Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This site has moved!!!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Little Z turns 2!

My precious boy had his second birthday today! Here he is shown being held by me shortly after birth. The pictures below are of him riding his new Spidey Bike (his favorite birthday present) while waiting for a train to come (his favorite obsession).
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Convenience Snacks

I found some snacks that Z likes (and his sensitive system can tolerate) in the last few months. They are: Mr. Krispers (Sea Salt and Pepper) Baked Rice Krisps (so good!), Brown Rice Snaps by Edward & Sons (onion garlic and toasted onion), and ENERG Brand Wylde Poppy Seed pretzels. These companies probably make several flavors of foods he could digest, but I haven't had the guts to try them out on Z!

Z LOVED the Edward & Sons Brown Rice Snaps until he had Mr. Krispers Sea Salt and Pepper Chips. After that, he wouldn't eat them until I put them in a Chex Mix recipe I created. I think this is because the texture is similar, but the Rice Snaps are not very salty. In fact, I mixed some of the Mr. Krisper chips and the Rice Snaps in a baggy (hoping Z wouldn't be able to taste the difference). Well, I was wrong. I found a pile of Brown Rice Snaps on the floor (all bitten into), and all the Mr. Krisper Chips were gone!

Z really likes the ENERG Pretzels, but if you are used to wheat pretzels, you may be disappointed because the flavor is very different. Z doesn't mind, and likes to snack on this treat. Beware, though. It is really creepy when I find his poo is full of poppy seeds. Yuck!

Because convenience snacks that Z can tolerate are pretty pricey (and sometimes hard to find), I usually just pop him popcorn on the stove top with canola oil. He likes it better anyway.

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Commercial, time-saving foods

Anyone who knows me (and the cooking needs of my son) know that there are not a lot of convenience foods that we can use. But I am happy to say, I have found a few convenience foods Z can tolerate: Jones Sausage, (unsauced) steam-in-the bag frozen rice (my personal favorite is Birds Eye Steamfresh Long Grain White Rice with mixed veggies) and Prego sauce.

Jones sausage has been the go-to meat when we are on the run and I have only MINUTES to prepare dinner. They are nitrate free, MSG free, and gluten free. They are the only breakfast sausage I've found that doesn't bother Z's tummy. And have I said how delicious they are? They really are amazing. In the KC area where I live, I buy it in the Hy-Vee Health Market frozen food section.

I often make rice in large batches and freeze it in zip lock baggies, but if you are pressed for time or you just don't want to do that, the unsauced rice in the fozen food section is a real time saver. Also, if you get coupons in your Sunday paper or online, you can often find these for pennies a bag if you pair a coupon with a sale!!!

I did a jig and called anyone who would even remotely care when I found out that Prego makes sauces that are gluten and soy free (please read the labels -- I am not sure they are all soy free). Unfortunately, because tomatoes seem to aggravate Z's yeast diaper rashes, we don't eat this sauce as often as I would like!
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Friday, April 9, 2010

Peeps and other sweets

Easter was last week, and we were very nervous about what we would put in Z's Easter Basket. I can count on one hand how many times Z has had candy (because I have been just too afraid he would get sick from it). When someone from church asked what candy he could have (so they could be prepared for their annual Easter egg hunt) the only candy I knew off the top of my head that was gluten free and probably safe were Peeps. Someone from church was so thoughtful, she specially bought Z his own peeps (several boxes) so that he could enjoy something sweet like the other kids.

Here are some pictures of of Z enjoying a peep for the first time.

We tried out another candy that Z seems to tolerate well: Starburst jelly beans. He loves them.

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Cross Contamination and keeping your children in the “World”

For the last several months now, every time I took Little Z somewhere he would have a reaction (I am guessing to gluten, because he is most sensitive to gluten. I know that the people who were taking care of him tried to be careful, but I just don't think they understood what careful means. For example, at the gym daycare, the girls would hand out snacks to other children, then hand Z his Top 8 free snack I had brought him (but they wouldn't wash their hands), or worse, I think they wouldn't watch the children and their snacks and he would end up eating a cheerio. He would often be sick for several days (and needless to say, I wasn't very good about keeping up my workout routine!)

I was able to easily solve this problem by speaking with a manager and asking that they follow a few safety precautions.

1)Keep the kids in one area when they eat
2)use a hand vacuum to vacuum up crumbs
3)wipe tables/areas with crumbs up promptly
4)wash hands before you handle Little Z's food.

I was nervous before speaking to the various people who watch Z (I don't want this to be an issue where his caretakers don't want to watch him!). But everyone was very accommodating and friendly. They worked so hard to keep Z safe and healthy.

Always remember to be friendly and nice when you ask if they can accommodate your special food-handling requirements. Try not to be upset if they feel they can't help you. It may be that they are afraid of accidentally hurting your little one, not because they don't want to!

Another thing I realized after spending time with Z in the church nursery a few weeks ago: he is so sensitive to gluten, that just being around other children who are eating it and then playing with toys can bother him (I was there the whole time – he didn't eat any gluten!). So a big issue for me is finding the balance between keeping him safe (and thus sheltering him from situations where gluten foods will be) and letting him be a normal kid who goes to birthday parties and church nursery! At this point, I feel like I have to risk that he may be sick for a few hours after being around kids who eat Goldfish crackers so that he can be a normal, socialized little boy!

I really am back this time!

So, I have been gone from this blog a really long time. At first I was really busy with design classes, and then my computer broke. I finally got it fixed in January, but I still ignored my site. I was burned out and depressed from a really hard semester and the fact that Little Z seemed to be having reactions to food all the time. I felt like he was never going to get better. I was feeling isolated because every time I seemed to take him somewhere – a friend's house, the babysitter, gym daycare, church nursery – he would be fussy, have diarrhea and have trouble sleeping for several days (not to mention the bloody diaper rashes)!!! I started to feel like I was being selfish for taking him out of the house! I got to the point where I just kept procrastinating and wondered weather I would really even continue with this site.

Well, this is what I am hoping – this will be the year that Z outgrows his food intolerances and we can live normally again! I really hope that within the next 6 months, I will no longer have to blog about all his food problems!!!