Saturday, December 12, 2015

Allergy Fun is closed for 2015. We have now reopened in January 2016

Thank you everyone for you support this year. It has been a fabulous first six months for Allergy Fun. Stay safe these holidays and try and save time and energy for the things that really matter. We look forward to sharing more of our journey together in 2016.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Allergy Education - when to start

When dealing with young children with food allergies, we need to educate the adults who are around them, but we also need to educate our young children. At what age should we start teaching our kids about their allergies? Do we want them to feel different?

We have two boys with multiple food allergies, now 3 and 6 years old. Do we want them to feel different? No, but the truth is, they are different. Pretending that they are not, is a recipe for disaster, especially when dealing with anaphylaxis. However, teaching them about their food allergies need to be done in a balanced and an age appropriate manner.

If you are unsure about where to start, or what would be appropriate to teach your child, here are some guidelines we have used. Keep in mind, that every child is different, and the age and stage will vary with the individual.

The age at which you choose to introduce them to their Epipen, and other medications is up to you. The age at which you choose to teach them that their allergies not only make them sick, but can be deadly is a very personal decision. I have not included these aspects in this diagram because I do not feel comfortable suggesting an age for this. Our oldest son practiced using an expired Epipen at the age of 3. He was able to understand a lot of his medical needs at a very young age. At the age of 6, he now knows that his allergies can be deadly. We discussed this by reading an article about a boy who was of a similar age who died from undeclared dairy in a coconut product. I will save those details for another post.

If you are hoping that your child grows out of their allergies by the time they reach school, that is completely natural. But allergy education needs to start as early as possible to make it a way of life, and not an imposed restriction that your child comes to resent. If your child no longer has food allergies when they are at school, you will have prepared them to be the most understanding friend to another child with food allergies. Wouldn't that be great?

Our child is not "the allergy kid". Our child is Matthew, a boy who loves the trampoline; a boy who loves Pokemon and bike riding; a boy who has allergies to milk, eggs and nuts but loves eating chicken, tomatoes and fresh peas.

If you'd like know more ways to educate your child in a balanced and age appropriate way, please check out our book Allergy Fun.

Friday, November 20, 2015

How can allergies be fun?!

I have been asked a few times, "Why call your book Allergy Fun? Allergies are NOT fun!"

It is true, the title Allergy Fun may strike some people as odd, given the potentially deadly nature of multiple, serious food allergies. However, as the parent of two children with multiple allergies, I believe it is important to make sure that children can still be children, despite the extra challenges they may face. I believe it is important to ensure our children do not frame their whole existence around allergies. Young children with severe food allergies certainly have many restrictions to learn and understand, but within these boundaries there can be an abundance of freedom, fun and adventure.

How do we have fun?

STEP 1: Take away the focus from food, and especially the foods that are of a concern to you. Children need to learn what they cannot eat, but more importantly, what food can we eat? What foods make us strong? What foods make us grow bigger? What foods help our brains and our body? What foods do we love to eat?

STEP 2: Find activities that don't revolve around restricted foods. With two boys, we spend many many hours at parks and playgrounds. We go there to PLAY, not eat. We meet friends to play, not just eat. Other non-food activities include: swimming pool, museums, galleries, bush walking, tree climbing, bike rides, and other sports.

Fruit picking could be another option for some - my boys love cherry picking, strawberry picking... find the season that suits you, find the fruits that suit you, and have FUN!

We have recently passed our food challenge for rainbow trout (fish), so my aim is to head to a local trout farm during the summer, catch some trout and cook it up! Heck, we might even try and eat it sashimi style?!

STEP 3: Always bring your emergency medication. We are there to have fun, but we always need to bring our emergency medication... just in case. It's an important lesson for kids to learn too :-)

To find out more ways to educate your child about their food allergies, click here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Kids Food Allergies Foundation - Review of Allergy Fun photobook

 My Kids Food Allergies' website has great resources for allergy education, including great print outs, recipes, games and more. 

They have also just published a very comprehensive review of Allergy Fun - check out what they thought of our book and please feel free to SHARE the link. 

Thanks My Kids Food Allergies for the great work you do to help the allergy community. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Starting School - questions to raise concerning food allergies.

As parents of a child with multiple food anaphylaxis, everything we do has to be done with extra care and extra preparation. When our son started to attend childcare, there was already a lot of meetings and paperwork that needed to be organised in preparation. However, when starting big boy's school, the scene is quite different in a number of ways.

