Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cupcakes and birthdays


I want to hug the neck of whoever invented the smaller box of cupcakes!! It makes 12 instead of 24 which is wonderful since I had to hand out cupcakes around the neighborhood just to get rid of some!

These are the products I use to make Jacks cupcakes to take Milk free cake to every birthday party he attends. Yes, every birthday party!! Could you imagine what it would be like for the big production of singing Happy Birthday and seeing the cutest cakes ever and your child can't have one bite!! Birthdays are harder for us bc we have to worry about a present and making of cupcakes before we go (can freeze some if you need to). But, I want Jack's to be apart of everything and we are not going to sit at home and miss life because we can't eat Milk. Jack doesn't even blink when he doesn't eat the actual cake! He grabs his cupcake from me, eats it, and takes off to play with his friends. We do however miss out on the ice cream. I need to contact whoever makes the mini cups of ice cream pronto!! What a great idea!! Milk free sorbets in a tiny cup!!

This Duncan Heinz cake mix has no milk and you make it with eggs, water, and oil. The icing has soy only so it is delicious just like any icing! Jacks favorite are vanilla and strawberry but read the labels and you will find more I am sure!! Like lemon!!
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Snack time


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Here are a few snack foods that Jack loves to eat! All of these are milk free. These are snacks that all kids love. Most of these, contain wheat and soy. Please always make sure to check your labels because they do change ingredients sometimes. It is always safe to double check!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I found two "Sorbetto" ice creams today that are milk free! It is the "Private Selection" brand at our Kroger (regular ice cream aisle). One is Strawberry Banana and the other pineapple coconut flavor. Jack said "yum!" to both of them. They are more creamy like real ice cream. Keebler sugar cones are milk free and he liked it just as much as the ice cream.

Dip Recipe

Jack Loves to eat Dip!

This is his favorite and if he sees it he will just about use a spoon to eat it!
I make this for parties and take it places where I know there will be snacks that he may cannot eat. It is also great for Tailgating!

Black Bean and Corn Dip

2 cans of mexicorn (drained)
2 cans of black beans (rinsed and drained)
chopped green onions (I use about 4 or 5)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup canola oi1 (combined the two together and pour over the beans, corn, and green onions)

Jack eats this with tostido scoops or tortilla chips. (Make sure to never eat the Tostido with Lime bc those have MILK!!!)

Milk products made in the same facility

So, you have found a milk free item and it says this on the ingredient labelin bold letters. Well, you need to ask your Dr.,BUT Jack has always eaten it anyway and has NEVER had a problem. (this might not be the same for someone with a peanut allergy!)
Again, my good friend, told me that her child's allergist said that it was OK to go ahead and eat these items. So, we do and we have been totally fine.

Ask your child's DR first and make sure that yours approves before you let yours try it! Just to be on the safe side! :)


Doughnuts have been hard b/c lots of kids eat them and there are none at my grocery stores that are MILK free! I have been looking for four yrs and if I have found one they were gross!

We luckily got a brand new doughnut shop in our town this year!! And, guess what?!!
They checked their labels for me and the glazed holes and doughnuts are milk free! We can't even drive past this place now without Jack asking for doughnut holes. He has found him a comfort food for sure! lol

Anyway, if you don't find a doughnut your child can eat you can make some at home from canned biscuits. (In other post, I said that I found a no name brand canned biscuit at Walmart that has no milk) I cut a biscuit into four pieces and drop them in a pot or skillet of canola oil or vegetable oil. Let it get hot first and then drop them in. They cook really fast and you need to flip them to get both side brown. Then, I scoop them out and lay them on a plate with paper towels to cool. Next, I have a ziploc of powder sugar and a ziploc of cinnamon and sugar mixed. Toss however many you like in whichever and serve them immediately on a plate for kids or adults to choose from either one. Everyone loves them!! (they taste like beignets to me!)

Anyway, it is quick and painless recipe for doughnuts for any milk allergic child. :)
Jacks cousins beg me to make "Jack's doughnuts" when they are in town.

Movies and Sporting Events

Movies- I have not found a movie popcorn that is safe. So, I make Jacks popcorn (Kroger "Natural" popcorn) and put it in a ziploc bag in my purse. He is not happy if I forget his popcorn! :) Also, he can have skittles there and a drink..sometimes we get an icee or slush if they have that!

