Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results

summer fun

Rainy Day = Fun Day

Posted 7.28.15 | Nutrition Specialist

Oh the weather outside is frightful, so let’s make inside delightful! No need for gloom and doom just because there are dark clouds and raindrops and you’re ‘stuck’ inside. There is a lot of FUN to be had in the great indoors! Following are some ideas and resources for three types of activities: relaxing, creative, and energetic. Choose from one or a combination of several to make a rainy day worth remembering and possibly repeating. 


  • BOOKS- Grab a favorite blanket and a book (or several of each) and cuddle up and hunker down for some reading.  Read to one another.  Start a story of your own!  That’s right, make it up and have everyone participate and keep it going.  Needs some help?  This website offers suggestions for getting the story started and keeping it going.
  • BOARD GAMES- why not make these a standard for rainy days?  Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Life, Checkers,  etc. Many have  been around a long time and are a good way to engage with other at the kitchen table or on the living room floor .  They offer a nice alternative to TV and tech gadgets! Check out this site for a list of 92 of the best board games
  • MOVIE TIME- Have everyone choose 1-2 of their favorite movies from your home collection, place all into a bag and have the youngest person reach in and choose the movie of the day. This site offers some great suggestions that are child and family oriented.
  • Puzzles, card games and even writing letters may be other quiet type options.


A few ‘creative’ activities I’ve had great success with my girls include:

NOTE:  This could be a fort or a castle!

  • Creating a Family Recipe book.  Scour your recipe boxes, cookbooks , food magazines or brainstorm.  Make recipe cards where everyone has a say on their mealtime favorites and recipe card design.  You can keep this simple or use recipe and cookbook templates available on line.  Lots of ideas tobe found here:

If you like art crafts, check out these sites for oodles of suggestions!


Just because you’re inside doesn’t mean you can’t be energetic.  Here are some ideas for some active activities:

  • Yoga! With many poses bearing animal names, this is sure to be a favorite with many. 
  • The game of Twister- hands, feet and colored circles. This game is fun for kids of ALL ages!
  • Dance Party! Choose your favorite radio station, take turns playing favorite songs from CDs, or perhaps songs with rain as the theme or in the song title. Shake, shimmy and let yourself go as you sing, laugh and dance to the music!

Resources for these are plentiful.

Rainy Day?  Just another opportunity for a fun day, indoors! What do you do to stay busy during rainy days?

-Jody L. Benitz, MS, RDN


summer fun

2016 Unique Summer Activities for the Family

Posted 7.1.16 | Nutrition Specialist

The end of school and start of summer vacation is here! Yippee and oh my! Right?

Summer is a great time for activities for the whole family. You probably already have one or several plans on your summer horizon, but are probably open to suggestions too. Great! Creative activities have my name all over them and I’m happy to share.

But wait- first of all, are you worried about taking on all this fun adventure and keeping track of food allergies? Never fear, Neocate is here with an abundance of resources and tools with your food allergy needs in mind.  For instance, have you seen our NEW Footsteps App? Consider it a go-to anywhere, anytime assistant. Seriously! You can reference a video all about it featured in this blog New Neocate Footsteps App – Support in YOUR Pocket.

One of the app features that is great for allergy kids on the go this summer, is the Allergy Card section. This feature can be used to organize important information about your child’s food allergy and can be taken along or shared with others. No need to memorize. You can even create multiple cards for caregivers, camp counselors, etc. These cards can be shared in multiple ways or simply printed and stashed in your backpack. Allergy cards provide a simple way to present information pertaining to your child’s condition(s), Neocate products used, medication(s), allergen(s) as well as doctor's information. It even includes an option for you to put additional notes, add recipes and links to favorite Neocate resources too. Pretty cool, huh?

Now are you ready for some summer family fun suggestions?  OK, here you go!

Happy 100th Birthday to our National Park Service

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial birthday on August 25, 2016 and EVERYONE is invited to share in the celebration. Check it out here.

There are some pretty awesome downloadable guides from the National Park download center, here are a few offerings:

  • National Park Owner’s Guide – Filled with detailed maps, travel tips for over 400 parks.
  • Parks are for Play – Meant for parents to help kids enjoy, explore, and have adventures together.
  • Happy Trails – Spanning all levels of expertise, this guide is meant to inspire park wanderlust.
  • Urban Playgrounds – A park list within or close to metropolitan areas for day trip experiences.

You may want to look at our previous post Food Allergy Free Holiday Activities for more on this topic. Sometimes outside fun can happen in your own backyard and we have fun ideas for this too.

Happy Birthday AMERICA!

July 4th will mark the 240th anniversary of when the original thirteen colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776. Check out your local listing of 4th of July events such as parades and fireworks. Check out our previous posts on this too:

Rainy Day Blues?

No problem! If you’re looking for something relaxing, creative or active, our post Rain Day=Fun Day is full of great ideas.

Whatever you do and wherever you go this summer- ENJOY! And remember to take the Nutricia Footsteps app along with you.

