Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Annual Community Conference: Are You Going?

Did you know that today is the start of World Allergy Week…April 7-13 2014?

The World Allergy Organization’s focus this week is for people to join them in their mission to ” increase awareness of Anaphylaxis – When Allergies Can Be Severe And Fatal.”

Did you also know that May is Food Allergy Awareness Month?

Perfect timing…there is a School Council Meeting tomorrow night.

At the School Council Meeting, I am planning to speak about Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Community Conference at the Delta Hotel in Markham, Ontario on May 10th, 2014.  Click here for more information on this fantastic event.

I am so excited to be attending this year…my first time! Hard to believe, but for some reason or other, I have had previous engagements that have prevented me from attending…this year I am free!

Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Community Conference is a full day conference divided into half-day sessions. “Patients, families, educators, healthcare professionals and other members of the community interested in learning about food allergy and anaphylaxis management” are all welcome.

What a great opportunity!

The morning session will consist of workshops for parents (Partnering and Planning With Your School-An Interactive Workshop For Parents) and youth, ages 13-21 (Teens Talk Allergies).

The afternoon session is open to all members of the community.

Afternoon program will include:

- Anaphylaxis Canada Update, Beatrice Povolo, Anaphylaxis Canada
Food For Thought: A buffet of truths and myths about food allergy, Dr. Adelle Adkinson, MD, FRCP
- Anxiety Alert! Understanding Anxiety in Kids With Allergies, Dr. Suneeta Monga, MD, FRCPC
- When Food Is A Weapon-Food Allergy Bullying, Kyle Dine & Youth Advisory Panel Members
- Panel Discussion: When things go wrong with food labelling, Speakers TBD -Evaluation & Wrap Up, Laura Harada, Anaphylaxis Canada

Click here for more information regarding the afternoon session.

In the morning session, I am hoping to ask some questions about students with food allergies planning on a post-secondary education.

As my eldest son, Michael with food allergies to dairy, egg, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nut, sesame, mustard and raspberries is in the process of choosing one out of three universities to attend in the fall of 2014…I am looking for some guidance.

Questions:

1)  Tips on choosing a food allergy aware university.
2)   What type of residence is recommended for a student with multiple food allergies where cross-contamination in the cafeteria limits food options? (All students in residence must obtain a meal plan)
3)  Do universities pair students with food allergies together?
4)  Will a letter from an allergist influence the type of residence a student with food allergies is assigned?

Where else can you go to talk food allergies without those around you cringing, second guessing you and/or turning a deaf ear?

As they say, ‘raising a child takes a village’.  Attending a conference such as Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Annual Community Conference provides parents and youth with the tools to navigate and educate the ‘village’ in which we are raising our child/children with food allergies to be the best that they can be.

How awesome is that!

Are you going?

What questions will/would you ask?

 

Tips For Parents And Students Who Are Contemplating Attending A Canadian University With Food Allergies

As you may know, my eldest son, Michael, is heading off to university in the fall of 2014.  The transition from high school to university is daunting for any parent, let alone a parent whose child has multiple food allergies.

Michael is allergic to dairy, egg, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, sesame, peanut/tree nuts, mustard and raspberry.

I have put together some tips for parents and students with food allergies in Grade 11/12 contemplating a university degree to share. I hope you find them helpful.

My Top Tips

1) If your high school offers a ‘University Night’…I highly recommend attending when the allergenic student is in Grade 11 and then again in Grade 12.

In Grade 11, Michael was unsure about which university he was interested in…attending the ‘University Night’ a year in advance gave him some insight into what each university offered and the potential average needed to be accepted. Attending the year ahead, relieved some of the stress and pressure for both myself and Michael…it also gave Michael something to work towards.

Attending ‘University Night’ in Grade 11, prepared Michael for Grade 12. It gave him the opportunity to select his Grade 12 courses required for the university faculty of his choice.  It prepared him for what ‘University Night’ had to offer, he knew the universities he wanted information packages from and which 3 universities he was interested in listening to their university representatives brief lecture and question period.

2)  Check out Allergic Living Magazine’s ‘Comparing Universities Chart’. Click here.

Allergic Living Magazine compares the food allergy and celiac practices of 16 Canadian Universities. I found the chart very helpful. I was totally impressed that so many Canadian Universities recognized food allergy and celiac disease. It eased some of the anxiety I was feeling regarding the practices and policies of Canadian Universities in terms of food allergies.

Click here for the ‘U.S Colleges Comparison Chart’ of 25 Colleges.

