Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers For Oakley”

Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers for Oakley”

Weekend pick- Red Sneakers for Oakley

Would you wear your red sneakers this weekend?

It would help to honor the life of young Oakley Debbs, who died of anaphylaxis in November while on vacation with his family. Read about Oakley and his red sneakers at Redsneaker.org and follow Red Sneakers on Facebook and Instagram to support the nut allergy awareness initiative started by his parents.

The Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative Join the restaurants nationwide who are bringing awareness to food allergies by marking items on their menus with the Red Sneakers for Oakley logo which is becoming the symbol for “Food Allergy Awareness”. We have provided the files below so that your menu designer can integrate the symbols into the menu. Also we ask that you place the logo which contains the statement this food may contain nuts somewhere on the menu so people understand what the Red Sneaker symbol is for.

Source: Red Sneakers For Oakley

My pick for this weekend focuses on food allergies. Since I read about Oakley’s death over the Thanksgiving holiday, I have been supporting his grieving family’s efforts in Food Allergy Awareness along with many others on social media.

It is so very important to understand all you can about food allergies and anaphylaxis that can tragically snuff out a life in a matter of minutes. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a food allergy reaction and having a plan of action is mandatory. Having an Epi-Pen and using it can be lifesaving!

Safely eating foods at home and at restaurants is not as simple as it should be. Anything that makes it easier and safer should be welcomed.

I love the Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative that has been initiated by RedSneaker.org and I urge you to support it any way you are able.

You may just save a life.

My heart goes out to the Debbs family on the loss of their beloved Oakley. I would encourage you to wear #redsneakersforoakley this weekend!

 

Tips for Flying with Food Allergies

Food Allergies and Flying

food allergies

 

Tis the season when many families with be traveling with their kids and the hell associated with food allergies and travel.

There are some things you can do to ease the anxiety of this serious situation.

Flying is particularly problematic so I have included a link here from Allergic Living that compares airlines and their approaches to fliers who are allergic to certain foods like peanuts and tree nuts.

If you haven’t flown with your food-allergic child yet, hold on tight to these recommendations and know you’ll be okay! Book with the right airline. If you haven’t booked your  tickets yet, take a moment to review this comprehensive chart from Allergic Living magazine, which shares an in-depth report on the policies 11 major airlines have for working with food allergies. Follow the guidelines of your airline’s policy to get the most accommodation for your flight.

Source: Tips for Flying with Food Allergies

Safe travels everyone!

Food Allergies: Family Urges Food Allergy Education

Food Allergies: Family Urges Food Allergy Education

red-sneakers-for-oakley

#livlikeoaks

It has been a long week catching up after Thanksgiving and moving on to preparing for Christmas.

As many of you know we have a grandchild that has food allergies, specifically to peanuts and tree nuts. Along the way since her diagnosis we have made many friends who understand the severity of such an allergy but of course there are those times when misunderstanding of anaphylaxis can make all of us involved in the safety of our grandchild frustrated and angry.

I would like to share the story of Oakley Debbs, a young 11year old boy who died over his Thanksgiving celebration with his family after he accidentally ate a piece of a holiday gifted coffee cake at a relatives’ house. His is a story that his parents want all of us to remember by wearing red sneakers on December 10th. That is the day of his funeral and celebration of his short life as a twin of his sister Olivia.

Managing food allergies is no easy matter and it demands constant vigilance which includes carrying epi-pens at all times and closely reading and understanding food labels. Eating out can be a nightmare which adds a huge dimension to traveling.

I am concerned with managing a safe environment for children and education is obligatory. The learning curve can for food allergies can be steep and tedious but there are many support groups and great information available. I cannot emphasize consulting with a pediatric allergist if at all possible and making an action plan that is adhered to all the time.

oakley_a4c3d9d87c128f1111fbcf112c9a998b.today-inline-large-1 Food Allergies

Merrill Debbs is convinced that her son, Oakley, might still be alive if she’d known more about food allergies and how fatal reactions can come on slowly and insidiously. The boy, who had asthma and had tested positive for a mild peanut and tree nut allergy, died after consuming a piece of pound cake the day before Thanksgiving. Oakley thought it was safe to eat, but there was a walnut inside and he’d already swallowed it before realizing what happened.

Source: After 11-year-old boy’s sudden death, mom warns about nut allergies – TODAY.com

 

Red Sneakers Foundation – raising awareness of the danger of asthma & nut allergies, educational programs, research & public policy initiatives.

