Brand Names Matter!

In food, that is.

Wonderful husband did the grocery shopping today for our Superbowl dinner tonight. This was great because I took son to Sunday school and picked up daughter from a sleepover.

He got a strange brand of canned tomatoes, which still looks OK.  He got veggies, milk, etc. which were all fine.

But he bought Barilla pasta.  This is made on the same line as their “extra protein” pastas, which are NOT fine for our chickpea and lentil allergic son.  They are not required to list “chick peas” or “lentils” on their ingredients because these are not among the 8 most common allergens and so not covered by the labeling law.  We called Barilla a couple years ago and confirmed that the chick pea and lentil ingredients could cross-contaminate all their other pasta.

If you or your child has allergies that are not in the top 8 most common, you may have to call manufacturers more often than other food allergic families.  Here’s a list of the 8 most common allergens.

I love my brand names.  Hubby, thanks for shopping, but please get me San Giorgio next time!

Gone All Day

Getting on the bus

Yesterday would have been a regular day for many 3rd grade kids. Our guy went to school, then to a friend’s house for the afternoon and evening. He came home around bed time.

For our guy it was the longest he’d be out without a parent with him.  He bought lunch at school, had dinner at the friend’s place and went to a Boy Scout event in the evening.  Very normal!

We did the prep work:

  • He carries his Epipen in his backpack, so that went with him all day.
  • We’ve gone with him to school on pizza Friday and he knows the items he can have.
  • He had his own dessert with him for lunch.
  • The friend’s mom is super about food allergies and she and I talked about dinner ahead of time.

I’m so proud of how he handled the Boy Scout event!  Lots of snacks were involved and our guy didn’t see food he was comfortable with.  Plus some of the snacks were buffet style and included tree nuts.  He had fun but waited until he got home to eat his (large) bedtime snack.  Yesterday was an awesome day for him!

Easiest Birthday Ever

Our peanut allergic boy turned 9 earlier this month and it had to be the easiest birthday for me ever.

Our Giant supermarket now has cupcakes “made in a peanut free facility.” They aren’t the fancy ones with the sports rings, just fairly plain. So I expected dear son to request home-made cupcakes, just like I’d always made. Nope, he was happy with the store-bought because that is what all the kids take in for birthdays.

Son also preferred I not come in to hand out the cupcakes. So that morning after a 5 minute drive and drop off at the school office, I was done! Amazing.

Up to bat in the home run derby
Up to bat in the birthday home run derby

His party was easy also.  He and his buddies did sports for an hour at Frozen Ropes.  They all got along fine had super manners.  Then they had Gatorade and Papa John’s Pizza.  We did make the cake for this one!

I have to admit to mixed feelings about my son’s new independence.   But he is moving on and growing up and I shouldn’t be in the way.

Counting down to Christmas…

Halloween involves much more unsafe candy than Christmas does.  So why does Christmas stir up so much more anxiety for parents of food allergic kids?

When Halloween is over, we are happily back at our house, sorting candy.  No one is offended if we send their contributions in to work with Dad; no one knows that their homemade caramel apple ends up at the bottom of the trash can. Continue reading Counting down to Christmas…