Protect Your Child from Bullying

Sadly, it seems that bullying is almost inevitable in children’s lives today…
Bullying is generally “directed towards a less powerful person that is intended to cause harm, distress or fear”…
Living with severe food allergies creates a situation where one is by no fault of their own less powerful…
It creates a higher probability of being bullied for one reason or another… but of course doesn’t mean that this will automatically be the case…
The very best thing that we can do as parents of children with severe food allergies is to foster a kind heart in our children…
Most children living with severe food allergies know what it is like to miss out, to be isolated, to be rejected, to feel different…
They have experienced this all first hand too often from a very young age…
To know empathy, to feel sympathy, to have a kind heart are all emotions that they have most likely learnt first hand…
To foster these emotions and to teach our children mutual respect, and resilience are the greatest gifts that we can nurture in our children to help eradicate the terrible behaviour of bullying towards our children…
I hate that my child has to live with the threat of death on his shoulders each and every day…
No child should have to live with such a scary burden and to then have kids acting as cowards around him and towards him is an added unnecessary blow…
All we can do is hope that all the resilience that they have created for themselves through navigating this difficult road to this point helps and guides them through it all…
Resilience is the “capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”…
Resilience is the “process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress”…
I believe that every difficult situation that Oliver has had to deal with up until this point has led to this day….
We are so very proud of how Oliver recently reacted to his latest “attack”…
A callous, premeditated assault…
It’s not the fist time threats have been made towards Oliver in relation to his life-threatening allergies but it is the first time that someone has physically and intentionally gone out of their way to try and harm him… or at the very least scare the living daylights out of him… who actually knows what the bully is thinking???
Oliver’s locker lock was smeared with food… the bully obviously wanted to scare Oliver… to harm Oliver… or probably just make themselves feel better by making someone else feel bad…
They were obviously wanting Oliver to touch the lock and have a reaction…
Or maybe they have no real idea of the REACTION of their ACTION…
We are so thankful that Oliver took every previous experience that he has had, everything that he has learnt to date and took this act in his stride…
Firstly, and most importantly, Oliver was able to identify that there was something wrong with his lock before he touched it…
He then had the courage to go to someone of authority to tell them of the situation…
Oliver was calm, cool and collected… Although he did describe the situation to his teacher as “my locker has been sabotaged”…
We were thankful that previous knowledge and education to Oliver’s teachers enabled them to see the extreme dangers of this situation and how they should handle the outcomes of this behaviour as extremely serious…
Most of all we were very, very proud that Oliver was able to regulate his emotions which must have been a multitude of any number of emotions from anger to fear to bewilderment…
He was diplomatic in how he handled the situation…
When I asked Oliver that day after school how his day had gone… He started proudly with… “I avoided having a major anaphylactic reaction today Mum!”
Well, I too, learnt something from Oliver that day… how to remain calm in a situation where I very much felt very angry and out of control…
Oliver actually felt sorry for the person that attempted to harm him…
He forgave and he moved on…
Such a brave, brave, resilient boy for all that he has to go through on a day to day basis…
We are very proud of you Oliver… and all the severe food allergy children that have to live with this disease and all that it brings with it…

You are bringing something very special into this world that is bigger than any of us can possibly imagine…

You are our SUPERHEROES!!
Written by: Simone Albert

Christmas cookies – Dairy-free, Egg-free, Wheat-free, Nut-free

Christmas Cookies 

Ingredients

  • 125g Nuttelex
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar 
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups wheat-free Plain white flour  (we use Doves Farm)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 50g apple puree
  • dairy-free milk for glazing (we use soy)
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar place in x3 different bowls and x1 drop of food colouring (red, yellow, green) place into each bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Method

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan ). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

2. Cream the Nuttelex, sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl until combined and creamy. Add the puree and continue to mix until combined. Gradually add the flour and baking powder until a soft dough has formed. Knead lightly until combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Roll dough between 2 pieces of baking paper until 5mm thick. Dust biscuit cutters and cut out shapes of choice. Place on prepared tray.

4. Brush with soy milk and sprinkle with coloured caster sugar.

5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy and Happy Christmas to you all 🙂 

Schools Out for Summer !

Schools out for Summer!! Our school year is over for 2015. We are all so excited!! For us it means Summertime fun.. No routines! Sleep ins. No driving back & forth! It’s long days at the beach. It’s picnics anywhere we want. It’s bike ride adventures. It’s surfing. It’s boogie boarding. It’s the Festive season. It’s BBQ’s with family & friends. It’s long days swimming in the pool! It’s slipping and sliding on our slip & slide.

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It’s all about relaxing and having fun! It’s stopping and climbing a tree or 2…

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It’s still packing lunch boxes as we take Oliver’s food everywhere we go but it’s a ‘sometimes thing’ & not an everyday grind!!

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It’s a time for reflection.

It’s a time to be thankful.

It’s another safe school year done…

 

We have had a great year moving up to Middle School into the Enviro Year… where we thought if any school year would be a challenge this would be the year… we started with ‘bated breath’… but Oliver left the safety of the Junior School that he had become accustomed to with great confidence. He also left the school on many occasions to attend school excursions, when he attended his Yr 4 camp, he participated in ponding down by the river, he gardened and he was a part of the Yr 4 orchestra… Oliver also attended orientation day for 2016… all extremely successfully!

The preparation for each new school year starts the year before and it is always a journey but we again… together… achieved great things!

