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Larabar allergy info

Now that we are road tripping much more for weekly allergy treatments far away…packing healthy stuff has gotten more challenging.  My desire to be creative and offer diverse fresh whole foods is running up against exhaustion and it’s making me land somewhere in the middle with regards to packing food…which means, something’s gotta give.  So I recently contacted Larabar, wondering if perhaps their bars were safe for P.  I’ve never trusted another company that makes peanut products, and as you all know I’ve made my own bars on a weekly basis for…going on four years now…what if…I could stop making my own bars?  What if a company sold bars that were basically the same as the ones I made, with no fillers or non-food ingredients?

Here’s the written response:

Thank you for contacting LÄRABAR regarding our blueberry muffin bars. Our goal is to provide accurate information, and we believe this is best accomplished by referring to the specific ingredients listed on each product package. This is the most current information for your needs.

Our products are labeled for the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, dairy products, eggs, soy, wheat, crustaceans and fish) plus sesame, sunflower and mollusks.

If one of our products contains any of the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, milk products, wheat, crustaceans, and fish) or if it contains sesame, sunflower or mollusks, that ingredient will be bolded within the ingredient panel. If it is not listed, it is NOT in the product.

This ingredient and allergen information is for the package in hand. It is not intended for other packages of the same product. Ingredients may vary from one package to another due to product reformulation. If you have allergy concerns, please carefully read the ingredient information on each package.

You may also want to contact the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) at 1-800-929-4040, or visit their web site at www.foodallergy.org. Although they cannot provide specific ingredient information regarding a particular product, they are a good resource to help in the management of your allergies and sensitivities.

I hope this information is helpful, Elise. Thanks again for your interest in our products!

Simply yours,
Renetta Blake
Consumer Relations Representative
##:17574426

Not as helpful as I’d hoped because what I really wanted to know was if their peanut products shared equipment with their non peanut products.  So I called them.  It rang twice, and a real person answered and told me they use separate equipment for peanut products AND if they did share equipment with peanuts it would be noted on the wrapper or box label.  SWEET!

Guess what I went out and bought that afternoon?

They’re saying “APPLE PIE!”

They loved them so much!!  And no reactions!!!

We had a stellar afternoon with nobody else at the park.  They are so fun right now – they absolutely love each other and their physical abilities are close enough that parks are just a blast for them…it’s a joy for me to watch (and participate in).

They are silly and adventurous and imaginative and supportive.

He took a full 10 minutes to coax her down this slide and when she finally came down I don’t know who was more proud!  And then they went back and did it again and again 100 more times chasing each other and giggling with glee the whole time.

It’s funny how different they are, but how much they are mutually enamored with each other.  This chick is a firecracker…she brings out the biggest smiles in our whole family.  And now she’s a big TWO year old!

She was very into that crown!  Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.  After our park date, I still had some time to kill before dinner, so I swung into Target and bought a box of these guys.  We have a combined 10 hours in the car over the next two days so why not?

I just wish I could get carrot cake bars.  Or any others individually.  I may have to seek them out at a Whole Foods store when we are in LA next week…because buying them online seems a $$$ option.  Anyone know where to get the less popular bars for cheap without buying in bulk?

OH!  And guess what else I learned from Larabar?!  They use Enjoy Life chocolate chips so the vegan chocolate ones are even safe for P!  (And me)  I am so stoked!

Packing like a champ.  V got headphones for her birthday (thanks Auntie Bee!) and I found an old discman at my parents’ house, so on our last library trip I got 8 books on cd.  The books are mostly for P, but I have a feeling she will want in, if for no reason other than to be like him.  😉

Double celebrations

Woke up at my parents’ house on Friday and went for a run while Kyle hung with the kiddos, then we swapped and he got his workout in.  After a quick shower P and I hit the road to Fremont for his second oral immunotherapy appt.  All allergy posts are here FYI (in case you missed one and don’t know what I’m talking about with this OIT business).

We left later this time but still left room for a quick run in to sbux.  In the heat of the previous day’s packing chaos, I completely forgot the bag of all P’s activities (including his meds that I need if he has a reaction when we aren’t at the clinic!). SUCH A FAIL.  Ugh.  Luckily my parents’ house is packed with kids’ stuff and I found both of the Where’s Waldo books I had from my childhood…in addition to an I Spy book and some felt boards. I printed out a few more letter activities from the measured mom website and I was back in action.  I still felt horrible for forgetting his meds…and the Connect Four game he got from the pediatrician after being so brave during his shots.  But I explained to him that I made a mistake and that I’d remember it next time for sure.