Source: Red Sneakers Foundation

 

As they prepare for a big memorial tribute to Oakley on Dec. 10, Merrill and Robert Debbs spoke to Allergic Living about their loss, their concerns about vital information they never got at the allergist’s office, and their resolve to raise anaphylaxis advocacy through their new Red Sneakers awareness campaign. (Red was Oakley’s favorite shoe color.) “Whatever we can do to help people protect children who have these food allergies – labeling, education to protect these children so it never happens again,” says Robert of the couple’s decision to start a campaign and website while still coming to grips with their son’s death. Both parents now think they were far more informed about asthma than they were about the management of food allergies and risks of anaphylaxis.

Source: After Son’s Nut Allergy Tragedy, Family Urges Food Allergy Education | Allergic Living

For more information and Food Allergy Education and Research (FARE) :https://www.foodallergy.org/#menu

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Rainbow Cake

Grandchildren are truly a gift and I love them dearly.

My grandson is just a one year old and he already has a taste for some sophisticated foods thanks to his parents and their efforts to introduce him to a varied selection of fruits, vegetables and proteins.

For an eight year old, my granddaughter also has a sophisticated palate . She has been sampling various foods from early on but was found to have severe peanut and food allergies at age one so a great amount of vigilance has to be taken especially when we are eating in restaurants. Store bought baked goods are particularly problematic for her as cross contamination is clearly an issue of concern.

So this weekend when both of my dearest were together it was an appropriate time to celebrate with a Rainbow. I have been in love with this cake since I first saw it about 4 years ago and I actually put one together for my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday! It is a spectacular picture when you initially cut into it and view the vivid colors. It is a smile built into a confection.

One of the best and most fun parts is to let the kids “doodle” on the icing to make this cake a personal piece of artwork as well as a dessert…it becomes a vision to behold and the kids love the excitement of getting the first colorful piece on their plate. What a sense of accomplishment they have enjoying some of their own efforts.

Baking this beauty is a labor of love as it takes patience, pans of colored cake batter, tons of softened butter and egg whites galore. It seems to magically come together layer upon layer…as you remember the acronym Roy G Biv ….Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo Violet. Although the actual cake has 6 layers by combining the blue and indigo into one layer.

1st Birthday

 We celebrate our two grandchildren

and

the joy they bring to our loves…

the same joy we feel

when we see a RAINBOW across the sky

Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Labor Day marks the end of summer and the start of school.

Lunch Box and Labor Day Weekend

I know here in the midwest many schools are already back and the mad rush for supplies has slowed down to a crawl but some of us are last minute shoppers and wait until our kids see what others are buying. This procrastination is sometimes hard but great if your kids want to be like the rest of the pack. It keeps you from running to exchange things and filling up an already busy weekend schedule.

My friend Julie Cole from Canada has some great suggestions on her blog page for school supplies and helpful items that will withstand the test of time throughout the school year. Julie is a mom of six so she has plenty of experience in the back to school shopping routine. She is one of my favorite moms to read especially on weekends when I have some extra time. Her blog posts are humorous, helpful and always a delightful break for me. I met Julie a few years ago at a conference of bloggers and every year I look forward to seeing her and catching a quick hello and hug from her.

I hope you enjoy her posts as much as I do. And catch her at Mabel’s Labels as well, there is a link on my side bar. It is no fun losing kids’ stuff. Also if you have kids with allergies there are labels for lunch boxes and bags that alert teachers and the lunchroom staff of you child’s allergies.

 

It’s that time again! Back to school, back to reality. Here are some great products to help all your days be smooth ones.  Let’s talk litterless lunches:

Source: Favourite Back-to-School Products From a Mama of Many :: YummyMummyClub.ca

Have a great Labor Day Weekend Everyone!

Tips for Helping Kids Make Their Own Lunch

Tips for Helping Kids Make their Own Lunch

 

kids lunch

School has started or will start very soon and so will school lunches.

Yikes! As a mom my school lunches were not all that interesting nor were they all that healthy, I have to admit at this stage of my life as a grandmother. But for the past two years I have watched my daughter make lunch for her daughter, who is now in 3rd grade and it was such a vastly different food experience than in my days of kids’ lunches.

I began to research information on interesting lunches that were both healthy and tasty. Sometimes the healthy part was hidden and could not even be tasted except by very discerning tastebuds. Along with my daughter we came up with some beautiful combinations that my granddaughter both enjoyed and requested again and again.

We loved Planet Lunchbox to help keep lunches fresh and cool or warm. They can be decorated and personalized with magnetic designs purchased along with the lunchbox itself. There is also a great carrying case that has a pocket for a cooling pack which worked very well for my granddaughter throughout her school year. Kids’ lunch bags seem to self destruct after one year but this one will easily make it through three years will minimal care, along with the stainless lunch box itself. Since it is a pricey combination this is a good thing to know before you make a purchase.