We are so thankful for Oliver’s teachers, friends, school nurses, extended teaching staff, extra curricular activity teachers… so many people that have made this year an especially amazing year of safety, growth and success for Oliver. For this we are eternally grateful xo

As Oliver’s mum I am also so thankful that I am able to work from home. My online business allows me to be there for Oliver anytime that he or the school needs me. And it makes my heart feel more at ease knowing that in case of any emergency I can be there… and I can spend every day of the holidays with him… so now…

It’s now time for relaxation. Less stress! Less worry…

It’s now a time to sit back and feel just like everyone else…

Have a happy & safe Summer everyone 🙂 🙂 🙂

Waffles – Egg-free, Wheat-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

We make from scratch most of our food. We never thought that we would be able to recreate a waffle that had the same taste and texture as the original. Up until last year we didn’t have to… we were able to buy a really great tasting, frozen waffle that was free of dairy, wheat, egg and nuts. Just over a year ago they disappeared off the shelves and we thought that it was just an importing problem and with time they would be back on the shelves. We enquired and found out that the little company that specialised in these yummy frozen waffles had been struck by a typhoon and their little factory destroyed. Unfortunately it was a small family owned business and inevitably the typhoon destroyed them… this left us with the dilemma that we were probably not going to eat waffles again… with the continual requests from our boys we went to work on trying to recreate a waffle recipe that would taste great and have the right consistency that all waffles must 🙂 hope that you too enjoy the Oliver’s Choice waffle recipe!

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Zeppoli – Italian donut

Reminiscing on growing up as a child spending hours in my Nonna’s kitchen preparing Christmas goodies together. It’s one of my favourite childhood memories. One of the many delicacies that my Nonna would create was her Zeppoli… the Italian donut. It was a deep fried dough that would most of the time have sultanas inside the balls. But it didn’t necessarily have to. This was my Nonna’s twist on the Zeppoli. Everyone loved Nonna’s Zeppoli! Recently I had the thought to use Nonna’s Zeppoli recipe to recreate a donut for Oliver. Most of the ingredients were fine for Oliver so with some recreating and tweaking it became a reality. The kids love them as much as I did as a child… and the tradition will now be continued 🙂

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Sticky Date in a Mug – Dairy-free, wheat-free, egg-free, nut-free

I was talking to a friend towards the end of last term and I was asking her what she was looking forward to most about her upcoming amazing European holiday with the kids. She told me… no lunch boxes, no cooking, no washing dishes and no grocery shopping. You really don’t get a break from all of that when living with severe food allergies… there is no eating in restaurants for Oliver with the allergens he has to contend with… While away on holidays we normally stay in an apartment so that we can cook and prepare our meals in a safe environment. We recently started to go to the snow… to a special lodge that we have found that caters breakfast and dinner and there is no access to the kitchen (which would normally be my heaven). Initially we thought that this would be a problem but it has actually turned out to work in our favour. These holidays I pre prepared all of Oliver’s meals. We have access to a microwave so I knew that I could safely re heat all his meals. And by having my other son, my husband’s and my meals prepared to gourmet levels… meant that I really felt like I also had a holiday! It was amazing! Plus… and this is the BIG plus… ALL the dishes were done for us 🙂 HEAVEN!!

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Versatile Muffin recipe – Thermomix

It’s always great to have a freezer to lunchbox favourite for the kids school lunch boxes and this won’t let you down. This is a great base recipe that stays fresh for days and once defrosted even though it is gluten/wheat free and egg free. You are able to make blueberry muffins, raspberry muffins, chocolate chip, cinnamon… whatever your choice is with this base recipe. Enjoy!

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Fudgy, Chewy, Chocolate Brownies

To recreate the best egg-free, wheat-free, dairy-free brownie we first needed to understand what it takes to make a great brownie a great brownie? We have had our share of not so good brownies that’s for sure. When you live free of dairy, wheat and eggs the perfect brownie recipe may be hard to come by… We have also had our share of failed recreations. We have learnt that a good brownie should be fudgy but not dry, dense but not hard, soft but not light, chewy but not gooey 🙂

Oliver and I recently explored all things ‘eggs’! On this journey we learnt that the simple egg takes on many different functions in different recipes. The incredible egg emulsifies, binds, aerates (leavens) and flavours… and… it does almost all of these actions to create the very best brownie. So… in order for us to recreate the perfect EGG FREE brownie we had to imitate all of these amazing functions of the simple egg… this for us meant taking on a whole new realm of egg science and lots of trials and errors!! But… “By George, I think we’ve got it!”

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Linseed (Flaxseed) Gel Egg Replacer

Linseed (Flaxseed) Gel Egg Replacer – Wheat-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free

On exploration of the simple egg Oliver and I discovered that the simple egg is not so simple… it in fact takes on many different functions in different recipes. The incredible egg… emulsifies, binds (structure builder), aerates (leavens) and flavours.

Binder (Structure Builder): Eggs are structure builders… They contain a particularly useful protein… one protein in particular, called ovalbumin that is found in the translucent egg white, or albumen. When this protein is exposed to heat, it denatures and distorts the protein structure and causes it to unfold into little protein strands. The strands then join together to form a strong protein network that gives foods structure. This structure gets stiffer and stronger and actually pulls together slightly as more heat is applied and water is steamed off.

This is the protein that is tested in SPT’s these days to see if a child can tolerate baked egg products. Oliver passed the SPT for the ovomucoid but unfortunately failed the Baked Egg Challenge.

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Lemon Meringue Pie – Free of dairy, egg, wheat and nuts!

It’s cold and it’s definitely lemon season. There’s something amazing about how the seasonal fruit and vegetables match our needs as humans…. like when it’s Winter it’s flu season and with a cold or a flu lemons and oranges are a perfect remedy for healing or keeping away those nasty bugs… I haven’t really eaten a lot of Lemon Meringue Pie but this was a great opportunity to try and recreate an egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free version of this awesome dessert with all the lemons that we have on our tree at the moment. I wasn’t sure if it was possible but by George, we gave it a really good go… Hope that you enjoy this version as much as we do… 🙂

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