Posts from ‘Parenting’


halloweenI hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! It was a busy time around here, trying my best to give my kiddos a fun holiday for themselves and their friends. I’ll admit, there have been years where I’ve been consumed with fear on how to manage Halloween with a little one with severe food allergies. But the good news is, each year it gets easier and easier. And this year was the best yet!

I do my best to keep the emphasis on FUN and costumes and less on food. We had three different times to celebrate – the Halloween party at school, the Food Allergy Resource Fair with trick-or-treating and, of course, Halloween night. That makes three times to dress up in Halloween costumes, three times to have fun with friends and, well, three times to navigate safe vs. unsafe candy.

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unboundselfiedayJust before we left for school this morning, we paused to take a family selfie with pictures of the two young ladies we support through Unbound. I love seeing the big smiles on the kids faces as they show off these photos of the students we sponsor.

Meet Mary from Kenya and Reena from India. As you likely know, it is very difficult for poor women in these countries to get a college education. We write letters and send pictures and they do the same in return. I encourage Mary and Reena to study hard and get their degrees.

You can also sponsor young men, children and aging people through Unbound. I can’t say enough good things about this organization. I’ve been a sponsor since 2001 and plan to continue supporting them for a very long time. Learn more about sponsoring and all the ways it makes a difference:


One of the biggest challenges for parents of children with food allergies is figuring out how to keep your child safe when you send them off to school.

There are many things to consider, such as who to partner with at school, where should the EpiPens be stored and how to manage snacks in the classroom. And then there’s lunch and holiday parties to consider. Below is a (quite long and extensive) video I created where I share how we manage food allergies at school and answer some viewers questions (via Periscope).

If cost is restricting how many EpiPens you have on your child or at school, check out the $0 copay offer from Mylan to save up to $100 off your copay. You may also find this post helpful that I wrote after Kindergarten: Recap: Kindergarten with Food Allergies.

You can find more of my food allergy posts, tips & recipes on my Food Allergy page. I’d also love to connect with you on my Marketing Mama facebook page and twitter. This post, and all posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert and encourage you to consult with a doctor on your personal medical situation.


We don’t keep secrets in our family, but we can keep surprises.

Secrets are usually something bad that can hurt someone, while surprises are something good, such as a present!

Along with that, I’ve taught my children that if any adults ever say to them, “Don’t tell your Mom (or Dad) about this,” that it’s VERY important they tell me right away and I will never be mad at them for doing so. Grown ups only say that if they did something wrong, but when it comes to the safety of my children, I need to know about it. Adults should not be forming secrets with children, period. It’s not healthy for the kids and it sets up a bad power dynamic between the adult and the child. Feeling the pressure of keeping a secret for an adult can create unneeded stress and anxiety for children.

The same goes true the other way – babysitters and teachers should never say to a child “I won’t tell your Mom (or Dad) about this” in order to cover up for the child. I know sometimes people are tempted to do this. The child might plead, “Please don’t tell my mom or dad.” Or the adult might use it as leverage, “I won’t tell your parents about this IF… ” which is also unfair to the child.

Kids make mistakes. Adults make mistakes. But when we keep them secret, they can become shameful, embarrassing and can even be hurtful when they come out later.



This morning from my seven year old:

“Mom, I don’t want to go to school today.

And it’s not because I hate school.

It’s because I want to spend more time with you.”

My first thought was “ouch” and my second thought was “she’s getting good at this.”

And my response:

“Didn’t we just spend all day together yesterday? Didn’t we have so much fun at the Farmer’s Market and relaxing at home and eating a special dinner and going for frozen yogurt?”

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