Posts Tagged ‘ food allergies ’

Plan a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu With Udi’s (Yes, It’s Possible!)

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Udi's gluten-free food - sweet potato hummus, sausage and fennel stuffing, roasted beet salad with garlic croutons, snickerdoodle cranberry cream cheese tartRounding up the family together for Thanksgiving (and having them get along) is already hard enough without the added worry of creating dishes to satisfy certain diets and picky eaters. And if you have family members who have certain food allergies and sensitivities (especially to gluten), you might feel even more overwhelmed.

But don’t throw in the towel yet.

Hosting a gluten-free Thanksgiving feast is possible — and Udi’s Gluten Free has simple and delicious recipes that can even convert gluten lovers (like me). Recently, another editor and I were invited to a special Udi’s Thanksgiving luncheon, along with other Meredith editors, to sample gluten-free takes on classic holiday dishes. As a foodie and someone who believed going gluten-free meant eating pale imitations of “real” foods, I was surprised by the versatile spread and even more surprised by the delicious flavors.

On the menu was a whole course that incorporated gluten-free bread, chips, and cookies:

I could definitely see the sweet potato hummus and roasted beet salad on my own Thanksgiving table, which usually has some gluten-free (and dairy-free) dishes made especially for my little nephew, who has a few food allergies. Even if no one in your family has gluten allergies, there are still some benefits to going gluten-free, like taming tummy troubles and maintaining a healthy weight. And some studies have shown a gluten-free diet could possibly help kids with autism, though research results are inconclusive.

Best of all: these gluten-free dishes could easily substitute Thanksgiving mainstays (without sacrificing tastiness) and be worth repeating for Christmas, perhaps served with an additional dessert like ice cream sandwiches made with Udi’s maple pecan chocolate chip cookies. So now that you have some new recipes, I hope this year’s dinner planning will be just a little easier!

More Gluten-Free Foods on Parents.com

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

‘Don’t Feed Me’ T-Shirt by Comedian Kym Whitley, Alerts Caregivers of Kids’ Food Allergies
Now kids can wear a warning of the foods that will harm them. All parents have to do is fill in the blanks. A new “Don’t Feed Me” T-shirt with a checklist of food allergies tells caregivers what not to serve, ABC News reports. To customize the shirt, parents simply fill in their child’s name and mark the boxes next to the appropriate allergies, such as “peanuts” or “gluten.” If an allergy is not included on the shirt, parents can write the food in one of the blank spaces. (via Huffington Post)

Atypical Brain Circuits May Cause Slower Shifting in Infants Who Later Develop Autism
Infants at 7 months of age who go on to develop autism are slower to reorient their gaze and attention from one object to another when compared to 7-month-olds who do not develop autism, and this behavioral pattern is in part explained by atypical brain circuits.(via Science Daily)

Health Officials: 1 in 50 School Kids Have Autism
A government survey of parents says 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren has autism, surpassing another federal estimate for the disorder. Health officials say the new number doesn’t mean autism is occurring more often. But it does suggest that doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, especially in children with milder problems. (via FOX News)

Skim Milk May Not Lower Obesity Risk Among Children
Got milk? It turns out that low-fat versions may not be the answer to helping kids maintain a healthy weight. Long a staple of childhood nutrition, milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which can help to build bone, and experts believed that lower-fat versions could help children to avoid the extra calories that came with the fat in whole milk. (via TIME)

Doctors Urge FDA to Limit Caffeine Content in Energy Drinks
A group of health experts urged the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday to take action and protect teens from the possible risks of drinking large amounts of caffeine from energy drinks, The New York Times reported. (via FOX News)

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New Guidelines For Introducing Allergenic Foods

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Throughout my entire childhood (which I bid a fond farewell to roughly a decade ago), I can remember one person I knew with a food allergy—a boy at summer camp who was so allergic to peanuts we couldn’t serve peanut butter in the dining hall. Back then banning peanut butter felt like a foreign concept; today it seems common. I’ve often wondered if the apparent rise in food sensitivities is all in my head. Whether I was just oblivious to friends and classmates who couldn’t eat eggs, nuts, wheat, or other allergenic foods, and whether I’m simply more aware of food allergies now, working at Parents. That doesn’t appear to be the case. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, food allergies are on the rise: The number of people with a food allergy rose 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, and today 1 in 13 kids is affected, or roughly two in every classroom. What if there was a way to stop this trend in its tracks? A recent study from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests parents may be able to do just that, by introducing the most common allergenic foods—cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish—around the time you start solids, generally between 4 and 6 months. “Food allergies have increased in the last 10 years, and it’s possible that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods has contributed to that,” says study coauthor David Fleischer, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at National Jewish Health, in Denver, Colorado. “There’s a window of tolerance for preventing food allergies.”