Kids can also learn to fill up these lunch boxes pretty easily themselves with some assistance and suggestions from their parents or grandparents or even from their friends who might already be making their own lunches. My granddaughter has a nut allergy so her choices are dictated by how foods are made and packaged. Many times cookies and baked goods have to be homemade. Convenience foods are usually not appropriate for many nut allergic kids so that makes food choices very important for my granddaughter. Both she are her mother are vigilant about label reading even if it is something they buy all the time. You never know when processing or ingredients will change in your favorite go to snack or food staple

When it comes to kids making their own lunches there are a few tips we found helpful. I wish I had known some of these things when I was much younger and sending my daughters off to school with their lunch bags.

Being Positive

We found this key to success when kids are making their own lunches. If you practice some indifference when it comes to perfection especially related to how the finished product looks, your child will feel so much better as he or she attempts to make a sandwich that looks like one that you made. Remember that being positive will be rewarded in the end.

Take kids to the grocery store to help pick out foods for lunch.

This is so important. If they are in charge of their choices it makes them more vested in the process. It probably helps to make a small list of possible food selections prior to actually getting to the store to avoid chaos in the aisles.

Kids can choose their own foods

Create a designated area for food prep and storage of lunch friendly items

If you have room it would be extremely helpful to have an area where your children can do their preparation and where foods are readily accessible when needed. This will cut down time and hopefully create less mess. Again, letting your children help with setting up a prep area will help them become part of the kitchen team.

Get Creative

One of my favorite kids’ friendly cookbooks is from Momables by Laura Fuentes. She has a wonderful website and three books that are our favorites for family recipes that are easy, healthy and great for snacks and meals.

kids lunch

There are many months of lunches ahead…don’t get discouraged if your children slack off once in awhile. Revisit and tweak the process with them to keep them from getting bored. They are no different than we are when it comes to forming a habit. It takes time and patience with yourself and with them.

Happy Lunches Everyone!

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Now that many schools are back in session it is time for kids with allergies to begin another challenging year in some cases as they try to avoid exposure to their food allergens.

Here is a great piece in Spokin that I thought would be handy for those parents of kids with food allergies.

Only one weekend post for this week while I am enjoying a back to school adventure in Los Angeles.

weekend readMANAGING THE LUNCHROOM   My daughters have multiple allergies which make managing all things lunchtime essential.

1. Label your child’s lunchbox with their allergies. Big + Bold

 

2. Review your lunchroom or cafeteria menu ahead of time and make alternative plans for high-risk days. When our lunchroom serves fish sticks, we ask our school to allow for our fish allergic daughter to eat lunch in a separate area.

 

3. Make arrangements for having the lunch area wiped down including the tables, both the top and underneath, and chairs each day to avoid cross contact. My daughter has a sesame allergy, so we need to be careful in the event a child wipes hummus on or under the table. Depending on the school, I ask the person who is closest in proximity to my daughter to execute this task.

Source: Maggie’s lunchroom guide

Enjoy one of the few summer weekends left.

Feeding Baby Cow’s Milk

Feeding Baby Cow’s Milk

baby

Why do experts recommend waiting to introduce cow’s milk until a child is 12 months old?

Source: Cow’s milk: When and how to introduce it 

Our grandson just turned 1 year old! A baby’s first year of life is marked by so many growth and development milestones but yet it seems in the blink of an eye they are standing, cruising and then walking.

Obviously this is a grandmother’s perspective as new moms know it seems like forever before a newborn sleeps through the night and then forever till he sits up, crawls, holds his own bottle and begins to eat some “real” food!

At the one year mark our baby can now begin to drink cow’s milk or milk other than breast milk or formula which will make some trips away from home a slight bit easier. Prior to one year an infant’s digestive system is not ready for the high concentration of protein and minerals in regular milk. In addition cow’s milk is deficient in iron, vitamin C and other nutrients nor does it have the healthy fats for your growing infant.

horizon_milk

When your baby is mature enough milk becomes a staple in his diet with all of its calcium and vitamin D. Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth as well as regulate blood clotting and muscle control. Protein is also found in milk along with energy providing carbohydrates.

The big question is usually how much milk should your child be drinking. Here are the AAP recommendations.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most kids will get enough calcium and vitamin D if they drink 16 to 20 ounces (2 to 2 1/2 cups) of cow’s milk a day. Offer 1-year-olds whole milk (unless they’re at high risk for obesity).

Don’t offer more than 3 cups of milk a day or your child may not have room for the other foods she needs to round out her diet. If your toddler’s still thirsty, offer water.

Happy Birthday to your 1 year-old!

Rainbow Cake

1st Birthday

It is exciting times… toddling to 2!