3)  Definitely book a Campus Tour at each university the allergenic student is interested in attending.

It’s even better if you invite a friend along who is also interested in applying to that particular university. Michael was uninterested in campus tours until I discovered a friend of his wanted to go. Michael seemed to discuss university more openly when his friend was present than just with myself…well, that was my experience.

I just sat back, listened and learned.

The look on Michael’s face when he walked on to his first university campus was priceless. It was a real ‘eye-opener’.

I think it is safe to say, Michael was pleased he took in a few campus tours…he was super impressed with all that the universities had to offer.

4)  If you know of someone who has recently graduated from the particular university the allergenic student is interested in attending, invite them over to discuss their experiences and recommendations.

My niece graduated last year from a university Michael and his friend were thinking to apply…I invited her over the night before the ‘big tour’.  She was able to relay her experiences living in a suite-style residence, her take on ‘student life’ and the importance of engaging in some type of extra-curricular activity at the university. She got them ‘pumped’ for university, as well as, the tour.

5)  Some universities offer a ‘Preview Day’ /‘Open House’/’Campus Day’.

I highly recommend attending a Preview Day and /or Open House for at least one of your booked tours…ours was extremely informative.

6) Be sure to ask your tour guide about the universities specific food allergy policies.  It certainly helped to give both Michael and I a better idea of which universities would be a good fit for Michael and all his food allergies. Interesting to note which university tour guides were prepared for such questions, which universities had someone available to discuss specifics…basically, a university with a plan.

The strength of a university also depends on their ability to meet the needs of the allergenic student’s food allergies. Check out each university’s food allergy policies on their websites.

7)  Acceptance to some Canadian Universities may be based on the student’s Grade 11 average and their Grade 12 mid-term marks.

Michael received 2 conditional offers from 2 Canadian Universities during his final first semester exams.

Michael has some big decisions to make in the next few months.

I really think visiting the university campuses he applied to, learning about the faculty he is interested in taking at each of them and enquiring about their food allergy policies will better enable Michael to choose which university will be the best ‘fit’.

Once all Michael’s conditional offers from the 3 Canadian Universities he has applied to have arrived…he will make his decision.

 

It’s Been A Journey Preparing For University With Multiple Food Allergies And Eczema

My eldest son, Michael, will be heading off to university in the fall of 2014. He will be one amongst the many youths eager, excited and yet, a little anxious to start a new chapter of their lives.

Michael’s university experience, however, will have an added layer. What will set him apart is not his average, his sense of adventure or his charm…Michael has multiple food allergies…dairy, egg, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, sesame, mustard, and raspberries.

Michael is about to embark on a journey that has been in development since he was born.

As parents, we nurture our children, teach them right from wrong, provide them with choices, watch them fall, help them find ‘their feet’ and pick themselves back up again, guide them, encourage them to learn from their mistakes, remain a strong support system, love them through out it all and then hope that all the experiences they have encountered in their lifetime with us has prepared them to meet the ‘real world’.

For Michael, and many other children, personal medical conditions add another element to their ‘life’s journey’.  An element that ‘stirs the pot’ so to speak. Leaving parents and children ‘grasping for straws’ to find their way.  I look back now and wonder how either of us survived the displacement…it was a time in my life full of confusion.

However, to look at Michael now…I know, as parents, we must have done something right. :)

In my eyes, the ‘Grade School Years’ were the hardest…Michael suffered greatly from eczema. (Although, he would argue that having food allergies were worse, but then again, his memory of the eczema years is murky…thank goodness!)

At the time, I felt his food allergies seemed manageable in comparison to the many bouts of infection he endured.  His food allergies ‘took the back seat’ until his eczema started to clear around Grade 7.  Until then, I felt tortured by the fact that there seemed to be ‘no method to the madness’ of his eczema.

My eyes would well, my throat would constrict as I held back the tears while I bathed and creamed his wounded body. 

Below are a list of a few of the posts I have written concerning Michael’s journey with his food allergies and eczema:
Click here for a post I wrote titled, “Talking About Atopic Dermatitis”.
Click here for a post I wrote titled, “Suffocating With Multiple Food Allergies and Atopic Dermatitis: Taking a Breathe In Scotland.”
Click here for a post I wrote titled, “Hockey Dominates Atopic Dermatitis and Asthma”.

During those turbulent years, I would find as many distractions as I could to keep Michael from scratching his already weakened skin…reading, games, puzzles and lots of Barney videos to keep him occupied and entranced.

