Kemnitz Family Kitchen Labels & Flags
Kemnitz Family Kitchen has these great labels, stickers, and flags for foods that are gluten free and allergen free. They also have special labels that say “NO” in red if they are not safe. We went to my mom’s for a cookout yesterday, and my cousin has decided to try being gluten free to see if it makes her feel any better. We were able to put flags in the foods that were safe for her. My mom made the homemade salsa, and taco dip. Both were safe, so I was able to put a flag in them.
My cousin brought some Udi’s Gluten Free hamburger buns, which are not only gluten free, but nut free also! Had to put some cute flags and stickers on those too!
My cousin brought a cake she made gluten free, and it was REALLY good. However, my grandmother brought packaged donuts that were not safe for my cousin or my daughter’s peanut allergy, so I put the STOP sticker on them. It was great, because they were both able to see right off that they were not safe for either of them.
I am so excited about these flags and labels. Especially at larger family functions where different people have different food restrictions, and people bring home made foods. People can immediately see which items are safe and which are not.
My cousin said these were a great idea, especially if you are at a restaurant and they bring around desserts to view. They could have the little GF flag in them to show they are gluten free and safe. Another neat idea is if you order lunch from a restaurant and they have gluten free options. They could label your meal with a Gluten Free sticker. Kemnitz Family Kitchen has several little stickers and flags for every occasion and food restriction. These would be great for cookouts, family parties, and school treats.
You say it’s your birthday? Happy Gluten Free Birthday! Imagine getting a cupcake from a co-worker that is gluten free, with a little birthday sticker on it.
Is the food vegan? Is it an Easter, Christmas, Halloween, or Fourth of July? There are adorable labels to label your foods to bring to get togethers. There are even labels to make what items your food does NOT have! This is especially important for home made foods. The possibilities are endless!
Disclaimer: I was sent two packages of flags and labels in exchange for my honest opinion of the products. I was not compensated in any way, and all opinions are my own.
The Never Ending Skin War….
My kids tend to have a slew of issues with their skin, as does my husband. Mine is sensitive as well. When my husband and I were dating, he had mentioned that he breaks out in these little red dots if he uses the wrong detergent. So he explained to me how he would find a detergent and fabric softener combo that would work for a while, and then they would come back and he would have to find something else.
Over the years, we have gotten used to lots of things. Then, when we had the kids, we noticed the same thing, even with us using the specially formulated baby detergent. So, we had to play the game all over again.
Unfortunately, no one has ever been able to pinpoint what causes these little rashes, usually localized to their upper arms. So, we just deal with it the best we can.
You can imagine how elated I was when we had finally come across a combination of things that worked. And it was something we have been successfully using for the last few years…. YEARS!! And just when I let myself start thinking, “wow, I think we have finally figured this out”….BOOM! The rashes were back.
So, we went back to scouring the supermarkets and health food stores to try to see what we could come up with. When I say that we have tried everything, I literally mean everything…..we have made our own, used vinegar, used essential oils, used commercial products…. and every combination of those things. And we spent days looking for something new, all the while the laundry kept piling up.
That’s when I had decided I had enough guessing and called my naturopath. He knows our history and everything that we have tried. I asked him to recommend something new for us to try. That is when he mentioned All Free and Clear. He asked us if we had ever tried it, and I was surprised when I checked our list (yes I keep a list) and found that we hadn’t. So, we went out to get some and while we were at the store, also came across Downey Free and Sensitive Fabric Softener. We bought that as well, since we had not tried that one either. Imagine, both these things right under our noses and how stupid we felt that we had never noticed them!
We began using them just a bit ago and so far so good (knock on wood for me though, would ya?)! I am hoping that for now, we at least have this at bay.
If anyone else has had any experiences with this, I would love for you to share them with me!
Getting Ready For The Nice Weather
YAAAAAAYYYYYY!!! Awesome weather is back… again. And this time it seems like it wants to stay around. We are already planning on all of the awesome things we can do. It helps the kids get excited and be motivated to spend more time outside, and it also helps me make a nice little mental list of all the new things we will need and all of the things I need to be prepared for.
So, I would like to share with you, a quick little run down of how we prepare for summer, and hopefully it will make your summer a bit easier too.
First, we all know that the return of summer brings the return of sun, and sunburn. Over here we are all almost clear, so we are huge fans of sunblock. As in industrial strength SPF as high as it can possibly be, reapplied every hour sunblock. We use Coppertone WaterBabies SPF 100+ ( see? I wasn’t kidding). Make sure to do your research and verify that the brand you are using is gluten free.