We live in a college town so we go to lots of football, basketball and baseball games. Jack always eats the hotdog and a bag of chips. Check the bun ingredients! If it has milk, then they can just eat the hotdog or burger in pieces.

We tailgate a lot too, so I usually fill up a backpack of stuff for Jack so that I don't have to risk that there will be no Milk free food there for him. I also buy the premade smuckers peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (straw or grape) and I take these with us! So easy! Don't forget your epi pen anywhere where lots of food will be around to have an accidents. Places like this are a huge danger zone.

***I always tell Jack to ask Mommy before he eats ANYTHING- and he always has!! Smart Boy! :)))

Fast Food

I have learned a lot from checking fast food websites! And, I have even called them and had them help me find something Jack can eat. Some are extremely helpful and some are not but we have definitely found us a variety so we are happy! This makes it so much more comforting to know that if I have to swing through a drive through I can now! It might not be extremely healthy but atleast I have options! ha

McDonald's- Jack get the hamburger happy meal with ketchup only. He can have the french fries! They say they have milk ingredients??? but we have NEVER had the slightest itch from this kids meal. The Sothern Style chicken sandwich is safe also. I just take the chicken out and cut it into pieces and he dips it in ketchup. He can have the whole sandwich but its kind of large for a kid.

Wendy's- Again Hamburger kids meal or even the Chicken Sandwich kids meal.

Back Yard Burger- All three kids meals are suppose to be Milk free (says on their site) but Jack has always eaten the Hamburger meal with seasoned fries (he loves those!) Please check the bread they use! I sometimes have to ask to read the label myself. B/c they don't usually look for whey and etc.. They only look for the word "Milk". Jack has been able to eat bread with Milk in it and have no reaction. This we found out by accident.

Sonic- Jack gets the number 7. Popcorn Chicken and Tater Tots. :) The chicken strips contain milk. Sonics 1800 number was extremely helpful. They called me back immediately and told me what Jack could have and not have.

NO CHICK FIL A!!!!! Sorry! It makes us sad also. But, we do take our Kids Meal from other places in there and let Jack meet up with his friends. They have never had a problem with us doing that. They have offered to make his chicken without dipping it in the milk but even the breading has milk ingredients. :((

Newks- Jack gets a pepperoni pizza with no cheese. Loves it!

McAllisters- Jack eats Hot Dog kids meal with barbeque regular lays, teddy grahams.

Papa Johns (and Dominio's)- we get hamburger or pepperoni pizza with NO cheese.

Nicer Restaurants- we usually always get hamburger patty and french fries. If they have that on the menu we can eat there as a family usually. :) Jack does like broiled shrimp and steak but just make sure to tell them to use NO butter!

Some waiters will look at you like you are crazy but I try to explain that his allergy is SEVERE like the peanut allergy and then they understand better.

When you have time, just pull up the places you like to eat and look through their menus. Or, even email them and ask. Our food list gets longer and longer everytime I do some research on the computer. Jack loves to try new things! And, now that he is getting older he will try more!

Chilli's- they have a food allergy menu they will give you!

PF Changs- they emailed me several items Jack could eat.

Sushi- Jack loves edamame, soup, and a plain shrimp roll (no cream cheese). Also, our local restaurant makes the chicken fried rice with no butter. He loves any kind of rice!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lotions and Soaps

My sister reminded me today of a lotion that made Jack scream his head off as a baby. One day when she was visiting, we gave him a bath and he kicked and played loving it. That is, until I took him out dried him off and applied Johnson and Johnson's MILK bath lotion! We could not figure out what in the world was wrong?! This is, of course, before we found out he was allergic to milk. Milk Bath definitely has MILK in it! My poor angel! I had NO idea what I was doing to him. I still feel so guilty and wish if I had only know then that he had an allergy.

So, make sure you read the labels of your bath lotions, soaps and even shampoos. Just to be safe. If your baby gets a rash or says it is hot or cries after you use a product... Throw it away or give it away! You don't want anyone else to be able to find it in your house and use it again. The next reaction could be worse! Get rid of it.

(there is also a lotion made by Arbonne for children that has Milk in it)

Things Jack CAN eat :)

Here is a list of things Jack loves to eat:

Peanut Butter and Jelly (we use Sunbeam white bread, Whitewheat bread, or Bunny white bread)

Popsicles, Snow Cones, Icee's, Slushes
Pringles (Plain and B'que)
Sun Chips (Plain)
Popcorn (Natural flavor only)
Spaghetti (I use Prego Traditional-one of his favorite meals)
Oreo's (vanilla ones or chocolate-it is made with cocoa not milk choc. cocoa has no milk)Oh! and the cookie straws they make in the same brand! YuM!
Nutter Butters
Teddy Grahams
Jacks Butter Cookies (loves those! that is the actual brand name of them and they are circle cookies with the center out.)
Ritz Crackers
Campbells Tomato soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Tyson Brand Chicken Nuggets
Hot dogs
Ham Sandwiches
Graham Crackers (Honey Maid)
Blue Bird Honey Buns (Icing or No Icing--closest thing to a doughnut)
Pecan Wheels
Poptarts(Strawberry, Cherry, and Blueberry)
Lots of cereals: Fruit Loops, Regular Cheerios, Golden Grahams, Honey Smacks, Chex, Frosted Flakes and I'm sure there is more! Lots of safe cereals so that is good!
Fruit roll ups
Chewy Life savers
Skittles (Jacks favorite treat)
Kashi Tasty little cereal bars (straw and blueberry) this is the only cereal bar that is good that I have ever found
Ruffles (PLAIN)
Lays (plain and b'que)
Jack uses a thousand island for a dip sometimes (must read bottle) or salsa and sometimes just simple ketchup as a dip. At Mexican restaurant we order him his own bowl of quacamole-that way no one contaminates his dip with cheese dip!
Keebler Graham crackers "BUG BITES"
Mini Strawberry fig newtons (not regular fig ones)
Barnum's Animal Crackers
Wheat Thins

I have never found a Goldfish w/out milk! Even the pretzel ones contain milk. :( But, you can definitely do cherrios (NOT the yogurt one though!!!)
There is also not one single frozen pancake except for Vans brand and Jack still gags when you mention those. lol So, i use BISQUICK and SOY milk in it for our pancakes. No family member has EVER noticed any difference!
Martha White Blueberry and or Strawberry Muffins (mix with soy milk- I make them in a mini muffin tin pan and they are more kid friendly)

Jack drink the red carton of SOY MILK like it is the best thing ever! Sometimes for a special treat I put in some stawberry sugar free syrup and he loves that! Hersheys strawberry and Chocolate are also safe! Beware though once you start this they never won't plain milk again!

The only canned biscuits I have found are usually the no name brand ones. Kroger carries a red can one that is milk free. So, look toward the bottom and you might find one. Jack loves jelly biscuits for breakfast and cinnamon toast too!

We have always used Parkay squeeze butter! Not the spray and not the stick! The squeeze bottle is the only one that is only made with Soy! If you need a stick butter for a recipe, I use Blue Bonnet Light sticks. It is Milk free.

Chicken Nuggets (Because your not a kid unless you have eaten a chicken nugget!)
Tyson Brand makes several that are milk free but READ the label because of few of them contain milk! In my fridge now are the Tyson Breast Tenders, and the fully cooked "Chicken Nuggets". Jack loves tater tots with his! I have sworn several times that he was going to turn into a tater tot! ;)

Fish Sticks: We eat Mrs. Pauls crunchy fish sticks (green box, frozen food aisle)

Jack can't have macaroni and cheese but I do boil him some macaroni noodles and squeeze butter on them and he is happy!

Rice: OMG! Jack loves RICE! there is an Uncle Bens 90 seconds rice in garden vegetable rice he likes. He loves chicken fried rice, shrimp fried rice! You just have to make sure at restaurants that they don't make it with butter. We have recently gone to an hibachi place for the first time and finally figured out that if they make Jacks food first it won't be contaiminated with butter. They just make it with oil for him! This is his new favorite restaurant though we try to go early so there is not a huge crowd. That way they are not put out to make his first.

Ice Cream: Soy delicious in the organic section is milk free. It is okay. He will eat a little of it and then moves on. Haagen-Dazs makes a milk free sorbet in lemon, raspberry, mango and strawberry that are delicious!! You can get them in the pint size and they have there very own tube. Be prepared to get your own, because it is SO good! We like the strawberry the best.
Our local ice cream/candy store has a milk free Mango sorbet that is divine! I took it right out of Jacks hands and could have eaten the whole thing! For candy, he loves to fill up a bag with skittles. Bad for the teeth but atleast he can have something in the candy store! :) Also, TCBY makes a milk free sorbet but they don't always have it in. SHERBERT is DOES have milk. So, don't get those confused!

As a toddler Jack loved the bite size Popsicle brand Mighty Mini popsicles (Walmart). They are just the perfect size not to make a huge mess all over the child or your house! They are great and a good small treat!

Lots of info...huh? Shew! I am tired. Next blog will be about fast food! :)

Severly Allergic to Milk does not mean Lactose Intollerant

I can't tell you how many times people have thought that Jack is just Lactose Intollerant. It is NOT the same thing! If Jack has one bite of Milk or any milk product his throat could close up and he could possibly stop breathing. I only wish he got a bad case of Diarrhea! Obviously, there is a BIG difference in a tummy ache and not being able to breath and swelling/itching all over.
It is definitely hard to be patient with family, friends, and people who just don't get it. I have to constantly remind myself to just help them understand and let it go. Part of me always wants to say...Do you think I am so protective of my child and what he eats because he might have diarrhea?!!!!!!
It is amazing how insensitive some people can be also. Our own relatives have gone on and on in front of Jack about how great a birthday cake looks, or how great the cookie they are eating is, or hands out ice cream to everyone and then jack himself has to say "I can't eat that. I am allergic to milk." I mean seriously you have known this child for four yrs of his life and you couldn't have left the chocolate candy bars in your purse until we left?!! grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Piece of Cake

One of Jacks favorite things in the whole world is a CUPCAKE! We make cupcakes ALL the time. I think the kids in our neighborhood think all we ever eat is cupcakes because we are always handing them out to our friends on the street. Jack literally begs to make them!

We make them for class parties, every birthday party we go to, holidays, and just for no reason at all. We are very lucky that Duncan Heinz yellow cake mix contains no milk (wheat only) and Pillsbury Funfetti vanilla icing (soy only) are two products that we always have around.

A few yrs into the allergy, we also found out that a local bakery has no milk in their icing and if we take them a box of Duncan Heinz they will make us a REAL birthday cake! You should have seen the smile when Jack had his first Lighting McQueen birthday cake of his very own.

By the way, we have several friends who have had there birthday cakes made so that Jack can have a slice of cake at his best friends birthday parties. Now, these are some incredible friends and we LOVE them for thinking of Jack!!! What a luxury for me to finally walk into a birthday party with only a wrapped gift.
I also have a neighbor who bought us our very own single cupcake holder. We put our cupcake in it and take it to the party. After Happy Birthday is sung, Jack will immediately say "Where's my cupcake?"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Playdates and Snacks

When Jack was about one and we would go play at a friends house, I would always bring a little bag full of snacks that Jack could eat. I would always bring enough for his friends bc everytime they would want to eat what Jack was eating. Every time! Plus, it took the pressure off of digging through whomevers cabinets looking for a milk free snack. It was so much easier just to take something with us. I also brought his own drink in a cup that he recognized so that he didn't pick up someone else's sippy cup full of milk.

Now, that he is older it is easier b/c I can explain that he can eat when we get home and he understands. Although, I have been at a bday party or two and there was not one single thing he could eat and guess what...he is standing there looking at me with his big brown eyes saying he is starving.

After Jacks diagnosis, I stopped eating things that he couldn't have in front of him for the most part. Unless, there was a milk free version he could have. Even my sister, and her boys only ate things Jack could have too around him. Jacks cousins Kyle and Austin are very aware of his allergy. They talk about it, and worry about him, and hope that it goes away so that he can eat ice cream with them. My sister, has been a huge source of support for me. She calls with new products she has found all the time. Her house is a safe place for Jack to be and I love them for that. It is a huge relief to drop him off somewhere and know that he will be ok. When the ice cream truck drives down her street, she read every ingredient until she found him something! A rainbow snow cone. O happy Day!!