Once school started, warm classrooms and stress increased his ‘itchiness’ making it harder for him to concentrate.  For many years, Michael and I would sit after school to review the day’s work and practice in a supplementary work book. Breaks consisting of sitting in front of a fan or sticking his head outdoors to cool down were often.

All I can remember at that time was how imperative it was to me that he learn the ‘basics of reading, writing and arithmetic’. I worried that the ‘window of opportunity’ for learning these ‘basics’ would pass him by and he would spend the rest of his educational life ‘catching up’.

I emphasized the fact that everything he was learning was needed for his ‘journey of life’.  He needed to ‘pack’ all that he was learning in a ‘suitcase’ to bring along with him.  No matter how much he may or may not be enjoying the work…he needed to ‘pack it’.

As he got older, I would review what he had ‘packed’ proving just how important he needed each and every step of his learning. For example, knowing how to add helps with subtracting…just as knowing one’s multiplication tables makes division that much easier. Over the years, my metaphor of a ‘suitcase’ became a symbol of his accomplishments.

Michael struggled to do well in school but it wasn’t until around Grade 7 that everything fell into place for him. As his eczema started to heal, he started to sleep through the night. This in turn allowed him to focus better in school and that is when the ‘light bulb’ went off. Everything started to make sense to him…as if the items in his ‘suitcase’ were finally coming together.

The desire and ability to do well finally came together for him. He graduated Grade 8 with Honours and was the recipient of the Christian Spirit  Award.

The common thread throughout our journey has been hope

…the hope that Michael’s choices would not be controlled by his eczema and food allergies.
…t
he hope that his eczema and food allergies would act as a catalyst for learning compassion, building a strong sense of sense, confidence and esteem.
…the hope that he would one day outgrow his eczema and food allergies.
…the hope that he would see his own potential and strive to reach his goals.

So here we are now…Michael in his final year of high school. His ‘suitcase’ has served him well. I know he has all the tools he needs to achieve the average needed for the university of his choice. It’s all up to him. Just one more semester to go.

My hope now for Michael and all youth out there with food allergies embarking on their new paths…universal acceptance.

Times are changing…the more society, immediate family, friends, peers, and educational establishments recognize the importance of embracing our children with food allergies…the easier it will be for these students to achieve their personal goals.

Hope, support, choice, faith and change have played a major role throughout Michael’s journey. They have made him who he is today…a young man with big dreams with the self-esteem, ability and opportunity to reach them…and one proud mom!

Joining My Boys With Food Allergies High School School Council

Well, I finally did it…I joined my boys’ high school School Council. After 3 years of their Vice-Principal, now the Principal, inviting me to join…I felt that this year was the year to do it.

Michael’s upcoming Graduation played a big part in my decision. Graduation events planned for the 2013/2014 year…an Annual Graduation Christmas Dinner, Graduation Day and of course, The Prom.  As each of these Graduation events involve food, research will be needed to determine a plan of action due to Michael’s food allergies to dairy, egg, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, sesame, peanut/tree nuts, mustard and raspberries. I felt the best option for me, as a parent of children with food allergies, to figure out all the Graduation events was to get ‘on board’ and join the School Council.

“Why?”, might you say, “did I not join sooner?”  Well, each and every parent of a child/children with or without food allergies will have their own reasons for joining or not joining a School Council. Personally, I felt I needed a purpose/goal to commit myself…the idea of raising awareness of anaphylaxis to set into motion some safe-guards at Graduation events for students with food allergies gave me reason to join.

Over the years, I have been building a rapport with the Vice Principal/Principal, office staff and teachers in regards to setting up both Michael and Matthew’s Anaphylactic Emergency Plan and Medical Profile for their respective teachers and to raise more of an awareness of anaphylaxis in the school setting. When Michael started in Grade 9, there was not a system in place for the students with food allergies that met with Sabrina’s Law…now, office staff and teachers are fully aware and up to date.

Joining the School Council gives me the opportunity to reach out and raise awareness about food allergies in another forum. Michael’s unique list of food allergies continues to label us as trailblazers. It has opened the door to many educational moments…hopefully, paving the way for other students living with food allergies.

So, how has my presence at School Council regarding the raising awareness of food allergies at Graduation events progressed thus far?  I am happy to report…great!

School Council and the teachers with whom I have dealt with so far have been very accommodating…they seem very interested in the inclusion and safety of all students.

