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Tricky Food Labels Make Allergies Tough to Avoid

In Florida, where Bottle Snugglers is located, Spring is in full bloom now. For us, Spring weekends bring tee ball games, which inevitably lead to team snacks. My four-year-old, Max, has egg and peanut allergies, so it’s a little trickier for him to participate in group snack activities most of the time.

We were responsible for snack this week, and we got some yogurt pretzels, Goldfish and snack mix and some Capri Suns. We didn’t want to embarrass him by bringing the usual Apple and Eve Berry Berry juice that he drinks at home. Somehow Capri Suns seemed cooler to the preschool athlete set.

While shopping for egg- and peanut-free foods, I remembered a list that I had of common “hidden” names for different allergens on food labels. It’s hard enough to find suitable foods without having to decipher which covert term the manufacturers are using on which product. Here are a few code words for eggs that you may see in your pantry: albumin, livetin, ovalbumin, lysozyme and globulin. Ugh. Why won’t they just admit they use eggs in the product?

Though we don’t have a corn allergy in our house, I realize that this one is very tough. Think of all of the foods that have corn syrup in them. And did you know that disposable diapers have corn starch in them? Take a look at these hidden “corn” ingredients. I bet you have them all over your pantry: baking powder, dextrin, fructose, lactic acid, grits, maltodextrin and Equal.

These are some of the tricks you learn when you discover that your child has a life-threatening allergy. It does take a little while longer at the supermarket. Thank goodness for allergy-free foods. The list is growing, which makes it easier for our kids to participate and not be singled out (as much).

It is so thoughtful when parents ask if any kids in a group have special dietary needs. Sometimes, I just bring Max’s snack anyway, but it’s very touching when we at least have a choice. Meanwhile, I will be happy to provide snack as often as needed if it keeps him in the fold.

Wish us luck tomorrow! Go River Cats!

Can Pets be Hypoallergenic?

A few months ago, we got a pet kitten, which my son, Max,  named Moses. This may sound trivial, but with myself and my son both being allergic to cats AND dogs, it was a big deal to take this leap.

We found a breed called Devon Rex, which is supposedly very close to hypoallergenic. This is also said about Poodles, and we have found that neither of us react to Poodles, so we gave Moses a chance. Of course, we love him dearly already. Max and I had some low grade reactions to him at first, but we have built up some immunity, I think. This is an ongoing process!

Recently, Max (4 years old) got his first lower respiratory infection (or chest cold), and he has been on a nebulizer for two weeks to clear up his lungs. We don’t want to jump to conclusions, but in the back of my mind, I am wondering if the cat may be partly to blame for his illness. We have been given some tips on how to reduce the chances of a cat allergy affecting Max, and I wanted to pass those along to you. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

-Give pet a bath every week (or more often, if possible). This will cut down on dander on the fur.
-Keep pet out of the child’s room (or whomever is allergic.) They need to have somewhere to go that is totally clear of the dander, fur, etc.
-Vaccum more often, and even vaccum the cloth furniture and window treatments.
-Roll your child’s clothing with a lint brush after he/she handles the pet.
-Be vigilant with hand washing after handling the pet.
-Put an air filter in your child’s room.

Gluten-Free is Getting Easier

Thank goodness for allergy parents like me that allergy-free products are getting more and more popular and easier to find! My little guy has egg, peanut and tree nut allergies, but I know an awful lot of Moms who have to deal with the dreaded gluten allergy or celiac disease.

Gluten is so sneaky, and it really pops up in some unsuspected places. It’s in wheat, barley and rye as food sources, but gluten is also used in vitamins and herbal supplements, prescription meds, gum (that flour-like substance on the outside of a piece!), in paint, and even Play-Doh.  Even the adhesive on stamps and envelopes could be a culprit! Imagine a Mom (or Dad) combing the grocery and toy store aisles to find products that their kids can eat safely.

I certainly don’t have an extensive list, but here are a few gluten-free products that will help ease your shopping a little. I’d love to hear of more if you have some to submit. I can definitely update the list! A big thank you to Allergic Living Magazine for this great info. You can find them at www.allergicliving.com.

Toast-It Bags (help keep your gluten-free bread from getting contaminated while in the toaster) www.toastitbags.com
Afterglow Cosmetics www.afterglowcosmetics.com
Gluten-Free Savonnerie (Soap) www.gfsoap.com
Candy www.naturalcandystore.com
Play Dough and Paints www.bluedominoes.com
Sandylion Sticker Designs www.sandylion.com
Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers www.mrsgrossmans.com
Elmer’s Glue (all products are gluten-free except the finger paints!) www.elmers.com

New Hope for Food Allergic Kids

Parents of kids with food allergies share a common bond, and we like to share information that may help someone in our little club. I subscribe to an email from Allergy Moms (www.allergymoms.com), and they send out lots of great info on new research, personal stories and clinical trials.  I highly recommend this to other allergy parents.

I have mentioned before that my son, Max, has severe allergies to egg, peanuts, tree nuts (food) and also dogs, cats and penicillin. There is a lot of stress involved in taking him to a play date, school or party – anywhere that food will be served. We constantly look for new ways to adapt to these situations and to ease other parents into the idea that it really is a medical emergency situation if they accidentally give Max the wrong food. For all allergy parents, it’s a work in constant progress!

Today, I wanted to pass along a link to the latest clinical trial listings, in case any of you are in the areas where they are offered. On behalf of other Moms of allergic kids, our thanks in advance for trying to help find the cause and a cure once and for all!

http://www.faiusa.org/?page=food_allergy_clinical_trials

Amazing Pets for your Infant with No Shedding, Training or Bathing!

So, you’re interested in a pet for your baby to cuddle and play with, but you don’t want the hassle of cleaning pet hair off furniture, teaching ANOTHER living thing where/how to potty or tackling the weekly bath ritual? I’ve got an adorable soltion.

I’m talking, of course, about Bottle Snugglers! We have four of the cutest, most snuggly animals that a baby could wish for, not to mention that their tails crinkle and their legs squeak for fun, interactive playtime. Plus, they give Mom one hand free during baby’s feeding time to care for another child or herself. What other pet actually helps out at home?!

If you haven’t already, please check out our Cuddly Cow, Pinky Pig, Charming Teddy Bear and Precious Puppy. And take advantage of our limited-time offer of free shipping, just in time for hoilday gift buying. I know you’ll love them!

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