Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Broken Blog Search Widget

Lots of people are discovering that the Google Blog Search Widget has broken and Google have no urgent intentions of fixing it. There is a Google thread about it which I posted some code my husband wrote as a workaround. It's not perfect, and it doesn't bring up a neat little list of post results so if you are searching for something with a number of results  it's going to be a long list of full results....(particularly true on a free from recipe resource so please get your act together Google!!) but it's the best out there at the moment.

On this Blog you will see I have located it on the right hand bar, under the Google Search widget, so try it out and see.

If you wish to add it to your own blog you will need to do the following:-

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Coeliac Disease and a “gut allergy” to Gluten. What’s the difference?

From our background of complex gut allergies/immune responses I find the topic of Coeliac Disease particularly interesting. People “get” Coeliac Disease. It might often be tricky and time consuming to diagnose, but it is well understood by many health professionals, has a set diagnostic criteria and is widely recognised. To the extent that a formal diagnosis will earn you gluten free foods on prescription.

The NHS Choices website says it is an autoimmune condition - which it is, and it is a type of Delayed Hypersensitivity, explained well on Wikipaedia here.
“Coeliac disease is what is known as an autoimmune condition. This is where the immune system – the body’s defence against infection – mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
Coeliac disease isn't an allergy or an intolerance to gluten.
In cases of coeliac disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them.
This damages the surface of the small bowel (intestines), disrupting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Exactly what causes the immune system to act in this way is still not entirely clear, although a combination of a person's genetic make-up and the environment appear to play a part."
NHS Choices

This is not so very different from EGID (Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease) although the latter rarely receives half the understanding that Coeliac Disease does, despite being far more complex and overwhelming for the sufferer. And yet - and this is the bit which *really* puzzles me - just like Coeliac Disease, EGID is NOT an IgE allergy, NOT an intolerance, and is actually a delayed, Type IV hypersensitivity - a cell mediated response and currently thought to be autoimmune in nature also.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Vote for FABED!

You will have noticed I often link to FABED, a wonderful charity supporting families affected by Eosinophilic Disease. Like many emergent diseases, the general public, education professionals and even health professionals often struggle to get to grips with understanding the implications of this disease on sufferers and families.

FABED does a wonderful job trying to get the word out, providing information on their website and support via their online support groups.But they could do so much more - which is where YOU come in.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Alpro Soya "Nut-gate"

The Interwebs are currently buzzing with the news that Alpro Soya are now printing warnings of potential hazelnut and almond contamination in their soya products as they are altering sites for production of their dairy free alternative milks. Understandably, there is an outcry as many who avoid dairy products choose soya as their dairy substitute and are also allergic to nuts. Alpro responded to concerns on the Allergy UK website. Certainly their measures sound as stringent as anything any parent of an allergic child can achieve by any other means but there are always those who will be affected. This is a production choice Alpro have made and they may indeed lose customers because of it. However, I sincerely believe the bigger issue is being ignored here.

In an increasingly allergic world there are as many combinations of allergies in individuals as there are allergic people. And any reliance on only one substitute can precipitate issues including new allergic responses. The reliance of the dairy free industry on soya is not a long term option, far too many people have IgE and non IgE responses to Soya - and it is one of the "Big Four" to avoid  according to many health professionals. Certainly Gt Ormond Street Hospital advise going "MEWS free" as an important first step when embarking on exclusion diets. (MEWS = Milk, egg, wheat and soy)

Undoubtedly Allergic Disease is almost epidemic at present with the UK topping the world table of incidence of allergic disease. More about that here, information learned when I attended the All Party Group for Allergy at Westminster this Autumn. We should not be complacent in our careful replacement of major allergens from our own or (especially not) from our children's diets. Fortification of alternatives (e.g. calcium and Vitamin D in milk alternatives) is essential, as is careful pricing of worthwhile products, support for new producers and accurate information for consumers. The fact that yet another producer appears to have caved to the litigation-prevention soft option is not good news. It seems a massive fob-off for those shopping for exclusion diets - avoiding the issue of careful checking and stringent manufacturing processes. Or does it?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Duck breasts with Pomegranate and Mint

A great Christmas recipe with lots of flavour!

Ideal if you are having a dinner party and need to provide a free from meal which looks stunning and so simple to cook, or if you have older children on exclusion diets.

Ingredients:-

4 duck breasts
200g rocket,
watercress and salad chard (Possibly chinese leaves?)
1 Pomegranate (on rotation)
1 small bunch or packet mint ( if the kids don't like mint you could use chives)

Method:-

Preheat the oven to 220/gas mark 7
Heat a flameproof, oven proof pan on the hob, and then sear the duck skin side down for a minute or so over the high heat. (Remove the skin if not tolerated)
Turn the duck breast over then place in oven for about 15 mins.
Remove the duck breasts from the oven and sit them on a carving board to rest.
Whilst the duck is resting line your meat plate with the salad leaves. Slice the duck breast very thinly on the diagonal and lay on the salad lined dish, pouring any meat juices over them as you go.
Halve the pomegranate and then bash out the seeds from one half to garnish the duck slices.
Squeeze some of the juice from the other half, just by hand over the duck as well.
Sprinkle with mint leaves or chives.

Serve it with mini home made roast potatoes or your choice of potato, rice or pasta.

'Laumuchun' or Turkish pizza

This is from Cheryl on our Facebook group who says
"My kids love this recipe, adapted from a Turkish recipe called 'Laumuchun' or Turkish pizza (it's great as they don't use cheese). Great with humus on the side. "
Ingredients:-

  • Pack of gluten free pita (these don't contain egg) 
  • 400g grams mince meat or lamb (or mixture of both, also works with chicken) 
  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes Fresh Parley 
  • 1/2 lemon juice grate mushrooms, or corgettes, or peppers (what ever you like really) 
  • Seasoning 


Method:-

  • Put the pitta in the toaster until they open a bit, then cut in half. 
  • Put all the mixture in a bowl, mix well. 
  • Smother the mixture over the pita and squeeze it down with the fork. 
  • Then pop under a grill until cooked.

Pollo alla Cacciatoria

Another savoury recipe from Michelle at Fabed.
Some of the ingredients might not suit you but many of them you can adapt.