Second, with nice weather come the bugs. Not only the pretty and interesting ones, but those nasty, biting, stingy ones. Don’t forget to make sure you are using some form of protection against those little brats. Slice a lime and push some cloves in it, it helps keep the biting insects away. Also, if you prefer to wear your protection, find a natural based safe alternative. Gluten can hide in bug sprays too. I have a friend that makes ours. You can also make your own, if you are so inclined.
Third, what would nice weather be without cook outs and get togethers? Word of warning…those grills…cross contamination issue!!! While it may not be for some, for those that are very sensitive, it can be a source of concern. So, how to remedy that? We went and bought one of those table top charcoal grills. They are pretty inexpensive and easy to transport. Any grill party that we go to we just toss it in the trunk and we are good to go. This way, we know that there is no way bread or gluten containing meats or what have you have been near it, and we still get to have all the yummy grilled food.
And who can forget about all the great carnivals, festivals and street fairs that happen while the weather is at its best? So… what’s the best way to navigate those potential gluten havens? First, look for information about the fest. More often than not, if community restaurants are going to be present at the fest, it will be listed on the flier or other paper work advertising the event. You can then call the different places and find out what will be served and how it’s prepared to make your safe list. If you do not see places listed, call the city or village where the event is being held. They can give you more information about the type of vendors that will be showcased. If you find out that there will be no safe options while you are there, pack yourself a nice picnic lunch and bring it along. There are a lot of great fair type foods that you can make gluten free. Look for a post containing some of those great recipes coming soon.
This is the basic way that I try to plan out our summer, and some of the tips that I have found to make our lives easier and more manageable. Hopefully this has helped some of you. I welcome your tips as well. And don’t forget to let me know if any of these help you out!
I can’t help but to be frustrated right now. I have several friends that have children that are similar in age to my kids. And of course, my kids love getting together and being able to play. Recently, we had some time to spend with a friend who I have not seen in a very long time and her three little ones. We had a great time. But…..
She knows that my kids are eating gluten free. She knows that it is because of an issue they both medically have. She knows how much I struggle trying to make my kids feel like they fit in.
When she invited us over, she mentioned that we should come for lunch. I began to explain to her my hesitation…and went down the whole list. The foods contents, the cross contamination issues, etc. She still insisted. I offered to bring our own food, that I knew would be okay. I even offered to bring enough for everyone to share. She still insisted everything would be fine. But, if this lifestyle has taught me anything its to be prepared, so I brought food anyway.
And its really a good thing that I did! We got there, and the kids played for awhile, which was awesome. But then I noticed that she had thrown in a pizza. I knew immediately that it was not going to be anything safe for my kids. So, I asked her. I wanted to know why she was making a pizza when she had offered to provide a safe lunch. She then said, well it is a favorite of the kids, so I was going to give them that, and I have salad and fruits and veggies for your kids. I was appalled.
I, luckily, brought a nice hearty lunch for the kids. But, still not the point. She knows that I do everything I can to NOT alienate my kids. Sorry, but eating something that they can not have right in front of them is awful. To top it all off, she even offered me the pizza. I remained calm during the whole thing, but shortly after lunch my kids were getting tired and had asked to leave. I was more than happy to oblige.
While I did take the time to explain my frustrations to her, I still can not help but to be upset to this day. Please do not take medical issues, especially those revolving around kids, lightly. It is hard enough for the kids to feel like they fit in, try not to make it any harder.
Where can gluten hide?
Recently, I posted about the strangest places that we have found gluten since living gluten free, and realized that there are a lot of places that people may not think about to check. Here is a quick list of where to find it and how to avoid cross contamination at home.
First, is to obviously remove all your basic food products that contain gluten. This will typically be your cereals, oatmeals, pastas, bread and bread based products. But, also make sure that any opened spread you have, peanut butter, jelly, jams, sauces or butter, that have been touched by a knife that has been put to bread get tossed. There is no telling whether or not these spreads are safe since bread particles could have been transferred over. This goes for cream cheese as well. When in doubt, throw it out! Your health is much more important that trying to salvage something.
Check your appliances! Toasters and toaster ovens will never be clean enough to use safely again. REplace them for peace of mind. Also, check your pots and pans. If there are scratches on your pots or pans that have previously contained gluten items, get rid of those too. There is no way to be sure that you have cleaned every tiny crevice well enough that gluten is not hiding in there.