The truth of the matter is, he spent the first two hours on my lap searching through the pages of Where’s Waldo with the only breaks for dosing and vitals.

Champ.

This special berry flavored apple sauce was a fun change up for him – made even more enjoyable by adding almonds, cheerios, and raisins from the trail mix I made him one by one in to it. Whatever works to pass the time!  In this case, his s u p e r s l o w eating works to my favor.  No joke, between books that require searching for hidden objects and eating, it pretty much fills up all the time we are there.  Not that it flies by or anything.

New snack alert!

I bought these bare banana “chips” for P, but I like them too.  I like surprising him with some kind of special snack or new activity (or both!) for OIT days to keep him excited about it.  I’ve heard of the bare brand before but hadn’t tried anything.  Nugget Market carries a bunch of their products and the coconut chips looked good too.  Maybe next time…

Per pacman, the one with the most hair in the photo is V!?!

P had another very successful day of OIT, which ended on a more concentrated ratio of water to milk.  However an hour after his last dose (right before we were about to be cleared to go) he started complaining of itching on his inner elbow.  They kept him over an hour after that, giving him anti-histamines too, and monitoring his vitals and the progress of the symptoms just to be overly cautious.  Also, one of his cheeks and ears turned red and puffed up, so obviously they waited for that inflammation to go away too.  In the end, it stopped before it advanced further, but I was definitely on high alert for the whole drive home (especially since I left my meds in Davis!).

P didn’t nap on the way back to my parents house, and when I got home, they told me V refused to nap too.  So we all went for a walk around the reservoir.

My sister was off work by then, so she joined us.  It was fun until a chopper started circling overheard.  Came to find out there was a mountain lion up in the brush (very much within view). EEEEEKKKK!  No thank you.  Kept the kids in the stroller after that and buddied up with another walker who had a big dog. Nobody else seemed phased, but I was pretty glad that we only had a mile left until we were back to the car.

Dinner!  The birthday boy (Kyle) got to pick the meal, which was burgers.  My dad grilled and my sis made fries, and I anxiously hovered trying to help get the kids down early…until I was given a glass of Roscato and told to go watch basketball.  Done.

He chose my mom’s chocolate pecan pie for dessert, OBVIOUSLY.  It’s everyone’s favorite, so we were all very happy about his choice.  😉

We spent that night there, and then got out the door as soon as the kids finished breakfast the next morning.  I was up before the rest of the house with P, so I worked out in the living room while he hung out with me and did more Where’s Waldo and felt boards.  I totally killed myself!  I have been majorly sore ever since that workout!!  Anyway, we were trying to get on the road asap, because we scheduled V’s 2nd birthday party at 9:30 that morning.  Back in Davis.

V had a shared party just like last year with her birthday buddy.  His mom and I are known as “the Elises” when together, but have to go by our last names amongst our friends since it’s too confusing otherwise. It’s funny that I went my whole life not knowing anyone else with my name, and now I have a best friend also named Elise.  Spelled the same way, even!

Despite being due a day apart, our two cuties were born a week apart.  We were the first crazy moms of our group to have second kids, so it has been nice to have her to share in the chaos of two young things so close in age.

Anyway, we divided and conquered for the party…we did a craft first, thanks to Elise’s pinterest-ing (while Kyle ran home to get the muffins I left in the fridge).

I made two pans of these apple honey vanilla muffins (“cupcakes”) which were a huge hit.  I think every kid had a second, and several had three.

The wind was a little too much, so I just held out the candle for them to pretend blow out….but they looked at me like I was crazy.

My loves.

By noon everyone had dispersed so we went home for lunch and naps.  Just one of those was for me.

Oh hiiiii.  Lunch of my dreams.

After P woke up I took him shopping with me.  First we had to go get V a birthday present.  Even though we did no presents with her, I’m letting him pick something out to gift her just like I did with her for his birthday (because I like promoting giving and encouraging generosity). My sweet boy was so thoughtful…brainstorming bunny things for her because he knows how much she loves bunnies.  After that we went grocery shopping and came home to join the other half of the family with some backyard playing until dinner.

I had a beast of a salad for lunch and wasn’t totally in the mood for another salad (weird, I know), but Kyle wanted a Caesar, and he is basically picking all the meals this week in honor of his birthday.  So I jazzed up the traditional Caesar by adding in shaved brussels.  Heaps of nooch for moi.

And then chocolate pecan pie for dessert for us both.  Glad my mom let me bring some home because it’s SO GOOD!!

