A celebration of parenting with Katrina Roe

Monthly Archives: March 2013

This new range from Woolworths Select may be suitable for children with nut allergies.  The choc coated marshmallow eggs don't contain any traces of nuts.  The Egg Lollipops pictured contain traces of tree nuts, but not peanuts.

This new range from Woolworths Select may be suitable for some children with nut allergies. The choc coated marshmallow eggs don’t contain any traces of nuts. The Egg Lollipops pictured contain traces of tree nuts, but not peanuts.

If you are looking for nut-free Easter eggs in Australia, this is your comprehensive guide.  It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to put together a list of where you can get nut-free chocolate at Easter time.  Every year I start to get a lot of google hits on this blog from people looking for info about how to find nut-free Easter eggs.  So I want to make sure that the information I provide is as accurate and up to date as it can be.

Some bad news

For the last few years we have relied on the Heritage ‘Nut-free’ Easter egg range for Easter eggs hunts.  They are normally available from Big W, but seem to have all but disappeared this year.  I did find a 60g Heritage nut-free bunny at one Big W and snagged the very last crate of Heritage 12 milk chocolate easter eggs (205g) but the range was vastly reduced and the limited stock was virtually all sold out.  There were none of the mini eggs that are so good for Easter egg hunts.  I notice the Coles website still says they stock these products, but I haven’t been able to find them on the shelf at any of the Coles supermarkets in my area.  This is a huge blow to kids with nut allergies as those eggs were widely available through Big W and were an affordable option for big Easter egg hunts such as school or church groups.  They also tasted normal.  So far this year I have not yet been able to find ‘nut-free’ Easter eggs that are made of real chocolate to use for an Easter Egg hunt.  Bummer.  I’ll keep looking and let you know if I find anything.

Some good news

There are two positive developments this year that are worth noting.  For those who like their chocolate with a conscience I was very excited to find a Fair Trade peanut-free product for the first time this year.  Belgian Chocolate has a super cute Fair Trade Cool Rabbit, which doesn’t contain traces of peanuts.  It does, however, contain traces of tree nuts.  I am excited that my peanut-allergic 6 year old will be eating slavery-free chocolate for the first time this year!!!  It’s kinda sad that there is so far only one product on the market that is both Fair Trade and peanut-free!  Here’s hoping for more Fair Trade, peanut-free chocolate next year.  If you find something, please let me know.

Also Woolworths has introduced a new nut-free Easter product.  Their choc-coated marshmallow eggs come individually wrapped in a six-pack.  This product doesn’t contain a nut-free guarantee, but the allergy warning lists only milk and soy.  They’re also reasonably priced, so this is most likely to be the product my daughter shares with her school friends this year.  They’re also selling a 10-pack of choc-coated marshmallow bunnies, with the same ingredients.

Some good options

For children who are peanut allergic, but NOT allergic to other nuts or dairy, the Kinder Mini Eggs, 85g are a good option for hunts.  These eggs contain milk, hazelnuts and soy, but no traces of peanuts.  They’re available at Coles supermarkets.  I also discovered today that Aldi have a bag of Dairy Fine solid milk chocolate eggs (600g) which contain milk, soy, wheat and traces of tree nuts, but not peanuts.  Don’t get them confused with the caramel hunting eggs, which do contain traces of peanuts.  For children who are allergic to tree nuts and/or dairy, I would recommend the Sweet William Sweet As Easter Bunnies.  They are made in a dedicated nut-free facility.  They’re also LOW GI, gluten-free and dairy free and they’re individually wrapped for Easter Egg hunts.  (I have to admit, they don’t quite taste like real chocolate, but they look and smell like chocolate so the child who is dairy allergic may not notice!)

If you want to think outside the box and avoid chocolate altogether, then you could consider the The Natural Confectionary Co Jelly confectionary, “Easter Bunies”.   They contain wheat, but not soy and have no artificial colours or flavours so they could be a good choice for children with other intolerances or allergies, such as to lactose or soy.  I am yet to find a chocolate Easter egg or chocolate substitute that doesn’t contain soy so if your child is soy allergic, this may be your only option.  They’re not individually wrapped, so they won’t work well for Easter hunts unless you wrap them yourself.

In the area of Easter Eggs for gifts, there are happily a few more allergy friendly options.  Kinder have a 3 pack of 15 gram bunnies that contain milk and soy but no nuts.  The Kinder Surprise Train contains four 20g eggs containing milk and soy, which makes a lovely little gift, but at $7 for just 4 small eggs (at Woolworths), it would make for a rather expensive Easter egg hunt.   If you’re feeling extravagant the 150g Maxi Kinder Surprise only contains milk and soy and includes a giant surprise toy.  I’m sure any kid would be thrilled to receive that on Easter Sunday.