At childcare, all the food was provided by the official cook. NO FOOD was allowed into any of the rooms. The Epipen we provided was moved from inside to outside, whenever the children went to play outdoors. If our boy moved rooms at the end of the day, his medications moved with him. The teacher/child ratios are such that no child is ever out of sight for any length of time. When I look back at this, it seems so cocooned... just the way I like it! And, I might say, for good reason. The children are so young, and although allergy education was emphasized, their level of understanding and level of self control is pretty much limited.

At school, children bring their own food. Food can be eaten in the classroom, under supervision, or it can be eaten outside (with significantly less supervision). School has multiple teachers, in multiple rooms, over a much larger campus. The age gap amongst the children is much greater , so there is more potential for bullying and intimidation.

It makes so much sense when we feel our anxiety levels rise. There is good reason. So here are some points to consider when getting ready to start school.

Action Plans, Medicine packs, Emergency Procedures, Staff Training, Lunchtimes, School Layout, Yard Duty, Crafts, Treats, Labels, Allergy Education... and of course Bullying!
  • Anaphylaxis Action Plan - We fill ours out at the start of every school year. I print them out myself, fill all the details in, and bring it in to my GP to sign. At home, I scan them and print off multiple copies. One for the individual teacher, one for the first aid room, one for his medicine bag, one for myself...

  • Asthma Action Plan - If your child suffers from asthma, then the Asthma Action Plan is equally as important. Check with your school which Asthma plans they use, since they seem to vary slightly.

  • Medication - Our medications include: Epipen (with good expiry), Ventolin, spacer plus mask (if needed), small bottle of antihistimine with plastic spoon.These medications need to be stored in an unlocked area that can be accessed readily.

  • Emergency management - What happens if the child becomes sick in the playground. What staff are around? Do they carry phones? What happens if the child becomes sick in a classroom? If an allergic reaction is obvious, then it is likely that appropriate procedures are followed. What if a child simply has a sore tummy? Or vomits for no reason? Normally, a child is escorted by another child to the sick bay. This is simply not appropriate for a child who may suffer anaphylaxis or an asthma attack along the way.

  • Staff training - check that all staff have or will undergo Anaphylaxis First Aid training. Emphasize that First Aid training is for emergencies, and while it is vital, prevention is also paramount. Will all staff be able to recognise your allergic child? What happens when substitute teachers are used - who will make them aware of your allergic child? What experience does the school have with anaphylaxis and other allergies? I like to take a look at their first aid room and talk to whoever is in charge of it.
  •  Lunchtimes/mealtimes - Does the school have a food policy of no sharing? Where do the children eat? Are they supervised? Does your child need to sit in a specific spot? Is there a handwashing policy BEFORE and AFTER eating?
  • School Layout - this affects how many Epipens you feel is necessary. Not many schools will allow a young child to carry their own medications. There can be concern that it gets misplaced/damaged, or that it is accidentally activated. If the school is large, there may need to be more Epipens placed strategically around the grounds. Discuss how this can be managed and accessed in an emergency.

  • Yard Duty - with multiple food allergies, we simply stated that our son is not to pick up rubbish under any circumstances. He doesn't do cleaning if food is involved at all.

  • Craft - allergens can be hiding anywhere when it comes to schools. Kids with Food Allergies provides a helpful list of products and activities to be aware of. For us, we decided the classroom is not to use any recycled food containers or boxes. It will always be difficult to monitor the use of every product, in every situation. Older children especially, will be asked to complete projects at home that will then be displayed in a school for others to see. Explaining this to teachers is important, but teaching our child not to touch these displays is really important too.

  • Treats - we supply a selection of sealed treats for our son, for situations where others have brought a cake to share for a birthday, or any other situation deemed appropriate by the teacher. I try and encourage the teacher to choose non-food related rewards like stickers or extra games/computer time, but unfortunately so much of our culture and society revolves around food, it is near impossible to avoid when dealing with over 20 children and their families.
  • Labels - everything at school needs to be labelled, but perhaps consider making up stickers with an Allergy Alert. I put them on lunch containers, so that anybody walking past will see it, and be on alert. 