P gave Kyle a fantastic birthday present by waking at 5 am and then having a meltdown when I tried to convince him it was too early to get up.  He’s going through something with his sleep at night right now and it’s been a doozy to deal with.  Over the past week I haven’t slept through the night once – usually there are 2-3 wake ups involved with irrational issues at the root of it all.  For a child who has slept 12-15 hours a day for his entire life, this is definitely a new thing to deal with. We have tried a few tweaks that haven’t worked but last night (Monday) was the first successful one thus far, so we will see if it continues.  Kids go through phases so I just have to keep reminding myself that they are growing and changing and to be patient and supportive (even though I want to sleep!).

Workouts followed by pancakes for breakie helped everyone.

After breakfast, Kyle opened his presents and then P and I went to church.

As long as they were napping we were watching March Madness.  This time of year always brings back memories of watching with Kyle while laboring with V.

I baked a cake too.

He requested a super decadent chocolate cake, so I made this entire thing just for him.

He also requested tacos for dinner.  Just like his son did!

Taco lovers in this house.

It only took a few taco nights for V to get the shell situation.  My work here is done people.

Teenager Valley is going to hate me for posting these, but I don’t think it’s searchable, so that’s good.

The boys both had THREE TACOS each, and here V is on her second…

Having the refried beans to act as glue in the bottom of the taco was the way to go.  Also, I did it for my own personal benefit because I’ve been in a refried beans kind of mood lately.

Here’s Kyle’s plate.

Look at all that yummy stuff!

I deconstructed mine because the organic chips are SO SALTY and irresistible. I gave V daiya cheese with me and P, so Kyle was the lone cow milk eater.

Before we put the kids down, we all sang for the birthday boy.

The Bruins gave Kyle a WIN for his birthday!  And then the work week arrived like a freight train.  Sigh. I guess the birthday partying had to come to an end eventually…

End of the week tid bits

Sometimes I like taking photos of the mundane…to remind myself of the random moments raising these kiddos.

That smoothie had a few different kinds of fruit – including a whole orange – as well as hemp seeds, almond milk, and a probiotic.

Precious little girl snuggles so hard with her bunny.

She doesn’t do anything half way.  Her smile is bigger than life…and her wail is equally Earth shattering.

A kale salad.  Standard.

This past Wednesday was the first day of farmer’s market, but it was also cloudy…and P had a tee ball game.  So I made dinner and we skipped market.

Broccoli salad 🙂

I used leftover chicken from dinner the night before.  Did I not show that meal?  Here it is.

It was a bomb lemon dijon chicken and asparagus dish with wild rice.  P is so funny with asparagus. He always says he doesn’t want the tips (bumpy parts), but it’s the first thing he picks out…and then he asks for more and more…and then he asks for the tips too.  And then he tells me he actually does like asparagus and that the tips are his favorite part.  This happens over and over. You think he’d learn by now that he actually likes asparagus, but whatever.

So there were no asparagus pieces left, but there was a cup or so of chicken.  I was a little nervous about the lemon flavor in this dish, but it actually didn’t matter once I added the rest of the ingredients.  Totally new meal!

Shredded chicken, broccoli, dried cranberries, vegan mayo, and salt and curry powder.

Then I let it chill in the fridge while we headed off to Jamba.

P didn’t nap and that was definitely going to be problematic for the 5:30 pm game start.  Yikes.

So what did I try to do?  Throw sugar on the problem obviously.  Ha.  But in all seriousness, I thought a treat would be a good way to boost everyone’s moods.  He’s so cute, I can’t stop taking pics of him in his uniform 🙂

I served the curry broccoli dish over rice.  It was SO GOOD.  Definitely a surprising success given that it wasn’t a planned meal (from now on we will be eating at farmer’s market as often as possible!).

CHOCOLATE MONSTER.

The story of my parent fail for St. Patrick’s Day started on Thursday.  Knowing we would be gone on Friday (for his OIT appointment) I thought I’d celebrate on Thursday with green pancakes. Unfortunately, much like my beet juice “pink” pancakes from a week ago, the green thing didn’t really happen…

So.  I decided to make one hundred ordinary pancakes and freeze them and try again on Friday.

Part of me was already planning on making a sh!t ton of pancakes to freeze anyway, because we are going to LA for “spring break” later this month and I wanted to bring breakfasts with me so we could dine out at awesome LA restaurants and have food for P to take with me the whole time.

