Croup, Tonsillitis and Allergies Reply

Zac has had croup every winter since he was 2. The first bout was horrendous and required hospital treatment. After that we were told how to treat him at home and how best to manage his allergies during Autumn and Winter. We bought a steamer for his bedroom and whenever he had a cold we switched it on in anticipation of the midnight bark. His blue inhaler helped too, along with regular doses of Calpol and keeping him upright.

With each bout we got better at treating it and each episode was less severe than the one before. However, he is still prone to bad coughs and sore throats, at any time of year, and we are always told that this is just a side effect of his asthma and inhaled allergies. Happily, even they have started to improve.

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Our year of eating out 8

We moved house in April 2015. Our new but old house is a big project and the kitchen is not fully functional. So since the move we’ve eaten out a lot more often than normal. As with many allergy families, we have our favourites and Zizzi, Pizza Express and a few other chains got a good bit of business from us.

We’ve always enjoyed eating out as a family, even in the days when there was very little choice and we had to take food for Zac. But in just a few years things have really changed. The introduction of the new EU Food Regs in December 2014 must have been the catalyst for the marked improvement in choice. But I guess the gluten free trend is also a factor.

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Zizzi Bankside – great food, great view 1

Since I last blogged, we have moved house. The new house needs a lot of work and we don’t really have what I’d call a proper kitchen. So we are eating out a lot more than normal. It’s not cheap but then neither is gas, electric or fresh ingredients, so in my head we are probably not that much worse off! My husband might disagree.

We are fans of Zizzi and since the move in April have visited several. We had a particularly good experience at St Katharine’s Dock in London and when they ‘created’ gluten free bread sticks for Zac. He gets sick of limp carrots and cucumber as his kids starter so I thought I’d ask if they could create something that looked like the ‘normal’ kids dough sticks.

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Know your food families 10

Food allergy sufferers rarely have just one key trigger. Many allergies seem to go hand in hand and make day to day living and eating out, particularly difficult. It is not uncommon for a milk allergy sufferer also to be allergic to eggs and often nut allergy sufferers are allergic to several other items from the ‘top 14’.

I recently wrote a piece for Allergy Aware Kitchen on this subject. It was aimed at those in the food service industry – to remind them of the importance of knowing your food families when catering for allergy customers, but I also think it is worth sharing with a wider audience as some of the information here can help you puzzle out why you’ve had a reaction when you’ve eaten what you thought was a ‘safe’ meal or ingredient.

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Can I Eat There? 7

I just recently made a new and exciting discovery that I have to share. A new website called Can I Eat There? is in development and due to launch in a matter of weeks.

Naturally the name caught my eye, because as an allergy parent, I’m always on the lookout for restaurants that will cater well and safely for us.

So I decided to contact the people behind this genius idea to find out more. The idea was developed by an ‘allergy parent’ – Nicky Granger – to help the 7 million plus UK adults and children with food allergies and intolerances. Nicky’s four year old son has NINE severe food allergies and they do not go anywhere without 2 EpiPens, a bottle of Piriton and plenty of anxiety – particularly when eating out.

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‘Free from’ foods can make you fat – think before you eat 8

I recently read, in a not very friendly Daily Telegraph article –  that the ‘free from’ food sales in the UK hit £0.5 billion last year and ‘gluten free’ alone is ‘worth’ £238 million a year. No wonder we are seeing more and more foods hitting the shelves. With a growth of more than 15% in just one year, you can see why the supermarkets have embraced this. Just this month Lidl launched their gluten free range and are no doubt currently analysing a positive impact on their overall sales figures.

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