Monday, August 29, 2011

How many of you are ready for Back to School?

The excitement of school is here! Being a parent of a child with food allergies can perhaps be most stressful at the beginning of a school year. Here’s a checklist to help you start the school year successfully:

  • See the allergist. Your allergist will go over details of your child’s Food Allergy/Emergency Action Plan and update it for the new school year. The allergist may also assist with your child’s Individual Health Plan (IHP) or 504 Plan, if applicable.

  • Meet with key school staff. Examples include the principal, nurse, teacher(s), director of dining services, and bus driver. Go over how your child will be able to participate in all activities safely (i.e., lunchtime, field trips, class parties, lesson plans that involve food).  Come up with a plan for where medications will be stored and determine who will access it in the event of an emergency.

  • Check medications. Check the expiration dates on all of your child’s medication to ensure they are current. If they are to expire during the school year, mark your calendar accordingly to request a refill from the physician at that time.

  • Keep records. Make a binder and keep copies of your child’s medical records and his or her Food Allergy/Emergency Action Plan, IHP, or 504 Plan, and any written correspondence between you and the school. This is also a great place to store notes on what part of the management plan worked well and what could use improvement. In the event that a question or situation comes up during the school year, you can refer to your binder to see if the situation was addressed during any of your meetings.

  • Keep contact information up-to-date. Cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses often change. Any time a change is made to your personal contact information, be sure to provide the school with written record of the change.

  • Offer to volunteer. If your schedule allows, consider volunteering to be the room parent so that you can be involved in classroom celebrations that may involve food, or can accompany the class on a field trip.

  • Familiarize yourself with FAAN’s extensive resources, found in our Back to School Toolkit. We have free downloads, free slideshow presentations that will help you educate school staff, and many educational materials available for purchase.

Take a deep breath! Preparing ahead of time will help you relax as you ease into the new school year. Remember, we’re all in this together. We wish you success!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wow….check this out….

The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre is being released in a few weeks so the Eyre’s are doing a GIANT giveaway for anyone who pre-orders the book!

I have read a lot of their books and LOVE them! I did Joy School with my daughter and she and I both loved it! I implement many of the ideas and values they teach through their books and absolutely LOVE them! Well, they have a new book coming out in just a few weeks….I am so excited! My husband pre-ordered back in May for Mother’s Day and it is almost here!!!! Now, with today being National Entitlement Awareness Day they are giving away lots of fun prizes….so go check it out!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Establishing School-Year Routines

Are you ready to get back into school routines? Take a moment and listen to this free podcast from The Power of Moms for some great ideas to get you off to a great new school year!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cookie Tip…

I have lots of cookie recipes in my cookbook. I love making cookies in my home. I have lots of memories of cookie baking from when I was a little girl. Every Sunday, my dad would say, “I think we should make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today”. So, we would make the BEST oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! My dad had so many little tips to each step of the cookie making process and I learned how to make one yummy cookie! I also made sugar cookies with my great grandma. She had some very special cookie cutters that I had to be extra careful with. My grandma made cookies during the great depression to earn money.

Well, my love of cookie making and my wonderful “teachers” have actually helped me in creating allergy free treats! One thing I learned very quickly in my allergy free cookie making is that you have to chill your dough! After making your dough, place it in the fridge for 1 hour (gluten/allergy free) dough is very soft and will not turn out “perfect” if it isn’t chilled. So, make sure you give yourself that extra 1 hour of “baking time”.

Good luck with your baking adventures….and Enjoy those yummy cookies and the memories you are making!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why I started my blog….

About 8 years ago… son was diagnosed with food allergies and I had no idea what was to come. I understood what a food allergy was but was shocked to find out how severe they really can be. So….I had to search and search for help! I needed help with so many things. I needed to find recipes that my son could have. Well, I was able to find some but they were not that great. So, I began creating recipes of my own. I then realized how great it would be to make my life easier if I could create recipes for our whole family so I didn’t have to make 2 meals, or 2 kinds of desserts. Then I  began to get requests for certain foods at family/social gatherings and requests to write a book (this is how the cookbook all started). Then, I would have people ask me if I blogged and if I could just share ideas/helpful hints. So, I started this blog. I started it to help others to hopefully cope with their food allergies or gluten intolerances. I love being able to see that there truly are others in the same boat and we can learn from each other!!!!!!!!So, welcome and if you ever have questions or need help…..I am just an email away!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oh what do you do in the summertime….

Well, one thing I love to do is….make sugar cookies! And if you know me well you know I make them for any occasion (not just summertime)!!! So, this summer for the 4th of July we were camping with family and of course I love to make star sugar cookies for the 4th. I love having my kids help me and love seeing how much fun they have rolling, cutting, decorating and of course eating the cookies! So…..can you guess what I took all the way camping?? Yep, I hauled all the necessities (sugar cookie ingredients/rolling pin/cookie cutters/frosting/sprinkles)! I even had one cousin who had never rolled out cookie dough. She was super excited to help! The best part is that the cookies getting eaten before we could even get them decorated! All those at camp had no idea they were allergy/gluten free. They are delicious even camping!!!

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