We’ve done it….

It’s over, we got there. What am I banging on about I hear you shout? Mini me has completed her first year in school. Listening to the waves coming in, on our well deserved break, it has got me reminiscing over the past year.

A whole year done, which millions of other children across the country have also completed, but for those with allergies, illnesses or difficulties it’s a little bit more relief.

It’s not all been plain sailing. L has seemingly grown into a dairy allergy and we are avoiding gluten due to ongoing problems with her tummy. She also has been in and out of doctors appointments due to severe hay fever ( I’ve never seen facial swelling quite so bad in someone before) and has had a nasty reaction to a sting- epi pens at the ready. But, and here’s the huge BUT….

This amazing little girl has taken it all in her stride, had a great ( mostly) year and a glowing report to boot. We couldn’t be prouder.

If your little one is starting school for the first time this September then the advice I’d would give to all you is this

1. Be prepared, have a care plan in place and make sure the school understand it and you are happy with it. We have a meds box including epi pens, antihistamine and care plan which is kept in the building during term times.

2. Ensure staff have had training in anaphylaxis and epi pen administration. This is the same of inhalers or other medications needed. Cross contamination risks are also important to go over.

3. We have a box of safe treats kept at school.

4. At the start of term we sent a letter out explaining L’s allergies and why she couldn’t eat certain foods. Just asking to be mindful of washing hands, brushing teeth before school if eating nut products. This helped a lot.

5. Try not to worry- it’s hard I know but persevere it does get easier

6. Talk about your concerns- there’s always someone who can help.

There we are, no go have a great summer holiday and let’s be grabbing year one by the horns hey?

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Peter Rabbit, Whats To Get Hopping Mad Over?

Image taken from Sony

So here’s a title I didn’t think I’d be writing, or a film I didn’t think I’d ever need to be thinking about, but you know it’s a funny old world we live in, so here goes…. nb the following may ( at times) contain adult language. I’m not sorry.

It might have come to your attention this week that a certain scene in the new Peter Rabbit film involves targeting the “baddie” with his allergen ( blackberries) to induce an anaphylactic reaction, so those cute little bunnies can get their garden back. Oh and how the world has reacted, calls to boycott the film from angry and upset allergy parents and sufferers, and the comments from the keyboard worriers. The trolls and the fucking ignorant have been out in force and the comments have been vile. Good friends have been vilified for their upset over this scene and I’m not sure that people understand why? Well let me try and help you with this….

Unless you deal with allergies you will never know ( or care probably) about them. I mean why would you if you are not affected by them? As a parent with a child who has a severe allergy, let me tell you it often takes up a lot of your thoughts, worries and time. Any parent has a duty to keep their child safe. This is not being a ” Precious Snowflake ‘ as some have commented this week, it is more than that. Food allergy bullying is very real. My tiny four year old has already had teasing due to her nut allergies. I had not prepared her for it. I didn’t think it would happen with children so young. So here’s my beef with that scene. It’s a film aimed at kids, they are easily influenced. It would only take one view to sow the seed in wrong person’s mind. That same child could well be the one little shit that will smear peanut butter across an allergic child or spike their food or ( like the rabbit) try and somehow get the allergen into that person.

I hope you never have to take that trip in an ambulance with your child, whatever the reason.

It.is.horrendous

I’ve been there with my daughter, helpless as her breathing struggles, her face swells, her little body desperately rejecting the allergen, a shot of adrenaline does not instantly resolve the attack, sometimes it takes 2, sometimes it might not work and you are then faced with the possibility of losing a loved one.

Allergies kill, the lack of education around allergies will also kill. According to Anaphylaxis UK admissions to hospital for food allergies has increased by 700% since 1990. That is one huge increase. FAACT state that a study in 2010 found 35% of children with food allergies were bullied and the vast majority of those were bullied by another child. It’s probably seen as a joke, or a dare or curiosity to see what will happen, whatever, if any allergy requires the use of an epi-pen to treat a reaction it isn’t a laughing matter, and should at least be portrayed factually correct if going to be in a film.

