Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Books Available from Our Lending Library

Thanks to another generous FAAN grant, our support group's lending library is expanding again. Here are the titles that we just added:

- The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book, by Kelly Rudnicki. Kelly is a well-known blogger and author. Her blog, Food Allergy Mama, was created 4 years ago and has become widely popular in the food allergy community. Her first cookbook includes mouth-watering recipes that are nut-, dairy-, and egg-free, as well as tips for reading labels, tips for birthday parties, baking hints, and many other useful ideas for safely baking with food allergies.

- Understanding and Managing Your Child's Food Allergies, by Scott Sicherer, MD. Dr Sicherer is the Chief of the Division on Allergy and Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. He is also a clinical researcher, focusing on various food allergy topics. The book reflects his vast knowledge and experience with food allergies, and it offers parents and caregivers all the tools they need in recognizing and managing allergic reactions, avoiding food allergens, dealing with the emotional aspects of food allergies, and so much more.

- Food Allergies and Me, by Juniper Skinner, is a children's book that introduces young children to the world of food allergies. Written by a mother of an allergic child, the book uses a simple story to teach children about safety, integration, and self-advocacy.

- The School Food Allergy Program, by Anne Munoz-Furlong, is a comprehensive manual published by FAAN that offers school personnel all the information they need to have in order to devise a safe environment for food allergic children.

For a complete list of resources available in our library, please check out our website. Remember, all materials can be checked out and returned at our monthly group meetings. Meetings are held every second Saturday at the month. For details, last minute changes, or cancellation, please go to our Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

EpiPen4Schools Program Offers Free Auto-Injectors to Qualifying Schools

If your child is going back to school this month, you will be pleased to find out that Bioridge Pharma, a subdivision of Mylan Specialty, is offering up to four EpiPen auto-injectors to qualifying schools. Check with the principal and the school nurse to see if your child's school qualifies.
In addition to the free EpiPens, schools can also purchase discounted auto-injectors, priced at $112.10 per carton (which includes two EpiPens).
More details about the EpiPen4Schools program can be found here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Just in time for your 4th of July celebration, here is an easy, fail-proof recipe for crowd-pleasing cupcakes. The recipe is free of 7 of the top 8 allergens. If you cannot have wheat, feel free to substitute the flour for a gluten-free mix like this one, from Cybele Pascal and Whole Living.

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life)
- 1/2 craisins, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Whisk together the rice milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Don't worry if after 5-10 minutes you see no curdles - it will turn out just fine.
3. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and orange extract, to the rice milk mixture and beat until foamy.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain. Add the chocolate chips.
5. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes (closer to 10 minutes if making mini-cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.


Recipe adapted from: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero  

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Delta Airlines Has A Revised Peanut Allergy Policy

Great news for travelers with severe peanut allergies! As of June 1, 2012, Delta Airlines has a new, more accommodating peanut allergy policy.
Here is what the new policy states:

When you notify us that you have a peanut allergy, we'll create a buffer zone of three rows in front of and three rows behind your seat. Effective on flights operating June 1, 2012 and beyond, when you notify us that you have a peanut allergy, we’ll refrain from serving peanuts and peanut products onboard your flight. We'll also advise cabin service to board additional non-peanut snacks, which will allow our flight attendants to serve these snack items to everyone within this area.
 Gate agents will be notified in case you'd like to pre-board and cleanse the immediate seating area. We'll do everything we can, but unfortunately we still can't guarantee that the flight will be completely peanut-free.

It is encouraging to see that airlines are making progress in understanding food allergies and that they are doing their best to keep ALL of their passengers safe.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Food Allergy Awareness Week 2012

Thanks to generous sponsors and dedicated support group members, we are giving away 40 bags full of food allergy resources and food samples to newly diagnosed patients with food allergies. 

