Picnic with Claritin in Tow!

Our family not only suffers from food allergies but also some seasonal allergies.  Given the high pollen counts we are definitely glad to have our Claritin on hand to help us enjoy our outdoor spring adventures.  As a member of the Claritin mom crew, I had the pleasure of hosting a spring picnic planning mommy meet-up. 

We had so much fun sharing healthy tips for seasonal allergy planning provided by Claritin, reveling in the awesome kid friendly allergy cool packs, and sampling several of our favorite allergy friendly recipes.  Below you will find 6 of the recipes that our moms shared.  They print out as 5 x 7 recipe cards and are completely free to download!  Enjoy the recipes scroll down and keep reading for tips on how we picnic with food allergies.  :)

As a mom with a child with food allergies picnics can be filled with a bit of anxiety, because they are a natural environment to share and taste other families foods. I am always appreciative of families that pack with our allergies in mind, but never rely or expect that. Here are a few things I do to make sure we don't miss out on the fun but do our best to stay food safe:

1: Bring your own blanket and make it a big one!

This is one of those realities that makes me feel like a heal, but we rarely sit on other peoples blankets.  The reality of crumbs or chips that could harm us is just to great.  I typically explain this reality to our little friends and most have no problem sitting close but not with us if they have allergens. 

2: Pack extra water, wipes, hand sanitizers and towels.

Mom's rarely look unfavorably at having extra wipes on hand.  This way you can not only keep your littles hands clean but you can also help little friends contain any present allergens remaining on their skin.  Of coarse, for those with severe contact allergies this may be of no help.  We discussed this process with our allergist and I highly recommend you do the same!  Every allergy is unique and some require complete containment and separation from the allergen.

3:  Have your epipen and anti-histamine protocol in the thermal!

I literally pack my thermal complete with a medicine bag that includes several doses of anti-histamine as directed by our allergist and an epipen twin pack.

4:  Bring enough to share and bring a few recipe cards.

I am often surprised when people are stunned by how  delicious and kid friendly allergy foods can be.  This inspired me to always pack with sharing in mind.  I keep a record of any of the top eight allergens that are present in the recipe for my fellow allergy moms.  Having the card ensures that if someone likes what they taste they can recreate it at home.  Got to  love the idea of non-allergy moms cooking allergy friendly by choice :)

5:  Don't forget what you didn't know before your child had a food allergy.

People almost always want to include, help and share.  But don't forget that food allergies are complex.  When you first started looking at food labels, were you shocked at how many items contained hidden allergens?  Did you understand that foods sitting to closely in the fridge can contaminate otherwise safe foods?  Did you know how to properly sterilize cooking vessels to ensure that they would be safe for cooking specific to your allergy?  Probably not.  Most people don't.  With that in mind we rarely eat foods made in non-allergy homes.  When we do I always make sure that I am comfy enough with the person that I can ask some down right rude questions.  My rule of thumb has become if they aren't close enough to understand the need for the rude and frankly invasive question that accompany how they prepped the food, the best answer is thank you but no. 

Sending out a big thanks to Claritin for inspiring such an awesome play date and congratulations to all our moms and kiddos that won Claritin cool packs!

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The Wasting Nothing Philosophy

Playing, cooking, reading, exploring, loving, laughing, and making a mess with your little one is NEVER a waste of time! It is priority one! It's not just about getting to know your little one. It's about letting your little one get to know you!