FREE Allergy Cards for dining out at restaurants

Melanie Melanie Hohman Tuesday, June 27, 2017
FARE has prepared a simple and free Allergy Card that can be filled out online and printed at home.  It's ideal for dining out at restaurants with our allergic family.  It makes life so much easier!  Here's the link: Click here for Allergy Card

Try to be specific.  For example, some people don't realize that macadamia's are nuts!  I use clear packing tape on both sides to protect it, otherwise you can have it laminated.

Easy Lunch Recipes for Kids with Food Allergies

Melanie Melanie Hohman Wednesday, September 02, 2015

What do you feed an allergic child? My son Bradley has severe allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree-nuts. On top of that he is allergic to gluten, soy, tomatoes, and certain fruits. Below is a list of Lunch ideas (some may or may not work for your child). Use a fun bento box and include at least one or two of each category:

Veggies

  • Baby Carrots
  • Celery slices
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Green Peppers (my boys won't eat this, but I keep trying)
  • Sweet Peas
  • Jicama slices
  • Easy Vegan Ranch Dip Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup Soy-free Veganaise
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder,
  • 1/4 tsp of dill or fresh parsley
  • sprinkle salt or pepper to taste (optional)
  • Mix well, keep refrigerated or use a cooler pack in the lunch box.
  • Fruits

  • Fresh grapes or raisins
  • Watermelon
  • Mandarine Orange slices
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Half a banana
  • Apple slices or Apple Sauce
  • Peaches
  • Blackberries
  • Pineapple slices (too acidic for my Bradley)
  • Fruit Strips
  • Starches

  • Chex Rice Cereal
  • Allergy-free Pretzels by Ener-G
  • Baked potato
  • Erewhon Corn Flakes
  • Erewhon Rice Cereal
  • Freedom Foods Cereals are wonderful!
  • Tropics by Freedom are just like fruit loops.
  • Cocoa Crunch by Freedom Foods
  • Entree

  • Chicken Salad Sandwich (see recipe below)
  • Ham Sandwich
  • Tuna Melts (gluten free bread)
  • Turkey Sliders (use ground turkey meat to make small patty's)
  • Applegate Hot Dogs
  • Pizza
  • Meatballs (use rice to stick together)
  • Panini (with our flat bread)
  • Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe

  • 2 slices of our awesome gluten-free, Vegan Multi-grain Bread
  • Heat with toaster prior to assembly of sandwich, it will stay soft all day.
  • 2 Tbl of soy-free Veganaise mayo
  • 1 cup of shredded Organic Chicken or canned Organic Chicken
  • 1/4 cup diced celery (optional)
  • sprinkle garlic salt to taste
  • sprinkle dill to taste
  • Celebrate with a Sweet Treat

  • Easy Cakes
  • Cookie
  • Cupcake Cup
  • Epinephrine Bill in California for Public Schools

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    California Senator Bob Huff is proposing an important bill (SB 1266) that if passed, would require epinephrine auto-injectors to be available in all public schools in California.

    Though the food allergy epidemic continues to grow, very few schools stock epinephrine despite the passage of a law in 2001 allowing them to do so. Approximately 25% of epinephrine administrations occurring at school are given to students with previously unknown food allergies. The passage of SB 1266 will help schools meet the needs of the growing number of food-allergic students and will save lives.

    We urge you to join us in making this lifesaving bill a reality.

    To add your voice, please email this letter in support of SB 1266 to Senator Huff’s legislative aide Heidi Hannaman no later than March 14, 2014.

    Simply sign your name in the email provided and cc your local senator and assemblyperson (find yours here). You can also download the letter of support and fax it to Heidi Hannaman at (916) 651-4929.

    Currently, only five states (Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada and Virginia) require their schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. Since passing this law, Nevada has already saved the lives of two of its students.

    Now, it’s time to make California safer for people with food allergies.

    Sincerely,

    Caroline Chen
    Advocacy Liaison
    Stanford Food Allergy/Sensitivity Center Community Council

    Natural Insect Repellent from RonAndLisa.com

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Friday, November 01, 2013

    RonandLisa.com wrote a terrific article about Mosquitos. These annoying little insects carry lots of diseases, and since our kids have allergies, we can't use over the counter products. A lot of our customers here at Sensitive Sweets have the same issues. We want to provide a cleaner environment for our kids but we still need something to protect them from pests.

    Here's a great recipe for repellent from Ron and Lisa:

    DIY Insect Repellents. There are also some effective, homemade natural solutions to mosquitoes. These can be particularly valuable when you are camping or in other places where oscillating fans are unavailable. For a completely natural insect repellent, Vinegar of the Four Thieves has been a strong, effective insect repellent for centuries! This concoction has not only warded off unwanted insect visitors, but has been known to fight off diseases as well.

    You will need:

    • a 32 oz bottle of apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons each of dried rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, and mint
    • a large jar or spray bottle

    To make, combine all the ingredients in a large jar with a screw top lid or a spray bottle. Shake daily for 2-3 weeks. After 2-3 weeks, apply liberally to the skin as needed for insect protection.