Ingredients:-
  • 1 x 15ml tbs spoon of oil which is safe(I use garlic oil) 
  • 75g pancetta cubes 
  • 6 spring onions finely sliced 
  • 1 tsp rosemary finely chopped (if tolerated if not use a herb which is) 
  • 500g turkey or chicken fillets( i use turkey but have made it with Chicken also) 
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt 
  • 125ml white wine( I replace it with homemade stock) 
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp sugar 
  • 1x 400g can cannellini beans ( I use chickpeas as we can all tolerate them) optional 

Method:-
  • Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and fry the pancetta cubes, sliced spring onions and chopped rosemary for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add the poultry (which ever you are using) and sprinkle celery salt 
  • Pour in wine/stock and let it bubble before adding the tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. 
  • Put the lid on and let the pan simmer for 20 mins. 
  • Drain the beans/peas if using and add to the pan. 
  • When warmed through serve. 


Serves 4

Tuna and Beans/Chick peas mixture.

Another recipe from Michelle over at Fabed. Serves 4-6.
"I love this recipe and we are lucky that 2 out of the three children can eat tuna and the like it."

Ingredients:-
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped 
  • 4x 15ml lemon juice ( I only use this on a rotation basis) 
  • 2 x 400g of borlotti beans ( I use chick peas) 
  • 250g can best tuna (200g drained weight) 
  • 2 x 15ml safe oil salt and pepper if can use 


Method:-
  • Put the chopped onion into a bowl with the lemon juice and let it steep while you get on with the salad. 
  • Drain the beans and rinse to get rid any of the gloop,then place in a bowl. 
  • Drain the tuna and flake it into the beans. 
  • Add the oil and some salt to the onion and lemon juice mixture, whisking to make a dressing, then pour it over the tuna and beans and transfer to a serving dish. 
  • Fork the tuna and bean salad through, seasoning with salt and pepper. 


Serve and enjoy.

Great on rice, jacket potatoes, with pasta or on free from toast.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Turkey Burgers

Turkey is a meat well tolerated by many. This recipe is a few food recipe, and turkey works well in burgers as it sticks together nicely without binding agents like egg.



Ingredients

Minced Turkey 
Chopped onion 
Seasoning 
Chopped fresh parsley if desired. 
Rice flour 
Any safe Oil 

Method

Fry chopped onion in a little safe oil. 
Take off heat when soft and mix with mince. 
Season mince and add chopped parsley. 
Make into patties and roll in rice flour. 
Shallow fry for 3 or 4 minutes in a frying pan with safe oil. 

These are great warm, freeze well and are a hit cold in the lunch box. They are also nice with sweet corn added before frying.

Big thanks to Emma from the Facebook group for this delicious recipe :)



Link up your recipe of the week

Friday, 15 November 2013

Honeycomb Recipe

A lovely treat for the festive season, with only 3 ingredients. Many thanks to Michelle from FABED for this recipe!

Ingredients

100g caster sugar,
4 15ml golden syrup,
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Method

Put the sugar and syrup in a pan stir and mix together, then put on the heat.
YOU MUST NOT STIR WHILST ON THE HEAT

Place pan on heat and let the mixture melt, it will turn to gooey mixture and then to a bubbling mass the colour of maple syrup. This takes about 3 mins to get to this point.

Once at this point take off the heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and watch the syrup turn into a golden colour.

Turn out immediately onto reusable baking parchment. Leave until set then bash it so that it splinters.

Best Ever Falafel mix!

Not suitable for everyone, obviously. However having tried and tested several falafel mixes this is by far the best!

It is by far the easiest to make - just soak in boiling water then form into balls and fry. but the best thing for us about this mix is that it is smooth, with no partially cooked pulses/crunchy bits in it. Given that the main consumer of falafel in this house has swallowing difficulties I am delighted with this find.

Amisa Falafel Mix. Bought locally (Woodbridge, Suffolk) but widely available - Ocado, Amazon.co.uk, goodnessdirect.co.uk, and real foods.co.uk .

All details are listed on their website.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

New discoveries!

I was in Woodbridge, Suffolk yesterday, near Ipswich where we live and discovered Rainbow Apothecary . Whilst I am not personally keen on crystals and alternative therapies the shop had me so excited since Jules, the owner, has THE most amazing stock of free from foods and as a medical nutritionist and herbalist has plenty of advice to offer.

Jules is a parent of a child who suffers from non IgE gut allergies and completely understands the importance of careful food sourcing and retailing. I have yet to find another shop with such a unique variety and made several new discoveries.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Gluten Free and low lactose courgette lasagne - could be adapted to be dairy free

Many thanks to Cath on the Facebook Group for sharing this recipe!


Ingredients: (to make 6 portions)

  • 1kg of lean minced beef
  • 3 medium-large onions
  • 2 500g cartons of Passata (I use Cirio)
  • 2 safe beef stock cubes (I recommend Telma kosher stock cubes if you can get them. Such a good taste. Otherwise whatever you can get hold of that works…)
  • Brown sauce (I use Stokes because it’s GF)
  • 3 large courgettes
  • Olive oil
  • Whatever cheese is best tolerated – lots of it, grated.
  • TIP Redwood cheezly grates well if frozen first and there is a dairy and soya free version.
  • Big pan
  • Some oven dishes

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pea and Lentil Fritters/Cakes

To serve 4-6

Ingredients

175g/6oz easy cook peas (e.g. Whitworth)
125g/4oz Red Split lentils
10ml/2tsp Mixed dried herbs
25g/1oz butter equivalent (we used PURE sunflower)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 large garlic clove, skinned and chopped or crushed
1 egg, beaten
1.25ml / 1/4tsp cayenne pepper
30ml/2 tsp plain flour - we used Dove's Farm Plain Flour
salt and pepper

Method

1. Place peas, lentils, enough water to cover and herbs into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer, partially cover and stir occasionally for 30-35 mins until dried peas and lentils are tender but peas are still whole. Drain off excess liquid.

2. Melt the margarine in a large frying pan. Add the onion, pepper, celery and garlic and cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft and almost transparent.

3. Turn the peas and lentils and the vegetable mixture into a large mixing bowl, allow to cool slightly before adding the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

4. Divide the mixture into 10-12 pieces and form each into a "cake" on a lightly floured board.

5. Fry gently for about 10 minutes each side or until golden and crisp outside. Drain on absorbent paper and serve with safe tomato sauce.