  •  Bullying - the dreaded question. How does the school view food threats made towards an allergic child? What would be the process? Our school was adamant that this sort of behaviour had never happened before. Believe it or not, it's been nearly 2 years, and we actually have never had an issue. The general attitude and behaviour at our school means the children are always reminded to be caring, to be kind and to be respectful towards each other. However, the school can't control every child that enters it's gate, so it is worth understanding what the procedures are should the situation arise.

  • Extra clothes - any small accident can mean a child needs a new set of clothes. If someone bumps into them and spills their food, this can be a cause for concern. I packed a spare set of clothes in a plastic bag with their name on it. This could be left with the class room teacher for the whole term. Our school has extra sets of clothes already, so this wasn't needed.
Allergy Education - books are a great way to educate your own child as well as their class. Read them at home, and bring them into school so that other kids can read them and grow in their understanding. Here is my top pick (the more books the better):

Here are some more helpful links:
Ascia Anaphylaxis Resources 

We made our allergy labels using Bright Star Kids

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Amazingly simple Allergy Free Slow Cooker meals - GAPS and Paleo inspired.

If your home has numerous allergies, meal times every day, of ever month, of every year gets very tiring. Throw into that mix after school activities and homework for each child and your cooking time gets seriously condensed! Enter the slow cooker... the most wonderful and economic kitchen appliance around!

I'm not an expert on gut health, but there seems to be an increasing awareness of how our modern diet can influence our gut health, which in turn can influence allergies and intolerances. I don't believe all allergies can be resolved by gut health, but I do believe that some gut allergies and intolerances may improve.

The GAPS and Paleo diets encourage the use of meat bones, bone marrow and offal. The belief is that our modern diet, eating only the "best" muscle meat, has lost some of the nutrients available within the bones, the sinew, the cartilage and various organs. Looking back at my asian heritage, I can see that my parents and grandparents used to eat a lot more stews and soups made with bones and offal that simmered for hours. In China, there is a soup that is supposed to be 100 years old, where ingredients are continually added to one very old soup. Apparently is has many health benefits. Maybe it does?!?

Our second son who suffers from numerous gut allergies actually loves bone marrow and offal. He eats Lamb's tongues in a tin, corned beef in a tin (which also contains hearts) and loves to get a straw and extract all the bone marrow from every piece of meat. But if your family aren't keen on eating bone marrow, that's OK. Cooking with the bones and bone marrow will infuse the rest of the pot with lots of natural goodness.

I've simplified the recipes for Red meats (lamb/beef) and White meats (chicken/pork). The recipes are remarkably simple because cooking them really is so simple. But you will be pleasantly surprised by the flavour and I'm sure you will be cooking them regularly. Enjoy!

Red meat recipe:
Enough meat for 4 adult serves - Lamb shanks / lamb chops /Beef Osso Bucco
Add 2 sprigs of rosemary and thyme for lamb dishes. Add 2 bay leaves for beef dishes.
Add vegetables like onion, garlic, carrot, swede, sweet potato, potato.
Add one handful of some dark fruit like grapes, cherries, sultanas or plums.
  • Tomato based sauce - add 400g tinned tomatoes, 2T tomato paste.
  • Cherry based sauce - add 800g jar of cherries and their juice.
  • Coconut milk based sauce - add 400g tin of coconut cream or milk. Add curry leaves, 2t curry powder or 2T curry paste if you are able to.
Add water to cover all the meat and vegetables, leaving about 3cm at the top to allow everything to simmer without splattering.

Cover and cook for 6 hours on slow, or 4 hours on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the tomato or cherry based meals with a sprinkling of parsley for colour. Garnish the coconut based meal with a sprinkling of sliced spring onions.

White meat recipe:
Enough meat for 4 adult serves - Whole chicken, chicken legs/thighs, pork hock, pork spare ribs
Add vegetables like onion, garlic, carrot, swede, sweet potato, potato.
  • Apple based sauce - peeled apple pieces and apple juice or apple cider. Add enough juice to cover all the meat and vegetables, leaving about 3cm from the edge of the pot.
  •  Coconut milk based sauce - add 400g tin of coconut cream or milk. Add curry leaves, 2t curry powder or 2T curry paste if you are able to.
Cover and cook for 6 hours on slow, or 4 hours on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the apple based meals with a sprinkling of parsley for colour. Garnish the coconut based meal with a sprinkling of sliced spring onions.

