Thursday, January 29, 2009

Food Allergy Cards

I create my own food allergy cards that I take with me to restaurants and when I travel. They state what I am allergic to and that I will need medical attention if I ingest any of the allergens listed on the card. I like to make my own using fun colors for borders but not everyone wants to deal with creating and printing their own cards. Take heart because there are options to make it easier to obtain a custom card.

One website allows you to order allergy cards in many different languages and they are perfect when you are traveling to foreign countries. Anything that can make travel easier and safer makes my list of things to carry. You can check out their website at: . Another site is where you can create your own card for free. Also, has food allergy cards for one specific food per card that are water resistant.

Here's to safe traveling!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Looks do Matter !

When I was first diagnosed with food allergies, I found that almost all of the products that were safe for me did not taste good but were also in bland sad packaging. I was determined to make Cherrybrook Kitchen's packaging colorful and fun. I wanted to create a happy experience for those with special diets from the moment they saw our product on the shelf until they licked the last crumbs off their lips.

I believe that when kids/adults bring their own food to an event that presentation does matter. I try to collect fun tupperware containers, silverware and a cute bag to carry it all in. I put in colorful napkins and try and make the food as appealing to the eye as possible. This lifts my spirits and makes my meal or snack a complete experience.

In a more formal dinner or family event I usually plate my food on the plates everyone will be served on well before hand. Then I wrap the plate in saran wrap and place it in a safe place until it needs to be heated.

We all are so worried about the ingredients in our food but remember to have fun with how your food is packaged. You deserve it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some Top Picks In My Kitchen

Here is a list of a few of my favorite items I have in my kitchen. Please check with the manufacturers to make sure the items are safe for your allergy needs and also cross contamination sensitivities.

Here are a few items that are dairy, egg, tree nut and peanut free in my kitchen right now:

Earths Balance natural buttery spread
Silk Chocolate Soy Milk (especially the individual sizes)
Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce
Pringles mini individual sizes
Emilee's Italian Ice
Popsicle (orange cherry grape flavors)
Barnums Animal Crackers
Soy Vay Veri Veri Teryaki (great marinade)
Annie Chuns Rice Express Sticky Rice Bowl
and of course:

Note: I loooove Chocolate Emporium Chocolates. They are dairy free and have some egg free selections. However, they do make peanut products (I do not have a peanut allergy). I order every couple of months from them online Check them out to see if they will work for your family.

I would love to hear what are some of your favorite food products that you keep in your kitchen!
Patsy :-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

They Said What?

I am back from vacation and excited about the New Year and new adventures. I have had the chance to eat out a couple of times over vacation and we all know how difficult that can be. I am often faced with questions and statements that are mind boggling. I thought I would post a few of the ones that I have heard form waiters/waitresses after I have explained my allergies thouroughly and have given them my allergy card.

1. Hey I am lactose intolerant also!

2. Oh they put butter/ cheese on it? Here let me scrape it off.

3. You don't have to worry about your allergies your pasta becuase there is only a little bit of butter and cheese.

4. Here you go (placing the dish in front of me covered in butter) you are all set, we used clarified butter so there would be no dairy allergens.

5. Are you trying to lose weight?

Then there is always the sighing or eye rolling which is always such a treat to deal with. We can all try to make our outings as safe and easy as we can but we are often up against uniformed wait staff. I always travel with some snacks in my bag and I have opted out of dinner and had a fruit plate because I just did not feel comfortable.

Now I have had some great experiences at restaurants and I am always very thankful and a repeat customer. But for those of you who have had to deal with any of the comments above or have a few new ones from your own expriences, it does feel good to vent to those who understand!

Here is to a New Year and increasing awareness and education about food allergies.
Patsy :-)