Mum made these today for the twins! Would also be delicious cold on a picnic or in a packed lunch.

Hallowe'en Packed Lunch for kids!


An American friend of a friend posted this wonderful idea for Hallowe'en!

Peeled satsuma with basil leaf as the stem, celery with almond/cashew nut butter and strawberry slices for witches fingers and safe bread with pumpkin spread or houmous with olives for the eyes and mouth. Coconut milk or rice milk to drink!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

My Guest Post on WhatAllergy?

Ruth at WhatAllergy? has kindly invited to me to write a guest post on her Blog.

What Allergy is one of the Top 5 Allergy Blogs and I am thrilled to have been asked to contribute. Packed with over 400 articles about living with multiple food allergies, intolerances, eating out, gluten free, coeliac disease, eczema and a whole lot more it really is a mine of information.


Our first Guest Post!

Freefromforkids  

Background:-
In a moment of frustration in 2012, I totted up how many hours a week I was spending trying to get food for my sons – I was going round 3 supermarkets, a health food shop and searching for things online every week!

I discovered I spent 3 times longer than my friends and spent twice as much money! I didn’t dare tot up the hours I was spending baking foods that I couldn’t find in the shops!

Having children with food allergies and gut problems is hard enough and I felt strongly that parents shouldn’t have to struggle to find safe foods and that children shouldn’t have to go without food that ‘looked’ like their friends food.

Our Aim:-
We launched Freefromforkids with this aim in mind and we have been adding at least 2 products a month since it launched. We hope that in time there will be something for every diet and for every occasion.


Recognition:-
This year we entered the Foods You Can Peoples Choice Awards and we were thrilled to win 1st place in the Small Online Freefrom Food Supermarket category!

We have received some lovely feedback, particularly in the run up to Christmas, with many families telling us that this year will be the first time their child has had an advent calendar or a chocolate santa. Even if we can only help a few families like our own, then all the hard work will have been worthwhile!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last year!
Suzanne (Freefromforkids)


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Chocolate coconut cupcakes

This is actually the muffin recipe here.

Today I created a more speckled effect throughout using finer chocolate which went in the food processor first.

I had run out of the Doves Farm Self Raising flour I usually use so substituted for the same weight of the Juvela Harvest White mix we have.  I did add a teaspoon of baking powder too.

To be honest, the Doves Farm flour is definitely better, but since there are only two of these left they can't be that bad - my non allergic children enjoyed them too!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The All Party Group for Allergy meeting 16th October 2013

Yesterday I attended a Meeting to discuss Allergy at the Houses of Parliament. It was a collaboration between the All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology  supported by Allergy UK. The meeting was to discuss progress in Allergy in the UK since the Lords' report of 2007. (More details here.)

Dr Adam Fox (Joint Clinical Lead for Allergy, Consultant & Reader in Paediatric Allergy Guy's & St Thomas' Hospitals ) explained how whilst Allergy is not new, its incidence amongst the population is increasing exponentially. Whilst it was a rare phenomenon when described in the early Nineteenth Century this is sadly no longer the case -with the incidence of allergic disease higher in the UK than any other country in the world. There has been considerable progress in joining up care improving transition from paediatric to adult services, and in beginning to address equality of availability and access to services across the country but there is still a long way to go. GPs are not trained to support allergic patients and too often symptoms are partitioned and dealt with singly rather than a holistic approach with specialist allergy care at the centre. There are only 20 specialist Paediatric Allergists in the UK at present, and only 28 Adult Allergy Specialists. Many US cities boast far more.

Recent NICE guidelines have been issued (Feb 2011) to advise on diagnosis and assessment of food allergy in children and young people which, if taken up would greatly improve the situation of many, many children and young people across the country. However, as GP Dr Matthew Doyle reminded everyone, GPs receive many new guidance documents on a weekly basis

Unfortunately there was little time for meaningful questions and I was unable to publicly ask the burning question I had nurtured all afternoon-

"What is being done to address the relative lack of progress in both awareness and understanding of delayed non IgE allergic reactions amongst the medical professionals?"

Because all too often I encounter ignorance about delayed reactions - the assumption that if it isn't an IgE response, cannot be tested for it isn't an allergy. There is considerable research into cell mediated responses and they are detailed extremely clearly in the NICE guidelines - yet they are unread, ignored or rubbished.

It's a great document. I recommend anyone dealing with delayed gut reactions in particular - which include EGID, Ulcerative colitis, Chrohn's, Coeliac disease, allergic gut disease, multiple food intolerances to read it.

I was also lucky enough to hear Ruth Holroyd speak, from What Allergy? What Allergy? was voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK and regularly gets 2000+ unique visits a day with some blog posts getting hundreds of comments each.


Monday, 14 October 2013

Dairy Alternatives

"My Waitrose" ran an excellent article on alternatives they now sell to Cow's Milk so I thought I would share.

I use a variety depending on my purpose, so rice milk on cereal, rice for cooking e.g. in mashed potato, oat milk in custard, coconut milk in baking.... they all have their uses and their function does vary.

Soya milk is not heat stable so goes lumpy when too hot.

If the text is too small to view click on the link in the first sentence to download the PDF file.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Vegg Cookbook

Rocky at The Vegg in the USA read my Blog and got in touch - and I am so pleased he did as I am now the proud owner of "The Vegg Cookbook"!

We across "The Pond" are often a little "behind" on with the Vegg and it really only arrived on the scene at the Free From and Allergy Show a year or so ago. I had tried it and had limited success, but since it is an egg white replacement rather than an egg yolk replacement it wasn't doing what I felt it should.

I am extremely impressed with the versatility of the Vegg product and lack of reliance on additonal recipe ingredients to support its function. Given that most of my readers are reducing ingredients or swapping mainstream ones this is a real plus.

Now, armed with the cookbook I am seeking supplies to test and have some on order. Although my children most definitely react to eggs, egg white seems to be OK on its own so this is not so urgent for us, but I'm still hoping to test it out!

ISBN 978-0-615-78423-6
Available from Amazon.com (not currently the UK site)

The Vegg can be bought from Amazon too


Also now available, Vegan egg yolks. 

Ingredients are:-Fortified nutritional yeast (dry yeast, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin hydrochloride, folic acid, B12), sodium alginate, black sea salt, beta carotene

Thanks Rocky - we just need the availability of your products to improve in the UK now!

