Posted in Food allergies

Little Dude’s Food Allergies: Progress!

So today we went back to see Charles’ pediatric allergist to retest his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds.  I decided to take him into the city with the commuter train.

He was really excited when the train arrived on the platform and we lost no time in boarding.  Charles happily sat down while we waited for the train to leave, but when it did he had the surprise of his life!  Oh my, he became so startled when he realized that the scenery outside the window was moving, he quickly gestured that he wanted to sit on me.  Of course, his surprise isn’t really surprising, when we’re in a vehicle, he’s always strapped in.  This time, though he had more freedom.  As soon as he realized this, he became super happy and split his time between looking out the window and chattering with the random people who would pass by us inside the train.

We arrived at our appointment with about 20 minutes to spare and were called in rather quickly.  We first went to see the allergist who asked how everything was going and if we had discovered new reactions.  When I mentioned basil, she told me that she thought (given the very small reaction he gets) that it is more of an irritation than an actual allergy.  She was also very happy to hear that the little guy eats a variety of foods and wasn’t bothered when I told her that, besides water and juice, Charles has a variety of non-dairy milks instead of toddler formula (even though she had suggested we keep him on soy-based toddler formula until 2 years of age).  I guess she found him to be pudgy enough to go without the formula 😉

We then went back to the waiting room and Little Dude had fun drawing with the markers while I listened for his name to be called.  It didn’t take very long until it was his turn and back we went for the skin scratch test.  The nurse tested his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds and we were sent back to the waiting room for 10 minutes.  I expected the patch of skin exposed to dairy to react very quickly as it had six months ago, but was hopefully optimistic when, after 5 minutes, there was still no reaction to be found.  By the time we were called back in, Charles had had a very small reaction to dairy (a LOT) smaller than the first time ’round and absolutely no reaction to flaxseeds!

Score 1 for Charles!

Because of the big difference in reactions to dairy after a six month dairy-free period, a second scratch test was then done with a drop of real milk on his skin (as opposed to the synthesized dairy solution that had been used earlier).  This time, we weren’t even back in the waiting room and his skin had already started to puff up around the scratch.  Oh well, we can’t win them all now, can we?

Nonetheless, our allergist was super positive about the results.  She encouraged me to try flaxseeds again, starting with very small quantities mixed in with other stuff and working our way up to bigger quantities if Little Dude doesn’t react.  She also explained that since Charles had hardly reacted to the first dairy test of the day, we should go ahead and try to use cows milk when we bake (and work our way up from there).  She explained that the solution they first used didn’t contain all of the proteins that fresh milk does and that this usually indicates that though I very clearly still can’t give the little guy a glass of milk to drink, I can use it in recipes because once it is heated up and mixed with other stuff, its composition changes enough that Charles’ body doesn’t recognize it as being a danger.

Perhaps, in January, when we have another follow-up appointment, I’ll have more good news!

So….score 2 for Charles, right?

A part of me is excited by the news, but another part of me is still fearful.  I mean, I know I should try flaxseeds and dairy in baking recipes, but this is my little boy we’re talking about.  We always have benadryl on hand and an epinephrin injector, but still…

I will try though.

Does anyone have experience to share in the realm of disappearing allergies and progressive re-exposure to the past allergen?

Posted in Blogging

Share it Sunday : Pouding Chômeur (dairy-free)

Today, I thought I’d share a dairy-free version of a traditional french-Canadian dessert: the pouding chômeur (or poor man’s pudding cake).

I love this one because it brings back childhood memories.  You see, this dessert is one of the desserts that my mom made when I was younger.  You can bet that when she made it, it never lasted very long despite the fact that she’d make a double batch.

Translated literally, “pouding chômeur” means pudding for the unemployed.  As the name implies, it is very inexpensive to make.  Besides the fact that it doesn’t require any special or expensive ingredients, it is tasty and very easy to make (a child could likely carry out the majority of the steps alone).

Are you curious to know how to make it?

Pouding Chômeur (serves 6)

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Ingredients

For the cake

375 ml (1 1/2 cup):  all purpose flour
180 ml (3/4 cup):     dark brown sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp.):        baking powder
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp.):      salt
45 ml (3 tbsp):         coconut oil, melted
180 ml (3/4 cup):     coconut milk
5 ml (1 tsp.):            vanilla extract

For the sauce

125 ml (1/2 cup):    dark brown sugar
500 ml (2 cups):     boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  3. In the same bowl, add wet ingredients.  Mix until you obtain a ball of dough.
  4. Place the dough in an oven-safe pan, making sure to spread it to cover the bottom of the pan.
  5. Spread the dark brown sugar (for the sauce) over the ball of dough.  Carefully pour boiling water on top.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center is cooked through.

I should probably warn you.  This dessert doesn’t look like much.  In fact, when you pour the boiling water over the whole thing before putting it in the oven, you’re probably going to wonder how in the world it can yield something edible, let alone tasty.  But trust me, it works.

Enjoy!

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Oh, and for those of you who would like a printable pdf, just click on the text link beside the thumbnail of the recipe.

 

Dairy-free Pouding Chômeur

 

 

Dairy-free Pouding Chômeur (PDF)

 

 

 

Anyone else up to sharing a traditional and/or childhood meal?

Posted in Food allergies, Parenting

Seriously? Basil!

Just a quick post this morning.

I’ve talked about my son’s food allergies before.  His dairy and flaxseed allergies are diagnosed and he is followed by a pediatric allergist to track their evolution.

However, the little guy has been having reactions to something else and we just couldn’t put our finger on it.  As it happens, most of his reactions would happen when he would eat chicken at daycare.  Except we tested for chicken and his allergy test came up negative (not to mention that he eats the stuff at home with no problem).