If you would like to cook your pasta in the sauce, simply scoop out most of the meat and vegetables and keep them in a warm dish. Add enough dry pasta for 4 serves. Top with boiling water until all the pasta is well covered, with maybe 1cm extra on top. Stir well. Leave the slow cooker on high, with the lid off for a further 30mins if using wheat pasta or 20mins if using rice/corn pasta. If your pasta shapes are extra small, then cooking time will be faster. Don't forget to add more salt if needed.

Alternatively, serve with mashed potato, rice, bread or normal pasta.

Click here for more allergy friendly meals.
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Coming soon... One Tray oven meals... allergy free of course!

I would love to hear your favourite combination.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Teaching young children about their allergies - Allergy Fun Page 2

This is a continuation on our last post Teaching young children about their allergies, based on page 1 of Allergy Fun

Meet Matthew from Allergy Fun - he can't have cow's milk. He has soy milk to make him grow bigger. His brother has rice milk. What kind of milk do you have? 

These are the types of conversations that can help a child with allergies feel like they are not the odd one out, but that we have somethings in common with some people, and some things in common with others. Everyone is unique. These discussions can be extended to "What kind of bread do you have? What kind of cakes or cookies? What kind of snacks?" No matter what particular allergy your child has, Allergy Fun will encourage them to understand more about their allergy and to always remember to have fun with friends and family.

What if my child cannot have soy milk either?
What if my child can have cow's milk?

Your child does not have to have the exact same allergies as Matthew to relate to our book. There will be children around us with different allergies, and some with none. It is helpful to be able to name other people that you know who do have allergies, so your child does not feel alone. However, it is also helpful to name people your child knows who also like kicking a ball, or who also like dancing.
Allergy education can start at any age. The earlier you start, the more normal it will seem for your young person. I remember even at age 2 our son was able to prevent an allergic reaction! Our whole family was pretty much sleep deprived thanks to this little munchkin. His dad had gone to the kitchen to warm up my son's milk early one morning. Half asleep, he had taken out the soy milk to heat, instead of the rice milk. My son exclaimed, "That's not my milk, I have rice milk!" That was a proud moment :-)

To purchase your copy now, simply select your delivery option to pay securely via PayPal.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Allergy Free Chocolate Coconut custard

Here's a yummy chocolate custard recipe, based on cocoa and coconut milk, that is free from the top 8 allergens. It is quite yummy on it's own as you can see, but completely divine when layered with pancakes and strawberries!
 Bon Appetit!
Click here to find the recipe for a milk free, egg free, nut free pancake. Instead of pureed fruit, you can also use 1T honey or a combination of both for larger batches.
To print the recipe for the custard, go to Happy Tummies, supplier of allergy friendly foods. Keep up the good work!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Reviews for Allergy Fun - Growing up with multiple food allergies

Would you like to know what others thought about Allergy Fun? Here are some of the comments we have received:

"Hello to all the allergy Mums and Dads out there. I just wanted to let you know that I personally think the book 'Allergy Fun' is brilliant! I received my hard cover copy just last week and I'm very happy with it. The book is sooooooooooooooo relevant to my 4 year old son who has multiple allergies. I feel like it was written for him! Lol! The pictures are bright and bold, the information is well written and easy to read and the message is loud and clear. I will definitely be sending this book along to school next year when he starts Kinder. Thanks again" - Emma, Tasmania, Australia, August, 2015.

"Received my little boys allergy book today!! Can't wait to fill it in to help him understand what he can't have!!
Book is brilliant big pages and easy to understand!!.
Very pleased very quick postage and delivery!!
Thank you so much x x" - Vicki, Stephenage, UK, August 2015.

"We received our book this week, can't wait to share it with my little girl and also family & friends. This will be great to help my daughter learn more about her allergies to and it's wonderful she can add her own story in the back.
Postage was fast also was here in a couple days very good.
Thank you" - Michelle, WA, Australia, August 2015.

"This is a beautiful way of looking at something that can be very challenging for children and families. As a parent, educator and writer myself, I am so glad this fun book has been created. I will be recommend it to all parents who have kids with allergies. It will help a lot of people. Grace's experience and unique perspective will help smooth out the journey for our kids. Thanks Grace! Congratulations on a wonderful achievement." - Joshua, July 2015.

Here are some sample pages from the book:

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Want to know the difference between IGE, Non-IGE mediated allergies?

