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20 ways to raise awareness at your nursery setting on ORANGE WIG DAY

The Little Unicorn Day Nursery Bank Street Staff proudly wearing their Wigs on the Orange Wig Day Parade through Canary Wharf,London.

The Little Unicorn Day Nursery Bank Street Staff proudly wearing their Wigs on the Orange Wig Day Parade through Canary Wharf,London.

In its third year, the orange wig day, the day to raise awareness about severe allergies, will be held on friday, may 16th, 2014.

Last year, we teamed up with one branch of our local nursery and raised around 500GBP, which apparently covered the costs for the whole lot of wigs

that had been sent out.

So this year, our ambitions are even higher and we try to raise a lot more money. With all the branches involved, we were thinking

about ways to get people unfamiliar with allergies involved and getting interested in the subject.

Here is my top 20 of activities for ORANGE WIG DAY 2014:

and don’t forget, tell us about your way of showing off your ginger side of life!

Order your wigs early to avoid disappointment!

1. put an article about the orange wig day in your newsletter

2. organise a baking sale with

3. hand made free from biscuits,

4. cupcakes or other baking goods. Children love to get involved and will be eager to sell their homemade goods to mum, dad and other family members.

5. story time with a food allergy topic. There are a growing number of lovely allergy books for little ones out there, and it will be a great starting point to begin an age appropriate discussion.

6. encourage children to be good allergy helpers, and award allergy stars if someone helped to keep the setting allergy safe (washing hands after mealtime, no sharing food, etc.

7. dedicate the whole month of may to allergies.

8. create an awareness board and every day, add a new allergy fact to the board for people to see.

9. arrange a parade with your wigs. It creates a lot of attention if people see a bunch of children with their carers all

wearing orange wigs.

10. Hold a coffee morning first thing in the morning so parents can stop by for a quick coffee and cake before work.

11. Have an “allergy expert” on the premises to allow parents to get all the answers out they have about allergies.

12. Organize a quiz with allergy related gifts to increase levels of knowledge about anaphylaxis.

13. Offer GF DF SF porridge and tea/coffee for a donation to all parents in the morning, when they drop off their kids.

It is a good starting point to discuss ‘free from’ diets, it raises money and people are getting a healthy start into work.

14. Have the children get dressed up in orange.

15. Decorate the wigs with glitter, feathers, bows etc to add that extra sparkle.

16. Train your staff by an expert Trainer (e.g. Allergystars Ltd: http://www.allergystars.com, info@allergystars.com) about allergy and anapylaxis, including how to operate the AAI (adrenaline auto injector). Everyone should be familiar with Prevention, Recognition and Treatment of an allergic reaction.

17. Open a ‘teddy bear clinic” so children can gain knowledge about food allergies, its signs and what to do if a peer is not feeling well.

18. Challenge your catering team and ask if they can provide a free from dessert option that every child at your setting can enjoy (e.g., free from apple crumble and vanilla sauce)

19. Inform local media about your event.

20. Share your best shots on social media (make sure no children can be identified).

More great ideas?

Please share!

 

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Grissini – the real thing! GF, NF, DF, EF, SF, vegan

I feel sooo guilty not having spent any time ‘on the blog’ lately. These days, I wish for 36hour days and 12hour nights, what I get is usually 20hour days and 4hour nights.
I am sure I am not the only one *waves to ALLERGYADVENTURES’ HAILEY*
I am very honored that the famous and great NIA shared one of her favorite recipes with us – Grissini, free from.
Breadsticks are not available in the UK for GF, NF, DF, EF, SF people like allergybabe. So here it is, your chance to offer a popular snack, free from.
Thanks again to NIA for the recipe.

She ingeniously develops the most versatile recipes without missing out on the flavor.

Makes a lot of grissini (about 20)
 
Ingredients:
500 g gluten free flour (or wheat flour)
40 g flax meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if using wheat flour or your blend contains it)
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp liquid sweetener (brown rice syrup, agave, honey…)
2 tbsp flax or chia seeds (nut free lineseeds available from Waitrose, nut free chia available from Wholefoods)
 
Method:
Soak 2 tbsp flax seeds in 120 ml hot water and sit for 15 minutes.

 
Pre heat oven to 220 degrees and place a water bath at the bottom of the oven (basically a roasting tray filled with warm water to create steam). Line a few trays with baking parchment or a non stick liner and grease lightly.
 
In a large bowl combine 500 g gluten free flour, 40 g flax meal (ground linseeds), 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp xanthan gum. In a separate bowl dissolve 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast in 300 ml of warm water, 3 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave and leave to feed for 3 minutes. Add all the ingredients together and mix until a soft dough comes together. I added more flour until the dough was stiff enough to pipe I go by eye and mix with a wooden spoon, if the dough is too stiff add more water. Take a piping bag and choose a thin nozzle, mine is a PME 18 nozzle or just cut the end off a reusable piping bag (about 5mm in width). Put the mixture into your piping bag and pipe long breadsticks onto the baking sheets, do not over crowded the sheet. Brush the top of the breadsticks with water or oil and sprinkle with salt, seeds or nutritional yeast and bake for 25 minutes then leave to cool on a wire rack.
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Alpro – get yer nuts off our soya

THE NO NUTS CAMPAIGN – get yer nuts off our soya. Great post to support the #alproSOS campaign. Due to lack of time, I am sharing Alexa’s thoughts with you. Please support.
And yes, there is no doubt that as a major soya manufacturer, Alpro should be able to avoid cross contamination. Even granny can do it in her kitchen… 😉

yesnobananas

1459254_1435348873345203_1182172315_nI’LL KEEP this one short(ish) and not very sweet. You’ve no doubt heard of Alpro, one of the leading purveyors of soya stuff, from milk to yoghurts, cream and custard. For kids battling dairy allergy their calcium enriched products are a staple part of their daily diet. In fact, Alpro is on the list of brands recommended to dairy allergic kids by specialist dieticians and allergists.