Eventually, we figured that he was allergic to a herb or spice.  Yeah, that’s helpful.  Companies aren’t required to list all the spices used in their ingredients so we had to go through some trial and error.

And yesterday, when he had another reaction at daycare (this time, he wasn’t eating chicken) we finally figured it out.  The culprit is basil!

His body’s reaction isn’t as strong as it is to dairy: just a few small hive spots here and there and the contour of his mouth becomes red (kind of like a clown face), but neither bother him.

But seriously, who in the world is allergic to basil?  LOL!  I didn’t even know that such an allergy existed (though, I figure I shouldn’t be surprised.  I mean, everyone’s immune system has the potential to react to anything I suspect).

Posted in Parenting

Our Daycare Bag(s): The In-Between Season

I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but ’round here Mother Nature always seems to get flustered when she’s trying to transition between seasons.  In the last three days, we’ve gone from 15C, to 25C to -15C and back up to 0C.  We’ve had grey skies, clear skies, rain AND snow.  Because of this, it’s far from easy to know how to dress the kiddo in the morning.  Soooooo, I thought I’d let you guys take a peek in our daycare bag.

Not one, but two bags.
Not one, but two bags.

We’ve all heard the expression “less is more” right?  Well, when you have to prepare a daycare bag for the in-between seasons, more is more ;).

The basics: these are things that are in the bag all year-round

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  • An epinephrin injector and a bottle of banadryl for Little Dude’s dairy and flaxseed allergy.
  • A changing pad, some coconut oil, about 10 bamboo inserts (and the same amount of flushable liners), 3 envelope covers, a box of wipes and some plastic bags to put the dirty/wet diapers in.
  • A pay-by-the-minute cell phone and its charger : ok, I think this needs a bit more explaining.  You see, neither my partner or I need a cell phones as we are both easily reachable at our jobs (and we have a landline at home).  We decided to buy a cell phone about a month before Charles was born in case there was an emergency while we were with him.  Seeing as the bag follows the baby, the cell follows us as well.
  • His vaccination booklet, medicare card and hospital card

To protect him from the elements (we “mix and match” the winter and spring gear to adapt to the weather)

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  • A winter coat and winter pants.  A winter hat, neckwarmer and a pair of mittens.  (We used to have his winter boots in there too, but now they are too small so we have to settle for his spring footwear).
  • A fall/spring 3-in-1 coat (waterproof/windbreaker outer shell, fleece jacket, put the two together to make a warm coat), splash pants, a pair of thin wool gloves, rain boots with an optional fleece liner for cooler days.
  • Some shea butter to protect his face from the cold and the sun (because, let’s face it, he does not keep the neckwarmer over his mouth and cheeks).

Other stuff

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  • A change of clothes: two pairs of socks, a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and a long sleeved shirt.
  • Once a week, I also include a 20oz jug of coconut milk for him to drink and for his daycare provider to cook with when needed.

What’s in your daycare/diaper bag?

Posted in Blogging, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Februrary 18th Edition

TTT

  1. Less than two weeks to Spring Break!  I.  Can’t.  Wait.
  2. For tonight’s supper, I’m hesitating between hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and smoked meat sandwiches.  I know, I know, not the healthiest foods, but that’s what the little peanut has decided upon and let’s face it, who am I to argue with my hormones?
  3. Tomorrow I have to get my blood drawn.  Wish me luck!  The last time I ended up lying down on a bed with ice packs in various spots and a blood pressure cuff around my arm.  (Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.  I know that I need to be lying down when I visit the vampires… 😛 )
  4. I’m toying with the idea of leaving WordPress.  Ever since I’ve changed up my blog and put up the nifty “contact me” page, I’ve received quite a few advertisement proposals…which I’ve had to turn down because WordPress doesn’t allow third-party ads.  And since my premium account expires in about two months, I need to start thinking about what I want to do.
  5. I think I’ve found a good way to add proteins to my son’s breakfast (because lets face it, when I work, there is just no way I am going to start doing eggs for breakfast).  I found some hemp at Bulk Barn the other day (33g of protein per 100g!).  After using it in his cereal and smoothies for a couple of days, he hasn’t had any adverse reactions!  YAY!
  6. I think I might go back to the amusement center with Little Dude this weekend, unless we have an awesome weekend and can play outside.
  7. Speaking of Little Dude, he never ceases to amaze me.  He is now able to go down the stairs by himself (under strict surveillance) and he’s been wanting to help me dress him for the past week or so.  Crossing my fingers for this to continue ’cause dressing a screaming and squirming toddler is no easy task.
  8. I’m giving a presentation with a co-worker at one of the schools I work at this Friday on technological aids for students with learning disabilities.  I just need to work the bugs out of the PowerPoint presentation and I’m all set.
  9. By the way, does anyone have a good suggestion of a program that helps correct English (not just spelling/grammar errors, but sentence structures as well)?  The built-in corrector that comes with Word, just doesn’t cut it with my dyslexic ESL students.
  10. After being unsure about the Dexter series, I am now in love with it and glad I stuck with it!

How is your Tuesday going?

Posted in BLW, Parenting

Breakfast With A 14 Month Old

My son loves to eat.  He loves breakfast in particular as it is generally sweet.

This morning, it was a cara-cara orange, a handful of blackberries, a piece of toast with raspberry jam and a glass of coconut milk.

As usual, he started with the fruit.  I think both the orange and blackberries were gone in the blink of an eye.  I seriously have no idea where he puts all the food.

Then, it was on to the toast.  His favourite activity: licking all the jam off before proceeding to consume the piece of bread.

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But why is the jam on my toast all gone?