Sunday, May 25, 2014

Power Balls (Free of Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, and Peanuts)

These little no bake energy balls are all the rage right now!  I have seen people eating them at soccer games and out and about, and I have seen tons of posts with recipes for these bite-sized snack.  One of my favorite bloggers, Making it Milk-Free, posted a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites today, and it inspired me to piece together a recipe that would work for our family. 

Here's the ingredients I used, but you could really use any spices or add-ins you like.  I've seen some with added raisins or craisins, nuts, sunflower seeds, even crushed cereal.  I used almond butter, but you could use any kind of spread you prefer, including peanut butter, soy butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.


1 c gluten-free oats
1/2 c dedicated peanut-free almond butter (chunky or creamy)
1/4 c coconut flakes
1/2 c safe chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips)
1/8 c chia seeds
1/8 c ground flax seeds
1/3 c honey or agave
1/4 tsp cinammon
1 tsp vanilla


Simply mix it all together, roll into bite-sized balls, and chill for 30 min on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  I found it difficult to roll the balls initially, so I chilled the dough for a bit first.  The mixture was still a bit sticky, so keeping my hands wet with a bit of water was helpful.  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.  I also packed some in baggies and stashed them in the freezer for later.

(I used flax and chia seeds, but you could use 1/4 cup of just one of these instead.)

I'll be happy I stuck these in the freezer later!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

"Will it hurt, Mommy?"

A few days ago I decided to run a quick errand, and Bubs said he wanted to join me.  We were in the van ready to go when I realized I didn't have his epi, so I told him I was running back in to grab it (I try to verbalize what I'm doing in effort to set a good example).

A few minutes later he said, "Mommy?  Will it hurt?  I didn't know what he was asking about, so I asked, "Will what hurt?"  He responded, "The shot."

I went on to explain the differences between the EpiPen and the Auvi-Q (we have both kinds), as well as how the Twinject (which we don't have) works.  I also explained that in the event that we would need to use it, a tiny prick wouldn't even phase him.  He would feel immediate relief following the injection.

We talked about how the thought of getting a shot in the leg is probably the most scary part of the whole thing.  None of my kids like getting shots or blood draws, so they have a negative connotation associated with shots.  Plus, vaccines sting when being injected, making a shot at the doctor's office even worse.  In his mind, the needle is what both pokes and stings, making it something he wants to avoid.

We have practiced using the EpiPen, both with trainers and expired pens, and with the trainer Auvi-Q, playing with it to get comfortable (they love that it talks).  But I guess the idea of having to actually use an epi injector is still quite frightening.

We talked further about the situation that would surround having to use epi, and that he would probably welcome the shot which would instantaneously make him feel better.

He didn't say much during this whole conversation, but I hope I was able to put his mind at ease.  The last thing we need is for him or anyone to hesitate using epinephrine when needed.  I don't want him to be sacred of his life-saving medication.

For now, we still have pretty good control over what he eats.  Nothing goes in his mouth without mommy approval.  But he's almost 9.  He will be hanging out at friends' houses more, and having sleepovers, and making more food choices on his own.  He needs to feel empowered by his epi, not afraid of it.  He needs to feel confidant in his choices, knowing his medication is there if needed.

There was a time when I, too, was afraid to use the EpiPen.  There was a time when I should have used it and didn't.  But now I know better.  I am more confidant in being a food allergy momma.  I am no longer afraid to use it if needed.  I would rather be safe than sorry, and I hope he learns to feel the same way.    

EpiPen practice last summer using expired pens