We are grateful for the support of: Mylan Specialty, So Delicious, Enjoy Life Foods, Allerbling, I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, Ener-G Foods, no nuttin, Private Jet MD, NIH&NIAID, and Activeaide

A big THANK YOU to both our sponsors and our volunteers!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Because We Love Someone With Food Allergies. Food Allergy Awareness Week: May 13-19

In the past month, our support group has been working on a project that will benefit newly diagnosed food allergy patients and their families. We've been putting together an information package that will provide new patients with various resources meant to ease their transition into a lifestyle that can be quite overwhelming, as we, food allergy veterans, know all too well. The packages will be distributed to Billings allergists' offices during Food Allergy Awareness Week.

If you would like to get involved in raising awareness, here are some ideas of things YOU can do next week:

Because you love someone with food allergies...
...write a letter to your elected officials asking them to support the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, if you haven't done so already. There are only 26 Senators and 49 Representatives co-sponsoring the bill at this time. We are happy to mention that Senator Tester and Representative Rehberg are among the sponsors!

Because you love someone with food allergies... 
...write your personal story, attach it to FAAN's press release, and send it to the local media outlets.

Because you love someone with food allergies... 
...give a presentation at your child's school or at your workplace.

Because you love someone with food allergies... 
...read food allergy-related children's books to your child's classmates and friends.

Because you love someone with food allergies... 
...hang up a poster, if you have the space. Posters are available on the FAAN website.

Because you love someone with food allergies...
...remember to thank all those that help take care of your child: family, teachers, babysitters, medical staff.

Because you love someone with food allergies... 
...host a dinner demonstration for family and friends and teach them how to cook allergy-friendly and allergy-safe.

Because you love someone with food allergies... 
...remember to set aside some time to spend with your child!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Senator Jon Tester Will Co-sponsor The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act

Wonderful news from Washington, D.C. today! Montana Senator Jon Tester decided to co-sponsor the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. As you might recall, the bill was introduced in the Senate last November and in the House one month later, but so far only 26 Senators and 41 Representatives pledged their support.

If you haven't done so already, please consider writing Senator Baucus and Representative Rehberg and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. If you need a template letter, it is available here. It only takes a few minutes to customize it, print it, and mail it. After you mail or fax your letters, please send electronic copies to FAAN's D.C. lobbyist, Lynn Morrison. Her office will make sure that your letters are brought to the attention of senior Congressional staff.

Please do this in memory of Katelyn Carlson, Ammaria Johnson, and all the other children whose deaths could have been prevented if epinephrine had been available at their schools.

Update: Representative Denny Rehberg became a co-sponsor on May 8. Thank you, Mr. Rehberg!

Friday, March 2, 2012

AAAAI's Annual Meeting

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) is  currently in progress in Orlando, Florida.

Just like last year, Sakina Bajowala, MD, aka The Allergist Mommy (an allergist, pediatrician, and mother of allergic children), is keeping us all updated via Twitter.  You can follow her tweets here.
For more tweets from other participants, type #AAAAI in the Twitter search window or simply follow this link.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Library Update: "The Princess and the Peanut" and "The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten&Lactose"

We have recently added two titles to our lending library.

"The Princess and the Peanut", by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, is a charming children's book inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's classic, "The Princess and the Pea". The main difference is that, instead of merely getting a poor night's sleep, the princess has to deal with, you guessed it, an allergic reaction. When that happens, the entire royal court has to learn how to read labels and eliminate every peanut product in the castle.The book is a wonderful tool to teach little ones about symptoms of an allergic reaction and ways to prevent it.

"The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten&Lactose"  is a new cookbook by Barbara Kafka, award-wining author, food journalist, and consultant. The book has 300 recipes for all tastes and all levels of cooking skills, ranging from hot quinoa for breakfast to duck stew with black figs, from spring vegetables with pasta to Moroccan lamb stew. There are also chapters describing various cooking techniques, suggesting a pantry list, and teaching how to cook safe starches, basic sauces, purees, and bases.

Both books will be available for review at the next support group meeting.

We thank the authors for kindly  providing us with a copy.