Sunday, May 24, 2009

Free Asthma Storybook for Children

Follow this link to receive a free asthma storybook for elementary age children from Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) and Schering-Plough!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sof'ella Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

What's not to love about chocolate cake? Unless you're on a gluten-free diet, in which case most cake mixes leave quite a bit to be desired as far as taste and texture go. Last night I had the opportunity to try a gluten-free chocolate cake and frosting from Sof'ella Gourmet Natural Foods. In one word...Delicious! And I'm not even on a gluten-free diet! The cake was extremely moist and decadent with a creamy chocolate frosting. And the best part was no gritty aftertaste like I've noticed with other gluten-free cakes. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I even went back for a second slice and was tempted to take the entire cake home with me! Who knew gluten-free could taste so good!

Check this website for a store near you that carries Sof'ella products.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Childrens Food Allergy Book - Give Away

There are some children s food allergy books that I like. Cody the Allergic Cow is a great story for a dairy allergic child, the Peanut Butter Jam is a nice book for school age kids with a peanut allergy. However this is the first book I have come across that talks about all 8 of the top allergens.

Amy Recob is a local author who wrote this book for her daughter who has food allergies. I stopped by her book signing last weekend and picked up the book.

Since I am such a fan of Amy and the Bugabees I am going to do a small giveaway.


I will give a FREE book to the 20th person to comment about this post. Please encourage your bloggy friends to check out this blog!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Press Release

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Announces New Food Allergy Initiative Advocacy Steering Committee
Two Madison parents join forces with other leading advocates from across the country to advocate for more research funding to find a cure

WASHINGTON, DC – Today as we continue to mark Food Allergy Awareness Week, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., member of the Board of Directors of the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), announced the formation of FAI’s Advocacy Steering Committee. The committee’s objectives are to help build a strong nationwide presence for the food allergy community in the public policy arena; and to actively seek to increase federal funding of food allergy research, as scientists believe that with proper funding, a cure can be found in less than a decade.

Meg Goss and Sheree Godwin of Madison, members of the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin, have joined the committee of 16 leading parent advocates nationwide who confront the daily dangers of raising children with severe food allergies.

“FAI is tremendously honored and grateful to have such an esteemed group of parents who are willing to join our effort to find a cure,” said Kennedy. “These parents are proven advocates and support group leaders in their local communities. We are thrilled to add their energy and expertise to our advocacy program.”

Steering committee members include:
  • Gina Clowes, Chair – AllergyMoms; Cranberry Township, PA
  • Meg Goss & Sheree Godwin – Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin; Madison, WI

  • Rhonda Riggott Stevens – Education & Advocacy Solutions; Durham, CT
  • Denise Bunning – Mothers of Children Having Allergies; Lake Forest, IL
  • Nicole Smith – Allergic Child; Colorado Springs, CO
  • Sue Wagner & Carol D'Agnese – San Diego Food Allergy; San Diego, CA
  • Debbie Hogan -- Parents of Children with Food Allergies; Tampa, FL
  • Maria Acebal – Safe at School Partners, Bethesda, MD
  • Nona Narvaez – Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota; St. Paul, MN
  • Chris Hardy – Parents of Allergic Kids; Charlotte, NC
  • Barbara Calluori – Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Coalition of New Jersey; Nutley, NJ
  • Sari Canell – Food Allergy Educational Alliance; Scarsdale, NY
  • MaryKay Hill – Vermont Food Allergy Organization; Shelburne, VT
  • Sally Porter -- Food Allergy Initiative Northwest; Sammamish, WA

“I am very pleased to take part in FAI’s new steering committee,” said Committee Chair Gina Clowes. “For 11 years FAI has led the way in funding research to find a cure to this life-threatening disease. Nothing is more important to me and millions of other parents who wish they could take their children to restaurants, birthday parties and school cafeterias without living in constant fear of exposure to potentially deadly allergens like peanuts,tree nuts, milk, eggs and wheat.”

“My fellow committee members are the best and brightest advocates from all over the country,” Clowes continued. “Every day they are out in their communities making a difference for families with food allergies. As a group, we will devote their attention, resources and expertise toward making sure the federal government is on the leading edge to find a cure.”

About Food Allergies

There are no medications to cure or control food allergies. A strict diet and avoidance of the allergenic food is the only way to avoid a reaction, yet the most common allergens – peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy – are staples of the food supply and virtually impossible to avoid completely. Accidental exposure to even a minuscule amount of the offending food can cause an allergic individual to react within seconds, often leading to life-threatening anaphylaxis that causes throat swelling, a dramatic drop in blood pressure, vomiting and even death within a matter of minutes. Although researchers estimate that food allergies cause tens of thousands of emergency room visits each year, they do not understand why rates are increasing so alarmingly, particularly among children. As the CDC report indicated, in a recent five-year period, the rates of peanut allergies among children literally doubled, and allergies to other foods are similarly increasing.

About the Food Allergy Initiative

The Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that funds research seeking a cure for food allergies. It was founded in 1998 by concerned parents and grandparents to support: basic and clinical research worldwide; better public policies to make the world safer for those afflicted; and educational programs to make the hospitality industry, schools, day care centers, and camps safer. FAI is the largest private source of funding for food allergy research in the United States, contributing more than $60 million toward the fulfillment of its mission. For more information, visit, call 212-207-1974, or e-mail

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

May 11 - 15 is Food Allergy Awareness Week.