Cleaning supplies! This can be tricky, because many times, companies do not list their ingredients completely on the labels. You will need to check your cleaning chemicals, detergents, dish soap, dishwasher soap and anything else you use. If the product does not specify, call the company and find out. Or, you can go with more specialized gluten free or all natural companies instead of conventional ones. Just remember, routinely check your products because companies can change their formulas at any time.
Now it is time to check those bathroom products! Make up, sunscreens, lotions, perfumes, deodorants, body sprays, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, self tanners, tanning lotions, hair dyes, even bug sprays. Check all of these things, and be diligent in keeping up with any manufacturing changes. They happen a lot in this area.
And probably one of the worst places gluten can hide, in is your medications and supplements. Check all your OTC medications, everything from pain medicine, to allergy medicine, to cough syrup. Usually medications that are safe will say gluten free on the label. Check supplements too, especially kid vitamins. If you are on prescription medications, be sure to ask your doctor about the gluten content of your medications. Often, if there is, your doctor can set you up on a different course of treatment to avoid it. Just be careful about asking pharmacists, in my experience they often are not as well versed in medication contents and gluten. Obviously, this does not mean that there aren’t some that do know, but in my experiences, I have often found that I am more well versed in the topic than they tend to be.
One more area…pet foods! Depending on your level of sensitivity, it may be best for you to feed your pet gluten free as well. I have heard of people having reactions from pets who eat gluten. Often times it winds up being s skin reaction once the pet has licked the affected person. This is not something that effects us directly. But this is something that you will want to think about depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Hope this helps, please let me know if there are any places that I may have missed!
Lizzie”s Wordless Wednesday
My princess always has to match what I do, and I love it…I would NOT ask for it any other way…. But that does come with its own set of drawbacks. This picture shoes why it is so critically important for me to follow a gluten free diet, even though gluten is not an issue for me. As parents, we lead by example, and in my case, I have my fantastic little copycats watching my every move. They are my reasons for living, my everything, and I owe it to them to provide the right kind of example to follow. Me cheating and adding gluten only cheats the people I hold dearest to my heart.
Gluten Free Auntie Annes Copy Cat Recipe
I noticed earlier today on our twitter feed that someone had said they would LOVE to have an Auntie Anne pretzel, but couldn’t because they are now gluten free. This got me thinking and so I scoured a million and a half pages of copy cat recipes. I finally came across this one and made them earlier today and I LOVED them. So I had to share. This was on a fellow blog… click here for the recipe. Hope you enjoy!
Treating Kids While Remaining GF
As we are nearing the end of March, one would hope that the cold and flu season, and the heavy sickness period in general, should be coming to an end. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case in a lot of the households that I have spoken with. My guess is that it has something to do with how cold it still is….the longer you are in doors, the more likely you are to get sick. (By the way, that whole first day of Spring thing?? Yup, high of 25 here that day… thank you Spring)
So, thinking about that , I wanted to touch on an area of issue with those who lead a gluten free lifestyle that many people may not realize can be a potential problem. And that, friends, is the issue of how to medicate a gluten free child (or adult for that matter). What many people do not realize is that gluten can and IS found in many medications, including those specified for children. And, here is the biggest problem…there is NO standard for including gluten on the ingredient list of medications, especially if those medications happen to be prescription.
So, what are some of the best ways to deal with this situation?
One of the main things that we do to keep safe, is try and avoid medication if at all possible. I am a strong believer in holistic and natural ways to treat problems. This is something that I could go on and on about, but that is a different topic for a different post. All I will say though, is if you plan on taking this route, educate yourself! Use the help of a naturopath or some other expert. This is not something you want to do alone. In our case, we happen to have a naturopath/chiropractor, and he is just as involved in our lives as we are. ( For those of you that are looking for someone in your area, contact me and I can help you with referrals)
The other thing you have to do, as with ANYTHING, is do your research. Luckily, many companies are marking whether or not their OTC products are gluten free on their packaging. However, you MUST check every single time. Please do not assume that just because a medication, or any product, was gluten free the last time you purchased it, that it still will be this time. Manufacturers have a habit of changing their recipes and ingredients from time to time, and from batch to batch. A safe product does not always remain a safe product. Glutenfreedrugs.com is a great resource for up to date information on what is safe and what is not as well. If there is any doubt do not hesitate to ask the pharmacist. Sometimes they are not always sure, but more than once I have been pleasantly surprised.