In the scene the character administrators his epi-pen and then hey ho a minute later is off chasing rabbits again. This is NEVER the case in real life. I get the flow of the movie wouldn’t have been the same if McGregor was taken to hospital, but still it’s portraying that one shot is all you need. The amount of times I’ve had said to me -” It’s ok, she has her epi-pen” only high lights the lack of education and understanding there is around allergies. I’ve seen the scene, it’s stupid, and in my opinion not funny- my biggest moan is that it’s not correct either. I mean at least show the pen being used correctly ( 1/2 mark for the fact he does carry it though).

I’m not calling for you to boycott this movie, go see it, or don’t I really couldn’t give a rats arse. What I would urge you to do is use to opportunity to educate your kids. Explain why it’s dangerous to tease or use an allergen to target a person, actually just use the opportunity to teach that bullying is wrong, and in whatever capacity.

As for us we won’t be going to see the film, not because I’m being precious, it’s more to do with the fact mini me loathes Peter Rabbit in most capacities. I mean in her words “Well it’s not about a horse mummy, so it’s rubbish” and do you know what? I can’t say I blame her. This really is a far cry from the nostalgic tales that we all grew up with. Beatrix Potter’s lovable character has become an arse and I for one feel very disappointed with it.

On The First Day of Blogmas….

Don’t worry I’m not going to be singing to you. I sound like a budgie on helium it wouldn’t be pretty.

However I am using this – my first blogmas post as a brief introduction of all the festive loveliness that I have lined up for the the run up to the big day.

I love Christmas, it’s no secret and I have a feeling that mini me is going exactly the same way. I kid you not she’s been asking about how many “sleeps” there are left since mid October. If I confess I’ve had a reignited passion for all things festive since having children, and ( the real clincher) leaving retail. To those of you who do work in the retail sector, hang in there, Christmas Eve is in sight and so is that large G&T to reward yourself when you get there.

Anyway I’ve digressed a tiny bit…. so what have I got planned?? Well seeing as allergies and Free From is a lot of what we are about I’ll be featuring some recipes and reviews of the best of Christmas goodies on offer this year, as well as how we go about things in our house in terms of traditions, and the obligatory Christmas tree post as well. There also might be the odd competition.

I hope that has tickled your tastebuds? Sit back and relax and have a good read of all the posts that will drop over this blogmas period.

Roasted Summer Squash

 
Looks good hey? Well I might have ( slightly) underestimated how many of these funny looking space ships came from a single plant. The answer is loads in case you are wondering.  

In my quest for expanding my vegetable growing I decided on these mainly because they looked funky and bright yellow 

 

Anyway a very quick update on how I cook them. 
  

Into a roasting tin chop your squash, courgette, onion, garlic cloves- anything you fancy really. 

  • Drizzle in olive oil  and fresh thyme 
  • Cook in an oven at 180 for 30-40 minutes
  • Et voila roasted veg.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate “Mini Milks” 

Hello to you all, hope you are enjoying this fine sunny weather we are having. It’s Monday it’s the last week of term for most of the munchkins and I’m sure you’d like to know about a really easy treat?  I’m right aren’t I? 

Whilst it’s great that tesco have lunch a GF DF mini milk style lolly, it still hs the dreaded may contain nuts message, so still best avoid for us.  Anyway I that I’ll make my own, on mini me’ request we got some of these

 Kitchen Craft, Ice Lolly Moulds, Set of 6“>

And set off to make these. You have to excuse the photos- the down side of this mould is that they look less umbrella like when out of its plastic case……

  

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbs cacao or cocoa powder
  • Either 2 tbs of caster sugar or 1-2 tbs of maple syrup to sweeten. 

Method

  • Place all ingredients into a pan and heat, do not let it boil
  • Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes then pour into the moulds
  • When cold place in the freezer
  • After 30 minutes- 1 hr I give the mixture a stir to help stop crystals forming
  • Eat when completely frozen.  

The added benefit of these is that you could use a combination of coconut milk and cream for a dairy free version.  

See there you have it- not really cooking by any scale of the imagination but delicious none the less.  
*this post does contain an affiliate link. If you do click and buy the moulds it just means I get a few pennies. 