We have received a proclamation from the Governor of Wisconsin recognizing Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Other celebrations during National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month include:
World Asthma DayMay 5
Food Allergy Awareness WeekMay 11-15
National School Nurse DayMay 6

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Top 10 List

In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, food allergy author Linda Coss has released her list of the top 10 things that parents of children with life-threatening food allergies want:

#10: Delicious and Easy Recipes - For those who must eliminate multiple and/or common ingredients, cooking can be an enormous challenge.

#9: To Be Able to Easily Dine Out - We understand that it is not easy to prepare allergen-free food in the typical busy restaurant kitchen. But it would be nice if we could easily get correct answers regarding what's in the food.

#8: Nut-Free Flights - Airlines cannot control the food brought on board a flight by their passengers, but why must they serve little bags of peanuts? How about crackers, pretzels, raisins, licorice, tortilla chips, or just about any other popular snack food?

#7: Empowered EMTs - In many parts of the country emergency medical technicians do not carry - and are forbidden from administering - potentially life-saving shots of epinephrine. This is ridiculous.

#6: Appropriate ER Protocols - Because up to 40-50% of severe reactions are biphasic, those who go to the hospital for treatment should always be kept under observation for at least 5 hours. Unfortunately many emergency rooms discharge these patients as soon as they first stabilize.

#5: Understanding - We want the people in our lives to understand that we are not a bunch of paranoid hysterical oddballs who are making all of this up for the purpose of calling attention to ourselves and our children. Life-threatening food allergies are a very real condition. And yes, we really do have to take a lot of precautions to keep our kids safe.

#4: Knowledge - Currently the only treatment for life-threatening food allergies is complete avoidance of the offending allergens. Since food, and food residue, is everywhere, parents want to know exactly how to accomplish this seemingly impossible task. What steps do they need to take? What hidden dangers do they need to avoid?

#3: Clear Labels on Packaged Food Products - If there is a chance that a product may contain an allergen that is not included in the ingredient label, the package should say so. But if not, companies should not put "may contain" verbiage on the package.

#2: Safe School Environments - Our kids are not learning disabled and do not need "special education." But they do need a school environment that is not covered with allergenic food residue, and teachers who are prepared to recognize and treat an allergic reaction.

#1: A Cure - Most of all, we want a cure. A real cure - the type of cure that would result in our children being able to eat whatever they wanted to eat, without any risk of an adverse reaction.

Ms. Coss is the author of "How to Manage Your Child's Life-Threatening Food Allergies," as well as two popular food allergy cookbooks, "What's to Eat?" and "What Else is to Eat?" - both of which provide recipes for cooking without dairy, egg, peanut or tree nut ingredients. All three books are available at, at, and at various retailers nationwide.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Flourishing with Food Allergies

I was recently honored to read a new book out on the market A. Anderson’s new book, Flourishing with Food Allergies. I loved the fact that it covers more then one families story about how they learned they had allergies and how they started to cope with it. It also covers other diseases or problems that sometimes go hand in hand with food allergies. Such as asthma, and Autism. Anyone who has a family member with food allergies should take the time to sit down and read this book. A must have for your food allergy library.

A Anderson's new book, Flourishing with Food Allergies, helps families with food-allergic children in a totally unique way—by not just sharing a single parent’s or doctor’s perspective—but detailing twenty-two testimonials of mothers, fathers, pediatricians and an allergist, naturopath and psychotherapist, along with thorough research on the latest research, theories and findings. The book has been called “a support group in a book.

You can read more about the book at

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bleach Baths for Eczema Treatment

Recently a study was done looking at the role of bleach baths in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema). Click HERE to view the entire article.

"The treated group had improvements in several eczema scores compared to the untreated group, with improvements only seen in the body (submerged in the bleach baths) and not the head and neck. For example, compared to baseline, after three months the treated group had on average 24% less of their body affected by rash compared to a 3% improvement in the placebo group."

When my son was younger his eczema was so out of control that his entire body was red, scaly and constantly itchy. Both our allergist and dermatologist suggested adding bleach to his bath water twice a week to try to help kill the bacteria on the skin to reduce the chance of infection. Also, swimming in a chlorinated pool weekly was recommended. At first the thought of adding bleach to my little guy's bath water seemed like it would be torture on his already extremely sensitive skin, but actually we found it to be quite soothing for him. Luckily his eczema is under much better control now, but next time an eczema flare rears it's ugly head we definitely won't hesitate to pull the bleach out again!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bugabees Book

A member in our support group has written a children s book about food allergies. I have seen the story and think it is a great story to read to children to teach them that just because you can not have a certain food, that does not mean you can not have a fun filled day.

Books are available for purchase online at and also online through all major booksellers.

Retail stores in the area:

Oompa Toys in Middleton
Book signing event with free giveaways on Saturday, May 9th from 2 to 4 PM

Barnes & Noble West in Madison
Book signing event with free giveaways on Saturday, May 16th from 10 AM to Noon