(Most of) Our Family Loves SunButter

Mar 31

My husband and I are big fans of SunButter. We think it’s delicious, and I like the fact that it’s got plenty of Vitamin E, iron, protein, and fibre.  Our nut-allergic son was so excited about eating it when we first bought it that he wanted to eat it in the car. I told him that he had to wait until we got home, and he chanted “I love it, I love it, I love it!” from his car seat in excited anticipation of trying a new treat. Once in the kitchen, I spread a thin layer on his favourite kind of cracker. He ate it, small bite by small bite while whispering “I love it, I love it, I love it” more and more quietly. When he’d eaten the whole thing, I asked him if he wanted some more, and he said, “No… I love it …. I love it.” I said, “You don’t like it, do you? It’s okay if you don’t.” “No, I don’t like it,” he replied. He still mumbled “I love it” under his breath a couple more times as if he was desperately trying to convince himself he did.  So, he doesn’t like it. I’ve heard the same thing from other parents of peanut-allergic children — many of these children do not like peanut butter substitutes. Maybe it’s a natural defense mechanism. I think SunButter is so much like peanut butter that I would have believed it was if I didn’t have the jar in front of me. So maybe it would be confusing to our son to know that SunButter is safe for him to eat, whereas something that appears to be identical to it could make him very sick. Nevertheless, we are happy to have SunButter in our house so those who like it can partake while our son remains safe if he comes in contact with it.    Share...

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Sunbutter Cookies

Mar 31

If you have not had the chance to try Sunbutter I strongly urge you to try it. It tastes so close to peanutbutter it’s unreal. There is a slight ‘green’ taste (like you might expect when eating sunflower seeds) that gives it a bit of a unique taste but the roasting of the sunflower seeds gives it an uncanny resemblance to peanut butter. The below recipe is one of  many available on the web and in some cases people will put lemon juice in the mix to keep the cookies from coming out green. This happens due to the clorophyll in the sunflower seeds. When cooked it turns green!  (please note, I have not tried the below recipe yet. If you do let us know how you like it!) Sunbutter Cookies This recipe for Sunbutter cookies was adapted from a classic peanut butter cookie recipe. If you have a peanut allergy and haven’t tried Sunbutter yet you’re missing out! The taste and texture is very similar (it even tastes great by the spoonful right out of the jar!) This was my first try baking with it and I think it works very well. I hope you think so, too! Ingredients: 1/3 c. “safe” margarine 1/2 c. Sunbutter 1/2 c. granulated sugar 1/2 c. packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 2 teaspoons Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer + 2 T. warm water, mixed together 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1-1/4 c. wheat-free all-purpose flour mix 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum 1/4 c. granulated sugar Directions: 1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 2) With an electric mixer, cream together the margarine, Sunbutter and sugars. Mix in the vanilla and egg replacer mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, flour and xanthan gum. Add to the Sunbutter mixture and mix well. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. 3) Put sugar in a bowl. Roll chilled dough into balls (about 1″ in diameter) and roll in sugar. Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a fork, flatten the balls making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes. Let cool slightly on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes about 2...

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Family Opens Daycare For Children With Allergies

Mar 29

This sounds like a good idea, but to me, having our son in a daycare that is not centered around children with food allergies made him understand that his situation is special and not the norm. The children in the below story are well taken care of, I’m sure, but do you think that this could change the way they see other children?   (NEWS CENTER) — Food allergies affect more than three million children in this country. While it’s a condition that’s very common in kids, protecting them from reactions can often be very isolating. One family in Bath decided to create their own safe place for their son to learn. At nine months old Charlie Strickland did what a lot of babies do. He grabbed a piece of cheese and put it to his mouth. But for his mother it turned into a scary moment. “He blew up into hives, his face swelled, his eyes swelled, he got red itchy hives all over his face,” said Linda Strickland. Charlie, it turned out was allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts. His mother eliminated anything that contained these items from his diet. As her son got older, the biggest challenge became going to public places. “If he touches a surface that maybe yogurt was spilt on and not cleaned up, he’ll get hives on his hand. but if he puts his hand in his mouth there is a possibility he could into shock,” said Strickland. That’s because Charlie suffers from Anaphylaxis. A serious allergic reaction that can result in death. For Charlie even the smallest amount of exposure can be fatal. The toddler wears a pouch containing medication called an ‘Epipen’ which is key to helping him survive a reaction. The three year old wears gloves when he visits children’s museums, parks or even the library to prevent any exposure to his skin. When the family eats in public, his mom wipes down the surfaces, uses a tablecloth and placemat. Strickland didn’t believe she could find a pre-school where Charlie would be completely safe, so she started one in the basement of this church. No food is allowed at the pre-school. The children and parents avoid eating foods charlie...

