School Safe List

School Safe with Allergies

The beginning of the school year is always so exciting and I wanted to just take a second and repost this great article published by Allergic Living Magazine, “Food Allergies at School.”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The article is a great tool for preparing for back to school and understanding laws that support food allergy. This was interesting to me since I did not realize food allergies were considered a disability.

2. Understand the Supporting Laws

There are laws that can support your child with food allergies to have a safe and inclusive school year. Below are the primary laws to review.

• Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Amendment Act of 2008: The ADA is a federal civil rights law that makes it illegal to discriminate against an individual with a disability. It is broadly written in order to include students with physical or mental impairments that were once not thought of as disability. The ADA says that an individual is defined as having a disability if the individual’s health impairment “substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of having such an impairment, or being regarded of having such an impairment.” With a food allergy,the major life activities that can be “substantially limited” are eating, breathing (due to anaphylaxis) and digestion.

• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) oversees Section 504 regulations to ensure equal access to education is provided in federally funded schools. Section 504 and the ADA work in tandem. To be protected under Section 504 regulations, a student must be found eligible as “disabled” under the ADA. Students in the elementary school and high school are afforded what’s known as Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s needs. The regulations say the student with the disability should be provided regular or special education and related services “designed to meet the student’s individual educational needs as adequately” as the needs of nondisabled students.”

• Title II of the ADA: The OCR also enforces Title II of the ADA. Title II prohibits “discrimination on the basis of a disability in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education … and by state and local government.”

While we are not at a new school this year, I am still reaching out to have the annual conversation with teachers about our food allergies. I hope you have a great start to the new academic year!

Snacking, Weeknight Dinners

Meal Inspo 4/16/18

Looking for some quick meal inspiration? We’ve had a ton of extra activities at school, and outside of school, that has required us to think super ninja fast for meal times.

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Actually, now that I think of it, making meals at home is REALLY hard. It requires some serious dedication to plan, purchase, cook, serve, and clean up!

Our grocery bill this week was only $98 since we’re trying really hard to eat leftovers, only buy what we eat, and make the most out of what we have. Week after week, I throw away so much away because we just do not eat them or have the time to make all the glorious things I dream up each week.

Today, my list was super small. What is great is that the meal we made today will last us all week. Planning to eat the leftovers is my new goal. If we run low on something, guess what?! Just pick something up – there are grocery stores all over the place. Trying not to over purchase at the grocery store is hard. Super hard. The displays get me EVERY time. Especially if there is a healthy element to it. Hard to resist.

Tonight’s meal is my favorite staple, pulled pork! It’s not fancy, everyone loves it and best of all, I DON’T HAVE TO COOK. My slow cooker does all the work and makes the house smell good. Clean up is a breeze, put the cover on the slow cooker pot and put it back in the fridge. I’ve posted on here before about a few different versions of pulled pork, so pick whichever floats your boat:

  1. Lighter Pulled Pork with McCormick pre-mix
  2. Campbell’s Soup Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork Mix

Our grocery store had a huge sale on Pretzilla Pretzel rolls today, 2 for $5, so we purchased one hamburger size and one hot dog size. We used the hamburger size tonight to make our BBQ Pork Sandwiches. The hot dog size are for later in the week when we use applegate organic nitrate free hot dogs from Whole Foods. Most grocery stores carry Pretzilla – they have a dedicated nut-free facility that we LOVE. And they taste AMAZING!

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When in doubt, just whip up some avocado toast + sesame seeds. Eat to survive. Not the other way around.

Enjoy your week! It is finally nice enough to be outside without winter coats on!!!

Birthday Parties, How to be Nutfree, School Safe List, Snacking, Uncategorized

School Safe Treat Box

20170818_150058.jpgIt’s back-to-school time! If your child has food allergies, now is the time to be pro-active and get your plans and snacks in place. Here’s how we prepare:

  1. Contact the school nurse/office and keep an EPI-PEN on file at the front desk.
  2. Make sure all medical forms are filled out and complete with the front office.
  3. Know your school’s allergy policy. Make sure there is an allergy policy.
  4. Make contact with the child’s teacher (s) and make sure they all know about your child’s allergy, and what the steps are to keep him/her safe. Keep it simple here.
  5. Talk to your child about saying “no” to all classroom treats. This is tough, but it’s the ONLY way to stay safe at school.
  6. Use an allergy bracelet for your child.
  7. Keep an EPI-PEN inside your child’s backpack at all times so it is easily accessible. I like to keep ours in an AllerMates case – it has our phone number and contact information inside.
  8. Build the treat box and have fun with it. We decorated ours with stickers, and I made a special trip to the grocery store with just my daughter so she could take her time choosing treats. They better be good, after all, they are replacing classroom birthday treats! That’s a big deal!

Our treat box is filled with:

  1. Simply Balanced fruit leathers from Target
  2. Hostess Ding-Dongs
  3. Little Bites Brownies
  4. Little Bites Party Cakes
  5. Enjoy Life Chocolate Candy-Bars

Our treat box will be kept inside the classroom for the entire school year. These snacks will replace Birthday treats, holiday treats, party treats and any other time a treat or snack is brought into the class. We used the same size last year and only had to fill it one time. At the end of the year, we had about 6 treats left over.

I also like to reference this website to help prepare for the school year. It can be especially helpful if your school doesn’t have a comprehensive allergy policy.

Food Allergy Resource Center  – I thought this article below was a good reminder, too.

Food Allergy Tips for Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs).
Today, one in 13 children has food allergies, and nearly 40 percent of these children have experienced a severe or lifethreatening reaction. Many of these reactions happen at school. Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) are a vital part of the school community, providing an organized family and community component.