Before now there haven’t been any updated guidelines on how to give these foods to a child, and some parents may still follow the recommendations from 13 years ago, which advised against offering your child cow’s milk until age 1, eggs until age 2, and nuts and fish until age 3. But after looking over past research, Dr. Fleischer says it’s safe—and beneficial—to introduce these foods earlier, with a couple exceptions. Children with moderate to severe eczema, which puts them at higher risk for food allergies, and those who’ve already had a reaction to an allergenic food should see an allergist before trying any of the above (and below!) mentioned foods.

Now, without further ado, the most recent advice for introducing cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish:

  • Do not offer your child one of these highly allergenic foods as the first solid. Begin with rice or oat cereal, vegetables, or fruit to see how your child handles them. Once you’ve successfully introduced a few of these foods, you can begin to offer foods like fish, eggs, and yogurt.
  • The first time you introduce an allergenic food, give it to your child at home, rather than at day care or a restaurant. If there is no apparent reaction—including hives, a rash, swelling, breathing problems, vomiting, or diarrhea—continue to offer the food to your child, gradually increasing the amount.
  • Offer one new food every 3 to 5 days if you don’t see any reactions.
  • Continue to avoid whole cow’s milk until age 1, but not because of allergy risk—it can lead to kidney complications and may affect iron levels in the body. Cheese, yogurt, and milk-based formulas are fine to offer.
  • Peanuts and tree nuts pose a choking risk, so should not be offered before age 1, but nut butters are safe. If you have an older child with a nut allergy, see an allergist before offering peanut butter to your younger child—he’s at an increased risk for developing a peanut allergy.

 

Image: Spoon and jar of peanut butter

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Massive Food Fight At Minneapolis High School Turns Into All Out Brawl
A food fight quickly turned into a brawl involving hundreds of students at a Minneapolis high school on Thursday, forcing police to use chemical spray to break up the melee. (via Huffington Post)

Bilingual Babies Know Their Grammar by 7 Months
Babies as young as seven months can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and Université Paris Descartes. (via Science Daily)

Study Links Smoking Bans to Fewer Pre-term Births
Banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to lower rates of preterm birth, according to Belgian researchers who say the findings point to health benefits of smoke-free laws even in very early life. (via Reuters)

Boy With Life-threatening Allergies Attends School Remotely, Thanks to New Robot
A 4-foot-tall robot is giving a New York second-grader the chance to go to school. (via Fox News)

Charter Schools Put Parents to the Test
Charter schools pride themselves on asking a lot of their students. Many ask a great deal of parents, too. (via Reuters)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Nearly One in Three Children With Food Allergies Experience Bullying, Survey Shows
Nearly a third of children diagnosed with food allergies who participated in a recent study are bullied, according to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Almost eight percent of children in the U.S. are allergic to foods such as peanuts, tree-nuts, milk, eggs, and shellfish. (via ScienceDaily)

Obesity Declining in Young, Poorer Kids: Study
The number of low-income preschoolers who qualify as obese or “extremely obese” has dropped over the last decade, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. (via Reuters)

Four Typical Holiday Money Fights–And How to Avoid Them
Fights about money are already the most common source of discord among American couples throughout the year, triggering an average of three arguments per month according to a recent study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA). Add some financial pressure to the holiday mix, and the good cheer can quickly turn to bickering. (via Time)

Gene Variants Affect Pain Susceptibility in Children
At least two common gene variants are linked to “clinically meaningful” differences in pain scores in children after major surgery, reports a study in the January issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). (via ScienceDaily)

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Modern Family’s Julie Bowen Talks About Her Son’s Allergies

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

A few days after her Emmy win, I had a chance to chat with actress Julie Bowen but, following a quick congratulations, asked her to switch gears from an exciting moment in her life, to one that was downright scary. When Bowen’s oldest son, Oliver, was a toddler, his face and neck swelled up after eating a bit of peanut butter, and he began having trouble breathing. He was rushed to the emergency room. “My husband and I thought we knew a lot about children and food allergies,” says Bowen. But after his allergic reaction, “we realized how little we knew. That wasn’t even his first exposure to peanuts.” Luckily, Oliver, who is also allergic to bee stings, recovered quickly, but for Bowen, it was a wake-up call.

