Thursday, April 29, 2010

taking the good with the bad

We had some highs and lows this week. My 4 year old went to a birthday party for a pre-school friend. A relative works at the preschool and knows about our food dye restrictions. The parent went to great effort to make treat bags with individually wrapped bags of cookies so they would be dye-free. They also got a cookie cake and requested that part be left un-frosted so my daughter could eat it.

That was all great... One of the best efforts that has been made on behalf of any of my children. There was only one problem. When they cut the cookie cake, they dragged the knife through the red frosting to get to the plain part for my daughter. Yeah....well, so much for all that effort. I may have spoken up if I was there, but I had to send my husband to the party since I was in a professional training all day. Needless to say, I saw a lot of behaviors pop out over the next 3 days that are not normally part of the routine. Hopefully we're winding back down now.

The other great news was my 10 year old had a classmate bringing in a birthday treat. The mom actually called me ahead to find out if a plain glazed donut would be OK. The rest of the class had donuts with sprinkles, but they kept a plain one separate.

So all in all we are even making progress with birthday parties, one family at a time. It's nice when thoughtful parents think about my kids and try to make sure they are not left out.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

baseball season

Welcome to my new followers! Sorry my posts are not nearly as frequent as they used to be. My boys are already deep in the practice part of baseball season and having my husband coaching means I've been super busy lately. The real fun starts in May when the games will be 5 days a week. We have the unfortunate spacing of ages that results in my boys always playing on opposite days. It's the only sport they play, so I'm willing to endure the craziness for a limited amount of time each year.

With baseball comes an array of food challenges. First, how do you have a healthy dinner consumed before 5:30 and get something for my husband who I end up meeting at the ball park? In years past I've made my own wraps: southwest chicken wraps, Greek chicken wraps, Thai wraps, you name it. We wrap it in flour tortillas or Asian rice wraps and take it to go. It saves a lot of money and ends up being quicker than fast food and sooo much better for us. On my two work days each week, I honestly don't even have time for the drive through. I need to bring dinner that can I keep in the small office 'fridge and eat at the ball park. We do lots of fruits and veggies as sides too.

But lets get real too. We are not complete health nuts and my kids sit there and watch other families eat lots of concession stand junk food and candy. With 3 kids, I end up at the park watching one play and entertaining the other 2. I've learned to stock up on my own candy ahead of time and always keep a tote bag ready in the car.

Most of the other kids drink Gatorade and other florescent colored sports drinks. Gatorade makes a clear one that I keep on hand on recommendation from a pediatric neurologist specializing in migraines. Yes, we have a very strong history of migraines and my boys have had more headaches the past year. So far a dose of dye free Ibuprofen and a drinking a whole bottle of clear Gatorade seems to help take care of it. I'll have to stock up on the clear Gatorade for games, but usually a Capri sun and a bottle of water is just as good and also dye free.

My candy favorites to take to baseball:

Surf Sweets gummies, sour worms, swirls, etc. (from a local health food store)
Yummy Earth lollipops (ordered a 5 lb bag on Amazon)
Yummy Earth gummy bears (ind bags, also ordered on Amazon)
Darrel Leas Australian Licorice (dye free red licorice from Target or on Amazon)
Mentos chewy mints or fruit chews (some have dyes and some don't so check carefully)

On our away games, families take turns bringing snacks. I make it really clear at the beginning of the season that my boys have an allergy to dyes and can't eat things with them. I end up educating several new parents every season about the benefits of going dye free. Usually parents have been good about planning dye free snacks.