The first Graduation event was the Annual Graduation Christmas Dinner whereby, the Principal, Vice Principals and teachers put together a turkey dinner complete with stuffing, mashed potatoes and veggies for the graduating class…all cooked at the school during the day for the evening event.

Due to fact that the meal included some of Michael’s food allergens and the risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen was high…I decided to cook a complete turkey dinner for Michael at home to bring to the event.

One teacher was in charge of organizing the event.  We emailed each other in great detail…I even offered to bake Mini Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes for the graduating class’s dessert.

All was set until I received an email from the teacher in charge that Michael had not purchased a ticket. Apparently, Michael had not heard the announcements to purchase tickets and he had missed the deadline. After consulting with his friends…he decided not to go as not many of them were attending. It was his choice…too bad, because I hear it was quite the event!

Michael may have missed out on the event of the year…but at least the school is now aware of the possibility of students with food allergies attending such events.

I must say, I am enjoying my time at School Council. Should I have joined earlier? Perhaps, but I am here now and that is all that matters.

Next up…Graduation Day snacks and the main event…dinner at a Golf Club before the Prom.

For parents of a child/children with food allergies…Have you joined the School Council?  If yes, what has been your experience?  If no, are you considering it?

Anaphylaxis Canada Launches Free Allergy App For Teens

Oh happy day! Anaphylaxis Canada has just launched a free ‘Allergy App For Teens’. Click here to read all about the new app.

Having just upgraded to an iPhone, I was super excited to upload this free app from ‘Apple’s App Store’. Just search for the term “Why Risk It?”. The app is available for both the iPhone and iPad, as well as, phones and tablets that run on the Android and Blackberry operating systems. Just check their respective app stores.

Not only does Anaphylaxis Canada’s ‘Allergy App For Teens’ contain all the pertinent information all allergenic youth need regarding anaphylaxis but it also contains a direct link to the “Why Risk It? Teen Allergy Blog”. A great source for allergenic youth to read about the lives of other youth with allergies.

I will certainly be bringing it to the attention of my boys’ high school principal and at the next Parent Council (I finally joined this year).  Anaphylaxis Canada’s ‘Allergy App For Teens’ is the perfect educational tool for all teachers. It gives teachers quick, easy access to refresh their memories with information on “What is Anaphylaxis?, Symptoms, Treatment and FAQ’s”, as well as, information on “Why Risk It?” and a link to their blog.

Have you downloaded Anaphylaxis Canada’s ‘ Allergy App For Teens’ yet?

P.S.  Just to let you know…I have not dropped off the face of the earth. lol  Living, breathing, shopping, cooking and talking about food allergies 24/7 can become quite overwhelming.  I think I just needed a break from writing about it.

With my eldest son, Michael, heading off to university next year, there is much to think about…a new stage in all of our lives.  Michael’s journey towards ‘independent living’ and my journey of learning to ‘let go’.

Coming soon, I will be writing about this new chapter in our lives.

Allerject Educational Materials For All Ontario School and Public Health Units

Did you know…all Ontario Schools and Public Health Units will have received educational material regarding the latest auto-injector Allerject?

Anaphylaxis Canada,  in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Education, have updated their Anaphylaxis Support Kits with packages containing resources to inform and educate our educators on the Allerject. Click here for the announcement at Anaphylaxis Canada.

Minister of Education, Liz Sandals, stated, “The health and well-being of our students is a top priority for the Ontario government.”  “Together with our partners, we are committed to making our schools healthier places for students to learn and grow.”

I am more than thrilled!

The resources in Anaphylaxis Canada’s Support Kit support Sabrina’s Law…passed May 2005, Bill 3 and effective January 1, 2006.  Sabrina’s Law “requires that every school board in Ontario establish and maintain an anaphylaxis policy”...it also “requires that principals develop individual plans for pupils at risk of anaphylaxis.”

Ontario publicly funded schools, school boards and public health units received their first bilingual Anaphylaxis Support Kits in 2011…they will receive Updated Packages, whereas, new schools and public health units will have received the full packages.

The bilingual Anaphylaxis Support Kit includes epinephrine auto-injector training devices (EpiPen and Allerject), awareness and instructional posters and videos, a presentation for school personnel, as well as, related materials and other information.

Educating our educators on anaphylaxis is key to the safety of our children with anaphylaxis in their journey through the education system.

I truly believe the next step is to include the students themselves…our children with anaphylaxis’ classmates.

I know from experience with my two boys with multiple food allergies…the importance of educating their classmates on their food allergies and explaining, in age-appropriate language, the causes, signs and symptoms and treatment of anaphylaxis.

