Category: Time For Family

5 Simple Steps to a Food Allergy Activity Plan

Food Allergy Activity Plan

The reality of food allergies

My daughter has life threatening food allergies to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish.  We have always taken the attitude that even though life-threatening food allergies are categorized by IDEA law (Individuals with Disability Education Act) as a disability– we were not going to limit her activities.  If she was interested in a class or program we would figure out a way to make that happen.

Enter- the high school swim team.

We quickly realized that a swim team = A LOT of food.  These kids need to eat a bunch of calories to be able to have the energy required to swim 2 1/2 hours a day, 6 days a week for practice–let alone swim meets!   My daughter swims the 500-yard freestyle event which is 20 laps of the pool… you need fuel for that kind of endurance.

Nut products are easy to grab, high in protein and calories, and could send my daughter to the hospital in an ambulance if she came in contact with them.  That may sound overly dramatic, but the reality of the situation is that even touching a nut or a surface contaminated with peanut oil could send her into

That may sound overly dramatic, but the reality of the situation is that even touching a nut or a surface contaminated with peanut oil could send her into anaphylactic shock, she would need an Epi-Pen injection and she would have to be rushed to the ER in an ambulance.

That would not be the best way to end a swim meet that’s for sure!

Food Allergy Activity Plan in 5 easy steps

#1 We met with the coaches, teammates and set emails to parents to educate them about her food allergies.

#2 We updated her 504 medical plan to include instruction about how to handle after school activities.

#3 I put together this simple Food Allergy Activity Plan to allow other parents, coaches and friends to be able to still supply allergy friendly snacks and treats for meets.  Feel free to use this idea for your own children or students!

Click here:  Food Allergy Activity Plan Handout

Food Allergy Activity Plan

Food Allergy Activity Plan

#4 Ongoing communication is absolutely necessary in order to keep our food allergy kiddos safe.  We can not assume all of this is taken care of.  We have to be constantly reminding coaches, teachers, and trainers of the dangers associated with food allergies.

#5 Share your story.  It’s hard to talk about the times Sammie has almost lost her life because of her food allergies.  This is not a part of our lives we share frequently or in detail, but opening up and sharing our story has more impact than any activity plan or 504.  Let other adults and kids hear the fear in your voice.  Give them the opportunity to react with kindness and compassion.

Free Service for BWAL readers:

Putting together a food allergy activity plan is an individual process.  Every kid’s food allergies are different and the severity of their reactions range from only having issues if the food is consumed to it being in the air.

As a free service to my readers, I am happy to edit the format of this handout to your child’s specific needs– I can even change the colors so easily!  Just fill out this form and I’ll be in touch.  Right now my turn around on this free service is just a few days so if you have an upcoming sport or activity and want some extra training materials– I’m happy to help!

Just email me a few details through this form and I’ll be in touch to get the specifics.

As always, feel free to pass this along to any other food allergy parents.  We don’t have to be alone in this effort to keep our kids safe.  

 

 

 

 

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10 Easy Valentine’s Day cards for kids

Last week I realized the Valentine’s Day party for my son’s class was NEXT Friday.  What? We just celebrated Christmas, didn’t we?  How is it time to plan for Valentine’s Day??

This year instead of making a craft that the kids will take home and throw away in a week, we are making Valentine’s Day cards and place mats for Meals on Wheels– an organization that delivers meals to people who need support to live independently– often times the elderly or people with disabilities.  

#1 Showering You With Love! Who knew you could use cupcake liners for so many crafts?  This is one I’m showing as an option for our Meals on Wheels cards.  Technically this isn’t a Valentine’s Day card, but I think it will work great!

Photo Credit: I heart crafty things!

#2 Valentine’s Day Heart Caterpillar 

How adorable is this.  Cut, glue and draw some legs!

Valentine's Day cards

Photo Credit: Sassy Dealz

#3. Love Birds 

Again, this isn’t a Valentine’s Day card, but what kind of bird lover would I be if I didn’t show you this one?  It is for sure an option for our service project!

Photo Credit: Glued to my crafts blog

#4 I am loving how cheerful these Heart Flowers are!  You wouldn’t need the sticks– just draw the stem on a card.

Photo Credit: FamilyCorner.com

#5 Heart Balloons!

Photo Credit: Jane Can…

#6 I love how this heart string card incorporates colors other than red and pink!

Photo Credit: Hello Wonderful!

#7 Nifty Mom has highlighted this super cute heart tree. She also has a PDF of the tree and the words at the top if you don’t want to make it yourself!

Photo Credit: Nifty Mom

#8 I couldn’t get to the resource for these two, but I love how simple and pretty they are!

DIY Valentine Heart Bouquet. Cute & easy for the kids to make for grandparents.:

http://handmade-website.com/stvalentines-day-crafts-photos/:

#9 I love you to pieces!

Photo Credit: Solis Plus One

#10 This adorable pop up card is a tiny bit more complicated, but I think we can handle it!

Photo Credit: Make and Takes

It will be hard to pick just a few for the kids to make for Meals on Wheels!

 

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10 DIY Advent Calendars for kids! Plus over 40 Advent filler ideas!

advent calendar

Advent calendars have come a long way since I was a kid.  I remember selling lift the flap calendars filled with generic chocolate candies for fundraisers at school.  I also remember eating more than I ever sold and having to buy most of them myself.

Ah, those were the days.

We love the tradition of the advent calendar, but have never had an actual calendar. I just wrap 24 small gifts in the same paper and with a sharpie marker write the number on the outside.  They go downstairs next to our little bitty 2nd tree. It is not worthy of any magazine that is for sure!  Funny enough though, my kids don’t seem to care how pretty it is.

advent-calendar

I’d like to make something more special this year though and I’m so inspired by the research I’ve done.  Man alive there are some talented people in the world!  (I’ll update you all with my creation after it’s done. Be prepared for a “nailed it” photo!)

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A Food Allergy Friendly Halloween

food allergies

*** Caution- please read before applying these ideas***

  1. Always read labels
  2. Never go off of one person’s research- ingredients change all of the time
  3. Be aware of “made in a factory” or “Made on equipment” notes on the label
  4. Watch for cross contamination
  5. Understand the risks of Anaphylaxis

The reality of Halloween for families with food allergies

When I was a kid we had to go through our candy after trick or treating to make sure none of it was opened or looked tampered with and we threw away all of the homemade goodies unless it was from a neighbor we knew well.  Other than the danger of too much candy in too little time leading to hyper kids and cavities- it was a pretty stress free experience.

If you love a child with dangerous food allergies, however, Halloween is one of the scariest holidays of the year- and not because of the haunted houses and spooky costumes.

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10 Fall Journal Prompts for Kids!

Fall journal prompts

If you would like to print this little card feel free! Here’s the PDF file to make it easier for you:   fall-journal-prompts-for-kids

Fall Journal Prompts for Kids

It’s been said Labor Day is the second New year- summer is over, it’s a fresh start to a new school year, and my beloved sweater weather is in sight.  As the air turns crisper and the holidays approach I love to encourage my kids to write!

(I totally didn’t mean for that to sound like a poem.  I guess I have writing on the brain today!)

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10 Back To School teacher gift ideas that Won’t Break your Budget!

10 back to school teacher gifts that won't break the bank

How is your summer going?  Did your kids do much on their Summer Bucket List?  We have a few gaps in our list, but over all we had a fun summer vacation!

I like to send in a little teacher gift at the beginning of school to thank our new teacher for their time and effort in getting the classroom ready and maybe help supplement some of the out-of-pocket cost they take on at the beginning of each year.  Simple, thoughtful gestures can go a long way toward building someone back up after a stressful few weeks!

Most of these ideas could also be great projects to get your kids excited for back to school.  Not that any of you are dealing with that right?  Am I the only one with kids who thought summer break flew by this year?

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Cub Scout Help! A Webelos Day Camp “Catch Up”

Cub Scout

Cub Scout Webelos Den Catch Up Day!

The new scouting program for the Webelos den is a TON of work!  It’s a big jump from the relatively low-key Bears to Webelos.

Our Solution?

 

A Webelos Day Camp!  This activity will address a lot of requirements we won’t get to in the weekly den meetings.

 

Camp Plan:  Saturday   10 am-4 pm- We did ours back in April so if you have questions about how to run a quick one day camp be sure to let me know!

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Fun and Free 4th of July printables!

4th of july printables for kids

The 4th of July is a time of reflection, celebration, fireworks and fun!  To help my kids take sensory overload breaks this 4th of July I’ve been on the hunt for some activities to do indoors.

Here’s a printable of the little word hunt I created for my family car ride to get you started:

United States Word Hunt

4th of July

My favorite 4th of July Kids Activities

#1 If you are traveling for the 4th activities like this word search from My Untitled Life are a must!

#2 This cute little bingo game will sure to be a hit with younger kids.  Thanks to Gift of Curiosity for making this!

#3 imom.com made this cool trivia game- 4th of July style.

#4 Are photo booths still “in”?  I have no clue- I have never claimed to be up on the latest, but what’s not to love about these cute little mustaches from Fox Hollow Cottage?

#5 If the kids need a break from the heat have a few of these coloring pages from Easy Peasy and Fun printed and ready in the AC.

#6 My Sisters Suitcase has created a 4th of July version of Don’t Eat Peet that I think is downright adorable.  Instead of Peet we have Don’t Eat Uncle Sam!

#7 Moritz Fine Designs has one of my favorite finds- a 4th of July Scavenger Hunt!

#8 A paper chain flag is such a clever idea!  Decorations made from staples and paper that my kids can make themselves are my kind of holiday spruce!  Thanks, Lightbulbs and Laughter!

#9 What about a 4th of July pull string pinata?  I’ve made this pinata a few times and different wrapping paper will make it work with any theme!

#10 Finally- a dessert idea to serve the masses– it’s all assembly which is why I’m considering it for our July 4th cookout.  Chocolate covered pretzels… YUM.  Berries… YUM.  Cherries… DOUBLE YUM!

Don’t forget my little printable make a word game- perfect for beginner readers through adults so a boring car ride doesn’t turn ugly.

United States Word Hunt 

Happy 4th of July!

 

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10 Weeks of Total Fitness!

Total Fitness Challenge

The Fit Challenge: 10 weeks of TOTAL FITNESS!

I read about this amazing idea in a church magazine- a group of teen girls in a youth group committed to this challenge of Total Fitness in preparation for a camp they would all attend.

Their testimonies are so inspiring so be sure to go back and read the full article here.

I am doing this challenge with my kids the rest of the summer- feel free to join in the “fun” if you want!

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