When my kids were first diagnosed with allergies as babies, it was a scary diagnosis, but they were little. I figured, I was still in primary control of pretty much everything they were eating. I made a lot of their food, and when we ate out at restaurants, it was easy to just bring things a long for them.
Now, with their most recent diagnoses, and the fact that they are older. The fear is worse (so much worse). Between school, soccer, playdates, and all the other places they go where I am not there to oversee every piece of food that they come into contact with is terrifying for a parent of an allergy kid. However, I have always believed that the more everyone knows the healthier my kids will be. So with school starting, here are some things that I have learned along the way.
1. TEACH YOUR CHILD: Constantly remind your child what foods are safe for them to eat. Talk about how sharing foods with people at lunch, on the bus, on the soccer field, and anywhere else is not safe. Teach them to ask a trusted adult (parent, guardian, teacher, or anyone else who knows about their allergies), if they aren’t sure about a food before eating it. Teach them to look at labels, read them. Have them talk with their friends about their food allergies. Remind them that when in doubt, say, “NO thank you.” Talk about symptoms of an allergic reaction, calling 911, and using their Epi Pens.
2. TEACH EVERYONE: Anyone who is to come in contact with your child (family, friends, teachers, coahces, babysitters, everyone) should know what foods are safe for your children and not only how to administer the EpiPen, but when it should be administered.
3. READ: I know it seems like all allergy parents and kids is spend their time reading labels, but it is also important to also read up on allergy safe recipes, information regarding allergies, and treatments for food allergies.
4. FILL OUT FORMS: Make sure to fill out all of your child’s allergy forms completely, and thoroughly for school. If you have any questions, be sure to discuss them with the school nurse, teacher, and your physician so the proper precautions can be taken in case anything does happen. Also, make sure to make notes on all other forms of your child’s allergies, such as sports and activities forms.
5. KEEP IT UP: Sometimes things change throughout the course of the school year. For example, sometimes medications dosages change, EpiPens expire, treatments change, or a child may develop a new allergy or grow out of one. Be sure to keep everyone updated of any changes regarding your child’s health.
Now, that everyone is armed with the knowledge to have a safe and healthy school year, let’s have a fun and and allergy safe snack. I know this isn’t the healthiest after school snack, but every once in awhile a kid needs a treat, and chocolate chip cookies are just the treat. These cookies can be made a variety of ways, and taste awesome!
Versatile Gluten Free NUT SAFE Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter Room Temperature (NO DAIRY NO PROBLEM: Try a Dairy Free Butter Stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs (NO EGGS NO PROBLEM: Try ENERG Egg Replacer)
1 1/2 tsp gluten free pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups gluten free, nut free all purpose flour blend (NAMASTE brand is my favorite)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 bag allergy safe chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is my favorite)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
In an electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until completely blended. Lower speed, and add eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Add vanilla. Next, very slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Finally, add chocolate chips.
Using a 1 Tbs cookie scoop, or two spoons, spoon 1 Tbs balls of cookie dough onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Cool.
Enjoy after school with milk!
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