-Jody L. Benitz, MS, RDN

3 Tips to Prepare for Summer Camp with Food Allergies

Posted 7.25.17 | Nutrition Specialist

Step #1: Research

Planning is always the key to success and essential when your little one has food allergies. Let’s discuss some tips and resources to help you research summer camps for your little one to be sure both your child and the camp are properly equipped to successfully manage their food allergies.

Questions that will need answers:

  • What is the camp menu and options for allergy friendly alternatives?
  • Is there a dedicated place for allergy friendly food or snacks to be stored?
  • Is there a dedicated place to store epinephrine at camp?
  • Is your child allowed to bring packed lunches/snacks? What about potential allergens from the other campers that will be attending camp with your little one?
  • Is there a food allergy management plan for the camp?
  • Is there a designated area for little ones with food allergies to eat?
  • What kind of camp staff are available for your child? Is there a healthcare professional on site?
    • If so, what are the healthcare professional’s credentials, responsibilities or capabilities?
    • If not, who is available to assist your child with any medical issues or medications?
  • What is the procedure for emergencies? Where is the nearest hospital or medical center?
  • What activities are offered that might elevate the allergen exposure for your child?

Resources to help you in your research:

Another good resource is the following recording of a webinar featuring Dr. Pistiner and Ms. Polmear-Swendris answering questions about how to choose a camp, what questions to ask of summer camp staff, how to store epinephrine at camp, and a review of basic food allergy management.

Step #2: Advocate

Now that you have done your research, it is time to start advocating for your child. Even if the camp you have chosen is well ahead of the food allergy game, your child is unique and truly one of a kind. It is your job to advocate for your child and make sure everyone is educated and prepared to provide the needed care for your little one specifically. The camp will need education regarding the details of your child’s food allergies, any signs or symptoms they need to be on the lookout for, as well as, what to do if an exposure is either suspected and/or confirmed. Here are the ABC’s of how to advocate for your camper:

  1. Notify everyone possible about your child’s food allergies. This might include:
    • The camp director
    • Staff assigned to work or interact with your child
    • All healthcare professionals available to your child while at camp
    • Anyone assisting in transportation
    • Staff working with food or staffing mealtimes
    • The camp lifeguard
    • And even any camp volunteers, special event or course instructors, or staff subs is that is possible.
  2. If there is no food allergy policy already in place, make sure to outline one that is tailored to your little one’s needs. If a policy exists, then you should still make sure and outline the details of how it will apply to your little one in particular
  3. Prepare an Emergency Care plan and Food Allergy Cards for reference to all who will need this information. Need some guidance to prepare these documents. Check out these resources:

Step #3: Educate

Now that the camp staff are prepared with the knowledge and tools they will need, time to be sure your camper knows how to advocate and care for themselves. After all, your child will be the best and first line of defense to prevent accidental exposure to allergens. If you need assistance, here is a Neocate blog with 3 Easy Steps for Success when Explaining Food Allergies to your Toddler.

Here are some quick items you may want to cover when educating your child to be ready for their summer camp adventure:

  • Discuss their red light and green light foods (or safe and unsafe) and what they can expect while at summer camp
  • Perhaps some reminders for rules when eating, such as not to share food with other campers
  • Their symptoms or reactions to food allergens
  • Who and to whom to tell if they feel funny, or what to do in certain camp situations
    • Not to go off alone if they are not feeling well
    • Where they can receive medical attention if needed
    • Where their important allergy documents are located
    • How to administer their medications, or epinephrine if needed
  • How to read a food label if possible, or who to ask for questions about the food options when at summer camp. Perhaps where their food allergy friendly snacks will be stored


  • If interested, this might be a wonderful time to get your little one a medical alert bracelet. There are many options available, including water proof ones that are perfect for summer!

Time for Summer Camp Fun

Keep in mind, getting ready for camp can be similar to how you get ready for a new school year or traveling. If you need additional tips on how to specifically travel this summer with Neocate, make sure to check-out Helpful Tips and Resources when Traveling with Food Allergies.

Now it is time for your little camper to get out and enjoy the summer camp fun. You have done your research, advocated for your little camper with staff, and educated your little one on how to have fun and stay safe while at camp. Time for the fun to begin.

Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? We would love to hear how you prepare for summer camp with food allergies, and especially how your little Neocate camper did at their summer camp. Please share in the comments below.

-Kristin Crosby MS, RDN, LDN

DIY Olympic Medals for Your Neocate Champions

Posted 8.2.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Every other year, the Olympic spirit sweeps the globe and people in every country take a break from our ordinary lives to watch the extraordinary. I am personally glued to my TV or social media feed watching the top world athletes who have sacrificed and persevered in their chosen sport have their moment to compete for Olympic glory, whether their glory is atop a podium or simply just being involved in the Olympic Games.

