Gluten-Free Summer Camps in California 2013

Posted on January 29th, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Camp | Comments Off on Gluten-Free Summer Camps in California 2013

Treat your child to a week of gluten freedom at a special summer camp! There are two California camps dedicated to gluten-free campers – Camp Celiac in northern California, and CDF Camp Gluten-Free in southern California.

CAMP CELIAC

In northern California at Camp Celiac, “campers, counselors, and junior counselors eat delicious gluten-free food and enjoy traditional camp activities such as a ropes course, rock climbing, zip-lining, boating, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, skit night, and outdoor sports. Three meals a day without having to ask if any of the foods are gluten free is life changing for many campers and staff!” Ages 9-17. Campers ages 16-17 years may choose to volunteer as junior counselors.

There will be two weeks (each with a different group of campers):

Week 1: Tuesday, July 23 – Saturday, July 27, 2013
Week 2: Saturday, July 27 – Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

To register:

All campers from Northern California who register between Feb 1st and Feb 14th will be given equal priority if all four registration steps (see below) are completed by February 14 (and received if paying by mail); i.e. there is no advantage to registering on February 1st rather than February 14th. After February 14th, available space will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis after all four registration steps are completed (and received if paying by mail). For more information about how to sign up for this camp, visit the registration page at CeliacCamp.com.

CDF Camp Gluten-Freeâ„¢

At CDF Camp Gluten-Freeâ„¢, campers with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity enjoy sports, swimming, arts, and high adventure in a strictly gluten-free environment. Camp is held July 15-19, 2013 at Camp Fire Camp Nawakwa, located in the beautiful Barton Flats Area of the San Bernardino Mountains in CA and accredited by American Camping Association” Ages 7-15.

There will be one week:

July 15-19, 2013

To register:

Camp registration is on a first come-first served basis. To register, you must send your completed camp registration forms, one registration packet for each camper or Mentor, with a $200 deposit to Celiac Disease Foundation. You will receive a letter from Celiac Disease Foundation confirming the camper or Mentor’s spot at the camp. Only campers on the confirmation list will be allowed to attend the camp. Payment in full is due by May 1, 2013. Full fee per Child $450; Full fee per Mentor $550. Call the CDF office at 818.990.2354 or follow the registration steps on the Celiac Disease Foundation website.


If you carry EpiPens, please read this

Posted on February 27th, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Food Allergies, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy | Read 10 Comments - Add Your Own »

A friend of mine, who is also a mom of a child with food allergies, talked to me recently about how  she has not been diligent about taking the EpiPen with them wherever they go, and about how her husband hasn’t taken responsibility for bringing the emergency medication when he takes the child somewhere. They know they should, but they forget, or they haven’t totally accepted the fact that the EpiPen might be the thing that saves their child’s life someday. I get it — I was in the same boat a while ago.

We had EpiPens, we had Benadryl, but it was hanging around our house in different places. Sometimes it would go in my purse, or be stashed in a compartment in my car, or thrown into whatever bag we were carrying that day. My husband didn’t know where it was, and how scary to think what would have happened if I wasn’t around in an emergency to find it.

After a few close calls of our own, and a few heart-wrenching news stories of kids who died because the medicine was not accessible, I realized that I may not be able to control everything she eats (though I try!), but I can make sure that treatment is available should an accident happen.

When a seven-year old with food allergies died, it hit me hard, and I had a heart-to-heart with my seven-year old daughter, sharing the little girl’s tragic story with her, and talking to her about taking responsibility for her own safety. I told her how sad I would be to lose her and that she needed to keep herself safe by 1) not eating anything that could possibly be unsafe and 2) carrying her medication with her at all times. Since then, she has been much more careful with food and diligent about making sure her emergency kit is with her at all times.

And that brings me to the point of this article. You can’t expect the child (or other family members) to be responsible about the emergency medication without providing some organization first. You need to have consistency.

