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Filtering by Category: Food Allergies

Our Disney Experience with Food Allergies and Gluten Free

Kathy Thornburg

Disney is a magical experience but it can be overwhelming- especially if you have dietary restrictions and food allergies. I've got to say to that Disney is very food allergy aware and it's clear that the staff there have been trained and know what to do to provide you with a safe and enjoyable dining experience. If you have the time and budget for it, I hear the character dining experiences are wonderful and super special. For us, we kept it low key and chose fast dining places so we could get back to the rides (life with kids!)

Food Spots at Disney World and Disney Springs (the ones WE visited)...
Casey's Corner
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
Pinocchio Village Haus
Backlot Express
Blaze Fast-Fired Pizza
The Daily Poutine

*Not a sponsored video. Affiliate links included.*

WALNUT FOOD CHALLENGE

Kathy Thornburg

There are so many things that make Milo an awesome and unique kid. His food allergies are part of his life but not his defining quality. This week he had a very long doctor's appointment for a walnut food challenge. We wanted to share the journey with you!

This was his first experience eating walnuts as we have always avoided them due to positive allergy test results. Over the years as his blood test and skin test results have changed, his allergist felt it would be safe for him to try eating walnuts while under observation at the doctor's office.

This was our first food challenge with this doctor but not our first challenge ever. He also had an egg challenge, which he passed, when we lived in Ohio. For this challenge, we had to track down peanut safe walnuts (not the simplest task). I then washed, dried, ground them down, incorporated a very specific amount into cookie dough, and baked them. He was not allowed to eat when he woke up that morning and only had cookies to eat until lunchtime. It sounds like every kid's dream, but it seemed like quite a chore to him. After two cookies, he started to complain about all the sugar and eventually said no more. Thankfully, he made it through enough doses that the allergist cleared him and said he passed! We are so excited for him and thankful for a smooth and positive experience.

Over the years, his list of allergies has both shrunk (outgrowing wheat, eggs, and walnut) and grown (adding in a slew of environmental allergies). We just keep persevering and doing our best not only to keep him safe and healthy but also to keep him from being solely known for his limitations. He is one super cool kid, and the less we talk about and focus on his allergies- the more everyone in our family thrives. I hope that bringing you along encourages you on your journey- whatever it may be.

The Direction of My YouTube Channel

Kathy Thornburg

Many of you first found me because of food allergies. As my son gets older, I feel the need to give him more privacy online in regards to his food allergies. This subject will still come up here and there but most likely will center around how I handle situations and not how he is handling food allergies. If there ever is content about either of my children on this channel or on my blog, it is never shared without their permission. SO what does that mean for the content you can expect in the future?

Our main focus will fall into the following categories...

  • MARRIAGE
  • MOTHERHOOD
  • MAKING A LIVING (my graphic design business)
  • ME (about me or encouraging you!)

Food allergies will trickle into those videos whenever it comes about naturally but will not be forced into the mix otherwise.

*This post is not sponsored.*

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!