So now I can check that off the to-do list.  🙂

They liked the non-green pancakes great, so that’s awesome since they were packed with chlorella and other mega healthy stuff.  So then I decided I should use spinach to make them green the next day.  But then I was packing a million other things and making birthday muffins for V and well, I just plain forgot…oh and I also forgot to pack green clothes.  Out of all the things to pack I managed to bring a total of 4 different outfits for the kids with nary a dot of green.  Awesome work E! It’s not like his first name is the name of the holiday or anything!!!!!  Woops!  There’s always next year…

So the rest of Thursday was a little crazy.

This has been my breakfast of the week.

After dropping P off at school, V and I went to V her “school” and then I got down to business while she napped (P was fighting it for hours until he fell asleep oh so inconveniently at 3 oclock – a mere 15 minutes before I had to wake him to go to soccer).

First I ate my own lunch (because priorities) and then I made two batches of mini cupcakes for V’s birthday party (which took way too long because I only have one mini muffin pan). And then I packed for all our different events this weekend, including OIT and Kyle’s birthday and V’s birthday…

I’ll get to that soon.

Nuts without cross contamination

I am in an OIT for food allergy group on facebook and it’s a really awesome helpful community.  I never would have thought to join it until another mom (doing OIT at our same clinic) added me as a member.  It has been so amazing to read everyone’s stories and hear the answers and anecdotes and advice that others have.  Plus all kinds of support!

So here’s a link someone recently posted that I wish I’d known about LONG ago: of a list of companies that sell nuts that aren;r cross contaminated with other nuts or peanuts (the article is from 2014, so as always double check for yourself because things change!)  I’m a big fan of Barney Butter, but it isn’t cheap and it’s sweetened with sugar, so that’s a shame.  Unless they have an unsweetened one that I don’t know about…

Here’s a good OIT website for anyone reading my posts wanting more info…there’s a search for MDs in your area who treat it.

I’d also recommend searching facebook groups if you’re interested because there’s a whole network out there of parents who have been where you are going…and eventually maybe you can pay it forward and be the parent who has some answers and wisdom to share.

Sorry for the foodless post…how about a cute pic of my kids??

P skipped his nap today and I decided to go out for a Jamba Juice treat before tee ball. Because you guys know how I feel about Jamba Juice.  It’s the only place I trust to serve P.  He asks for “a blender with NOOOOOO peanuts” (said in such a hilarious way) because they have special blenders for customers with peanut allergies.  I always give the staff major love and appreciation and positive reinforcement for how serious they take it.  They are so great.  They gave the kids stickers too, so yeah.  Love it.

I got a berry beet up for the kids to split and carrot orange something or other for me.  I love carrot flavor 🙂 I didn’t finish it, so I may have some for breakfast tomorrow too – add some banana and it’s a whole new smoothie!

What We Ate

Happy mid week pop in!  It feels like it should be way later in the week than it is…and yet here we are.

No greater love.

This batch of crock pot steel cut oats had hemp seeds, brown sugar, and frozen blackberries. P had two bowls, but V stuck to just one serving (followed by a couple of cutie oranges).

I had pulled this out of the freezer the night before, so it was ready for my face as soon as they were cleaned up and playing on their own.

P had an MD appt that am, but we were done by 10 so we met some friends at the park.

Her hair has no interest in what a comb has to offer.  Gravity what?!?

They were following a jackrabbit.

We left around noon to come home for lunch. Thanks to my weekend prep I had a huge pot of mac n cheese ready to go.

Earth Balance makes vegan ones that I save for special treats – I bought some from the Davis WF with the closing sale.

Silly me, I thought it would last them a few meals.  NOPE.  They split it for lunch and finished the whole thing off.  And this was after they each had a whole apple on the car ride home from the park!

My lunch was predictable. Also predictable, the fact that they wanted to play in the yard after they woke up from naps.  This weather has us all walking on air.  SUNSHINE is good for the soul.

I got the water table set up for them and then went inside to slice come melon.

Which they crawled up on the chair to share.

Such sweeties.

We played until it was time to go to swimming for pattycakes.

I made a Caesar with chicken (leftover from Kyle’s weekend grilling) and hard boiled eggs for dinner.

The kids loved the hard boiled eggs and wanted more and more after their first helping was done. I used to hard boil eggs in bulk, but that got to be so time consuming (peeling egg shalls – ugh) so I just started buying them from Costco.  The organic ones cost the exact same as raw organic ones, so it seems obvious to just save myself the time and energy.

I polished off the rest of the TJs mint chocolate with some other See’s candies and Righteously Raw lucuma chocolate bars. YUM.