First, get a carrier of some kind. When I set out to write this article, I meant to highlight the carriers I use but it turns out that they are no longer available. The ones I use were made by AllergyKids. They are flourescent green with a big AllergyKids logo on it, they zip and they are roomy enough for a couple of epi-pens and other medication like Benadryl. I like that they are brightly colored so anyone who knows us knows that the bright green bag has the emergency medication in it. I also wrote my daughter’s name is black Sharpie pen in large letters on the bag. There is no mistaking this bag for anything else. You can spot it from far away and find it easily within my daughter’s backpack or anywhere else we might put it. If you can’t find a brightly colored bag like I did, at least buy a few bags with the same pattern so that everyone knows which bags are the Epi bags.

Then, make sure you have a consistent place to keep it in your house, ideally near the front door so that it is easy to remember and easy to grab. We keep one of the bags in my daughter’s backpack and we have another one in the house in my daughter’s “inbox.” We know to look there for the pack when we are going somewhere. She knows to look there also, and even her little sister is always on the lookout for the emergency pack.

You need to find a system that works for you, but have a system!

I found many companies that sell Epi-Pen bags of all styles and colors. Here are some of them:

Allergy Apparel

OneSpot Allergy

BlueBear Aware

Moxie Pouches

Etsy

Let me know if you have a system that works for your allergic child!


Two California summer camps for gluten-free kids – register now

Posted on January 29th, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Camp, SF Bay Area | Comments Off on Two California summer camps for gluten-free kids – register now

Treat your child to a week of gluten freedom at a special summer camp! There are two California camps – Camp Celiac in northern California, and the new Children’s Celiac Camp in southern California.

CAMP CELIAC

In northern California at Camp Celiac, “campers, counselors, and volunteers eat delicious gluten-free food and do camp activities such as a ropes course, rock climbing, ziplining, boating, swimming, and outdoor sports. Three meals a day without having to ask if any of the foods are gluten-free is life-changing for many campers and staff!” Ages 9-17.

There will be two weeks (each with a different group of campers):

Week 1:  Tuesday, July 24 – Saturday, July 28, 2012
Week 2:  Saturday, July 28 – Weds, August 1, 2012

To register:

Priority is given to campers from Northern California. All campers from Northern California who register between Feb 1st and Feb 14th will be given equal priority if all four registration steps (see below) are completed by February 14 (and received if paying by mail); i.e. there is no advantage to registering on February 1st rather than February 14th. After February 14th, available space will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis after all four registration steps are completed (and received if paying by mail).  At all times, space availability will depend, in part, on the camper’s age & gender since cabins are segregated by sex and age. For more information about how to sign up for this camp, visit the registration page at CeliacCamp.com.

CHILDREN’S CELIAC CAMP – New!

In Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear, campers will enjoy “a week with their peers, filled with fun activities and adventure in an environment dedicated to their dietary needs. Attend Camp Nawakwa in the beautiful Barton Flats area of the San Bernardino Mountains and enjoy archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, cookouts, drama, hip hop dance, nature lore, swimming and wall climbing.” Ages 7-15.

There will be one week:

July 30, 2012 to August 3, 2012

To register:

Spaces are limited…Plan ahead…Reserve now. Call the CDF office at 818.990.2354 or follow the registration steps on the Celiac Disease Foundation website.


Healthy eating habits start early

Posted on September 15th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Healthy Living | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

gardeningI grew up eating healthy. My parents and grandparents had vegetable gardens, and I became accustomed to eating whole tomatoes picked off the vine, slices of lemon cucumbers with a sprinkle of salt, even sweet ears of corn from my grandparents’ rows of stalks. My mom was a good cook and I don’t remember ever not wanting to eat what was on the table. I believe healthy eating habits start early. I know I am lucky that my family was able to sit down to dinner together almost every night to eat a delicious balanced meal, and that my parents made it a priority. I strive to do this now for my family.

Now you’d think I would have been a label-reader all my life, making certain that I was eating healthy. Nope…

To find out why I became a label-reader, read the rest of my article on the Attune Foods blog!