A as in Anaphylaxis, All About Allergies, Egg allergy

The Sniffle Study-why it is essential to take part in research


Last week, we had the opportunity to take part in the SNIFFLE study, a multicentre study researching the now in the UK available flu vaccine. It has been used in the US for years and no severe allergic reactions to its content (among other ingredients, it contains egg) have been observed. The aim of the study here in the UK is to proof the safety of the vaccine for egg allergic children. The new thing about the vaccine is that it is given via the nostrils. No more needles, no more tears? We were especially looking forward to a needle free day at hospital (since it is a research project, vaccines are administered under supervision with easy access to emergency treatment).

So we happily decided to take part with our now 3 year old allergyBabe. We were welcomed with a friendly #hellomynameis, allergyBabe went straight for the train track and mum was seated in a comfy armchair. So far, so good.

After the usual observations (blood pressure, oxygen level, pulse, temperature) we were informed, consented and told that there would be a couple of skin prick tests prior to the administration of the vaccine. SKIN PRICK TEST. That means needles. So despite the fact that the vaccine is given as a spray, we still had to undergo the nasty procedure of skin pricking. Despite allergyBabe’s earlier statement not to want any needles, he was very brave and underwent the to him so familiar procedure without a big fuss. The test confirmed his egg allergy.

The vaccination itself was a walk in the park. 1 puff in each nostril, followed by one sneeze, and it was over. To make sure no delayed reaction would occur, we stayed for an hour afterwards, happily engaged in the play area. AllergyBabe showed no adverse effects whatsoever.

Around the third day, he complained about joint paint in his knees, which were gone after one dose of paracetamol. He also developed a slight head cold. Nothing else.

It was a very pleasant experience, from the initial call prior to our appointment to the courtesy call 3 days after the vaccination.

Thinking of taking part? You may think about the following:

If the aim of this study (to proof that the egg containing nasal vaccine is safe for egg allergic children) is achieved,

– egg allergic children will be able to be vaccinated with an easy and painless procedure

– GPs in Primary Care will be confident to administer the vaccine to egg allergic children

– parents will have proof that this vaccine is safe

It the above mentioned points can be achieved, it was worth the inconvenience of traveling to hospital, staying there and getting pricked.

After all, every vaccination that is performed is not only protecting the individual, but also the community in which they live and thrive.

Further reading:

Parent information sheet Oxford Groupdiscussion of the subject on mumsnet.com

WHO study listing

About allergybabe

NO DAIRY, NO PARTY ?! (part 2)

peek a boo - cannot see you...

peek a boo – playing at Gymboree Docklands

Yes, there is a second part to the much discussed part 1. Thanks everyone who shared their thoughts on how catering facilities deal with food allergic customers. Particularly important is NUTMUMS.COM view of the subject in legal terms. Read her blogpost here.

But hey, let us not dwell in the past. We had a great 3rd birthday party with lots of lovely people, great acitivities, fun, laughter and, yes, food. Gymboree Docklands was kind enough to entertain our guests and let us cater ourselves. Well done, we need more of these friendly places.

So we catered ourselves. With allergy friendly foods. Lots of it. Everything was allergyBabe friendly, which means free from most of the top 14 food allergens (Gluten, Wheat, Fish, Shellfish, Egg, Dairy, Soya, Peanuts and Treenuts, Sesame, Lupin) and others (including Buckwheat, Pea, Beans etc). We had a 3 metre long buffet piled up with all kinds of safe things to eat, lots of fruit, vegetables, but also crisps, breads, cupcakes and biscuits. Popcorn was a big hit with the children as well as the grown ups. The best moment of all was watching allergyBabe wandering free around the room, independently helping himself to anything he wanted to. It was so wonderful to see him at ease, not having to worry about if he can eat the cracker, biscuit, crisp or bread in front of him. He looked so confident and proud. For the first time in years, our world outside our “safety zone” (the apartment) did not revolve around food.

It was an amazing 3 hours and I cannot thank all our guests enough who came despite the fact that we would have only allergen friendly food items. You made allergyBabe’s day truly special.

I wonder, if I hadn’t told them in advance, would they have ever noticed?

PS: Sorry for the lack of pictures, I was so involved in the party, forgot to take out the camera… .


The Ultimate Gingerbread Biscuit (no kiddin’) GF, DF, NF, WF, SF, EF, vegan

If you are looking for a biscuit with a crunchy outside and a soft, almost cake-like centre, that smells and tastes like christmas, search no more. I came up with the ultimate spiced biscuit recipe, and I am gonna share it with you.

Gingerbread Star Biscuit

Gingerbread Star Biscuit

Kept in a tin box with a slice of apple, it will stay moist and fresh.

The Star Christmas Biscuit Dough

The Star Christmas Biscuit Dough


175g Doves Farm White Bread Flour

1/2 tsp Ginger Bread Spice Mix (Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Orange Peel, Coriander, Fennel, Aniseed, Clove, Cardamom) OR 1/2 tsp Ginger

1/2 tsp Vanilla Powder

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

3/4 tsp Baking Powder

50 g Pure Sunflower Spread

75g Light Soft Brown Sugar

3 TBSP Maple Syrup

1 TBSP Sunflower Oil


Preheat oven (Fan assisted 150 C, others 170 C), takes 10-12 minutes

Mix together the flour, spices, bicarbonate and baking powder.

Add the brown sugar. Stir until combined.

Add 2 TBSP of Maple Syrup and mix until combined.

Add the Sunflower Spread in small pieces and mix until dough forms small crumbs.

Add another 1 TBSP of Maple Syrup together with 1 TBSP of oil. Using your hands, form a soft dough.

The dough should be soft and evenly combined but not sticky.

Leave in the fridge for about 5 minutes.

Take your dough out of the fridge, cut it in four equal parts and start with the first quarter.

After flattening the dough with your hands, you can now use your rolling pin until the dough appears approximately 1/2 cm thin.

Cut out your desired shapes, and peel the biscuits off the foil.

Place on cookie sheet and bake for approx. 10 min.

Keep in tin for later, use them as gift tags, on the tree or treat Santa’s Reindeer… .

A Decorative Gift Tag

A Decorative Gift Tag

I like them quite plain, but they look also lovely with some icing on top, sprinkles, chocolate (df nf version) or marshmallows (make sure they are df and gf).

If you want to be a bit over the top, decorate with real gold (oh go on, it is christmas…!).

Easy with the kids, as well, as you can see:

allergyBabe busy working on his Christmas Biscuits.

allergyBabe busy working on his Christmas Biscuits.


Merry Christmas to You!

Merry Christmas to You!