay." Wow, that's one amazingly self-controlled kid.

And finally, I want to apologize to the nice folks at id4udesigns. They custom-made a gorgeous medical ID allergy bracelet for Andrew last year, and I've totally forgotten to review their final product on this blog, due to my blogging break.

It looks a lot like this one.

Andrew chose green stones instead of the black ones in the photo, and has worn the bracelet everywhere in the last year. I'm happy with it because the information is all there if he gets separated from us in a crowd. And he's happy with it because it's a fun piece of jewellery that doesn't get in his way or make him stand out from the other kids. (The folks who made the silicone allergy bracelets from a previous post have gone out of business, so it's nice to be able to recommend this replacement source.)

I'd take a photo of it but it's currently lost in his room, under the piles of Lego that he received for Christmas this year.