    Additionally, oil of eucalyptus products may offer longer-lasting protection, studies reveal. Endorsed by the CDC, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (not to be confused with natural lemon eucalyptus oil) offers protection similar to low concentrations of DEET and is available under the Repel brand name. It’s also safe for children older than 3 years but can cause allergic skin reactions.

    Thank you Ron & Lisa, we love your advise! Clean, simple, and better for all of us!

    1-Hour Kelly Rudnicki Video on 504 Plans

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Thursday, August 29, 2013

    What a fun evening of allergy-free treats, sharing stories and learning about 504 Plans.

    Many thanks to Kelly Rudnicki for the great 504 content.  Sensitive Sweets donated 20% of our sales that day to FARE.  Sensitive Sweets greatly cares for those who suffer from severe food allergies. We also strive to create more public awareness so we can better protect our loved ones.  

    For information on 504 Plans, here are some ideas on places to visit:

    Top Ways to Keep Our Kids Safe

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Sunday, August 04, 2013

    Kid Safety Tips

    1) Food Safety: Where ever we go, we are prepared because we bring an Epi-pen, Benadryl and inhaler. Even if your child doesn't have an allergy, they could develop one. Be prepared for bee sting and food cross contamination reactions by carrying a medical bag.

    2) Neighborhood Safety: Know who your neighbors are. This site is AWESOME!!! You can confidentially find out about your neighborhood. And it's FREE. Check it out at www.nextdoor.com another great site is http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/

    3) Bicycle and Car Safety: Our medical bag is just like a helmet or seatbelt. You never know when/if you will be in a bicycle or car accident, but we prepare ourselves with safety gear. Be sure your kids understand the importance. "Cycling is the leading cause of sports related head injuries in children.”

    For more info: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/really-the-claim-cycling-is-the-top-sport-for-head-injuries/?_r=0

    Enjoy Life, and be safe.

    Is There a Cure for Autism and ADHD?

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Tuesday, July 09, 2013

    Is it possible to cure or improve Autism and ADHD?  Many believe it is possible.  There are several different forms of therapy....but what we did for our son is working.  It takes a lot of work, but it is 100% worth it!  

    How it all started for us: DENIAL!!!!!

    When my son Luke turned 2, we were given the Regional Center phone number, and I threw it away.  I was completely shocked, because I didn't think my son had issues.  Sure, he was delayed, and a bit "corky" but I thought...he'll catch up and he's shy.  At pre-school, his teachers and the director at his school told me they were concerned.  He completely lacked social skills, no eye contact, no friends, and he would run the perimeter of the fence everyday, while the other children played with trucks in the sand.  Finally, just before he entered kindergarden, we had several private assessments done, an IEP, and a final diagnosis from a neurologist.   That's when I finally accepted it and jumped into action.  Two major changes helped my son greatly: diet and therapy.

    Step 1, DIET!!!!!

    My husband and I changed his diet immediately.  We started off by removing wheat/gluten.  Then we went to a strict GFCFSF diet (gluten-free, dairy/casein-free, and soy-free).  The first few weeks were awful.  It was like we were living with a drug addict who was detoxing.  We had to remove wheat, dairy, and soy from our house, because he was climbing the cabinets to find it.

    I can tell you exactly what autistic kids eat (just like my son), they are addicted to chicken nuggets, breaded fish sticks, ritz crackers, yogurt, milk, cereal....basically wheat, dairy, and soy! They will outright refuse to eat anything else, because of their addiction.

    Well I can assure you that once you break the addiction (which took us over 2 weeks) they will start to eat things you never imagined.  Several months later we saw major improvements in his behavior, sensory issues, and focus...because his gut had healed.  Please keep in mind that you have to be completely free of these foods, since it take about 6 months for the gut to heal.  So don't start this diet unless you are going to follow it 100%.

    Step 2: Therapy:

    My sons school provided OT and Speech which was terrific.  He also gets in-home services for ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis).  ABA has greatly improved his social skills, eye contact, appropriate behavior, flexibility, and basically getting him to do day-to-day tasks like putting his socks and shoes on.  It is exhausting because there are bad days, but ABA really works.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.  I would love to help.

    School 504 Plan and Food Allergies

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Friday, May 10, 2013

    504 plan and Severe Food Allergies

    My youngest son is about to start kindergarten. My husband and I have gone back and forth about this subject because of fears that our little one will have a reaction at school, and they will not be prepared. He has already gone into shock 2 times from dairy and it only takes about 5 minutes before his airway is closed up. Our home is so secure now, with not having dairy, eggs, and nuts…it makes it easy to control…but school is a different situation. “NO dairy, No egg, No nut” school? That’s not going to happen, and I don’t expect it to either. BUT, I do expect his teacher, nurse, assistants, subs, and other staff to be prepared. With the 504 plan, there is a legal requirement that they provide a safe environment for him while at school. Here’s some info I pulled from the web, which has been useful:

    The 504 Plan

    Section 504 provides that: "No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance….