Now she’s taking part in the Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis initiative, which aims to increase awareness of and preparedness for allergic reactions in school. Bowen says that, in a way, it was helpful that Oliver had such a strong reaction: “We knew right away to take him to the emergency room.” But sometimes symptoms can be more subtle. Your child may experience dizziness, headaches, chest pain, trouble breathing, an itchy throat, nausea, or a rash, among other things.

The best way to cut down on the risk is to avoid allergic triggers, but of course, accidents can happen. So what can you do? First, know the most common causes of anaphylaxis: cow’s milk, eggs, nuts, fish, soybeans, and wheat, as well as non-food triggers such as insect stings, certain medications, and latex. Children who are younger than 3, have a family member with allergies or asthma, or other predisposition are more likely to develop allergies. If your child has one, find out if his school has a prevention and treatment policy, and meet with the school nurse to discuss an action plan in case of anaphylaxis. Even young children can look out for themselves, as well.

“Oliver is his own best advocate,” says Bowen, of her now 5 year old. “He never puts anything he’s never had before in his mouth without asking, and he always asks a grown-up to read him the ingredients label.” When I seemed impressed by his proactive attitude, Bowen told me that, for younger kids, having an allergy can make them feel cool and special. As they get older, they may start to feel like an outsider. That’s why Bowen makes sure her son understands his allergies are just another characteristic, like having red hair or blue eyes. She tells Oliver, “You can’t eat nuts and, if you get stung by a bee, you need to get immediate attention,” then moves on. “I don’t want it to define him, but I do want it to be part of his everyday awareness.”

Today, Oliver keeps a prescription epinephrine auto-injector with him wherever he goes, and Bowen makes sure that, if he’s not with her or her husband, somebody knows how to use it. Aside from that, she says, “We really encourage Oliver to do the things kids love, like taking part in recess and play dates.” (Or perhaps attending awards shows with his mom?) And with a few precautions, there’s no reason he can’t!

Photo: www.anaphylaxis101.com

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Is Early Potty Training Harmful?
Many experts’ recommendations to get children out of diapers before age three can be dangerous for some children. A child’s bladder, which continues growing to its standard size until age three, grows stronger and faster when it’s filling and emptying uninhibited. You interrupt that process when you train early, one expert claims. (via ABC News)

US Panel: Improve Child Custody Rules for Military
A national legal panel that works to standardize state laws wants to simplify child custody rules for military service members, whose frequent deployments can leave them without clear legal recourse when family disputes erupt. (via Associated Press)

Lack of Exercise Is a Global Pandemic, Researchers Say
Lack of exercise causes as many as 1 in 10 premature deaths around the world each year — roughly as many as smoking, researchers say. This global pandemic is largely due to four major diseases: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer. (via TIME)

Study Reveals How Some Kids Can Overcome Egg Allergies
Giving children with egg allergies small, and then increasingly higher, doses of the very food they are allergic to may eliminate, or at least reduce, reactions, a new study shows. (via MSNBC)

Mothers Who Use Fertility Drugs May Have Shorter Kids
A new study from Australia found boys whose mothers used fertility drugs were on average 1 inch shorter at ages 3 to 10, compared with boys of mothers who did not use the drugs. (via Fox News)

Breastfeeding Tied to Kids’ Nut Allergies in New Study, But Not All Agree
Australian researchers claim children who are exclusively breastfed for their first six months have a greater risk for developing a nut allergy than those given other foods or fluids, either exclusively or in combination with breast milk. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Better Grades For Kids Who Take ADHD Meds Early
Children with ADHD who start taking medications as early as fourth grade may be more likely to score better academically than those who start taking medication in middle school, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. (via ABC News)

Sunscreen Ban in Schools Anger Parents
State laws prevent schools from allowing students to use sunscreen. (via ABC News)

Kids’ Cereals Are Healthier, But Ads Aren’t
While U.S. food companies are making healthier breakfast cereals for children, they’re also aiming more ads for their unhealthiest products at kids, according to a report issued on Friday. (via Reuters)

Why Kids with Known Food Allergies Are Still at Risk
The majority of allergic reactions in kids are accidental — typically due to caregivers’ forgetfulness or lapses in supervision — but 1 in 9 reactions are triggered by giving known allergens intentionally, a study finds. (via TIME)

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