Here is a quick guide to IGE and Non-IGE mediated allergies. This does not cover everything, but it is a great resource you can download and print out for family and friends who want to know more.

Different Types of Food Allergies

Our eldest son has IGE mediated allergies, at risk of anaphylaxis. Our youngest son has Non-IGE mediated allergies. What allergies do you deal with? Have you even heard of all of these?!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Week - Allergy Education in a childcare setting

Does your child go to childcare or school? Would you like to increase their understanding of allergies? Books are a great tool to introduce or reinforce information about allergies.

Do you worry that your child is left out, or is seen differently by the other children? Allergy Fun helps to break down those barriers by encouraging us to think of all aspects of a person. Just like Matthew, one child might like trucks and rockets. Just like Matthew another child has food allergies. All of us have some things in common, and some things different.

Today we had an opportunity to take Allergy Fun to childcare to celebrate Book Week. The children loved hearing about Matthew and his allergies.

They were also super keen to share about what their favourite foods and activities were. We left a copy of the book to put on the bookshelf for kids to come back to and to use in further food allergy discussions.

Have you brought your copy of Allergy Fun to school or kinder? 

To purchase your copy now, simply select your delivery option and pay online.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Age appropriate allergy management

Life is a learning process.

As parents, we are learning new things all the time about allergies and how to manage them. Similarly, children are also on a learning journey and we need to adjust the way we teach them about allergies as they continue to grow and mature.

I was struck by the changes we have gone through in our allergy management, when our son went to Sunday School for the first time in three years. Our son is at risk of anaphylaxis to milk, eggs and all nuts. He is unable to eat any of these foods and we continue to avoid even the possibility of traces in most foods. However, at age 3, when he (occasionally) went to Sunday School, we had a long list of things to organise and discuss. Part of the reason his attendance was so occasional was that the effort required and the stress it caused probably outweighed the benefit.

Some of the things we used to do are the same as they are today:
- Medical Information - Updated action plans for his anaphylaxis and asthma are always provided.
- Medicine - Emergency Epipen, antihistimine and ventolin are always left in the room with our son.
- We make sure we chat to the staff and volunteers, so they know MATTHEW has ENTERED THEIR CARE!!!!
- Food - we provide all our own snacks and water bottle. No Food allowed - sticker placed on him.
- No food crafts, without clarification from us.

Some things that we used to do at age 3 seem excessive and unecessary now at age 6:
- providing a special place mat for him to eat from, and to do craft on.
- providing his own glue sticks, his own colour pencils (to ensure no cross contamination)
- sitting separately from other children during meals and even some craft time.
Why are we more relaxed now?
The main reason I think is that our son has been attending school now for a year and  half. Although we went through many procedures at school, I am sure that the kids do not honestly wash their hands as often nor as well as they should. I am sure cross contamination occurs in many instances in the class room. However, our son has not had a serious reaction so far... touch wood! I guess this experience means that for us now, it seems our son needs to eat the allergen before he reacts. This was not the case when he was younger. And so, we have entered a stage in his life where the implements he uses and the surfaces he touches do not need to be as squeaky clean. Our son has also developed significantly in his understanding of allergies, and the children at this age are not nearly as messy as they were at 3. Phew, what a relief!

Saying all that, I still stayed in the room for the whole session, to get a good idea of what goes on and what the helpers are like. I am enormously happy to conclude that my son is able to stay at Sunday School from now on, without my presence. They have all my contact details for emergencies, they have trained volunteers (quite a few), and I feel the risks are minimised and managed.

What a difference a few years make!

I wonder what life will be like at 9?

When was the last time you reassessed your risk management strategies around allergies?
I know that we tend to stick with what has worked in the past, but perhaps sometimes, it is good to reassess. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Teaching young children about their allergies - Allergy Fun Page 1

Allergy Fun can be a very easy book for young children to read. However, it is also meant as a launching platform for more meaningful and personal discussion. The level of discussion will depend a lot on the age of your child and their level of understanding. Here are some discussion points that can be raised as you read the book Allergy Fun.