Never leave home without it

I never leave home without jacks emergency medicine! There is nothing worse than the feeling of not being prepared for an emergency. Thankfully, every time we have had an accidental taste of Milk it has been with me.

I keep in a bag ready to take with my everywhere and/or husband (and his teacher has it also):

Epi Pen ( I have two just in case something goes wrong with the first)
Orapred Steroid chewable pills (from a doctor)
a dosage cup or spoon
bendryl gel (for hives)

It took one time for me to read, that NOT having a epi pen on hand was the reason of MANY deaths in food allergic kids.

I have remembered it at the last minute and have been VERY thankful!

I have also been with a friend who did not have hers and we were both thankful that day! :) Zyrtec works very well if you get it quickly after they have eaten something. It is going to happen!! To all of us! It has happened to us many times. One tiny bite and you are in an emergency situation unfortunately.

Jack is so allergic that you can't even kiss him if you have eaten a bowl of cereal!! You can't use the same towel or napkin to wipe his face that you have used on another who has eaten ice cream. He will even break out all over if we eat in a restaurant that uses a lot of milk products....Mexican...fried fish cream stores.
Places everyone loves to go! (This has gotten better though over the yrs..he does not break out anymore unless he eats it)

Even if you are just running somewhere real quick, STILL take it! People LOVE to offer kids candy, cookies, and treats!!! It happens EVERYWHERE we go. Nerve Racking!! Even a quick errand and your kid could be eating a tootsie roll before you can even turn around! (AND, yes!! Chocolate is MILK!!!!!! "MILK CHOCOLATE"!!)

Mama, does this have Milk in it?

One of the best things is how Jack has adapted to his allergy. I have always talked about it in front of him and I constantly read labels of food. So much, that Jacks imitates me and acts like he can read the label himself! So cute!
In our pantry, I have put all the things that he can eat in baskets where he can reach them. This helps babysitters, family, and friends because they know if it is in his baskets it is safe for him to eat. Anything that has Milk or cheese for example in it, I put it way up high! That way no little hands can reach them. ;) He walks straight into our pantry all the time and helps himself . His friends do the same because they LOVE jacks snacks!

When Jack went trick or treating for the first time in our neighborhood (age 3) he immediately told the person at the door "I am allergic to Milk." Well, that stumped a few of them! lol Luckily, the neighbors that know us well even called beforehand saying they had "skittles". One of Jacks all time favorites!

At school, Jack has his very own Tupperware box full of milk free snacks. This is for when someone brings in a treat for the class that is not safe for Jack. Jack can go pick out something and he does not feel left out. It is a shame that so much food is brought into school for kids! No wonder kids weigh too much. Jack is only at school from 8 am till 11:45 and it is a constant worry who is dropping off what that morning to feed the kids. Isn't the snack we send enough!! yeeeeez!! We love our school though and they have been extremely supportive of Jacks allergy. His teachers are SO aware and we have NEVER had one mistake yet! :) Thank you for keeping my baby safe!

A good friend

Lucky for me, one of my best friends Tara lives in a nearby town also has a milk (&peanut) allergy child. She was my first phone call for help. I remember writing down every thing she said that Peyton eats everyday. It was a HUGE relief to have a list of things I knew he had eaten with no reactions! He is seven now and is still allergic to both by the way. It has been a blessing to have her to call and share our worries about our children. We constantly send texts to each other of new Milk free products that our boys can eat. Believe me, you get really tired of buying the same old things at the grocery. I am beyond excited when they make something new that is milk free!! WOOHOO that is a BIG day at our house!

One day, I sent Tara a text that said. "Jack and Peyton can have Papa Johns Pizza!" I had discovered on their website that there is no milk in the crust. I called and talked to the manager and he said I could order for example a pepperoni pizza with no cheese. He said lactose intolerant people order it all the time! Well, that night Peyton had his very first delivered pizza. She said he ate FIVE pieces and made her swear to keep the rest in the fridge for him later. What a great day!!

