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Filtering by Category: Review

PARTY PREP- food allergy style! (GIVEAWAY!!!)

Kathy Thornburg

Attending parties is a little different when you have food allergies. Bringing along your own special treat to events is key to staying safe, feeling included, and being prepared. We love to enjoy the desserts that are served at the parties we attend when we are able to verify they are safe for our allergies and dietary restrictions, but bringing along a back up treat gives us an option when we find ourselves in a situation we did not expect or when the menu changes at the last minute. With a little preparation in advance, you can be prepared for any party or event that comes your way!

*Check out Bo and Ty Sweets to learn more about their products!

*A big thanks to Bo and Ty Sweets for providing our family with samples to try and for sponsoring our giveaway. All opinions are our own. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!*

DVDs that Teach about Allergies

Kathy Thornburg

Any time mainstream media picks up an important issue and covers it in video form, you can't help but watch it through the cracks of your fingers over your face. You know what I mean?

Sometimes, when people talk about food allergies in the media, it's either extremely offensive or just plain factually incorrect. BUT sometimes food allergies are presented in a clear, informative, and positive way that helps spread awareness and understanding to a new and wider audience.

When I saw this All About Allergies DVD at my local library, I snatched it up right away, knowing that I needed to watch this and let you all know if it's any good. Here, you'll get a brief description for each episode along with any online resources available related to each one.

All About Allergies is a PBS DVD consisting of five episodes. All episodes are around 15 minutes long- some being a couple minutes shorter. I would say that overall the episodes are valuable, but some are better than others. Daniel Tiger is our favorite of the episodes on this DVD and seems to portray food allergies in the most positive and clear way. Arthur is a bit more dramatic and a little scary for very young viewers. The character with allergies is about 10 years old and  deals with issues that small children might not need to deal with for some time. Peg + Cat is about environmental allergies (Peg is allergic to clover) and WordWorld is about being allergic to peaches (just like Daniel Tiger!). 

Daniel Tiger- 2 episodes

In the first episode, Daniel eats peaches and has an allergic reaction (his tummy hurts, he itches, and he has a rash on his face). The family immediately took him to the doctor to get him checked out. The doctor gave Daniel advice on how to stay safe and educated him about food allergies. Daniel and his mother work together to bake muffins for a school event the next day. The episode ends with a real life story of a young child eating lunch safely at school.

The second episode takes off where the first one began when Daniel brings safe muffins to school to celebrate 100 days school. He tells his teacher about his allergies while his parent stands next to him. Daniel plays with his friends in the play food center at school and they talk about the difference between being allergic to a food and not liking a food. There are multiple engaging songs and another real life story- this time about a crossing guard helping kids get to school safely. Both episodes focus on how we all help each other out. There was no mention of testing for allergies and no talk about emergency medication. Daniel is only given an oral medication at the doctor's office. Of course, you can't fully cover everything in just one 15 minute episode, but you may like to follow up watching this episode with a talk about what medicines keep your child safe during an allergic reaction and how important it is to keep it near all the time.

You can watch clips from this episode HERE.

Arthur- 1 episode

This episode titled, "Binky Goes Nuts," is about one of Arthur's classmates who develops a rash and goes to the doctor for a skin test that reveals an allergy to peanuts. His mother is very fearful. The doctor explains anaphylaxis and gives them things to read to learn more. Throughout the episode, Binky (who says he is almost 10) has nightmares about his allergies and is not happy with how his mother is reacting to the news. She emails all of the other families in his class and tells Binky he shouldn't go to the candy store. He is embarrassed at first but then is encouraged by a friend who also has allergies. In the end, Binky decides to take his allergies seriously and prove to his mom that he knows how to make safe choices so that she can trust him more with managing his food allergies.

You can watch this episode for free HERE.

PBS also offers additional free resources and printables to go along with this episode.

Peg + Cat- 1 episode

This episode, "The Allergy Problem," follows Peg as she struggles with sneezing. The doctor tests her and her cat runs away. While Peg searches for the cat by plane, she worries she might be allergic to her cat. She eventually find her cat inside of a whale (talk about an adventure!) and the whale is allergic to feathers. After talking through the day and what she has been in contact with, they solve the problem by discovering that clovers were causing her to sneeze and not the cat. The cat was first wearing a clover necklace, but after taking it off, Peg felt much better.

A few Peg + Cat videos and clips are available online, but this episode is currently not included. Other videos and activities related to Peg + Cat can be found HERE.

WordWorld- 1 episode

Pig needs all the letter A's to make an apple pie. Sheep comes to help, bringing peaches for the pies. Pig sniffs the peaches and starts to sneeze. He is sneezing so much that he can't tell them he is allergic to peaches. They get an ambulance for him but pig says he does not need it. Finally, ant (who knows about pig's allergy) tells the others that he is allergic to peaches. They get together a bunch of ants to carry away all of the peaches and pig instantly feels much better.

The point of this episode is really to teach the A sound and not to teach about allergies. He wants to ask for a-a-apples but can only say a-a-choo. They continually guess what things starting with "a" he could need. This is clearly meant for a very young audience and can open up the door to talk about allergies with your children but should not be used on it's own as any type of food allergy education.

For other WordWorld fun visit PBS online HERE.

You can buy All About Allergies on Amazon HERE.

Kyle Dine & Friends DVD

I would also highly recommend you check out Kyle Dine & Friends Allergy Awareness DVD.

His video is very informative and is by far the best resource for teaching children about food allergies. It is great for home use and for schools. There are two discs included- each geared towards a different age range. My kids love the songs, puppets, and engaging messages.

If you have any suggestions for other ways to teach children about allergies, let me know in the comments below!

NEW Enjoy Life Chewy Bars (taste test!)

Kathy Thornburg

We love love love Enjoy Life products. It's one of those companies we recommend to others constantly, and we feel Enjoy Life always has our back. It's so exciting to see so many new products hit the shelves in recent years, and Enjoy Life just rolled out three new chewy bar flavors!

Check out their website for more info about...

Caramel Blondie

Carrot Cake

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed

In this video, everyone in our family will taste test these new flavors and choose their favorite. Who will pick the winning flavor? Which one are you looking forward to trying first? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: We were provided with each of the new chewy bar flavors for us to try. All opinions are our own!

Label your items in style with Name Bubbles

Kathy Thornburg

I'll be the first to admit, when I heard of Name Bubbles for the first time I wasn't sure it was a product worth having. Of course, this was before I had children in school! I couldn't imagine how a single child could need sooo.....many.....labels. Labels for their shoes? Labels for their snack containers? Labels for their clothing? Really? Yes, really!

I was intrigued by their company and started following them on social media. Then, one day they had a giveaway going on, and I just happened to be the lucky winner! We designed our labels and submitted our order request and waited patiently for them to arrive in the mail.

My opinion was instantly changed! Name Bubbles made getting our children ready to start school so much easier. They wanted to take care of their things even more because they had designed their labels and were proud of them. I know their teachers appreciated having everything clearly labeled as well!

As someone with experience teaching little kids, I can tell you just how helpful Name Bubbles can be in the classroom. As a parent, you may not see how the label madness really matters, but believe me- it makes such a big difference!

I've had students with the same lunch boxes, water bottles, shoes- you name it! Trying to send home the right items with the right kids can be challenging. Some parents try to label items with a permanent marker (which doesn't look great), with some type of tape with marker (which eventually falls off), with home printed labels (which get wet and smear), or they skip labeling their child's items all together. If you look at any school's lost and found bin, you can see that many parents choose this route and in turn lose some expensive items.

When a student uses Name Bubbles, it makes it easy for a teacher to keep track of several students items at one time. Using Name Bubbles can help keep you from losing items you've spent your hard earned money on which makes it an investment that just makes sense.

Both of my children have the school labels pack which includes:

18 Small Rectangle Labels
16 Rectangle Labels
2 Big Rectangle Labels
4 Square Labels
8 Shoe Labels
28 Clothing Labels

They also sell labels specifically for those with food allergies that help alert others of your dietary needs that you can find here. I encourage you to check out Name Bubbles, subscribe to their newsletter, and get geared up for the upcoming school year!

 

*DISCLAIMER: I received one free set of labels to review and to allow me to share my honest opinions with my readers. I hope you enjoy this product as much as I do!

Emergency Medications ON THE GO (and an Allermates Giveaway!)

Kathy Thornburg

CLICK ON THE VIDEO TO LEARN MORE!

We take epinephrine injectors every place we go every single day. It's important to us to find useful products to take all of these emergency meds from place to place and to come up with systems that help us always know where our meds are and to never leave them behind. Over the years, we've learned what works best for us and what items we've outgrown as our needs change.

Watch the video above to hear what products we've used in the past and products that are on the market that might work well for you. The new Allermates My Meds bag is sure to become our new favorite (especially for travel since it's the only bag that will hold EVERYTHING).

The My Meds bag in the video is available for preorder for $20 and will ship out in mid-September. A big advantage to this option is that it is made specifically for allergy and asthma medications.

What can fit in the My Meds bag? Here's what I managed to fit in one as reference (picture above does not include all the items listed below).

  1. Rescue inhaler
  2. Daily inhaler
  3. Inhaler chamber
  4. 2 epinephrine autoinjectors
  5. Bandaids
  6. Neosporin
  7. OTC allergy med liquid and cup (for dog allergy reactions)
  8. Insurance card
  9. Allergy and asthma action plans
  10. Emergency contact information
  11. Allergy awareness bracelet

Everything fit pretty comfortably until I added the inhaler chamber. It definitely fits, but it's just so long that you have squeeze the mask end a bit while zipping it closed. I think a bag any bigger than this would be bulky and difficult to cart around so I'm willing to wiggle the zipper to squeeze it all in this size! The velcro pockets inside of the bag are almost the right size for our inhalers but not quite. One fits perfectly and the other one needs to be put in upside down and the mouthpiece portion has to hang out the top.

Click HERE to preorder your My Meds bag at Allermates.com! While you're there, check out there other awesome products (my son is REALLY into the Guide to Allergies book and is having me read it a lot!)

If you want to check out some Allermates products available on Amazon, here you go!

 CLICK HERE FOR ALLERMATES ON AMAZON (affiliate link)

ENTER AN ALLERMATES GIVEAWAY BELOW

 

Winner will get to choose one of the dog tags pictured below, allergen alert stickers, and one blue "I Have Allergies" bracelet. Giveaway open to those living in the US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).