Perhaps the most "Free From" Free From bread ever?

This loaf contains no soya, dairy, egg, wheat, gluten, corn, oats, rice. The recipe has been devised by top specialist allergy dietician Tanya Wright.

Do not use a breadmaker or whisk or food processor…

Ingredients 
  • 75g tapioca flour (from healthfood shop)
  • 35g buckwheat flour ( Doves Farm but you can source from other places)
  • 220g potato starch ( Do not use potato flour)
  • 55g ground almonds
  • 2teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons xantham gum
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 14g dried yeast ( Allinsons/ Doves Farm – there are lots out there)
  • 220mls warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil Fresh or dried rosemary and sea salt
Method 
  • Mix all dry ingredients 
  • Mix water and oil 
  • Add to the dry ingredients 
  • Mix to a cake like texture mixture 
  • Spread on a greased baking tray 
  • Brush top with olive oil 
  • Sprinkle on salt and herbs 
  • Cook 200c for 25 minutes 
  • Cut when cool
Pictures on my friend's Blog here

Alison's Gluten Free Bread

Alison's Gluten Free Bread
Another Free From Bread - Excellent for those on very limited diets for nourishment BUT it contains EGGS.

All recipe info and details o the above link, but the following tips were shared on the Facebook group:-

"The eggs and flours make it far more nourishing than most gluten free breads, and it tastes great sliced, as toast and even works for toasties.

We used the following tips for best results ...
* For egg white, we use Two Chicks from Ocado or Sainsburys
* For oil can use any neutral tolerated oil eg sunflower, rice bran oil
* In place of honey can use any sweetener eg rice bran syrup, golden syrup, agave, maple syrup, apparently stevia will also work
* Xantham gum can be substituted with Guar Gum
* Milk can be replaced with any substitute (we have used oat milk, almond milk and coconut milk)
* Tapioca flour we found in World Foods section of Tesco, Brazilian brand, but Asian shops like Wing Yip sell a brand called Thai Boy which is also guaranteed gluten free
*We love garbanzo flour, use Bobs Red Mill brand bought from Whole Foods or Amazon, but it can be substituted (read comments)
*In place of millet flour we used Sweet Sourghum again by Bobs Red Mill
*For rice flour we used Doves farm which is a combination of both white and brown rice flour

We did as suggested and combined the dry ingredients, proofed the yeast in the warmed milk with a little sweetener for 5 minutes, then added all wet ingredients together.

Works well in oven or bread maker. Might look a little overwhelming, and you will need to source a few rarer ingredients but in the long run if it works is very economical. Good luck!!!"

Cat and the Cream

Ocado (and Waitrose) are trialling these delicious free-from cakes, definitely worth a go!
VEGAN . WHEAT FREE . DAIRY FREE . SOYA FREE . CAKE. DESSERTS


Not suitable for everyone who follows the Recipe Resource I know, but a step in the right direction for those on restricted diets!

Cat and the Cream

Sunbutter

Whilst I believe there is a brand of Peanut butter known as "Sunbutter" in the UK I had not heard of sunflour seed butter before. Someone on the Facebook Recipe Resource group posted about this and it sounds such an excellent food for all, for toddlers as a nutritious dip or spread, for school lunch boxes and for anyone with a penchant for nut butter who needs to eat nut free or in a nut free environment.

Another recipe I have not yet had the chance to try but I'm off to buy the sunflower seeds tomorrow!

All info with step by step instructions here 

Darcy's Banana Bread

This is named after a friend's little girl who is on a restricted diet so protein content really matters. It sounds complicated but I am assured it is actually very quick and easy!

MEWS free, corn free, nut free and delicious!

PREHEAT oven to 170C

Ingredients

350g peeled bananas (peeled weight)
180g-200g plain flour (rice and quinoa flour mixed works well with 140g-150g rice flour to 30g-40g quinoa flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar and white sugar mixed (if you convert this measurement remember different ingredients have different weights to cup values....)
1 tbsp water
1tsp xanthan gum
3tbsp oil plus any extra to grease a loaf tin
splash of vanilla extract (I use the Madagascan vanilla extract from Lakeland, it's lovely!)
1tsp cinnamon (optional)

Optional nutritional supplements :-
2tsp calcium and vit D powder
5 scoops of Neocate
dash of apple juice if using the above and the acid helps the rise

Method

Mash bananas in a large bowl
Mix Sugar, water and oil and microwave/heat 30 seconds. CAREFUL IT WILL BE VERY HOT!!
The oil will be sitting on top of the sugar so whisk through then whisk it into the bananas fast. (You could use a Kenwood type mixer instead)
Add vanilla, salt to this "wet" bowl

Mix everything else into the dry bowl and sift in to the wet bowl.
Pour into a lined loaf tin, if you want a crunchy top then sprinkle some brown sugar over it before baking.
Bake until a knife or cocktail stick comes out clean, allow to cool then cut in slices. Freezes well.


IF YOU CAN USE EGGS THERE IS A BANANA MUFFIN/LOAF RECIPE HERE WHICH IS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE. I am looking forward to trying this myself - thanks Claire!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Fruity Teacake

Dairy, Soya, Wheat and Gluten free, no corn and could be egg free with egg replacer or alternative substitute.

This is really easy to make and tastes delicious. I substituted the figs and prunes for chopped dried apricots, the sultanas for raisins as a variation today.

Ingredients
150ml hot black tea made with two tea bags
200g (7oz) sultanas
75g (3oz) ready-to-eat dried figs, chopped
75g (3oz) ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
125g (4oz) muscovado sugar (does work with other sugar but the taste is best with this)
2 medium eggs, beaten (would be great with banana and a little egg replacer)
225g (8oz) gluten free flour (I have used Juvela harvest mix for this too as well as Dove's Farm)
2tsp gluten free baking powder
2tsp mixed spice

Method
Pour the tea into a bowl and add the dried fruit. Soak for 30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 180C and oil a 2lb loaf tin (or use a tin liner as I did!)

Beat the sugar and eggs together until pale and slightly thickened.
Add the flour, baking powder, spice and soaked fruit and tea then mix together well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Bake on the middle shelf for 45-60 minutes (mine took 50!) Check it's ready by inserting a skewer or thin knife and if it comes out clean, it's cooked through. Leave to cook.

