Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Farewell to Arms … er, Eggs

With Easter coming up, one of our favourite treats is – or rather was - the Cadbury Easter Creme Egg. This year we found to our dismay that they contain a may contain peanuts warning.


So now as we watch the clucking bunny commercials, we mourn the loss of this Easter-time staple in our house. Now while I don’t think that companies need to change their products to suit consumers’ allergen sensitivities, it’s always encouraging to see companies that put in the extra effort to make allergen-sensitive products and lines.

… and equally discouraging when companies change recipes or production facilities that introduce allergens into their products.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Earthquake–Google People Finder

Like many people today, I woke up to the horrific news of the 9.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Thoughts and prayers go out to the entire nation.

Google has launched a “People Finder” to help provide information to people trying to reach loved ones. If you are looking for someone, or have information on someone, please enter that information.

Google Crisis Response is located here:

Please note that information on their site will change as the situation changes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Comfort Food

As I write this, my wife and I are both home … sick.

The heat in the house has been bumped up about 5 degrees, Krystyne is cuddled into her blanket, and I am sporting my “sick sweater” … when I’m not burning up, that is.

And in the midst of tissues, orange juice, chicken noodle soup, and tea, my histamine-laden mind wanders to thoughts of things we do for comfort when we are sick.

Is there a particular food that you enjoyed as a child? One that when you eat it, your memories come flooding back? Maybe there’s one that you used to eat, but now due to food allergies – either in yourself or in family – are on a “naughty list”, or even banned outright?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Eating out Allergen-Free

I’ve noticed a number of visits to the website through Google searches for peanut-free restaurants in Canada.

Earlier on in my blog I listed a number of restaurants that we tend to frequent as a family, which provide either peanut-free menus or peanut-allergy-friendly options.

There’s a restaurant in town called “Frankie’s Ristorante”, which prides itself on being 100% gluten- and wheat- free. As well, they are a peanut-free and nut-free environment. We haven’t been yet, but have heard nothing but great reviews from our friends. As their website states, “We feel that anyone, with almost any food sensitivity, should be able to eat an enjoyable, fulfilling and tasty meal without the risk of cross-contamination.”

List Update …

Also, Wild Wing originally listed in Uxbridge has undergone a makeover. The owners remain the same, but they are no longer a part of the aforementioned franchise. Now called Clem’s Custom Wings, they allow you to customize (fancy that) your wing order. For example …

1 & 1/2 lbs of original wings, tossed in Frank’s Red Hot sauce and blue cheese dressing, and dusted in Southern Heat BBQ spice.


This was my first foray into their menu, and I wasn’t disappointed. You get to choose the type of wing (boneless or bone-in), what topping(s) to toss, coat, and/or dust them in, and a plethora of sides and beverages to match.

And our favourite heart attack waiting to happen …


Some people may mistake this for poutine, but this is more. This is fries with cheese, gravy, and … wait for it … bacon!

… like I said, our favourite heart attack waiting to happen.

So if you’re in the Uxbridge area, check out either of these fine eateries. And, by the way, Clem’s is also in Port Perry.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How much does your child weigh?

scaleThe joy of growing children.

After recently updating Liam’s EpiPens with newer ones, our last visit to the allergist informed us that because Liam has grown, the EpiPen Jr injectors that he carries may not be strong enough for him.

So, we’ll need to re-update his pouch to include full, adult-strength EpiPen injectors.

The crazy part is that we’re updating to adult-strength injectors when Liam only weighs 70 lbs. How much does your anaphylactic child weigh?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Information Night

At the end of January the boys’ school hosted an Information Night (specifically, a “Healthy Eating and Student Achievement Parent Workshop”), and the principal asked Krystyne to be there as the resident expert on food allergies for the school.

The information night was held for anyone interested in knowing more about nutrition, allergies, and peanut-/nut- safe foods to bring to school.

In all it was a good night, we answered a few questions from some of the parents, and also in attendance were a health nurse from Sick Kids’ hospital, local co-op farmers – including the CSA that we belong to, Cooper’s CSA Farm & Maze – and John Beatty, one of the members from the Durham District School Board.

The cool part was being referred to as “the resident expert on food allergies” for the school.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baking Stuff

Just a quick note about Wilton’s cake-decorating supplies.


The icing colours are no longer safe. The lady on the other end of the phone wasn’t too clear as to why … either they’ve changed manufacturing practices, or the labelling was never consistent in the first place.

It used to be that they were all peanut-free, then we started finding ones (in our own cupboards) that listed the dreaded may contain tagline. So Krystyne called, and since then we have had to scramble to find other alternatives.

So far, we’ve used liquid food colouring and Kool-Aid mix. Between the two, the liquid food colouring works better, but nothing like the way the Wilton icing colours did.

The search continues …

Friday, March 4, 2011

Candy? Can Do!

My wife, Krystyne, is a bargain shopper. In fact, she may be the Queen … nay, Empress … of bargain shoppers.

One thing that becomes difficult when your child has a special diet is finding treats for a decent price. When it comes to peanut-free chocolate, we shop our local grocery and department stores.

“Buh-duh.” Smile

However … while this isn’t rocket science, in order to get the best bang for your buck make sure to shop after one holiday for the next holiday.

After Christmas, buy for Valentine’s Day.
After Valentine’s Day, buy for Easter.
After Easter, buy for the Summer break.
After the Back to School rush, buy for Halloween.
After Halloween, buy for Christmas.

… And repeat.

For example since Valentine’s Day just finished, Krystyne picked up our Easter treats on February 15th. She found Hershey’s Kisses for 80 cents per package at WalMart. She bought … let’s just say she bought lots!

This means that the kids will be happy come Easter. There will be lots of Easter eggs for the hunt (we have hollow plastic eggs that we fill with treats), chock full of yummy Valentine’s Day chocolates!

… Provided we don’t eat them all before that. Winking smile

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What a Year!

After a gruelling year of allergy tests, family trauma, exhilarating highs and excruciating lows …


Now, he is still touch-allergic and definitely taste-allergic … anaphylactic at that … but after blood tests, smear tests, and even a blind peanut challenge, we now have had at least a large amount of stress removed from our shoulders.

I remember many times us saying, “if even he were not airborne-allergic …”, and now that’s a reality. It means that we no longer have to monitor what everyone else eats (a relief to both us and other parents), and we can return to only watching what our own family eats.

And, speaking of which, we’ve found another peanut-free (and diet-friendly) snack.

Cheecha Krackles are a Canadian puffed potato snack product that are produced in a nut-free facility, come in a variety of flavours, and also offer a gluten-free line. Oh, and did I mention that there are 0 Trans Fats, Less than 3 grams of fat, and only 89 calories in a 2-cup portion! Careful, though – they are very tasty and therefore extremely addictive.