Thankfully Kinnerton also has their usual range of novelty eggs available at Target.  These come with the Kinnerton nut-free guarantee.  Cute gift ideas include the Kinnerton Where’s Wally Mug and Egg, the Kinnerton Where’s Wally Hunt Bag, (for just $10) and the Kinnerton Hello Kitty trinket tin with egg or the Hello Kitty Ceramic Mug with milk chocolate egg and bar.  Tweens and teens might appreciate the One Direction mug and egg or the One Direction mouse mat and phone case with a nut-free Easter egg.

So there are a few ideas to get you started.  The information below is only intended to be a guide to save you some research time. (I spent 3 days researching this stuff so that you don’t have to!)  Please remember to always read the label carefully.  Check and double check that the product you have matches the specific allergy needs of your child.  Also keep in mind that there can be great variation between products that look the same.  For example, Lindt Gold Bunnies in both milk and dark chocolate (100 and 500g) that are sold individually carry the warning ‘May contain traces of hazelnuts and almonds’, but the Lindt Gold Bunny Milk 100g that is sold as a 2-pack in a bag carries the warning ‘May contain traces of peanuts and other nuts’ on the bag.  So please check and double-check that the products you are buying are safe and that it is the exact product mentioned on the list below.

My picture book Marty's Nut-free Party is available from all good bookstores and from Wombat Books at www.wombatbooks.com.au

My picture book Marty’s Nut-free Party is available from all good bookstores and from Wombat Books at http://www.wombatbooks.com.au

Also, if you find that your child with allergies is being left-out at social occasions like Easter, Christmas and birthday parties, or if your family and friends aren’t making an effort to make their celebrations allergy-friendly, grab them a copy of my picture book Marty’s Nut-Free Party, available through Wombat Books.  (Postage is just $3 to anywhere in the world).  The book helps both adults and kids understand how serious food allergies can be and highlights the importance of making sure children with allergies aren’t left out on social occasions.

Hope you find this helpful.

Happy Easter!

These products are safe/low risk for nut-allergy sufferers

 

Product Allergy Statement Available From
 Kinnerton 9 piece selection box, 80g  Made with the Kinnerton NUT SAFETY promiseContains cow’s milk, soya.No artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat  Big W
Kinnerton Where’s Wally Ceramic Mg and a milk chocolate egg, 65 g Made with the Kinnerton NUT SAFETY promise.Contains milk, soya Target
Kinnerton Where’s Wally Easter Egg Hunt Bag, “Hunt for Wally” Made with the Kinnerton NUT SAFETY promise. Target
Kinnerton Hello Kitty cute trinket tin with a milk chocolate egg 50g Made with the Kinnerton NUT SAFETY promise.Contains milk, soya Target
Kinnerton Hello Kitty Ceramic Mug with Milk chocolate egg and bar, 92g Made with the Kinnerton NUT SAFETY promise.Contains milk, soyaMay contain traces of egg. Target
Kinnerton One Direction ceramic mug and milk chocolate egg, 65g and One Direction mouse mat and phone case with milk chocolate eggs, 65g Made with the Kinnerton NUT SAFETY promise.Contains cow’s milk, soya Target
Heritage Nut-Free Bunny, 60gHeritage 12 milk chocolate easter eggs, 205g Made with nut-free chocolateContains milk and soy Big W
Maxi Kinder Surprise, 150gGiant Surprise Inside Contains milk, soy Target, Coles, Big W
Kinder Surprise Easter Train, 4 x 20g eggs. Contains milk, soy Coles, Woolworths, Franklins, Big W
Kinder Bunnies 45g (3 x 15g) Contains milk, soy Coles, Woolworths, Big W
Kinder Surprise Bunny 110g Contains milk, soy Franklins, Big W
Sweet William Sweet As Easter Bunnies, No Added Sugar, Made in a dedicated NUT-FREE facility.  Low GI, Gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free.  Contains soy. Coles
Woolworths Select, Choc-coated marshmallow Bunnies, 10 pack, 200g Contains milk, soybeans Woolworths
Woolworths Select, Choc-coated marshmallow eggs, 6 pack, 120g Contains milk and soy Woolworths
The Natural Confectionary Co Jelly confectionary “Easter Bunnies”, 700g Contains wheat.NOTE: This is the only Easter product I have found that does not contain soy.No artificial colours.No artificial flavours. Coles

Moderate Risk:  These products should be okay for children with mild nut allergies, or children with peanut allergies, who are NOT allergic to other nuts.  These products contain traces of tree nuts, but not peanuts.

Product Allergy Statement Available From
Lindt milk chocolate gold bunny, 100g and 500gsold individually only May contain traces of hazelnuts and almonds.  Contains milk. Target, Woolworths, Franklins, Coles, Big W
Lindt dark chocolate bunny, 100g and 500gsold individually only May contain traces of hazelnuts, almonds and milk.NOTE: This product does not actually contain milk, but may contain traces of milk.  It may be suitable for those who are lactose intolerant. Target, Coles, Franklins, Woolworths, Big W
Lindt gold bunny, 5 pack, 50g May contain traces of hazelnuts and almonds.  Contains milk. Target, Big W
Park Avenue, Minnie Mouse Disney gift set, 10g, