Books that I read

Monday, February 27, 2012

Allergy-Friendly Food for Families: 120 Gluten-Free Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, and Soy-Free Recipes Everyone Will Love

Title:         Allergy-Friendly Food for Families
SubTitle:   120 Gluten-Free Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, and Soy-Free Recipes Everyone Will Love
Publisher:  Andrews McMeel Publishing
Pub Date:  April 10, 2012
ISBN:        9781449409760
Author:     Editors of Kiwi Magazine

Allergy-Friendly Food for Families is the most trustworthy, comprehensive, practical, and kid-friendly collection of recipes that exists for the important and growing audience of allergy-aware families. Unlike other allergy cookbooks, this book covers not one or two allergens, but the five most common allergens in kids: wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy. Each of the 120 recipes is free of at least three of these allergens; most are free of all five.

When parents are desperate for ideas for what to make for dinner (or lunch, or snack time), they want recipes from someone they trust, for food that tastes good, that doesn't require a lot of fancy ingredients, and that the whole family can eat. Allergy-Friendly Food for Families is the ultimate resource. From the three crucial mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to the "fun" foods families can't live without (desserts, snacks, parties), parents are completely covered. Perhaps most importantly, all of these recipes are simple for parents to make.

Recipes such as Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies, Pear Yogurt Dunkers, Good-for-you Nachos, Polenta Mini Pizzas, Giant Cookie Cake, Veggie Bite Soup, and Cool Zucchini Noodles will make kids forget they have allergies. Parents will love the additional informational sections on spotting food allergies, stocking an allergy-free pantry, deciphering labels, and other frequently asked questions.

Food should be delicious; family time should be fun. This book reflects those values.

Editors of Kiwi Magazine

Kiwi is the premier magazine (first published in 2007) about raising families the natural and organic way. Published bimonthly, Kiwi has 250,000 subscribers. The magazine supports and encourages parents to make green, healthy choices when it comes to food, home life, and more. It helps families balance their green ideals with their busy lives and schedules, and helps parents raise their children the healthiest way possible. Kiwi introduces families to the latest in natural and organic living—showing how to practice this lifestyle on an everyday basis.

Marygrace Taylor, Kiwi's staff writer and recipe developer, created the majority of these family-friendly recipes right in her home kitchen in Austin, Texas.

In the last several years, there has been increases in the rates of allergies amongst the children. When we first introduce solid foods to the babies, we will test if they are allergy to the food by giving the same food for three days consecutively. This is important as being a mom, you certainly want to make sure the food given to our children is safe for them. This book, Allergy Friendly Food for Families will become very handy for those parents that have children that are allergies to certain type of food at home. Or even if your children do not have any food allergies, but you may have different people in the family have preference to certain type of food, for example the boy maybe don't like eating nuts, while the mama does not like dairy products, so instead of cooking different food for different family members, you can also opt for a recipe that are both nut-free and dairy-free that everyone at home can eat. It's easier for the one who prepares the food, it's also make everyone happy that they won't feel left out or someone complains that he misses his favorite food because another person in the family can't eat it.

The recipes available in this book are divided into 6 categories:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Dessert
  • Snacks
  • Parties

For each recipe, it will show whether the recipe is gluten-freen, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free and soy-free. The preparation time, cooking time, how many servings per recipe and the nutrition for each servings are clearly stated. There are also some recipes that allow your children to cook together with you. Some tips on food and info or facts about the type of food are included too. Total there are 120 recipes altogether. And most of them are easy to make. I would say the more challenging part is more on sourcing for the ingredients. Some food like rice milk we can make ourselves at home. But some food like, soy=free, nonhydrogenated margarine, we definitely have to learn to read the lables for the food we are buying. I also love the picture of the food show next to the recipe. Unfortunately not all recipes are showing the picture of the food.

Note: I receive the digital ARC of this book from the publisher via Net Gallery. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training Program 2012

* Back-dated post.

I still remember when I first trying to fully breastfeed Lynn about 6 years ago, it was not easy at all. Despite I have read a lot about breastfeeding during pregnancy, even attended the prenatal class and fully prepared myself for it, I never expect it's such a challenging task. Luckily I had a colleague who breastfeed her first child exclusively gave me tips and some guidance, plus my own determination and supports from hb and family, finally I was able to breastfeed Lynn exclusively. So I totally understand it's not easy for most mothers when come to breastfeeding journey. 6 years ago, breastfeeding was just started getting more common. Without this colleague of mine who the only person that I know was breastfeeding during that time, I don't think I could breastfeed Lynn exclusively. It shows how important to get supports from another mommy who has experience on this matter. That time also I don't know about this The Breastfeeding Advocates Network (TBAN) yet. So there were lots of trial and error for me during that time.

I know there are mommies out there especially first time mommies, who wish to breastfeed their child but not successful due to lack of supports and guidance. I wish I was there to help them and support them. When I know about there's this Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training Program through TBAN, I did not hesitate to register myself for it. It was a 3 days program. All participants must attended full 3 days to get the certificate which would be given at the end of the training.

The training was held at a very interactive way. Lots of group discussion and presentation. Most of the participants are mommies and are still actively breastfeeding their child. So babies below 1 year old are allowed. Mommies feel free to nurse the baby, carry them or pump if the baby is not with them.

 Everyone seems so relax. :) 

Presentation after group discussion.

Some mommies pumping at the side by just cover themselves with the shawl. 

The correct way to bottle feed a breastfed baby. Not in lying down position, but in sitting position with support. 

Ryle's tube - One of the lactation aid for mother that wish to re-lactate or adoption mother that wish to breastfeed the baby.

With some help from nurse or family members to place the baby on the chest, mommy who has gone through c-section can breastfeed the baby right away. 

 Breast models made by us. :)

The role of a peer counselors. 

Though I have just weaned Hao from the breast for about a year ago, I feel that I have forgotten so much on breastfeeding! This program not only refresh my memory, I have also made lots of new friends with other mommies there, who are also passionate on breastfeeding, and also learn a lot of new things from the sharing of other mommies. We also learn about the 3-steps communication, the important of listening, and the dangers of giving advice. Why is it dangerous to give advice? Because people maybe skeptical; if they follow the advice and success they may become dependent on you; if they follow the advice and fail they may blame you etc. And also we are not expert. Sometimes the mother may just want to be heard and not asking for advice. We as peer counselor, is important to make sure the mother feels good about herself at the end of the session. And most important, we cannot judge. 

Whether the baby is exclusively breastfeeding, or mix with formula milk, as long as the baby is getting some breast milk from the mother is better than no breast milk at all. But still we have to respect other mothers who choose not to breast feed their children. They may have their reasons for doing so. We should not judge them. I believe all mothers want the best to their children. :) 

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