As a PTO or PTA leader, you can be a powerful voice for your children and other children, advocating for their health, safety, education and overall well-being.
Children with food allergies need your support to ensure their safety and inclusion. From classroom parties, to school family nights, to after-school fundraisers, keep in mind that all students in the community should be able to participate safely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published National Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools, available at www.foodallergy.org/CDC. The recommendations below are a few examples of recommended
practices to help ensure students with food allergies are safely included. We encourage you to review the complete list of the CDC’s Recommended Practices, on pages 41–43 of the guidelines available at www.foodallergy.org/CDC.
• Avoid the use of identified allergens in class parties, holidays, celebrations, crafts, snacks or rewards.
• Use non-food incentives for prizes, gifts, awards, and fundraisers.
• When possible, avoid ordering foods from restaurants because food allergens may be present, but unrecognized.
Have ingredient information readily available for all pre-packaged and/or catered food items.
• Do not exclude children with food allergies from events or extra-curricular activities.
• Make sure that food allergy policies and practices address foods available during fundraisers, class parties, at
athletic events and during after-school programs.
• Have rapid access to epinephrine auto-injectors in cases of emergency and train staff to use them.

Did you know?

Food allergies may constitute a disability under the law. Children with food allergies are entitled to an equal opportunity to participate in all school programs and events including extra-curricular activities. This usually applies to activities held by groups such as PTOs and PTAs. (See Section 5 of the CDC guidelines for more information on federal laws that pertain to food allergies.)

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Sun flowers are so important to us nut allergic families. Sun butter is our alternative to peanut butter.

Have a great first day back to school. I hope your preparations put your mind at ease a little.

 

Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Cilantro Lime Chicken (Crock pot)

Cilantro Lime Chicken did not disappoint last week – and the good news is that it made a lot of food to eat several different ways. We had two dinners from it and lunch leftovers. This dish can be eaten plain, over jasmine rice, with tortillas chips, as a huge nacho plate with extra olives, cheese and fixins, as burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with red onion and sour cream.

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This recipe is flexible. It can be frozen for a few weeks if you’re planning on making this ahead of time. Our family loves easy slow cooker meals that are full of flavor. Clean up is simple and I didn’t have to think about “what’s for dinner” at all the entire day! And my whole house smelled good while it was slow cooking – like I was actually Momming?!

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5# of boneless, skinless, organic-free range chicken (that’s a tall order, hey?), cubed or cut into small pieces
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes + green chiles
  • 1 can of fire roasted corn (or plain corn is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup salsa – I like mild or medium store bought salsa so the kids enjoy it too
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (I actually hate cilantro, but dont mind it in this dish.)
  • 1/2 red onion perfectly Diced Onion
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4 cloves garlic or 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of two limes

Directions:

  1. If you’re freezing this, just put all the contents of this recipe into a freezer zip top bag and place in your freezer, up to two months.
  2. If you’re not freezing, place all the ingredients in to your slow cooker on low up to 8 hours. My slow cooker cooks things quickly, mine was done in 5 hours, but I also cubed the chicken.

We are BIG Wisconsin Football fans, I plan on using this for Packer parties, Badger Tailgates and long winter weekends with family. What goes better with Wisconsin Football than beer? Nothing. Nothing goes better together. Well, you could throw in some cheese and sausage.

One of my favorite drinks with Mexican food is a Michelada. * This is an alcoholic beverage*

Ingredients:

  • chili-salt blend for the rim of the glass
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 ounces fresh juice from 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) can or bottle light Mexican beer, such as Modelo, Pacífico, Tecate, Victoria, or Corona, well chilled

After you prepare your glass, then mix all of these ingredients together.

This is one of my favorite summer time sippers since it reminds me of the time my hubs and I went to Mexico. I was out of vacation time at work and had to “cough-cough” call in sick for one of the days I was gone. The Michelada was my drink of choice on this trip, and I thoroughly remember swinging and sipping while staring at the ocean. So relaxing!

Enjoy the recipe – I hope you have a great week!

 

 

Uncategorized

More to Come, I promise!

Where have I been and what have I been doing?

For the past year, I’ve been regularly posting to the website nut-free items and quick meal ideas. There is more to come, I promise.

Over the past 4 months, I’ve been helping at my daughter’s school – the annual fundraiser. If you know me personally, you know how much I love to plan and how  much I enjoy non-profit events. But, then there’s always the opportunity cost. The THING or THINGS you MUST give up in order to complete another THING. When I signed up to help with the fundraiser, I did not know how much time it would need, so my blog has been sitting idle. It’s OK though – the fundraiser is coming along nicely, and the event is next Saturday, so life shall resume to normal after that 🙂

I’m happy to share with you my insta meal ideas on instagram until then 🙂 I’ve been using “Semi-Homemade” philosophy for all of my dinners with Campbell’s Soup Sauces Skillet packets. They are located in your grocers soup section or at Hy-Vee they are in the Italian dinner aisle. My favorites are:

  • Chicken Marsala
  • Shrimp Scampi
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken

I like these because they are so fast, and usually one dish, so clean up is fast. They all advise you to use multiple vegetables, which I do, so they are healthy, nutritious and very filling. My Dad’s been working at Campbells’ Soup for 30 years, so I know their allergy information is accurate and extremely rigid. Campbell’s Sauces are a win-WIN for weeknight dinners. Everyone here LOVES them. Especially me!

Pictured below is Campbells Sweet and Sour chicken, just adding some fresh ginger and all the vegetables I can get into my kids bellies! Have a great week!

 

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