Delicious sliced and served with Pure Sunflower Marge!


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Lunch Boxes

I am loving the new containers currently available in the shops, especially the Sistema range. It's becoming much easier to make interesting lunches for the kids.

Tomorrow A has cold sliced free from sausages (The "Good Big Sausages" from Waitrose) with his favourite tomato sauce in a mini sauce bottle from Lakeland, and some crudités in his partitioned box by Sistema from The Range.

K has crudités and houmous in a little screw top dip pot (also by Sistema, from Lakeland, pack of four) in her partitioned box.



I will send sandwiches with marmite (only filling A will touch) in the new Free From sliced white bread from Tesco ( best I've found so far) but I also send buttered (well, "Pure" sunflowered) fruit bread (see a couple of posts down) for K and muffins, cakes etc to give variety. Add in a packet of Pom Bears, Plain Hula Hoops or the new Tyrrels individual bags of plain lightly salted crisps and a fruit pouch I'm definitely increasing our repertoire ;)

I have bought insulated food pots and children's thermos flasks (easy open) for winter too. Hoping to have more success persuading them to try soup or pasta lunches. Might be a tough battle, they are creatures of habit!!

These are also very useful for children's lunches:-

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/16194/2-Biscuit-Holders-For-One
http://www.lakeland.co.uk/3756/Biscuits-for-One

Friday, 13 September 2013

Gut Allergies - and why we NEED awareness and understanding

On the support forum I run and another I co run I am constantly writing the same replies to the same questions. Time and again the same questions come up - a child/baby with reflux who the doctors say they will "always" outgrow by 6 months fails to do so. Then 12 months comes, but weaning is problematic and the child appears to be reacting adversely to Cows Milk, Wheat and other foods. Tests are negative and parents are fobbed off and made to feel they are blowing symptoms out of proportion.

Many doctors perform allergy tests, for gut allergies which cannot be tested for, and then promptly dismiss the case because there is nothing for them to do. They may perform a pH study, previously the "Gold Standard" reflux test which cannot detect alkaline/allergic reflux or pressure changes in the bowel and possible allergic bowel inflammation is never picked up. Few hospitals can offer an impedance study, fewer still know how to interpret the results adequately. So because they don't have a clear answer many doctors are dismissive.
You would be horrified how often this happens, I hear about it all the time.

Some carry out endoscopies but stop above the stomach and the results are clear - so there must be "nothing really wrong". All too often the spotlight is then turned on the mother who "must" be neurotic, over-reporting symptoms, depressed perhaps? But lack of understanding or explanation is NEVER an excuse for being dismissive and accusatory. Ignorance does not excuse such actions - or have we not come so far from the Witch hunts of the seventeenth century? I have no explanation does not equal "someone is to blame". Even the most sympathetic doctors run out of ideas when tests come back clear.

I'm not sure what alarms me most - that there is still so little understanding amongst health professionals about gut allergies and their impact on the full length of the GI tract and elsewhere, or the stark truth that gut allergies in infants and children are occurring in epidemic proportions.

For us, we struggled for years with all of the above until we were referred to GOSH who FINALLY performed scopes below the stomach. Bingo. Serious bowel inflammation, duodenal ulcers and other damage. Everything above the stomach had looked near perfect, ph studies had been reasonably  acceptable... and skin prick tests negative for the most part. Dealing with an emergent disease like EGID, or symptoms which doctors have yet to put together and diagnose is a massively uphill slog, and unless you have the strength of Goliath, the stubbornness of Thatcher and the unwavering focus of Churchill you don't stand a chance.

But aside from all this the bigger question is being neglected - WHY are SO many children suffering severe gut allergies? Why does our youngest generation suffer food protein allergies on epidemic proportions? Because seriously, that's what we are looking at here. At the twins' school, six children have diagnoses of EGID now. SIX. And of those I have helped support on forums over the years, friends I have made, I know about 50 children with gut allergies impacting seriously on their lives. Our Consultant at GOSH asked my daughter and I to appear on TV for the 100th Anniversary of GOSH to spotlight the Gastro department and highlight the escalating number of children suffering from gut allergies. He used the word epidemic then, and it was no exaggeration.

But it seems no one is doing the Maths, taking the data and analysing it. No one is sending out the information and any new results to local hospitals, explaining how gut allergies work, sharing new knowledge. Our NHS is functioning in crisis mode and only dealing with the here and no, the in-my-face-and-un-ignorable crisis/case I have to address. But at some point, SOMEONE or some group is going to HAVE to address this massive issue and start looking at why our children cannot eat. At why their digestive systems are no longer happy in the twenty first century first-world environment we are bringing them up in.


Until then, I will continue to post the same answers, day after day, and share the information I have learned over the years, the information GOSH share through their APG Study Days for Parents and Professionals because until *everyone* understands what a gut allergy IS (and it is NOT an intolerance!!)  there is no hope of a consistent, helpful approach for parents in the nightmare that is feeding and caring for a child whose gut cannot perform the basic functions it was intended to AS it was intended to. And I, for one, cannot live without hope. My children and all the other children I know suffering with gut allergies and related diseases deserve better. FAR better.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Fruit Bread

This is a variation of Orgran Easy Bake mix.

The Orgran mix is by far the easiest bread mix I have tried, not as versatile as the Juvela Harvest White (ie cannot make pastry, bake with it as free from flour) but you cannot beat it for ease when it comes to making a loaf. Rolls are harder to form because the mixture is thicker and stickier however, but for a basic loaf to slice and freeze it's fab!

So I decided to try adding some raisins, cinnamon, mixed spice and a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar to try and achieve a fruit bread. And a little cocoa powder to change the colour a little.

The results are amazing, great texture, easy to slice so it can be frozen, and should toast well too.

One word of warning though..... the sugar had another effect.... it really makes it expand more and I should have split the mixture between two loaf tins I think so leave plenty of room!!!



Orgran Easy Bake really IS that easy but there is even a YouTube video on how to do it!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Microwave Sponge Pudding

Here is a variation on the traditional sponge which can be successfully cooked in the microwave, making a quick and easy dessert! Sorry but I haven't tried this without egg yet.