    “Severe food allergies are one of the conditions that may fall under the Rehabilitation Act. Among the issues 504 Plans for students with severe food allergies may address are where life-saving anaphylaxis medications will be stored, where students will eat lunches and snacks, whether allergens will be permitted on the school campus, and if so, where, and how teachers, nurses, and other school personnel will be trained to recognize food allergy symptoms.”

    “The factors the school district considers in evaluating the student includes the severity of the condition and the student's ability to provide self-care. Thus, a kindergarten student with an anaphylactic peanut allergy who cannot yet read would almost certainly be considered eligible under the terms of the law; a high school student of normal intelligence with a milk allergy whose major symptom is rhinitis likely would not.”

    Does the ADA Apply to People with Asthma and Allergies?

    “Yes. In both the ADA and Section 504, a person with a disability is described as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or is regarded as having such impairments. Breathing, eating, working and going to school are "major life activities." Asthma and allergies are still considered disabilities under the ADA, even if symptoms are controlled by medication. The ADA can help people with asthma and allergies obtain safer, healthier environments where they work, shop, eat and go to school. The ADA also affects employment policies. For example, a private preschool can not refuse to enroll children because giving medication to or adapting snacks for students with allergies requires special staff training or because insurance rates might go up. A firm can not refuse to hire an otherwise qualified person solely because of the potential time or insurance needs of a family member.”

    “In public schools where policies and practices do not comply with Section 504, the ADA should stimulate significant changes. In contrast, the ADA will cause few changes in schools where students have reliable access to medication, options for physical education, and classrooms that are free of allergens and irritants. Under Section 504, public schools and programs cannot avoid their responsibility by claiming to have limited funds or resources. Nor can they impose a "disparate impact" on people with disabilities. The ADA requires public accommodations to make changes, except in cases where an "undue burden" would result.”

    Plan Outline, where to begin

    There’s a terrific website which has a plan outline. It’s a ton of info, but worth it. I especially liked the Food Allergy Alert flyer, which should be sent home with every student in the class. I will be working on this for the next few months. I’m also hoping to get some other allergic children in my son’s class, so us moms can group up and help each other with the buddy-system.

    Creating a Healthier Home with Lisa and Ron from Healthy Home Dream Team

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Simple steps to create a Healthier Home

    I met with Lisa and Ron from the Heathy Home Dream Team, and they provided our moms group with some excellent advice! I purchased their book called Just Green It and inside there are several great tips. Here are a few:

    • Get an Air Purifier, and be sure to replace the filter seasonally.
    • Replace toxic cleaners with simple homemade ones. Their book has great tips such as using Vinegar instead of Windex.
    • Use a reverse osmosis or distillation Water Filtration System to remove metals.
    • Use Essential Oils instead of synthetic air fresheners. They also mention in their book about certain indoor plants that can remove toxins.
    • Get rid of Dust Mites by using organic barrier covers. They also suggest all natural rubber and wool mattresses.
    • Use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to trap mites, mold spores, and pollen.
    • Use zero or low VOC paint.

    For more information….

    The Healthy Home Dream Team®, Ron & Lisa Beres, are healthy home experts - Certified Green Building Professionals (CGBP),Building Biologists (BBEI), and published authors of several books including, Just GREEN It! Lisa is the author of the children's book, MY BODY, MY HOUSE. In addition to testing the health of homes, their consulting business includes celebrities and Fortune 500's. They are dedicated to helping others create healthier homes in which to THRIVE...and not just SURVIVE! The duo has appeared as experts on The Rachael Ray Show, The Suzanne Show, The Doctors, Fox & Friends, The Today Show with Matt Lauer, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, Discovery’s Greenovate + Chelsea Lately on E! Learn more at www.RonandLisa.com!

    Holiday Dinner For A Family With Food Allergies

    Melanie Melanie Hohman Sunday, December 16, 2012

    Take your favorite recipes and use these easy substitutes for a Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Nut-free Holiday dinner:

    Roasted Turkey

    Substitute with Olive oil, paprika, and lemon juice.

    Yams

    Use cinnamon, Earths balance butter and marshmallows.

    Stuffing

    Search our blog site for our stuffing recipe using our delicious white bread.

    Honey baked Ham

    Look for a ham free of nitrates and nitrites, read the ingredients well, I pass on the seasoning packet and make my own glaze with brown sugar, honey, and salt.

    Sensitive Sweets garlic and rosemary rolls

    Amazingly good!

    Mashed potatoes

    Substitute with rice milk and Earths balance butter.

    Green Beans

    Substitute with bacon and Earths balance butter.

    Sensitive Sweets Pumpkin muffins and our fun Gingerbread House kit

    Soft cookie walls and delicious to eat!) order online or by phone.

    Sensitive Sweets is a dedicated gluten-free, nut-free bakery in California.