Allergy Safe Birthday Cake!

It is still hard to believe that three years ago I birthed a human into this world!Those of you that have been following know that Kai has multiple food allergies and sensitivities.In the past I have taken attempts at Allergy- Free , Allergy- Safe cakes and they have been a fail.

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While grocery shopping I ran across this brownie mix by the Enjoy Life brand. The idea popped in my head that I could use this brownie mix as a birthday cake for Kai!

If you have a child with food allergies I would highly recommend this product! It was the most simple recipe I have ever made and best of all it was free from ALL of the Top 8 (dairy, eggs, tree nut, peanut, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish). You literally only have to add oil and water.  For oil I used Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and I topped the brownie with Powdered Sugar. The baking instructions suggests to use a greased pan, however I used parchment paper to ensure that the mixture did not stick to my baking dish. I cut off the edges of the brownie to make it a square shape.

Needless to say that Kai loved and enjoyed it. I cried tears of joy seeing my baby girl so excited about having a birthday cake, a chocolate birthday cake. Kai has watched everyone around her have birthdays and blow out candles which has made her request a birthday cake however, she knows that she cannot eat it. So to see her be able to cut her own cake and enjoy it was a moment I will never forget!

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Allergy Friendly- Vegan Cornbread Muffins

These muffins are one of Kai’s favorite foods. She requests them all the time, she does not know that these muffins do not in fact just appear when she wants them, I actually have to spend about 40 minutes to make them. LOL!

They are gluten free, nut free, egg free, soy fee and dairy free! The specific brand of ingredients that I use that are allergy safe for Kai are in parenthesis, however you can use any variation of ingredients that you wish and it should all work out the same. Kai has a super high metabolism so we use these as a side item for meals and even for a filling snack. She also loves them with honey on top. I hope you Enjoy! 

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees
  2. Lightly grease muffin pan or you can use cupcake liners
  3. In a large glass bowl, combine all ingredients gently using a spoon or whisk DO NOT OVER MIX (if you over mix the muffins will not rise).
  4. Last. Add In the melted vegan butter, gently stir again.
  5. Scoop mixture into the greased muffin pan
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the muffins to cool off (if you can wait) and enjoy! 🙂

**Storage: Store muffins in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

**Reheating: I prefer to reheat in the oven or you can simply wrap muffins in a damp paper towel and microwave for 10-15 seconds.

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Food Allergies on the Go

When you are on the go with a kid with food allergies you have to plan and prepare.My daughter Kai is allergic to all of the Top 8: Eggs, Peanuts/ Treenuts, Wheat, Soy, Fish/ Shellfish, Diary.

If were going to be away from home any longer than 2-3 hours I always pack a lunch and snacks for Kai. It really saves me from being in a situation where we are gone for too long and my child does not have food that is safe to eat.  It also saves me money because we always bring our own snacks. So if you are simply looking for a way to save $$$ It’s a Win, Win!

I know packing meals everyday sounds like a lot but I have a few tips to make it super simple for you!

Tip #1 : The Preparation

The length of our trip and where we are going, determines the type of food I pack. For example, if we are just running errands that will run into her lunch time I will only pack a snack or a lunch. If our destination is a family member’s house and we will be there a couple of hours then I will usually pack two meals. If it is a long or over trip and I know there will be an accessible microwave I will pack a sandwich (for lunch) along with a more filling dinner option such as chicken wings, chicken legs, meatballs, etc.  If we are leaving early morning and returning in the evening I will pack breakfast for the car and lunch along with lots of snacks. I try my best to wake up before Kai, dress myself first, then I prep her food.

Tip #2: The Lunchbox

You need the right lunchbox. I prefer a lunchbox with a strap for convenient carrying. I also like a bag that has an outside pocket to hold my daughter’s water bottle. We use this Samsonite lunchbox, I found at TJ Maxx for $12.99. I love it!IMG_0222 It is spacious and keeps things cold with a freezer pack for 8-10 hours. My daughter drinks rice milk that I usually store in these Dr. Brown Bottles because they have a screw on lid and they fit perfectly in this lunchbox and remain very cold. This lunchbox also has a front pocket that I like to use to store my daughters food items that I prefer to kept at room temperature such as her Sun Butter Sandwiches.

 

Tip #3: The Food

Easy Finger Foods that do not require reheating are always a GO-TO for us. I love a balanced meal so I always pack a Protein, Whole Grain or Starch, Fruit, and a Fun Snack. Below are a few that we use weekly.

Breakfast Protein: Bacon, Sausage, Pancakes, Sun Butter and Banana Toast, Avocado Toast

Lunch/Dinner Protein: Black Beans, Sun Butter Sandwich, Avocado Toast, Turkey Avocado Sandwich, Homemade Chicken Tenders

Whole Grain or Starch: Homemade French Fries, Baby Gold Potatoes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Rice Cakes, Ener-G gluten- free Brown Rice Loaf 

Fruit/Veggies: Avocado, Bananas, Grapes, Strawberries, Blueberries, Pears, Pineapple, Craisins, Baby Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Tangerines/ Mandarin Oranges

Fun Snacks: Lays Potato Chips, Veggie Straws, Ruffles (Plain), Air Popped Popcorn

Tip #4: Food Storage

I like sturdy containers. Our lunchbox will do a lot of moving around and it sometimes gets shaken up. I prefer to keep the food separated (Who likes soggy food? LOL). Since a lot of our “on the go meals” are eaten in the car I aim for containers that are easy for her to open on her own. I really love these Sistema Containers. IMG_0218We have had these for about 2 years and they are still holding up well! You can find these containers at TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Target, or Amazon. The only con to them is that they do not store well in the cabinet because they do stack one inside another.