Now, both Jack and Peyton LOVE pizza!! Even with NO cheese!! Yippppeeeee!!!

I will not be defeated

This is one of my favorite quotes from an old roomate after she cooked a pound cake that came out hard as a rock. LOL She grabbed her purse and was out the door to the grocery store when I asked "where are you going?" She yelled back "I will NOT be DEFEATED!!!" I remember laughing so hard I cried.. Scarlett was a great cook and this pound cake would not win!

Well, that is how I felt. I came home to my husband (also a physician) crying and worried about Jacks severe allergy. He looked up calm as could be and said "Sonya, he could not hear, he could not see, it could be WAY worse." He was right. Thank God for him and that he is medically trained to handle medical emergencies and complete meltdowns of mothers. lol He also said "And, don't use that epi pen "Willy Nilly" it is only to be used if he is having trouble breathing." Advice I needed to be given and was thankful for b/c I was dang sure I was going to NEVER have to use that thing!! God help me.

At night, I would get my sweet pea bathed and sound asleep. Off to the grocery I would go. I could spend countless hours reading ingredient labels in Kroger. I would turn over every box of things kids eat (goldfish, cookies, chicken nuggets, tater tots, chips, etc) trying to find food that did not have milk and or cheese in it. OMG...I would be in there for two hours. But I was DETERMINED that Jack would not be affected by his milk allergy and he was going to eat fun stuff too!

The Beginning

The day Jack was born, I started immediately giving him formula bottles given to me by the hospital. This seemed fine except for what followed when we got home. Extreme spit up, screaming tummy aches, and lots of sleepless nights. I thought all of this was colic and or gas since Jack was my first baby. After seeing the pediatrician on our first visit, he suggested trying SOY milk instead. This did help! Yay!

Then came baby food....
I think Jack was around 1o months old when I decided to try peach cobbler in the baby food jar. I was SO excited! I remember saying to him "you are going to love this!" Well, not quite. He ate one bite!!
Next thing I know, his bottom lip swelled up and he starting throwing up all over me. I ran with him in my arms to the bedroom and cried to my husband "look at him! something is wrong!" He immediately said, "Do we have benadryl???" After the proper dose, Jack was fine and sacked out for a long nap. Sheww!! That was scary.

On Monday morning, I called the pediatrican and said "I think Jack is allergic to MILK". He asked why. I said, well after one bite of peach cobbler (contains dry milk) he had a severe reaction. He said I was probably right and not to feel him ANYTHING with milk in it until we could get scheduled for a allergy test.

Next thing I know, we are in an allergist office getting the prick test on his back for the top ten food allergies. (which is quick and pretty painless) Within seconds, Jack had a hive on his back as round as a baseball. I only wish I had taken a picture now! We still have a scar in that very spot (a little white spot). I think of that day everytime I look at it. The dr. said "definitely allergic to MILK and I mean SEVERE." I can't remember the exact number but it Jack scored the highest. He then trained me how to use an epi pen and told me never to leave home without one and train anyone of cares for Jack how to use it. He also told me a couple of website groups, for instance food and allergy network where I could get a lot of info about this allergy. But, from here on out NO Milk or Milk products for your baby until he passes the test. Bring Jack back every yr about this time and we will see how it is going. (Jack is four and a half ...we have yet to pass a test or even blood work poor buddy!)

Well, then came the tears...why my baby?! He won't ever have real ice cream or birthday cake?!
What in the world am I going to feed him?!!! It is a mothers joy to feed their children good, yummy stuff.
How will I ever let him out of my sight? Who can I trust to watch him and keep him away from milk as I do?!

OMG!!!! Milk is in freaking EVERYTHING!!!!!

Jacks Severe Milk Allergy

Hello everyone!

I am NEW to the blogging world but have decided that I have so much information that could help other mothers like me whose children have been diagnosed with a SEVERE milk allergy. I want to share my knowledge to provide other mothers with the comfort of knowing that you are not alone. :) My Jack is a very happy child and does not miss a beat...even though he must fully avoid MILK and ALL MILK products every day to avoid an emergency/life threatening situation. So, here goes. (This is for my precious angel who I love with all my heart and any child that is in the same boat!)