I have to admit that I am completely addicted to the Olympics. I cannot get enough Olympic coverage and literally have to make sure and stay focused to keep up with required work and home obligations. I love the raw physiology that goes into that level of physical performance, the people and personal stories that we are exposed to through the Olympic media coverage, and getting caught up in the pure competition of the Olympics just lost in the moment while cheering on my favorite athlete or team.

Well I am not alone. Many of us here on the Neocate team are ready for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and we want to help you get your loved ones ready and in the Olympic Spirit as well. One of the best parts of the Olympics is seeing people overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams and goals. As a person or family living with food allergies, you know this same struggle well in overcoming the obstacle of food allergies to thrive and live a full life. Food allergies or dietary restrictions will not stop you from achieving your goals or perhaps nurturing your loved one to grow and have the potential to achieve any dream their heart will desire in the future. That dream may be something simple such as a successful career in their chosen field, or perhaps they have the dream to be an Olympian someday as well. 

With this Olympic spirit buzzing about with the 2016 Rio Olympics, it is hard not to notice the glimmering color of gold that is shining from the top of each and every can of Neocate including Neocate Infant DHA/ARA and all varieties of Neocate Junior. This same can of Neocate can not only provide the nutrition you or your loved one needs to grow and thrive, but also the nutrition needed to compete in physical activity. Why not use that same can to create your very one Neocate "gold" medal? This can be a fun family activity together to celebrate your own Neocate champion and your success of overcoming food allergies while getting your family into the Olympic spirit.

Now if you are not skilled at crafts, do not fret. I am not talented at crafts at all myself. The craft project that follows could not be easier and only requires a few items which almost every home will have. That being said, those of you reading this who are excellent at craft projects and have creative minds, please forgive the simple and basic pictures and craft creations that follow!!

What Supplies You Will Need:

Supplies are simple. You will need some supplies to decorate your Neocate gold medal, ribbon, your favorite Neocate can lid for the Neocate goal medal material, some basic craft equipment, and a little fun and creativity. The craft equipment I used was

  • Permanent black marker
  • Scissors
  • A fun hole punch
  • Stapler
  • Double sided tape

Glue dots always make basic crafts easier as well, and you can use your imagination on different ideas for decoration or other ways to personalize your Neocate gold medals for your own Neocate champion.

Ribbon Selection:

Now, I warned you that I am addicted to the Olympics. So I embraced the full Olympic obsession within me when looking for ribbon. I of course needed some patriotic ribbon, and found some red, white and blue stripped ribbon to help cheer on the USA medal count to come, as you can see in my example above.

I also wanted to be true to the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics. This year the Olympic champions will have colorful green ribbons holding their hard-earned Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals. The Paralympian champions will have bright orange ribbons holding their medals. I chose ribbon to match these colors as closely as possible, and even found some festive bright red ribbon with white stars that I could not pass up!

You can choose anything really, or simply use whatever you already have lying around your home. Why not have your very own Neocate champion pick their favorite color or come with you to pick out the ribbon they would like on their Neocate gold medal?!

Step #1:  Decorate your Neocate gold medal

I looked to the actual 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic medals for my decorating inspiration. I included the Olympic rings (or as close as I could replicate them when using my poor drawing skills and blunt permanent marker) and my favorite sporting events. I included the numerical name for these upcoming Olympics of XXXI Olympiad as well.

Step #2:  Hole Punch

One way to attach your selected ribbon is to punch a hole or cut a slit into the Neocate gold medal. I have a few decorative hole punches, and for this project I choose a small circle. I used this to make an opening to slip the ribbon through at the top of my Neocate Gold medals.

Alternative: If you do not have a decorative hole punch, or perhaps just want another option, we have got you covered. You can also just staple the ribbon at the bottom to attach to the Neocate gold medal. This will help make your finished Neocate gold medal hang nicely around your Neocate champion.

Step #3: Attach the Ribbon

The next step is to either attach the stapled ribbon to your decorated Neocate gold medal or close the loop on the ribbon slipped through the slit that we have made to make sure it will hang around the neck of our Neocate champion. To close the loop a simple piece of double-stick tape will easily do the trick. I have also used a few pieces of double-stick tape to attach my stapled ribbon to the decorated Neocate gold medal.

You could even staple and tape the ribbon ends directly to the back of the Neocate gold medal, like this one that I made for Track and Field here.  

Hot glue guns, glue dots, staples, really any adhesive will work for this project. You and your Neocate champion can use your creative imaginations!!

Step #4: Wear and Enjoy

Step 4, well that is the best part. Now you have your very own Neocate gold medal to award your Neocate champion for a job well done. Perhaps they have a favorite sport that deserves recognition, or maybe they even did something spectacular around the house or at school. Even if they deserve a medal just for being your adorable child, that is well worth the effort. And if I can do this, then surely you can as well.

How are you and your Neocate champion celebrating the 2016 Rio Olympics this year? Perhaps you have some much more creative ideas on how to make your own Neocate gold medals. Share a picture of your own Neocate champion and how they thrive on Neocate in the comments below.

- Kristin


DIY  |  summer fun

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.