I always keep a spoon, fork, and knife in the pocket the lunch box. We do not use restaurant utensils due to possible cross contamination. I think it is better safe than sorry. If I forget these utensils then I will request plastic utensils.

Also, I  carry a back pack with Kai’s EpiPen and a bottle of Benadryl as a just in case measure. That way I am prepared if anything does happen.

Tip #5: Patience

My final tip is patience. It requires a lot patience to be a parent and even more patience to meal prep and pack a lunch daily. However, the benefits outweigh the time put into it. It guarantees your child an allergy safe meal no matter where you go and for parents with kiddos with no allergies, it saves money on impulse buys!

Thank you for reading! 🙂

Sending Love, Sasha Small

Introducing New Foods

Hello everyone! I just wanted to briefly share how I introduce new foods into Kai’s diet. As you all know Kai has multiple food allergies. She is on a very strict diet. Now that she is 17 months Kai has gotten fed up with her limited options and actually started refusing food (sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, chicken, sausage) :#oor baby. So I made the decision to step out on faith and we have began trying new foods (even foods that she is “allergic to”).

I usually try to only introduce new foods early on a Friday afternoon, right after I pick her up from daycare  to give time for reaction symptoms to subside by Monday so we can both return to work and school!

I only try one new food at a time. Then if there are no reactions I will give it to her again on Saturday. If there is still no reaction. Then I give it to her on Sunday as well. After she has had the food three days in a row I deem her not allergic, then we have a major celebration!

Some new foods we have recently introduced are:

This past weekend we introduced the Van’s Cereal and boy was it a hit!  It is Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, and Corn Free. This cereal is very yummy and between Kai and I we have almost consumed the entire box just this weekend. Please do not judge us. LOL

If your child has mild allergic reactions I would try this at home. If your child has SEVERE food allergies I would not recommend you trying this at home as it could be very dangerous for your child. For severe cases your child’s Allergist will recommend you come in to office and do their food clinics. Kai was offered this opportunity, but I didn’t see any point of scheduling an appointment for a doctors visit and waiting for hours for them to do something that I can do at home. It just wasn’t the most convenient option for us. I do strongly encourage you to try new things with your child if you are comfortable. There are some foods that I was keeping from Kai that she could eat like, wheat. Also, her allergy testing gave us the green light on consuming Oats, however Oats were actually breaking her out. So the allergy test are not always 100% accurate. What prompted me to start trying new things is when Kai started to refuse food. I also personally feel that even though she might have had a mild reaction from a food such as hives around her mouth, her coming into contact with the food will help her better tolerate it in the future. This is just my theory. Lol

If you have any questions about trying new foods or foods we have tried feel free to comment with your questions I would love to hear from you all. Until next time…. Happy Food Testing!

Cod Liver Oil

A few days ago I posted a photo of Carlson Cod Liver Oil. One of my Great Grandmother’s favorite remedies to fighting a Cold. My family is from the Delta Region of Arkansas. Some cod-lrefer to this place as “The Country”. Lol My Grandma is very resourceful and has a home remedy for EVERYTHING! The moment she hears you cough or sniffle she was sending you to the fridge for some thick, yucky, Cod Liver Oil. I hated having to take this growing up however now that I have a daughter I am thankful for the special little tips like this.

Kai has had a chest cold for about two weeks. Nothing, I mean nothing has helped. Every time she coughs you can hear the cold/mucus in her chest, but since Kai is only 17 months she can’t cough it up herself :(. I called my Grandma and she reminded me about Cod Liver Oil. So I went and purchased some at Whole Foods. I am sure you can find it at any of your local Natural Health Food Stores. Just an FYI it is $32.99 but do not let the price deter you from making the purchase. Think of how much you spend on cough syrup if your child gets sick every other month and doctor visits.

The Benefits…

Cod Liver Oil is from… Cod. Some of its benefits are:

  • Treating Ear Infections, Allergies, and Asthma
  • Helps heal Skin Wounds
  • Lowers risk for Autoimmune Disease
  • Omega-3s 
  • Supplies Vitamin D (Bones) 
  • Supplies Vitamin A 

I am not a doctor or health professional so if you are pregnant or nursing I am not sure how safe this is for you, therefore I would suggest that you consult your doctor before taking this.

The Results…

I first gave Kai the Cod Liver Oil on Sunday 11/26/2016. One teaspoon a day (Kai weighs 27 lbs. so she usually takes a tsp of most medicine she consumes). On 12/2/2016 Kai had a really bad cough and she gagged and threw up all of the cold/ phlegm that had been in her chest. She is feeling so much better! Most of her other cold symptoms have subsided as well! So if your child meets the weight requirements I definitely recommend it for your child during the winter and for you also. My grandmother takes it daily as well and she’s hardly ever sick.

If you are looking for a more natural way to help treat your viral cold try this and let me know what you think!

*This product was purchased with my own money and is not sponsored. It is my honest opinion determined from trail and error!