Posts filed under Product Reviews

Mylan's New "My EpiPlan" App is Here!

Photo: Courtesy of Mylan

I have become super tech savvy in my old age.  :-)  Okay, not really, but I try, and (surprisingly!) new technology and new apps really get me excited, so when I found out that Mylan was launching a new EpiPen App, I was all over it.  Downloaded it immediately.  We have EpiPens at home, school, grandma's house, and the diaper bag.  There is one close by at all times.  We have added more Pens to our arsenal at different times: A new pack as our little one started school, a new pack after we accidentally left the diaper bag in the car during the #polarvortex (shame on us!), so we have a lot of different expiration dates to keep track of.

I am a very organized person, almost to a fault, but with two little ones at home, I need all the help I can get.  People always make fun of me because I write EVERYTHING down in my calendar but if I didn't, I would be a hot mess and wouldn't remember anything.  Insert the need for apps and new technology to make my life easier!  And here comes Mylan to the rescue, helping Nut Free Momma stay on top of her game!  :-)

My favorite feature on the new app is the how-to video.  This is so nice to be able to show other parents and caregivers rather than just trying to verbally explain what to do in the event of a reaction.  It is quick, easy to watch and very straightforward; devoid of any emotion or drama, which is what you want when trying to instruct someone on how to inject epinephrine during a chaotic, emotional and stressful event, which all reactions are.  I also think it is a fantastic idea to have people practice with the trainer while watching the video.  What a great way to prepare yourself and other people in the event of a reaction.  The fact that this little toolkit is available in your pocket or purse at all times is so cool.

I also love the fact that you can store a catalogue of all your EpiPens in one place.  You can quickly see where they are, how many you have and when they expire.  The information is all in one place and is always available for quick and easy reference.

The App has many more features but the tracking and instructional features are the most attractive to me.  Those two are reason enough to download it and share it with grandparents, nannys, babysitters, teachers, aunts, uncles, etc.  It would be useful for ANYONE who regularly shares responsibility for your child.

As an added bonus, the App offers tips on avoiding your allergens and the basics of anaphylaxis which is useful no matter how much of a food allergy expert you are.  We can all use refreshers.

So kuddos to Mylan for bringing a truly useful piece of technology to make the lives of all of those dealing with and managing food allergies a bit more, well, manageable.  Do yourself a favor and download it (for FREE) now!

Posted on March 17, 2014 and filed under Product Reviews.

Our first Nut-Free Halloween...

Halloween is right around the corner and it is by far our favorite holiday, only coming in second to Christmas of course.  Our girl has been talking about Halloween for months.  She wanted to discuss her costume options in July (no joke)!  After months of discussion, she finally went with her first choice - Sophia the First - which I knew she would go with the entire time.  Anyone with a toddler or preschool age girl knows little Princess Sophia.  She asks to put on her Halloween costume every morning when she wakes up.  She asked me to go ahead and decorate for Halloween in mid-September.

Needless to say, we are excited.  This is also the first Halloween we have had since finding our about our daughter's peanut, tree nut and shellfish allergies.  I have been stressing for months about Halloween.  Trick-or-treating has always been a huge tradition in our family and I have been wondering if it could ever be the same for her.  Let me tell you people, it will be!  I have talked to many moms through the No Nuts Moms Group, read other blog posts and researched safe candies and chocolate.  I was even lucky enough to be invited to attend an exclusive webinar put on by Mylan with special guest Jo Frost, the Super Nanny, who also lives with life-threatening food allergies.  The topic was about safely navigating Halloween with food allergies.  ***Please see the link to her tip sheet at the bottom of this post for having a food allergy friendly Halloween.  At this point, I can actually say that I feel really comfortable with our plan, and not just comfortable with it, but excited about it.  Our girl will be three in one short month and she is now old enough to really experience and remember this Halloween and it is going to be AWESOME!

We have decided to let her go trick-or-treating and of course either myself or my husband will go with her while the other one stays at our house to hand out candy.  We will set the ground rules early - no eating candy while we are trick-or-treating.  Everything goes straight into her pumpkin bucket.  Then, when we get home, we will swap everything for safe candy.  I am not really comfortable with sorting through the candy and trying to determine what is safe and what is not.  Plus, I feel like there is the potential for a lot of cross contamination with everything just thrown in together.  I have literally prepared another pumpkin basket just like hers that is full of safe treats.  We will let her know why we are doing it and will make the swap together, as a family.  I think there is educational value in doing it this way.

I have heard of some families creating a tradition where a "switch witch" or similar Halloween creature comes in the middle of the night to switch out the candy, and at first I thought this was such a cute idea but ultimately decided against it and here's why:  I wanted to keep Halloween simple and straight forward.  She can't eat the candy she collects because  it could have nuts in it, so we will participate in trick-or-treating and then make it safe for her by switching out the candy as soon as we get home.  I want her to be able to enjoy some that night.  I also don't want to make up something that other children could be critical about or question - "Who is the switch witch and why does she only visit you?"  Or, "there is no such thing as the switch witch," or "I've never heard of that before," etc.  I think it is a cute and creative idea but I just think simple and straight forward is better for us.

Now, on to her goodies.  Her bucket will be packed with Junior Mints, Dove chocolates, YumEarth organic lollipops, and treats from Vermont Nut Free and Amanda's Own Confections.

Please check out this great tip sheet from Jo:  ***Jo Frost Halloween Webinar Tip Sheet copy

Happy trick-or-treating all, and here is to a safe and fun Halloween!  Tell me about your plans in the comments below!  I would love to hear!  xo

Posted on October 13, 2013 and filed under Holidays, Product Reviews.

A new nut-free butter!

I am not afraid to say it - I used to LOVE peanut butter.  Yes, in all caps.  I honestly think I used to eat peanut butter every day before before my daughter's reaction and diagnosis.  Now, we have a 100% nut-free home.  Home is our safe zone.  As Nut Free Momma, I am always on the lookout for nut butter alternatives.  I still have to get my fix!  :-)

I recently tried a new nut butter alternative that just hit the shelves: No-Nut Butter from The Sneaky Chef.  This stuff is awesome!  It is made from non-GMO (cue applause!) golden peas (yay veggies!).  It is 100% nut-free and produced in a nut-free facility.  Our family has tried most, if not all, of the most popular nut butter alternatives.  Biscoff Spread tastes amazing but it is just too sweet and rich for me to utilize as our go-to PB replacement.  It takes like a dessert.  I think WowButter is just ok.  We don't really like the taste of it, and I personally don't like the idea of consuming too much soy.  Our favorite has always been SunButter.  I must say that No-Nut Butter will be in our pantry from now on as well!  It really does have a creamy, smooth texture and great taste.  I like it enough to write a blog post about it!  And no, I am not getting paid to say this.  I just want to spread the word to all you fabulous nut-free families out there.  Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Posted on September 24, 2013 and filed under Product Reviews.