Ingredients
100g SR Flour (I use Glebe Farm)
100g free from butter substitute (TREX, "Pure" sun flour/olive or Stork block but melt this a bit first)
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
30ml milk substitute
3 tbsp golden syrup

Method
Put the golden syrup into a pudding basin
Whisk the other ingredients together (or whizz in a Kenwood food processor!)
Pour on top of the syrup, smoothing to the edges of the basin so all the syrup is covered
Microwave on full power for 3-5 minutes.

If you use a shallow basin it will take 3-4 mins, 5 for a deeper one.
We regularly make half this quantity in a small basin and cook for 3 mins. I think substituting the egg might work better at half quantities too?

You can make a chocolate version  y replacing a small amount of flour with cocoa and replace the syrup with cocoa (& even coffee!) added to hot water.

I have no photos for this recipe as yet, it is usually seized upon and eaten very, very quickly by my children!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

"Free From" Food Industry Exposed


Tonight's "The One Show" exposes the urban myths about "Free From" food. 


It's about time someone blew the whistle on the booming food industry in the West supplying "Free From food for those diagnosed with food allergies and intolerances and I was delighted that the BBC has chosen to highlight this industry. One of the main reasons I set up the "Recipe Resource" was precisely because of this surge in "Free From" products which seemed to be exempt from the increasingly high nutritional standards we have come to expect from the food we buy. I couldn't bring myself to feed my children the majority of the food on offer which was compatible with their medically prescribed exclusion diet.

 As I've said for years, so much of this food is poor quality, full of cheap non-food fillers like corn starch which can mess with your insulin production and blood sugar regulation in the long term, causing hypos in many on restricted diets. Sugar and salt content is often higher too, to disguise the lack of natural flavour. It's why I won't buy anything I can make myself - but we are lucky that the twins can tolerate more than many people I know.

Many people falsely believe "Free From" food is automatically healthier too. This is of course true in some respects, if you have Coeliac Disease then yes, a gluten free loaf (a third the size of a regular one costing £2.99) IS the healthier option but I do hate the trend for "free from" exclusion diets amongst some celebrities who have little or no idea of the impact publicising false health "benefits" can have. But what is particularly depressing is that my children, like so many other children and adults are dependent on the "allergy" food industry to meet their nutritional needs - whether partially or fully. We have no choice. Without a strict exclusion diet my son was heading towards bowel surgery due to chronic inflammation and resultant nerve damage due to local allergic reaction to foods. It is a medically prescribed diet which we have no choice but to follow, but this should not also be a nutritional compromise when we pay over and above the cost of similar regular foods.

It's time we had some real regulations, respect for those who are genuinely allergic and provision for healthy alternatives. There are many reasons why people exclude foods from their diet. IgE allergies, non-IgE gut allergies and intolerances are perhaps the most common, but whatever the reason those purchasing such foods need honest selling and deserve a basic nutritional standard. Manufacturing"Free From" food is a massive money spinner and people are being taken advantage of. At present we are being sold such food as if we should just be grateful. How about selling it for its content, what IS in it rather than what left out?

I've been saying all this for years.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Cakes!

This is a general post about cakes, the birthday cake post I wrote some time ago is still valid, in so much as it works well, and the cake is still available. Tesco's chocolate version is even more yummy though!

It comes ready iced too, always a bonus! All our family love this moist, chocolatey cake.

There are lots of options now, it is definitely getting easier to find cake alternatives or ingredient alternatives. My children love decorating their own cakes and biscuits with icing pens too.


If you prefer a dry mix, I have tried two recently. The Hale and Hearty mix on the right (which is good but I prefer their brownie mix for taste)
and the Glebe Farm Mix which is fool proof, works every time and I would love to know why it is so much better than my own efforts when the ingredients are pretty much the same!

My friend Suzanne at "Free From for Kids" has a reliable stock of the Hale and Hearty mix, sometimes found in Sainsbury's and the Glebe Farm one is increasingly available at local outlets like farm shops etc. They make a blueberry muffin mix, carrot cake mix and pizza base mix which I have recently bought to try. Muffins were very successful!

Of course, you can use a regular sponge cake recipe (4oz/100g of flour, same of marge, same of caster sugar with 2 eggs) and substitute everything for free from ingredients which I do very successfully pretty frequently. Works fine with muffins and if you can tolerate banana they help with the rising for beautifully tall cupcakes and muffins.

There are lots of variations on this theme on the "Sweet Treats" page. There is a fantastic chart for alternatives to egg in cakes here too.




Happy Baking! 



Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Independence

We often discuss behaviour and allergies on here, but this is a different slant - behaviour and independence.

I've been thinking about the concept of independence quite a lot recently. With H about to set off to High School in September, learning to walk to school safely by himself and (attempt to) pack his own bag each day it was bound to be playing on my mind. However, I'm actually referring to independence in the context of his younger siblings - because H IS actually gaining independence, and in a terrifying-but-oh-so-liberating way I am watching him grow and mature with a smile on my face day by day. In fact that smile is fairly smug if the truth be told, since we have come within a hair's breadth of total exclusion, Special Needs placement, PRU and respite care more times than I care to remember over the past years. But there he is, eleven and a half - going on 15 in oh so many ways and yet still emotionally so very young. Yes, I'm pretty smug about that.

But the twins are a different "kettle of fish" entirely. A in particular hangs on to me, paws at me, "needs" me in a way his older brothers never did. You might say this is not that surprising given that he has complex health issues - but so does H, and so do an awful lot of other children I know who do not have this strong immature attachment at seven and a half.

I've pondered this at great length, with a large dose of self blame and not a great deal of clarity or insight. But today, whilst baking their "free from" sausage rolls, the penny dropped. Or more precisely, H's cat decided to steal one when my back was turned - and the complete over-reaction this precipitated and the depths of despair I felt caused the "penny" to sink firmly and completely at last.

Babies and young children depend so completely on their mothers for food and care (well, usually their mothers - let's not get caught up in a circular politically correct argument) and the umbilical cord of pregnancy in fact continues metaphorically well into childhood. There are many papers and books written about children's development and their growing independence - how they learn to loosen the ties sufficiently to promote healthy independence. (This isn't an essay requiring careful annotation and quite honestly I would rather get my point across but you can of course google.) I do remember reading such a book when J was small, how it depicted a child's mother at the centre of a number of concentric circles. Each circle represented the distance a child of a particular age would stray from its mother, with each circle's radius growing as the child grew older. I remember we considered this a completely crazy idea at the time, since J would enjoy wandering and never once look back - secure in the knowledge that his Mum would never be far behind him!

