Top 10 allergy friendly places to eat (2014)

IMG_9028SO, here it is – my run-down of our top allergy friendly meals out in 2014. A bit late, but timely in the aftermath of the ‘100 chefs rant against EU allergy laws’ thing. I’ve been tweeting my thoughts on this for a week, and am frankly bored of the moaning. Compelling caterers to declare which allergens are in their dishes doesn’t make anywhere more able, or likely, to cater for us, but it’s a first step on the road to greater understanding. It means that at least we have the right to ask, and to be told. I think that’s fair enough.

Anyway, enough about that. From never having the confidence to allow anyone bar family to cook for Sidney, in this past year we’ve managed to find a clutch of places happy, willing and able to cater for his multiple allergies. They are living proof that it is possible and, for that, I love them longtime.

So, in no particular order, here we go: Continue reading “Top 10 allergy friendly places to eat (2014)”

Alpro – get yer nuts off our soya

1459254_1435348873345203_1182172315_nI’LL KEEP this one short(ish) and not very sweet. You’ve no doubt heard of Alpro, one of the leading purveyors of soya stuff, from milk to yoghurts, cream and custard. For kids battling dairy allergy their calcium enriched products are a staple part of their daily diet. In fact, Alpro is on the list of brands recommended to dairy allergic kids by specialist dieticians and allergists.

As of 2014, Alpro has decided to integrate the production of its nut and soya factories, and slap a “may contain traces of nuts” warning on ALL of its soya products. Continue reading “Alpro – get yer nuts off our soya”

Skin prickles, Peppa Pig, peas & more: allergy tests at three

IMG_7785IT’S BEEN a year since we last had Sidney skin prick tested and in that intervening period we’ve come on in leaps and bounds.

The wheat allergy bit the dust this summer and, since having a succession of negative and low skin prick results, we’ve been able to introduce some new foods: cannellini beans, butter beans, baked beans, coconut, mango, pineapple, melon, kiwi… The culinary world is opening up, and for that I am hugely grateful.

Continue reading “Skin prickles, Peppa Pig, peas & more: allergy tests at three”

Hello, Hazel

Unknown-1GOOD news: we are OK with hazelnuts!

After scoring a zero on Sidney’s last two skin prick tests, we were given the go-ahead to try a taste challenge at home. Actually, we were given the go-ahead a year ago but couldn’t for the life of us find any hazelnuts in their shells (naked ones run the risk of being contaminated by other nuts) until Christmas. And then I had a baby and we only got round to it now.

Continue reading “Hello, Hazel”

“What’ll I do (ting-a-ling) when you (ting-a-ling) are far (ting-a-ling) away..?”

panicPANIC at Nanny and Nonno’s house tonight where Sid is having a sleepover: sudden clutching of tummy and inconsolable screaming at bedtime.

All became clear when he farted.

(In all seriousness, though, this is what allergy does to you: every minor rash or windy pain takes on menacing import; you wonder “has he eaten something he shouldn’t?”, “is this a reaction?” as you grapple with one hand for the Epi.)

On reflection, he probably ate too much of Mum’s homemade ice-cream…

Finally – have your say (though it may change jack shit)

Almost a year ago now I wrote a post about looming changes to the laws on food allergy labelling.

New EU regulations set to come into effect in December 2014 state that allergen information should be extended to non-prepacked foods – that means that restaurants, delis, cafes etc will be made to comply.

The catch is, however, that it is up to each individual European country to decide exactly how to implement the proposals. And I for one am desperate to avoid the same mess we’re in with allergen labelling in shops: that is, the manufacturers slapping on ‘may contain’ warnings willy-nilly without ever getting to grips with the issues of cross-contamination and actually doing something practical and helpful about it. Continue reading “Finally – have your say (though it may change jack shit)”

Support group dates…

I’VE BEEN very remiss in blogging about these but the food allergy parents’ support group is trundling on happily, with different get-togethers happening in different parts of London. The next two are in Ealing and at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, but there are plans for another north London one, hopefully in November. I’ll keep you posted. Continue reading “Support group dates…”

A dirty weekend

THIS weekend, for the first time in nearly two years, my husband and I had a whole night away from Sid.

I’d booked a surprise hotel stay for his birthday, so we deposited the prodigal grandson for a sleepover at his Nanny and Nonno’s.

And, my, what a naughty weekend we had. I’m not talking nookie in the afternoon. I’m talking Snickers in the mini bar. Allergy porn. Continue reading “A dirty weekend”

It’s all of them

RECENTLY I posted about how the ludicrous blanket “nut, sesame, blah” trace warnings on just about everything in Sainsbury’s had driven me to tears.

Well, in the interests of fairness I’ve just come across the exact same thing in Waitrose. I can understand it on the baked goods and cakes, and even the olives and deli bits. But, again, I ask you: fish?

I nearly got kicked out of the bloody shop for taking this pic. Can you believe it (big security guard hulking over to tell me to cease and desist)? But I told him to bugger off.