Friday, December 19, 2014

This Letter From Santa for Kids with Food Allergies is the Best Thing Ever

The lovely folks over at Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) have once again come up with a way for kids with food restrictions to feel not only included, but special. These are the same people who started the Teal Pumpkin Project to help make Halloween more inclusive for kids with food allergies.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Product Review: Grain Free JK Gourmet

Earlier this week I received a package containing some samples from Grain Free JK Gourmet. I'll be honest- before receiving these samples I had never heard of the company, but since I'm always up for discovering new products I couldn't wait to dig in. I received three items: Fig and Apricot Granola, GG Bites (kind of like sesame snaps), and Almond Cherry Chocolate.

Gluten Free and Grain Free is stamped right there on all the packages, so after confirming that the products are in fact made in a gluten free facility (peanut and dairy free too!) I rounded up my husband and the kids and we gave the products a try.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quebec Winter Carnival: The Perfect Family Getaway (and how to enjoy it gluten free!)

The Quebec Winter Carnival, or the Carnaval de Qu├ębec, has been around since 1894, and has been held annually since the 1950s. A gigantic event held across some of the most beautiful and historic sites in Quebec City, the winter carnival is a must-do event for families looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Located a few hours from Montreal, Quebec City is a picturesque city with a lot of history that opens its doors to the world for a 17 day party every winter. The 2015 carnival runs from January 30- February 15, featuring activities that run day and night. The 2015 theme is Bonhomme's World, exploring the magical existence of the beloved carnival mascot, Bonhomme Carnaval.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Celiac Baby Turns Four! Thank You!

Today is a special day. Four years ago I was a struggling mom trying to wrap my head around my son's new gluten free life. He was not yet two years old, and had been sick and suffering for so long that when removing gluten from his diet started making him better, I felt as though we had been handed a miracle. Parents who have watched their kids battle constant illness, who are underweight no matter what you try, who always in pain and suffering, will understand the relief I felt when the doctor was able to rule out things like Cystic Fibrosis and instead confirmed that by changing his diet we could change his health. Although I was grateful to have found the cause of his troubles, I was also overwhelmed at just how difficult it really is to eliminate ALL sources of gluten.

Monday, December 1, 2014

We Have Big Travel Plans for 2015!

We're moving to France! We applied for our long term visas (1 year) on Wednesday, and then settled in for a two week or more wait for a response. To our surprise, we received an email yesterday afternoon telling us that our visas had been approved and that we could pick them up next week. 

We're ecstatic! 

This has been a several month process of getting ready to go, and the approval process was what we were waiting on to make our dream a reality!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Homemade Advent Calendar 2014

Last year I made a food free Advent calendar for my gluten free son. It was the first year he was interested in counting down to Christmas, and I was having a hard time finding a commercial gluten free Advent calendar. Instead, I made my own version!

I will be making another homemade Advent calendar again this year, although since we're staying with my parents for the holidays and they don't have a mantel, I'll have to make a more compact version.

This post generated some great feedback last year, and several people sent me messages to let show me their homemade Advent calendars, so I thought it was worth another share this year.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Product Review: Sam Mills Gluten Free Products

A few months ago, my mother in law came to visit us in Canada from El Salvador, and she brought along several gluten free products that we haven't seen in Canada before. One company in particular caught my eye: Sam Mills USA. My mother-in-law brought along some pasta and some granola from this company, which specializes in corn-based products.

I'm typically wary of pastas that are made from 100% corn because I find that they don't always have the best consistency, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Sam Mills pasta. It cooked up well, and kept its consistency even after being refrigerated and reheated for leftovers. Like all gluten free pasta it sucked up sauce like crazy, so I recommend making extra if planning on having pasta leftover.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Win Two Passes Gluten Free Garage in Toronto November 9!

I am a big fan of the Gluten Free Garage that's held in Toronto each November. It's a bit different from most other gluten free events I've attended because it focuses on local gluten free products and producers. Rather than being bombarded by all the big international brands, it allows locals to get to know and support smaller local businesses. I've discovered many new products at this event in the past. It's also small enough to walk through in a few hours, making it a great way to spend about a half day eating, drinking, and connecting with others who "get it" when it comes to gluten free living.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our Halloween Preparations

My son and my niece, ready to face the villains!
My kids are in what I like to call the "Golden Age" of celebrating Halloween. Old enough to participate in crafts and baking, able to walk to trick or treat, and excited about dressing up, but young enough to still believe in the magic of ghosts and witches and to want to celebrate everything with their parents. I know it's only a matter of time before the older one will want to go trick or treating with his friends instead of his parents, or he'll be embarrassed that his mother likes to dress up to hand out candy at the door.

So I'm making the most of it while I can, and enjoying every minute. Kids of all ages can participate in Halloween decorating and treat making, provided the activities are scaled to their ability and interest level.