These questions are based on just the first page of the book:
- Is there anything that makes you sick?
- How do you know you are sick? What does that feel like? Teaching children how to understand their body is helpful so that they are able to tell you if and when they are having an allergic reaction. Explain that if their leg is sore from a splinter, they can feel that it hurts on their foot. It is important to work out why it is sore, so that we can help them feel better again.
- Explain how the body can feel sick in different ways - rashes, itchiness, cramps, dizziness, tiredness, feeling like they need to vomit (nausea), feeling like they have no energy (lethargy), headache, tingling.
- What makes other people sick? This can include naming other people they know with allergies, or simply explaining that we all can get sick at different times, and that it is important to first try and prevent sickness, and second, if we do get sick, how to get help and get better.
- What do you like doing? What is your favourite activity? What are other people's favourite activities?

Please don't raise all these points in the one sitting, or the poor child may not want to read the rest of the book! Instead, raise a couple of these points each time you read the book. Each reading will add new levels of learning. Don't forget to allow time for your child to think about things and ask questions too. Some of their questions might come at a later time, but rest assured, they are taking in every word that comes out of your mouth.

If your child comes up with an interesting take on things, please do let us know. We will continue to post more ideas for how to use Allergy Fun as an effective tool for educating young children about their allergies, so make sure you subscribe and get each update.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Allergy Free party food / convenience food in Australia

If you are new to the world of food allergies, the thought of having a party that does not contain the allergens of concern can be the cause of many a headache, and many a sleepless nights.

There are two sides to this... in the modern world, perhaps our desire to see our children "happy" is getting out of hand? Look up birthday party ideas on the internet and you will be hit with amazing, cute, awesome birthday/celebration ideas. Some are more colour coordinated and elaborate than the average wedding! But to do this every year for every child, with food allergies thrown into the mix... well, it leads to a very tired, probably highly strung mum. (Oh, hi there, my name is Grace!)

The other side is of course that we would like to celebrate the birth of each of our children, and do it in a way that doesn't make them sick, or worse! We have had parties with just my husband, myself, and one child. We have had parties with many people and many kids, with all sorts of food around. We have had parties with many people and only safe foods. The choice is a personal one, and there are pros and cons for each. My advice... do what suits you at this point in time. This changes as kids grow older... this changes as we grow wiser ;-)

No matter which way you choose, the more safe foods there are, the higher the chance that your child won't have an allergic reaction from cross contamination or just kids being kids.

Here is a quick list of easy to do party food that will hopefully take off some of the pressure. Please check the labels on all packets before you buy, to make sure they are suitable for you.

Milk/egg/nut free
Coles Spring Rolls -found in the freezer section. They do contain wheat and maybe soy.
Some brands of frankfurts
Doritos - plain flavour
Parkers Pretzels
Coles Canola Puff Pastry - for pizza scrolls or vegemite scrolls
Fairy bread using Nuttelex and hundreds and thousands

Gluten/milk/egg/nut/soy free
Birds Eye Golden crunch potato gems or hash browns
Red Rock Deli Potatoe chips
Aeroplane jelly
SPC Fruit cups
Sunbites popcorn
Rice crackers with home made guacamole dip
Fruit poppers/bottles - I prefer this at a party since the chance of spilling is slightly minimised.
Prepackaged Coles ham - comes in small packets, sold near the bacon.
Fruit skewers - make your own

If you have other products that you use, please add them in the comments section for others to read.

Just remember we are here to celebrate the child, not the food... Happy partying!

Click HERE for an easy cake recipe.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Allergy Fun - a chance to personalise your very own children's allergy book!

My Allergy Fun is coming soon!  Readers have enjoyed reading about Matthew and his multiple food allergies. Now it's your turn to be part of the action. This soft cover book includes the story of Allergy Fun, but when you flip the book, there are 8 large pages for you to personalise.

Add pictures of your child, the things they love, their favourite food, friends and family, as well as their allergens. You can watch your child beam with pride about every aspect that makes up their life.

To purchase your copy of Allergy Fun, simply select your delivery option and pay online.

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Together, let's embrace the life we have been given and be thankful for the unique nature of each person.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Wheat free or Gluten Free picture from Allergy Fun children's picture book

Does your heart ache when your child is the odd one out at birthday parties?
Do they ask why they can't share the same food as other children?

Allergy Fun aims to bring our focus away from what we can't have, to celebrating what we do have. Children can still attend birthday parties and still have plenty of fun if we are prepared with our safe foods and a positive attitude.

Matthew's safe food contains no milk, egg, nuts or wheat.

What are your favourite safe foods for special occasions?