Weekend Picks from ParentingintheLoop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Here are my favorites for this week. I cannot believe that in two weeks it will be

Labor Day Weekend. Where did the summer go?weekend picks

I Am “The Good Wife” circa 1955 in Spirit | Today’s Grandmum

What a fascinating funny article that first appeared in 1955 when I was a child! Was this really what was expected of women in those days? Here is what I remember as a little girl from that era.

The Best Way to Put Baby to Sleep

If you want a restful night’s sleep and you have a baby you might find this helpful. Everyone’s baby is different but there are some things that can definitely help a baby to self soothe and actually become a good sleeper. A rested baby will help make your weekend more restful.

Dr. Judith Owens, a pediatrician who is the director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, told me that she would focus here on what she termed “sleep onset associations.” That is, on helping the children learn how to fall asleep independently at bedtime, which should then generalize to an ability to fall asleep when they wake in the night. So it’s lovely to use the song at bedtime as a going-to-bed routine, but it’s important that the actual moment of going to sleep should be after the bottle (and ideally, after brushing teeth after the bottle) and after the song. It may be that the baby who wakes and cannot soothe himself is actually falling asleep with the aid of the bottle and the song, and then finds himself without those props in the middle of the night. “What they want to do is clearly demarcate the soothing intervention on the part of the parents, the song and the bottle from the actual act of falling asleep,” Dr. Owens said. That probably means moving the routines a little earlier, so that after the song is done, the babies get to fall asleep by themselves. And that, in turn, probably means some difficult nights. You can separate the twins for this transition period if you want, or keep them together; whatever you think would make it easier. Co-sleeping — unless it’s something you believe in and want to practice over the long term — may just leave you with another sleep problem to solve down the line. But you want to get through this to a new equilibrium where you can all enjoy the song and the bedtime ritual. “Learning to self-soothe in regard to sleep is a real developmental skill,” Dr. Owens said. “It can be taught, and it’s an important milestone in self-regulation.” Do you have a health question? Submit your question to Ask Well.

Source: Ask Well: The Best Way to Put Babies to Sleep – The New York Times

Should you salt your child’s food?

A really good question since your child will be eating salt in various foods for a very long time. How young can a child start eating table salt on his food? Admittedly, I do not add salt to anything I make for my almost year old grandson and although the veggies, meats and starches taste very good unsalted they just might have a bit more of an enticing flavor with some added salt. I was happy to see this post in the NYT which helped me with my dilemma.

Is it safe to add salt to a 5-year-old’s food? Reader Question • 175 votes A Yes, in moderation. High salt intake is linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure, and the American Heart Association and other groups recommend that children limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day (a teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium). But kids typically get far more than that, usually from restaurant fare and processed foods, which account for 77 percent of the sodium in Americans’ diets. “

Source: Should You Salt a Child’s Food? – The New York Times

Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy some moments of gratitude.

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Halloween Weekend in the Neighborhood

It is almost Halloween!

This weekend will be busy with all the ghosts and goblins traveling around our neighborhood tomorrow.

Added to the festivities, I must not forget to adjust my clocks at the end of the night on Saturday so that the extra hour does not catch up with me not realizing it till I get to church at the wrong time on Sunday.

With daylight savings coming to and end there are sometimes problems with sleep patterns for our littlest family members. They only have their inner clocks to alert them. The canine members of our family can also be a little problematic since they also run on their internal clock and feeding schedule. I have learned the hard way that one hour to them is an eternity.

Here are my pics for reading this weekend if you have time!

 

Consistency is key in whichever approach you take. We always manage to get through this time of year unharmed! Remember my two favourite words. Persistence and consistency! You got this – candy overload and all.

Source: Daylight Saving Time + Halloween = Sleep Sh*tshow :: YummyMummyClub.ca

Getting settled down in the evening and going to bed has it problems at times. Consistency can be rewarded for parents who set a bedtime and a bedtime ritual early on with their little ones. These days that is much easier said than done.

Meditation is something I love introducing to children at a young age. It can help them quiet and self soothe at times when this seems impossible to do. For parents it also provides the same soothing feeling when the inevitable stress sh–  hits the fan!

Meditation for children and parents is a great way to relax before bed, and is one of the most commonly suggested methods for helping children sleep better.

 

Source: Meditation for Children and Parents – Bring Back Bedtime

As pretty as Fall is we all know that winter winds are just around the corner.

For me the shorter days with sunset so early in the evening makes me wish to ‘hit the hay’ earlier with a good book. It also makes me wish for a nice cozy fire and warm pot of stew on the stove in the late afternoon.

fall tree 4

What are some of your favorite Fall foods that give you comfort as we head into winter weather?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Celebrate the small stuff!