I hope that this has helped. This was one of those little things that I did not even think about when we were doing our transition to gluten free. As always, please let me know if there are any questions or if there is anything I can do to help you in your transition.
**Please remember that I am not a medical doctor and information contained in my posts are for educational purposes only. If there is ever a medical issue please contact your doctor or naturopath**
Wallace Farms – my first review AND giveaway!
I am so excited to being doing my first product review and giveaway for my blog! First of all, thank you WALLACE FARMS for supporting my new allergy blog, and for providing me with my first review and giveaway!
Wallace Farms (www.wallacefarms.com) is a family owned and operated farm located in Keystone, Iowa. Their mission is to bring superior grass-fed beef and other naturally raised meats and wild fish to all of their customers and their families. Wallace Farms is a worry-free alternative to food that is raised and processed in a factory-like setting. What are the advantages of grass-fed beef, you ask? Grass-fed Beef has low saturated fat levels (similar to the levels found in lean chicken breasts), high in “good fat” omega-3’s (also commonly found in certain fish, such as salmon and tuna), contains high doses of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)(thought by many to be a cancer fighter), there is a reduced exposure to E. coli bacteria, and is an agricultural process that is ecologically friendly.
It is common practice for cattle to be fed growth hormones and Genetically Modified Corn. I have even found information on the internet saying that cows are being fed candy and/or cookies to battle the rising corn prices. This is food we eat, and they wonder why allergies, autism, and obesity is on the rise??
Wallace Farms allows you to shop online, and then pick up at several Illinois and Iowa locations. Once your order is placed online, within a few days an invoice will be emailed to you. You can choose to pay it online, or you can pay at the time of pick up. There are only certain dates and times you can pick up your items, but they have a wonderful service that will send you an email reminder about your pick up! I picked up at the Naperville location, and was greeted by Lisa Wallace. I am not sure about their other locations, but you can pre-order online, or you can walk-in and shop during their pick up times. No order is necessary to go in and shop and browse all their products. They have several freezers there with everything from hot dogs to salmon to ham. Today they had cage free eggs too – not sure if these are available all the time or not. The place is SUPER kid friendly. They have a small room with a slide for children to play in. They also have coloring pages, tattoos, and pencils for the kids.
The product I am reviewing today is Nick’s Sticks (www.nicks-sticks.com) for Wallace Farms . They contain NO antibiotics, NO hormones, NO msg, NO red dye, are Gluten Free, and shelf stable. After we picked up our items at Wallace Farms, my youngest daughter Bubbles said she was hungry. I opened the packages of the Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks and instantly they smelled so good. I could not wait to try them. I split one of the sticks with Bubbles. She said it was “soo yummy”, and I agree! Normally snack sticks are greasy or are too spicy, but these were perfect. Very flavorful, with just the right spices added to make them so very yummy! Then we tried the Free-Range Turkey Snack Sticks and those were just as good. I asked Bubbles which one she liked better, and she said she liked them both very much. I was in the same boat, and loved both the turkey and the beef just the same. As I am sitting here typing this, Bubbles said, “I really wish I could have more of these.” so I gave her another stick. I think they are a favorite for her! When my older daughter, Bean, got home, I let her try them too. She said, “I don’t like these.” I was shocked and surprised. Then she yelled, “I don’t like them, because I love them!!” These are such a great product – an easy, healthy snack that you feel good about eating and giving your children. Plus you can take them along anywhere. The packaging is sealed so well, that you can throw them in your purse, without worry that your purse will end up smelling like meat snack sticks or that they will accidentally open. Having two kids who seem to always be hungry for a snack, I am thrilled about this product! They are portable, good for you, a great source of protein, convenient, and a non-messy snack that can be eaten anywhere!! They are great before workouts, sports practice, or a snack any time of day! Best of all, they are ALLERGEN FREE! I love these so much, I am taking two of the four packages that I was given, and would like to do a giveaway so someone else can try them and fall in love with these too! One lucky winner will receive a package of Free-Range Turkey Snack Sticks, and a package of Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks. These can be ordered online at http://www.nicks-sticks.com (nationwide shipping!) or through Wallace Farms (www.wallacefarms.com) website.
GIVEAWAY LINK: Please click here and follow instructions on my Facebook page!
Giveaway is open to the continental USA and ends on February 28, 2013. Winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries by Rafflecopter. I will contact the winner by email.
No purchase necessary to enter or win. Odds of winning are not increased by a purchase.
All opinions given are my own, and all information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.