Which is, in a convoluted way, my point. You need that security, that certainty for independence. And it is an interesting fact that children who are pushed away too fast often end up being more clingy or withdrawn, because they lack that secure foundation. Any child with additional issues to cope with, be they health or social, economic or political will probably (and I am no sociologist or psychologist) take longer to develop that natural and increasing independence from their parents as they grow up to be their own person and make their way in the world.

So yes, you could argue that the twins have had a lot to deal with and it is understandable that they might be a bit clingy. But there is something more. That metaphorical umbilical cord - it's all about feeding and sustenance. To be independent you need your basic needs met and you need them to be second nature, 100% reliable. Children on medically restricted diets all too often lack that basic security for several reasons.

With my two, I am the only person in their world who can safely feed them. Now aside from the fact that that is a huge burden for me - it's a MASSIVE restriction for them. Socially of course - at parties, school lunches, holidays, eating out - I have to provide their food at virtually all these occasions. But emotionally the knowledge that they could not feed themselves, that there is only ONE person who is fully familiar with their needs and medications, allergies and restrictions is one Hell of a restriction and a major impediment to independence.

You might challenge that and ask what is so odd about children relying on their mother for their food - but they are 7. And a half. (Very important that half when you are 7!) They cannot eat anything without thinking, checking and having it confirmed as safe. Throw in a generous dollop of fear that they might become unwell if the food giver gets it wrong, and you begin to realise their level of dependency.

They are the ones who hang back at cake sales, or open their "safe" cake from home. They are the children who have a biscuit from their teacher, which was sent from home when the school have a "French Cafe" to experience other cultures. They will be the ones unable to fully participate in the "Bushcraft" trips in Key Stage 2 because it is absolutely NOT the idea for me to tag along, and how would that promote the independence such an event is held for the purpose of encouraging?

Children on exclusion diets (or those tube fed) are held back in SO many ways, denied their natural right to independent life. Later on, they will learn to read packets and navigate their own way through the minefield that is food labelling. But for now, that's my job. I'm sure there is the inevitable dose of bad parenting, with not a little over-protection at the more daunting times too but I won't apologise for either. I'm human like the rest and we muddle through. But I can at last understand one of the reasons why they are perhaps in some ways overly dependent.

So, given that the penny has well and truly landed........ what now? What can I do to help tackle this? Firstly, I think I need to really focus on the one thing I have avoided - for good reason. I've tried to limit their knowledge and the time they see me spend thinking about food and ingredients, because they are children. We crave normality and my version of Health Eating is that food is fuel, and that we shouldn't dwell too much on unhealthy concerns about eating or try to demonise certain foods. (Health Eating Blog post here) But I think we are now moving into "Health Development" and "Healthy LIVING", where knowledge can indeed by power and might release the twins a little from their dependency. For them, "Healthy" is to feel secure that their fuel source is secure and safe, and that THEY are involved.

So this summer, whilst we will be enjoying a lot of time together, I will be working on loosening those ties a little and preparing the ground for passing on that baton of self care. With a good few cookery sessions thrown in too hopefully I can empower them and build some confidence to take those baby steps to greater independence. Power to the Little People.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Delicious Chocolate Coconut Muffins

I have been experimenting with muffins and cupcakes lately, because I have had limited success with anything which doesn't contain banana of late, unless it's quite small it either goes dry or doesn't rise properly. So you can imagine the excitement when I found this recipe - which not only WORKS but as it only has 1 egg it is pretty easy to substitute to make it MEWS free.

Ingredients

  • 5oz / 150g Self Raising Dove's Farm Gluten free flour
  • 4oz / 100g caster sugar
  • 4oz / 200g of either broken up free from chocolate (small pieces can be achieved in a food processor of chopped) or free from chocolate drops/buttons of your choice.
  • 2fl oz / 50mls sunflower oil (NOT olive, hemp or heavier oils)
  • 4fl oz / 100mls milk substitute of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • 2oz / 50g desiccated coconut
  • optional vanilla essence


Method

  • If, like me, you have a Kenwood Chef or a KitchenAid you can quite successfully chuck it all in and whizz it up. Otherwise you need to put flour, sugar, chocolate into the bowl. Mix well and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the oil and milk into a bowl/jug and break the egg in. (ALTERNATIVELY ADD THE EGG REPLACER IN WITH THE DRY INGREDIENTS.)
  •  Beat with a fork and pour into the well you made in the first bowl.
  • Mix everything together and stir in the coconut.
  • Spoon into cupcake cases, or larger muffin cases. 
  • Cupcake cases will bake in 15 mins, the muffins take a little longer. Bake at 180C until golden on top.






Free From Farmhouse

Friday, 7 June 2013

Free from "Cheesecake"!!

The is gluten, soy, egg, dairy, oat free.

Base
2 packets biscuits (Doves farm lemon and cocoa for us)
50g vitalite melted (may need more)

Crush the biscuits and mix with melted butter as you would a normal cheesecake. Spread into the base of the tin.


Filling
2 ripe avocados
a squeeze of agave syrup or other sweete
ner
a carton of coconut cream (the cartons not cans - drain the thin liquid out)
45g melted choc (we use 100% because of soy and dairy)
juice of a lemon

 
Put all the filling ingredients in a blender.
Mix til you can't see green bits.
Spread on top of biscuit base - chill for several hours.

You genuinely will not realise it is not real cheesecake! The is gluten, soy, egg, dairy, oat free.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Simple Potato Cakes

I can't take the credit for this recipe, or even for finding it, but it is definitely one worth sharing!

All instructions and excellent step by step photos  are on a sit called "The Pink Whisk"

A friend said the following:-

"We've made these using pure sunflower spread and rice flour. They are really yummy, Finley adores them. We've frozen them individually, defrosted over night and then put in the microwave for 20 seconds just before eating and they are nice and soft. I did try to defrost in the microwave and they burnt to smithereens!"


Monday, 20 May 2013

"Foods, Moods and Isms" Living the Eosinophilic Life




From Amazon:-

"Foods, Moods & Isms: Living the Eosinophilic Life is the second book in a memoir series. Foods, Moods & Isms details the emotional, humorous, and often profoundly insightful journey of an everyday family raising a child with eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE. This is a book about grocery stores full of food and tables full of empty plates.