To purchase your copy of Allergy Fun, simply select your delivery option and pay online.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Dairy or Milk allergy education - Allergy Fun children's picture book

Does your child have a dairy allergy? Meet Matthew from Allergy Fun - he can't have cow's milk. He has soy milk to make him grow bigger. His brother has rice milk. What kind of milk do you have?

These are the types of conversations that can help a child with allergies feel like they are not the odd one out, but that everyone is unique. These discussions can be extended to "What kind of bread do you have? What kind of cakes or cookies? What kind of snacks?" No matter what particular allergy your child has, Allergy Fun will encourage them to understand more about their allergy and to always remember to have fun with friends and family.

To purchase your copy of Allergy Fun, simply select your delivery option and pay online.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Egg allergy education - Allergy Fun children's picture book on

How do I teach my child about their egg allergy without scaring them?
How do I teach my child not to eat unsafe food?
How can my child still have fun if they can't eat the birthday cake?

Here's a sneak peak at one of the pages of Allergy Fun - Growing up with multiple food allergies. This page can be used to discuss how some foods can contain egg, without looking like they do. Explaining to kids that they must always check with their parent about the ingredients before they eat any new food. It is also important to explain for example, that the chicken nuggets we have at home don't have egg in them, but others can, and that there is no way to tell, unless you read the ingredients list.

I am proud to say our 3 year old always asks me to "check the ingredients!" One time, he actually located it on the packet before I did! Education can start at any age, and the more books you can read to them about food allergies, the more normal they will feel about having those food allergies.

If you have specific questions or scenarios that you find tricky, tell me about it! The food allergy community needs to lean on eachother for all our everyday challenges :-)

To purchase your copy of Allergy Fun, simply select your delivery option and pay online.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Allergy Fun - Growing up with Multiple Food Allergies Facebook page

We have an official Facebook Page - Please head over to that, LIKE it, and also GET NOTIFICATIONS.

I will be posting extra tips on how to use our book for further discussion with young children.

As with educating young children in anything, repetition is the key!

Here is a fun page from the book if you have not had a chance to look at it yet :-)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Allergy Fun - NEW RELEASE on Kindle!

I am excited to announce that Allergy Fun has been officially released on Kindle today!

As a mother of two children with multiple allergies, I struggled to find good resources to help educate them about allergies. Trying to turn a difficult situation into something good, I set about writing Allergy Fun. It is fun, catchy, and most importantly encourages the children to see themselves as a whole person, not just one with food allergies.

Allergy Fun aims to educate young children about their allergies and why they have to avoid certain foods, but also encourages the reader to focus on friends, family, and fun in order to live a full life. The readers meet a young boy who has multiple food allergies. By learning more about him, the reader is able to realise they are not alone and that allergies are a part of their life, but do not define them. 

If you have a tablet or smart phone, you can simply download the Kindle App for free, then download the book.

I will also continue to post information on the facebook page about ways to use the book for further discussion at home and at school.

I look forward to an exciting new chapter in our allergy journey.

Download Allergy Fun - Growing up with multiple food allergies HERE.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

UPDATE: Allergy Fun will soon be on Kindle!

It's been a long time coming, but we will be releasing a new book soon called Allergy Fun. It will be available on Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, you can simply download their free app onto your phone or tablet to access all their books. Why not download it now, and check out what else is worth reading?

Our oldest son is now six and we have been on this allergy journey for over five years. It seems we will continue to be on this journey for many years to come, for both of our sons.

What started as a very lonely and isolating journey has led to a new path, and the discovery of unexpected friendship and camaraderie. Along the way, especially online, we have made connections with many other families who are travelling the same road. We celebrate the passing of food challenges, we mourn the deletion of a product line, we laugh at the insane hours we are kept in the kitchen, and we marvel at how our young people are growing and thriving, in spite of their many allergies.
Allergy Fun is based on our son who is at risk of anaphylaxis when he consumes any milk, egg, peanut or tree nuts. We struggled in the early days to find books that were relevant or helpful for him. There were a number of books very helpful for parents, but not so many for younger children. Some books had characters with "just" one allergy, while our son had multiple. We were unable to find many books that also encompassed the social and emotional side of living with severe allergies. Allergy Fun aims to fill that gap, with a blend of practical advice about eating safe food, how to enjoy birthday parties, how to still have fun with friends and most of all how to accept and appreciate the uniqueness of each individual.

I hope you enjoy reading the book when it comes out, and I hope it helps any little ones you know affected by allergies.