Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pondering My Daughter's First Day of School and a Fresh Salad

This is my beautiful daughter. She is 4 years old and will be starting preschool in a couple of weeks. On top of the normal anxiety that I'm sure every parent experiences when their child goes to school for the first time - mine is one-upped. For those of you who do not know, she has a sever tree-nut allergy. She is anaphylactic and carries two epi-pens with her at all times.

We found out about her allergy last year - January 1 actually. She had eaten 1/2 of a cashew then promptly threw it back up. She then started breaking out in hives all over her body, especially stomach, back, and face. My hubby gave her some benedryl and put her in a cool bath because of the hives and itching of the hives. This did not work. So starting to get more worried my hubby called me (I was on my way home from work) and told me that he thought we should take her to the ER. By the time I got home she was crying, itching, and her face was starting to swell up a bit. We took her the the ER and what followed was probably the worst night of my life. They rushed her to the back and put her on IV's to get her heart rate down. After she was stable, the doctor then told us that if we had waited just one hour to bring her in, we would have lost her. We were definitely being looked out for that day - that day we happened to be really slow at work so they let me go early - I was supposed to be home and hour later that day! It still gives me chills to think about it.
So after allergy tests and doctor visits - our life changed a bit. We promptly threw out all the food in our house that had nuts in it or on the label and I spent a lot more time grocery shopping because I check labels religiously (I still have to remind myself sometimes, and sometimes I don't remember checking the label so like a crazy person I dig through my whole cart and check every label again). We have it under control for now - no more episodes so far and I hope she never has another one! I know this isn't likely because as safe as you try to make it, accidents happen and you can't control everything. It was knowing this that had me freaking out and panicking the couple of months after. It even went so far that I had a couple of panic attacks when I would think about it. I spent hours researching her allergy on the internet - the FAAN website is a wonderful resource along with various blogs and forums. It is true - knowledge is power - I feel better about it knowing that I am well informed. However, now she is starting school................THIS FREAKS ME OUT!

We are sending her to a private school here in our little town. The ONE major thing that makes me feel so much better about trusting these people with her life is that they know how to manage her having an food allergy. I have talked to the secretary a couple of times and she has told me about her daughter who has the same food allergy my daughter has. They are willing to make her classroom completely nut free and have agreed to send notes home to all the parents of her classmates informing them of her allergy and making sure they know not to send their kids with any food that has nuts in it. I feel better, for sure, knowing this and knowing that they are very willing to do whatever it takes to keep it safe for her. Of course, I'm still a bit freaked out know that I'm trusting these strangers with her life, but there is a little bit of peace within that.

So, on to the recipe!!! This is a salad that I made the other day when I was thinking about sending her to school and doing some research on sending kids with food allergies to school - I needed a break from the computer and this is a involved recipe, plus I really wanted something super healthy :)

Southwest Organic Veggie Salad
(this is almost 100% organic :)

1/2 cucumber - sliced
handful of baby carrots
1 yellow summer squash - sliced
1 zucchini - sliced
1 garlic clove - minced
1/2 yellow onion - sliced in half moons (or diced)
1 small tomato - diced
1 small red pepper - sliced
handful of lettuce/spinich
3-4 leaves fresh basil
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese - grated - to taste

1/4 cup salsa (I used homemade but you can use your favorite)
1 Tbsp ranch dressing
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce (here's the link to my recipe for homemade)

*heat skillet with olive oil then saute onion for about 5 minutes or until soft
*add garlic then the zucchini, summer squash, and peppers and saute about 5 minutes (I like the squash to get a bit browned on the edges)
*toss all veggies together and sprinkle parm cheese on top then add your dressing
* enjoy :)

*note - if you want to add a bit of protein add in a cup or so of diced chicken breast, steak, or black beans

No comments:

Post a Comment