As of 2014, Alpro has decided to integrate the production of its nut and soya factories, and slap a “may contain traces of nuts” warning on ALL of its soya products.

View original post 649 more words

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NO DAIRY-NO PARTY? part 1

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After quite a journey, we as the parents of allergybabe, are happy to finally have reached a “steady state” (as the chemistry profs would say) in managing our son’s food allergies. We know what foods are safe for him, where to shop these items and what to cook with these foods. We developed a soothing routine in dealing with his food allergies in our every day life.

So I did not worry to much when I started to look into several options where to celebrate allergybabe’s third birthday. Keeping in mind it will be mid-november, and that our 2b2b London apartment would barely cope with more than a handful of guests, we opted for an indoor location. There are lots of options for little ones to celebrate their special party. E.g., a museum just a stone throw away from where we live offer lots of packages, they have a great indoor play area, a party room, and catering. Yes, they do cater. THEY cater. They are so proud of their catering standard, that they have ridiculous demands for anyone wanting to bring in their own (SAFE) foods:

I have had another conversation with our catering team regarding your request to provide your catering yourself. It could be possible but there is quite a process that would need to happen to be approved. We would require you to have £2 million public liability insurance as well as references for 2 previous grade 1 listed venues that you have provided catering for.  Also you would need attend an interview with our catering manager. This I imagine will not be possible option for you but if you know of a caterer who is suitable for your son’s needs, I would suggested they may be able to provide the above. There would also be a facilities charge of around £100. If you are interested in this option, I can put you in touch with the relevant people to get the ball rolling.

And no one else can bring in foods (they allow you to bring in the birthday cake, though). After trying to explain our unique situation (highly food allergic three year old to 7 of the big eight, apart from other food allergies), they still did not want us to bring in the food. I then suggested a couple of foods their catering could provide if they would avoid cross contamination (a certain brand of crisps, sliced veggies and fruit, juices, a certain brand of biscuits). This is the reply:

I have now had feedback on your request with regards your menu below.Our catering team will not be able to provide the catering on this occasion for the following reasons:They cannot guarantee an allergy free environment and are not willing to take the risk of providing the catering on this occasion. Also as this request is not our standard pre-priced offer and will take time to plan and order the end cost would be far higher than our regular offer.

The only option would have been not to have catering at the party. Do we as parents of a food allergic child demand too much? Too much understanding, too much trouble, too much compassion?

All we want is that at his special day, our food loving son should not worry about foods around him. Just this one day he should be able to enjoy himself, eat, drink and have fun.

I understand that the above – in extracts- mentioned  conversation could have taken place with 90% of the catering industry. This conversation was not an exception. That is the sad truth. I understand that people do not want to take any risks. I understand they are scared to make a mistake. Every kitchen staff is trained in maintaining hygiene standards. Why is it so hard for them to confidently state that they can avoid cross contamination? Is it the lack of knowledge?I demand (and I will repeat this like a mantra for the rest of my life!)  that every single person in the industry who ever has the responsibility to cook or cater for any human being, is to be trained properly to be able to accommodate food allergic individuals. I demand proper training.

I believe in Confidence through Knowledge.

PS: I also experienced lovely and very thoughtful staff everywhere on this lovely planet, and especially in the UK. The general rule is: the more expensive the restaurant, the better they are with food allergies and other food related disease. But, there is a growing number of other restaurants (especially chains), that are getting better and better in dealing with special dietary requirements.

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Egg allergy, Uncategorized

Flu vaccine and egg allergy – an update about the latest developments

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In reference to yesterday’s #allergyhour on twitter, the topic of the influenza vaccination came up and I got inspired to post the latest developments in regards to the flu vaccine’s application, safety and allergenic potential.

In the UK, the flu vaccine is currently administered to high risk children (kids with comorbidities such as severe asthma) only and requires an intramuscular jab. From 2014, an annual influenza vaccine for all children will be introduced into the UK immunisation schedule, to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. This new vaccine, known as LAIV (Live Attenuated Intranasal Vaccine) is given by a spray into the nose and has been successfully used in the US for a couple of years. You can see the results of a NEJM study here. The new vaccine is grown in hen’s eggs and contains egg protein, and there are NO existing data on the safety of LAIV in egg- allergic children. To prove the safety of the intranasal vaccine for egg allergic children, the SNIFFLE study will be performed in a multicentre setting shortly. The new application sounds very promising and I am looking forward to the results. Will keep you posted.

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Apple cake with Vanilla Cream -a sunday treat- recipe coming soon

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