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Avoiding Milk Protein Blog: Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Act

Mar 27

This came to my attention from Karen’s blog at Avoiding Milk Protein Blog. If you are in the US please read this! This act, even though it is in the US could add leverage to get similar acts passed in other countries. Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Act This E-mail reminder came from A Anderson Authour of Flourishing with Food Allergies If you care about a child with food allergies will you take a few minutes to help The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2009 get passed by Congress this year and to ask for more food allergy research funding?    The Act was initially introduced in 2006, but only passed by the House of Representatives (not in the Senate) in 2008, so it was dropped from the agenda. Good news: On February 23, 2009 it was re-introduced. Please use the web sites below to locate and email your senator(s) and representative(s). Feel free to copy/paste the sample paragraphs below in your email. Also please forward this message to others who care about food allergies, especially in children. Locate and contact your senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm Locate and contact your representative: http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml And even the President: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/ Sample paragraphs to copy into your message: I am writing to express my support for: 1) The passage of the S. 456: Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2009 introduced on February 23, 2009 by Senator Dodd to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Its purpose is to, “To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to develop guidelines to be used on a voluntary basis to develop plans to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs, to establish school-based food allergy management grants, and for other purposes. 2) Increased federal funding for food allergy research from the current requested amount of about $13M to $50M per year, as recommended by the researchers who gathered at Children’s Memorial. Dr. Robert Schleimer, chief of the Allergy-Immunology Division at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine stated, “There are enough children [three million] with food allergies to do the thorough research needed to determine not only how...

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Risk-Reducing Policies Would Provide the Extra Bit of Protection Food Allergic Air Travellers Need

Mar 24

I try not to get discouraged about the “food allergy backlash.” I find such opinions — suggesting that people with food allergies, in their self-important desire to assert that they have a “special status,” are exaggerating the dangers posed by their allergies at the expense of the rights of others — sad and disturbing. In the past four years since our son was diagnosed with his nut allergies, I’ve found that most people have been as understanding and helpful to my son, and to me in my efforts to keep him safe from his allergens, as I could have ever hoped them to be. But I am also aware that, in what seems to be an increasingly pervasive culture of entitlement, there will always be some small percentage of people with the energy and inclination only to look out for themselves, even if it means others are inconvenienced or even put at risk. I don’t expect everyone to accommodate my son. We are learning to accept that our lives require an extra measure of advance planning, emergency preparedness, and analysis of risks and benefits. And we take responsibility for managing his food allergies and in giving him the tools to look after them himself when he is older.  We have an emergency plan, a couple of EpiPens, and a charged mobile phone with which to call 911. We are aware of our surroundings and do our best to monitor each situation, preparing to remove ourselves if we start to feel less safe ­— a waitress who says she doesn’t believe in food allergies, a playground littered with peanut shells, a house party with candy dishes filled with mixed nuts — and knowing that, in the case of an food allergy accident, we will call 911 and use the EpiPen to buy us time until an ambulance arrives. But, in an airplane, the emergency plan won’t work. I don’t like to inconvenience others, but I feel strongly that air travel is one situation where the small inconvenience of limiting the consumption of the most highly allergenic foods provides a big safety benefit. On an airplane, it is crucial to have a variety of safety procedures in place — many of...

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