Friday, August 26, 2011

No Recipes.... But Plenty To Say!

I am without any new recipes this post as we continue to thrive on salads, sandwiches, and baked pasta freezer meals in this continuing HEAT!  With the new school year going full speed ahead we have the added thrill of sports, class parties, birthday parties, and family reunions.  I have to say that I am truly blessed with a phenomenal teacher for our food allergy child, she is fully aware and on-top of it!  We had the common issue of a "friend" being very hands-on my daughter at the lunch table, and of course left her mark in the form of a rash from her wheat-y hands.  I called the teacher to explain the situation and it was handled quickly.  She is ready in her classroom with the Enjoy Life cookies we provided as well as some "reward" candy that is allergy-friendly that she happily provided.  Our daughter continues to have her own microwave in the classroom to heat her lunch she brings daily.  I am currently in correspondence with the nutritional director of our public school system as to the possibility of providing an allergy-friendly meal option once a week, fingers crossed!  I feel confident that we are going to have a great school year, I truly feel that our school is much more open and tolerant of food allergies.  Don't get me wrong, no one's perfect.  I continually stay optimistic.  My super-competitive daughter also tried out and made the competitive soccer team to represent our area.  How excited are we?!  We will begin a bit of traveling to play some different games/tournaments.  I hosted a "class" for her coaches with directions of epi-pen use.  They were ready to learn, which makes for a happy mommy.  The other parents have been great about asking questions regarding snack options.  I did tell them not to worry about bringing her anything, but they still want to do for the team as a whole.  I cried on the way home from that practice.  How great is it that more and more people are empathizing with the food allergy community.  Maybe I'm just in my own little world and it's just me and our area that is becoming a little more open every day, but I doubt it.  I read great articles and posts from so many in our food allergy community full of great information some happy/some sad.  It's unfortunate and completely terrifying of the amount of food allergy deaths and the number is steadily rising.  I encourage all of you to step out of your comfort zone and get involved in some way to promote food allergy advocacy in your area.  A year ago this month I hosted my first food allergy support group with 3 people.  Our group isn't Huge, but it is hosted by myself on a monthly basis with anywhere from 4 to 9 people that are constantly changing.  One member stated that if everyone came to the same meeting, there wouldn't be enough chairs.  I also turned that support group into a Facebook group called "Gluten & Allergy Free KY", we are currently 61 members strong and hoping to continue to grow.  Talk to your friends and their friends....word of mouth is the best advertising and I have been introduced to so many people in the food allergy community through friends of friends.  I also decided to start my own facebook page based on my blog with the option of having some of my homemade goodies shipped to your home, 1 and 2 day shipping available.  Getting involved in these small ways of introducing food allergies make a huge difference.  My family and I are members of a large church in our area and I can't express to you the gratitude towards them for being open to considering the small changes to the youth organization.  I have met so many people who face the same challenges that I face.  Some are more willing than others to talk about it and that's okay.  I look forward to doing even more in the future.  I am currently building a cookbook with a great story-line and yummy recipes (67 so far).  I hope to share it with you soon!