Grilled Salmon In A spiced Marinade  

Seeing as it’s National BBQ week I thought this would be apt.

Free From Foodie

Well fingers crossed that the last few days haven’t been our summer, and we can look forward to long, hazy days and BBQ season. Now I love a bbq and alfresco dinning, but get a bit bored of the usual sausage and burger offerings. This year I’ve decided to mix it up and try new things on the grilling front.

I know salmon isn’t a new thing, far from it, but I’ve been experimenting with marinades and I think this is yummy, and not as calorific as some of the shop brought offerings, it also includes one of my new favourites -turmeric, which also give a great colour to the fish as well.

Ingredients

  • Salmon filets I used a side and cut it into portions.

For the marinade

  • 100mls natural yogurt ( or dairy free alternative)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1…

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Review – Nush Dairy Free Yogurt 

You may, or may not have noticed a new brand of the free from market? Nush Foods are the company behind dairy free, gluten free and vegan yogurts that are made from either almond or cashew milks. I believe they are the first in the UK to offer such a product. 

Anyway I’m rambling, I saw these in Tesco (£2) and thought I’d try one. I should add that they are nut based so all testing was done well out the way of mini me.

 

  I was really impressed, I’m not sure what I was expecting really- possibly a more gloopy texture that you can get with other plant based yogurts, but this has a consistency of, well yoghurt.  Considering this was almond based, you are not over powered with the taste, there was a subtle, but pleasing blueberry flavour, not overladen with sugar or sweetness- all positives for me. I should also add that this is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. 

  
So will I buy it again? Well yes, although not every day as it is a bit pricey.  That said I’m also interested in trying the cashew milk yoghurt when I track it down. Well done Nush keep up the good work. 
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All views are my own, and honest. 

Strawberry and Vanilla Cheesecake Gluten Free

I admit I’ve had strawberries on the brain this last week.  In my efforts on embracing the good life the vegetable plot is growing, and strawberries are one of this years projects.  My new plants are in, and we are waiting for them to grow.  However in the mean time, what better excuse for a free from cheesecake? Oh and we had a houseful for Mother’s Day and cheesecake is always a winner. Plus this is a no bake cheesecake so it’s easy to make as well. 

My error with this was that I personally think it would be better in an 8 inch tin, but I misplaced mine so the 9 inch had to be the tin of choice ( I don’t  think my guests noticed anyway). 

  

Ingredients 

Base

  • 250g biscuit I used gullon as they are nut free. You can click Here to buy them. 
  • 80g melted butter

Filling

  • 600g  full fat cream cheese
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 200ml double cream 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence. 

Method

  • Crush the biscuits either in a bag with a rolling pin, or in a food processor
  • Add the melted butter and pulse until you have a damp rubble.
  • Press into the base of a spring closing cake tin and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

  

  • For the filling whisk the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla together. 
  • I whisk the double cream separately until it forms stiff peaks. Then gently combine this with the cream cheese mixture. 
  • Put this on top of your biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge ideally overnight. 
  • I decorated with fresh strawberries and mini meringue kisses. 

  

  

Apologies…..

I’m not ignoring you all. I’m at my wits end with BT trying to fix our phone/ internet.  Seemingly the line had an argument with a tree the other night in the gales. 

Normal service will ( hopefully) be resumed asap.  TTFN my lovelies. 

New Product Review -Naturelly Jelly Drink

Naturelly has just won Best Toddler Snack in the LBC awards. See my review here.

Free From Foodie

Parents behold, there is a new product in town , and it doesn’t disappoint. This is Naturelly jelly juice. The lovely people at Naturelly were kind enough to send me ( well mini me) some samples, so what follows is our thoughts.

Naturelly is a jelly juice/ snack made from natural fruit juice And jelly made from a dietary fibre called Gellan gum. This means its gelatine free and been approved by the vegetarian society and coeliac uk. As a mum to a toddler with allergies I can see these being great for picnics, lunch boxes and days out as they are easily portable, great out the fridge and have a screw top to save for later.

They are gluten free, dairy free, nut free and only 7.2g of sugar per pouch. For us ( and I’m sure many others) I see this a huge positives. For the record I…

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