I believe…de-mystifying auto-injectors and developing an awareness of anaphylaxis early on has many benefits. 1)  It would increase a student’s understanding of a classmate with anaphylaxis. 2)  Develop an appreciation of their classmates living with anaphylaxis. 3)  Build a support network of educators and students for classmates with anaphylaxis.

I am every so grateful for the continuing compassion, empathy and support from my boys’ classmates and educators throughout their education journey.

Classmates are on the ‘front-line’…they are the most likely to witness the onset of an anaphylactic reaction. Students educated on the causes, signs and symptoms and treatment of anaphylaxis would be prepared to administer an auto-injector in the event of an anaphylactic reaction…saving precious time.

A recent article, “It’s Hard Not to Stare children’s book opens discussion on disabilities” by Andrea Gordon in the Toronto Star supports my theory of capitalizing on educating students early to embrace all their classmates, regardless of their differences. Click here to view the article.

Author Tim Huff’s latest children’s book, “It’s Hard Not To Stare: Helping Children Understand Disabilities” and his first book, “The Cardboard Shack Beneath The Bridge”, both touch on this very concept.

Tim Huff’s goal…”to demystify the unfamiliar, build empathy and prevent the kind of judgement and meanness he has witnessed during his decades working with the disabled and as an outreach worker on the street with youth.”

Tim Huff, co-founder of Street Level…”a national advocacy network on homelessness and poverty issues “ states, “If we teach children to be compassionate when they’re young it spills over to everything  and affects their character.”

He goes on to say, “At a time when bullying is rampant, it makes more sense to build on the positive by instilling compassion and dealing with kids’ questions or uncertainty about the unfamiliar, rather than simply outlawing behaviours through numerous anti-bullying programs.”

I totally agree…perhaps a children’s book focusing on anaphylaxis should be next in the works!

Now there is some food for thought.

P.S. Upon learning of Anaphylaxis Canada’s Updated Packages…I photocopied their media release to give to my boys’ high school principal.

Daiya Pizza With Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni, Ham, Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions

Out grocery shopping one day I happened to notice a new product…

A bag of Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni

Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni by Maple Leaf.

As my son, Michael, has yet to try Pepperoni (due to cross-contamination issues at the deli and products that may or may not include his allergens) I thought he might like to try this new, allergen free (for him) Pepperoni. It would be the perfect compliment on his Friday Night Pizza Night ‘Daiya Pizza’ along with all his other toppings…ham, bacon, mushrooms and onions.

Michael's Dairy Pizza with bacon, ham, mushrooms and Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni

It was a hit…boy did it look and smell good!

A slice of Michael's Daiya Pizza with bacon, ham, mushrooms, onions and Natural Selections Sliced Pepperoni

Enjoy!

How do you top your Daiya Pizza?

Gluten, Dairy, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Fall is here…

An Empire Apple at Watson's Farm perfect for picking

Perfect time to go apple picking!

It is all about apples at our house…the boys (including my husband, Andy) are super excited because ‘apple picking season’ means one thing…lots of baking with apples.

Andy jumped at the chance to go apple picking with me…so we made it a ‘date’. We headed off to Watson Farm after work…it is a little bit of country nestled amongst the city of Bowmanville. Together we picked a bushel!

I have already made 3 batches of applesauce, two Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen Cakes , two Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crisps and I made a froze a Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Piealways good to have something in the freezer, just in case.

I decided to make my Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Crisp with a twist…I made it with gluten-free oatmeal and oatmeal flour!

Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Absolutely delish!

No one was the wiser…in fact, Michael, Matthew and Andy all commented that the crisp was “really good”. In fact, Matthew went on to add, “Mmmmm…the apples melted down into a tasty mush”. Well, okay?…I am taking that as a compliment!

If oatmeal is in your diet and you are as big a fan of oatmeal as I am…the Canadian Company, Chateau Cream Hill Estates Gluten, Wheat, Barley, Rye, Triticale, Spelt and Kamut Free Lara’s Rolled Oats and Lara’s Whole Grain Oat Flour are the ticket.

I just loved the combination of the toasted oatmeal flour and rolled oats a top the sweet baked apples. So comforting…the perfect fall dessert!

The following recipe is an adaptation from Canadian Living’s Country Cooking.

Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

6-8 apples peeled and thinly sliced (I used my freshly picked Empires)
2/3 cup Demerara Sugar
2/3 cup oatmeal flour
2/3 cup rolled whole oats (not instant or quick)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil

In a 8 inch baking dish add the sliced apples.
Tip 1: Use more or less apples to fill the dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Drizzle in the canola oil and mix to combine and form a crumble.
Tip 2:  I like to use my hands to really massage the oil in with the dry ingredients then I crumble it over top of the apples. Make sure all the apples are covered.
Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until the apples are have softened.
Tip 3: After 20 minutes, cover the dish with foil so as the top does not over cook.
Let cool on cooling rack.

Just in time for Thanksgiving Weekend!

Enjoying a bowl of Gluten, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmal Apple Crisp

Enjoy…still warm with its crunchy top!

Of course now my poor bananas are being left to the wayside. No worries, I can always bake up a Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Bread or Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Bundt Cake.

What are your favourite apple desserts?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anphylaxis Canada and Loblaw Pharmacies Pair Together: Allergy Class

Did you know…Anaphylaxis Canada and Loblaw Pharmacies have formed a partnership to create a new Food Allergy Management Assessment Program? Click here for a link.

The Food Allergy Management Assessment Program is offered in pharmacies located in Loblaw retail stores to “help educate consumers about food allergies and emergency preparedness.”

Registered Dietitian, Lisa Ireland at the Loblaw Pickering location…was recently featured in our local paper promoting healthy food choices for the family with a series titled “Your Life: Healthy alternatives for the whole family to enjoy.” Click here for the article.

I was pleased to note the series included, “Your Life Nutrition: Managing food allergies at school.” Click here for the link.

I love the combination of Anaphylaxis Canada, a dietitian and grocery store. Any questions you may have concerning food allergens, nutritional requirements and food products can be answered by the local Loblaw dietitian or pharmacist. Fabulous!

The main article described the role of the dietitian: to “help people reach their nutrition goals through interactive grocery store tours, educational classes, food demonstrations, and one-on-one nutrition ‘check-ins.’ “

I recently attended one of the educational classes, titled Allergy Class, at the Pickering Loblaw location. The pharmacist covered the basics of Anaphylaxis that was developed by Anaphylaxis Canada followed by Registered Dietitian Lisa Ireland’s overview of meeting one’s nutritional needs with food allergies, reading labels carefully for potential food allergens and answering many personal questions.

Registered Dietitian, Lisa Ireland speaking at Allergy Class at Pickering Loblaw store

The Allergy Class provided hand-outs including pamphlets from Anaphylaxis Canada, EpiPen, Allerject, Government of Canada, and a fantasic booklet from Anaphylaxis Canada titled, “Living Confidently With Food Allergy: A guide for parents and families.

I think the partnership of Anaphylaxis Canada and Loblaw Pharmacies with the concept of educating about food allergies ‘in-store’ is genius.

Such a shame that offering a Food Allergy Cooking Class is not possible due to…cross-contamination issues.

Besides living in a bubble…cross-contamination issues in kitchens will always be ‘on the table’.

Learning how to avoid and minimize cross-contamination in the kitchen…now that is a lesson worth giving.

Has anyone participated in the Anaphylaxis Canada and Loblaw Pharmacies Food Allergy Management Assessment Program?

Planning For University With Multiple Food Allergies…Allergic Living Magazine To The Rescue

Love the front page side bar on Allergic Living Magazine’s Fall 2013 edition it reads:

“Colleges Get Allergy Aware: Free-from meals and educated chefs are the new normal”

Perfect timing…my eldest son is in his last year of high school.

Planning for university next year is forefront of my mind…especially since he has multiple food allergies (dairy, egg, beef, lamb, peanut/tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, mustard and raspberry).

Seems like Allergic Living Magazine is on the ‘same ‘page’.

I can hardly believe it is time for my oldest to head off to university. At the same time, I am coming to terms with ‘wrapping my head around’  all the multiple food allergy issues that will inevitably play a part of his decision-making process.

Allergic Living Magazine’s article titled, “Learning Curve” was just what I needed to put my mind at ease…included in the article is a university ‘to-do list’ to follow.

Another great piece of information…a chart that compares allergy practices in Canadian Universities. Click here for the link.

Michael and I are planning to visit a few Universities this fall…with all this great information, we will be prepared to ask informative questions. Not only does Michael need to choose a university to meet his educational pursuits…he needs to find a university that will accommodate his unique food allergies.

I would love to hear from anyone who has already been through this process or is at the same place as we are…any tips would be helpful.

I hope to keep you up-to-date on our progress…as Michael prepares to head off in a new chapter of his life.