November 21, 2011

Pop Century (Dining at Walt Disney World)

Posted in Disney World, Food Allergy, Restaurants, Traveling tagged , , , , at 9:00 am by 1ElleofaWoman

Mickey Waffles are available for breakfast all around Disney.

This year, prior to my family’s fourth annual trip to Walt Disney World, I got an idea from Dad. Not my dad, but Dad of Dad’s Guide to WDW. He asked for pictures of food/meals from Disney Parks so he could post them on his site. I thought that would be a good idea for my blog. Since I have already posted several times about Disney, I thought this year I would get more specific and give everyone a visual on what they can expect at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. ****

Fruit is a snack option throughout Walt Disney World.

Fruit is a snack option throughout Walt Disney World.

Disney is the place where dreams come true and there are many reasons everyone likes Disney. Dad’s site has a lot of information about what makes Disney a magical vacation. What also makes it great for me and others dealing with food allergies is the relatively stress-free dining. The chefs are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and they “get it.” The staff (aka cast members) around Disney World is very helpful as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 14, 2011

Sniffing for an answer

Posted in Food Allergy tagged at 5:59 pm by 1ElleofaWoman

It’s been a long while since I have posted. Recently, I have been urging myself to work on the blog, but I couldn’t think of what to write.  Then I read an article about a $20,000 allergy-sniffing dog which tells the story of a five-year-old girl with food allergies who now has a service dog. That got me motivated.

Allergy-sniffing dogs are said to be able to detect small amounts of an allergen and allow those with allergies to be confident that what they eat or what they touch is safe.  A friend of mine has wondered if these dogs work. As far as I know, there are no scientific studies regarding the use of allergy dogs. I am a big dog lover, however, and have spent lots of time watching Dogs 101  learning about the feats dogs are capable of, so I will give the canines the benefit of the doubt.

But assuming Fido can detect allergens, a question still remains: Are they necessary? Read the rest of this entry »

January 10, 2011

What is cross contamination?

Posted in Cross Contamination, Food Allergy tagged at 8:05 pm by 1ElleofaWoman

Cross contamination is generally defined as the transfer of harmful bacteria from one food to another.  In the allergy world, it is the transfer of an allergen to an otherwise allergen-free food, which, while not harmful to the average person, can be deadly to a person with allergies. It is something that most people don’t consider. Read the rest of this entry »

January 7, 2011

Sad News. . .

Posted in Food Allergy, Restaurants, Schools tagged , , at 4:07 pm by 1ElleofaWoman

Just before Christmas I heard some sad news.  A thirteen-year old girl name Katelyn died from anaphylaxis — which is a severe allergic reaction — after eating Chinese food during a party at her Chicago school.  Katelyn was reportedly allergic to peanuts. The reason this made headlines is because it is a rare occurrence.  But for those whose children suffer from food allergies, the story is still chilling because the possibility of a fatal allergic reaction exists for anyone with a severe food allergy. Studies indicate that food allergy reactions lead to approximately 200,000 emergency room visits each year, including an estimated 90,000 visits for anaphylaxis.

Often the critical difference between life and death depends on how quickly treatment is given. The biggest weapons we have to protect our children are education and vigilance.

Read the rest of this entry »

June 19, 2010

The Blame Game

Posted in Food Allergy, Schools tagged , at 9:16 am by 1ElleofaWoman

One of the worst things about being the parent of a child with food allergies is that you have to watch your child feel left out.  In the beginning, Jess didn’t really notice she was getting something different.  But then she began to notice and it began bothering her.  At birthday parties, she looks longingly at cakes hoping to get a piece even though she could almost never have it.

So you try your best to do everything to keep your child included, which becomes a delicate balancing act.  Read the rest of this entry »

May 24, 2010

Letting Go

Posted in Food Allergy tagged , , at 9:43 pm by 1ElleofaWoman

Over the course of the seven years I have dealt with food allergies, one of the best pieces of advice I have heard is from Ginny, the founder of my support group: “Remember, it is your child’s allergy, not yours.”

It’s also one of the hardest to follow. Read the rest of this entry »

May 18, 2010

Where Dreams Come True for Kids with Food Allergies

Posted in Buffet, Disney World, Food Allergy, Restaurants, Traveling tagged , , , , , , at 4:10 pm by 1ElleofaWoman

Walt Disney World is a magical place. The best thing about Disney? Stress-free dining.

I have found the chefs and staff at Disney to be very allergy aware.

My husband John, daughter Jessica (who is allergic to peanuts and other legumes) and I first visited Orlando  as a family in November 2008, Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a ‘Loolu’ of a Pizza

Posted in Cross Contamination, Food Allergy, Restaurants tagged , , , at 5:01 am by 1ElleofaWoman

Peanut allergies and pizza – It’s a ‘Loolu’

One day last year, Jess & I went to the movies with my friends and her kids. Afterwards we went to Pizza Loolu, a pizzeria that was in my located in my town in a strip mall that has a high turnover rate.  That location once had a Mexican restaurant, and Pizza Loolu has now been replaced by a Greek restaurant.  But the experience is still worth writing about.

At the time, none of us had eaten there. We ordered a pie and sodas and since Anna paid for the movies, I paid for lunch while she and the kids found a table. After I paid, I realized that I hadn’t asked if they used any peanut oil or peanut butter in the pizza.

I’ve read in a FAAN newsletter that some people put peanut butter in tomato sauce, but I always wondered if that is a regional thing; no restaurateur I have spoken to in New York, New Jersey or even at Disney World has even heard of such a thing. Some chefs seemed insulted when asked. Then, to Jessica’s great disappointment, Pizza Hut changed its sauce which was listed as “may contain peanuts” so we no longer eat there. (But its April 2010 allergen guide doesn’t have the may contain.  I wonder if it is safe again?)

“We don’t use peanut oil but,” the person behind the counter at Pizza Loolu said. He then hemmed and hawed, which is a bad sign, so before he said they had peanut butter pizza on their dessert menu and she should stay away from the dessert bar, I knew I wouldn’t let Jess eat there. Read the rest of this entry »

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