Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Summer Trip to the land of Bears and Moose- VERMONT!

My boyfriend is from Vermont, so we planned a trip to go visit his family there. I am a city girl, so I was a bit hesitant of visiting Vermont, but I ended up loving it!

I had never stayed with his family before, so I was a nervous about how it would be in general, never mind with my allergies. Luckily, his parents are amazing, and were so wonderful with my allergies! They double checked all ingredients for our lunches and dinners together, while also making sure that there was plenty of food in the house that I wasn't allergic to, so that I could always find something to eat! They also understood the severity and being careful with cross contamination.

We had some fabulous meals all together, and there were no allergies issues the entire week! It was so nice to be able to feel relaxed, and be aware but not worried about what I ate! The only real concern that I had while I was there, was that the nearest hospital was a good 40 minute drive away. To feel more comfortable I brought plenty of Epi-pens and Benedryl, and stayed aware of what I ate.

My boyfriend and I at the Ben & Jerry's Factory

Since we were in Vermont, we HAD to go to the Ben & Jerry's Factory. I LOVE ice cream! Ben & Jerry's has some of my favorite flavors! We did the tour around the factory. At the end, they give you a complementary scoop of ice cream to sample, which has already been scooped and is ready to eat. They had another flavor option if for some reason you couldn't eat that one. Unfortunately, I couldn't eat either flavor! I went up and asked our guide if I could get a different flavor because I was allergic to both options. Instead, he gave me a coupon to go get a free cone after the tour. I thought that was a nice gesture, and worked out very well! I asked him also about cross-contamination, and how they keep their nut free ice creams separate, and he explained to me their entire process. It was interesting to learn about!

My week away in Vermont was a wonderful escape from the fast paced life I am used to, and a positive allergy-free trip! :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trusting babysitters

Trusting anyone with your child, whether they have allergies or not can be difficult. For parents who have children with food allergies, this becomes even more terrifying!

I asked my mom what her experience was when I was little. She told me for the first few years they used my aunt and my grandparents as babysitters. My mom told me that the first babysitter that she left me with, ended up giving me a piece of candy one time that she had with her. Luckily I wasn't allergic, but she didn't check with my mom or anything! My mom said that after that they were even more careful. My parents were lucky because my grandparents and aunt weren't too far away.

Once I started going to nursery school, I used to go over classmates' houses for play dates. My parents always sent me with my own snack and the same snack for my friend. My parents made me responsible at a very early age, so although they could get nervous, they usually felt okay sending me places (remember, I was the only one in any of my schools that had any food allergies, so it was extremely rare). My parents were great about educating everyone who was around me about what they needed to do! My parents were also able to become close with my best friends' parents, so they were all like second families to me. I always felt very safe going to any of their houses.

As I got older we had more babysitters. In my second year of nursery school, my teacher would sometimes babysit me, and she stayed with me when my parents were in Europe for a few weeks.

It really comes down to educating. People are now becoming more and more aware of food allergies. If you can educate them and feel like they "get it," then that is great! It is also very hepful having close family and friends who you trust to care for your children!