This is a book about being hungry for more than just a meal. This is a book about life with Ewan—a boy who sees life from a unique perspective and says all the things we never knew we needed to hear. 

Alicia Hart, author of Brains, Trains & Video Games: Living The Autism Life, is a wife, mother, and advocate for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. She has worked for various autism related agencies, early intervention programs, and universities, and has consulted with schools, hospitals, and other programs regarding autism spectrum disorders, eosinophilic disorders, feeding aversions, and augmentative and alternative communication. Alicia continues to write and has planned a series of books. The next book, Synaptic Spaces: Living In-Between will be the last book in the memoir series. You may find out more on Facebook at The Autism Life or at Alicia Hart—Author. There is also a Facebook fan page at Brains, Trains & Video Games and at Foods, Moods & Isms."

Thursday, 16 May 2013

May 19th-25th is Eosinophilic Awareness Week

Next Week is Eosinophilic Awareness Week. Read about EGID here.

Gastro research is drastically UNDER FUNDED. It is not "glamorous" and rarely on the radar for celebrities and focus groups, and rarely attracts public interest unlike cardiac care and cancer research. Gastro conditions are badly neglected in the UK when it comes to research funding allocation but without research treatment and outcomes are not likely to improve much.

Approximately 1% of the total amount of medical research funding available in the UK can be accessed for Gastro research. There are currently no listed projects specifically for Eosinophilic Disorders on the National Research database. GOSH are running a Gastro Research Project that will include related conditions/problems.

FABED is the main UK charity supporting families with members (adult and children) who suffer from eosinophilic disease.

FABED are UK partners supporting the United States Eosinophilic Awareness Week next week.This is coordinated by APFED. Last year they made this video to promote awareness.


Next week, do something to raise awareness. Tell someone about EGID and the appalling lack of funding for gastrointestinal disorders in the UK.




Monday, 13 May 2013

PIZZA!!!!

*HURRAH* for high street restaurants offering free from menu choices.

We have been testing a few this year, very cautiously!

ASK

Ask in Ipswich were extremely helpful. They explained that recently their chips have changed and are now coated to make them crispier. This makes them unsuitable for anyone with a wheat or gluten allergy. They always stock small new potatoes in their freezer, coated in a safe pepper/salt/oil combination, part cooked and ready for frying. They also grilled some chicken in the same combination for my two gourmets and served them with a child friendly salad. A real hit!

Sorbet satisfied our allergy requirements too, an excellent meal but a long wait as their online allergen list had not been updated.

PIZZA EXPRESS

Pizza Express have just launched their Gluten Free menu. As a family we love Pizza Express, the menu is pretty versatile, it's quick for the kids and they take Tesco Clubcard vouchers!!  They have a fully comprehensive allergen list but read carefully. Many items are absolutely fine but you might think they are not because the entire dish is listed as containing a known allergen. Meat is sourced locally so check that ham doesn't contain lactose for example.


We were fine - on the children's menu my twins couldn't have the dough balls so enjoyed an extra large salad. One chose a gluten free pizza, no cheese with chicken and ham on top, the other the same but with tuna. That ticked the no MWS and Gluten boxes for us, also Egg free as Archie is on minimal egg.  The gluten free pizzas in the table all say they contain dairy and soya, this is because they ahve CHEESE on. You can be creative, like us and skip the cheese and add alternatives! The pizza base was thin and crispy but a definite improvement on the supermarket bases we have tried to date.
























LEGOLAND, Windsor

The Park restaurants and cafes are almost all a big no-no as Legoland now coat their chips and cross contaminate much of their food. However, The Castle Rotisserie (where the large Dragon rollercoaster is) suited us fine. Jacket potatoes with no butter, chicken or baked beans (Heinz which have no wheat flour in) were fine.



The hotel could not have been more helpful. I called the day before then spoke with the chef just before each meal. He cooked safe chips especially for the twins, and there were plenty of meat and veg options. My two ate extremely well! Breakfast was the trickiest but they always have gluten free bread to toast with jams, no spread alternative though. Do ask to have the bread toasted in the kitchen though not on the industrial size "conveyor belt" toaster in the restaurant.

Disclaimer : Obviously YOU know your child's level of sensitivity. Some children will react with microscopic amounts of allergen present. We do NOT avoid food which says "May contain traces of ...." and also do NOT avoid Soya Lecithin as we have always been told that it is a highly purified oil, with no protein present and it is usually the protein people react to. This is NOT the same for everyone.

Next Post - Coffee Shops with safe snacks!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Fun in the Sun!



Summer would seem to have finally arrived, and even if there is a temporary downturn in temperatures forecast for the rest of this week I am hoping, along with so many other EGID parents, that the summer season will herald a period of good health for our children. Obviously the summer presents its own difficulties for allergic kids, the pollen count remains high over much of the summer, but the reduction in colds and similar maladies is a very definite improvement.



I posted last summer about the amazing Bessant and Drury ice creams, but they are pretty expensive and it's nice to find some alternative. But finding summer treats which are free from the main food allergens can be tough, but my scouts have been hard at work and there have been several posts in our Facebook Group which I thought I would share on here.


Tesco have scored highly this week with two discoveries there.
"Strawberry Helter Skelters" are made with coconut milk and are MEWS free. (Milk, Egg, Soy and Wheat) Ingredients are below:-





Also from Tesco are the two finds here --------->
Free From "Banana Smoothies" also made with coconut milk, great for lunch boxes . Unfortunately my fussy pair didn't like them but then they are not huge banana fans.

"Flips" are a new type of crisp/snack.




Lastly one inventive mum has made some smoothie/ice cream (the latter if you freeze it!) from strawberry puree and oatly cream.

Tastes delicious although difficult to scoop into a cone!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Allergy Awareness Week


This week is Allergy Awareness Week. Allergies are complicated things, as described in my lengthy post here. but whether you suffer from gut allergies or systemic, life threatening allergies they seriously impact on your life.

Allergy Kids is a fantastic new site promoting allergy awareness and selling a new type of wristband. "Allermates" are a cool and child friendly allergy awareness product. 
Check out http://www.allergykids.co.uk/

Enter discount code "NEW2013" at the checkout for an Allergy Awareness Week discount!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...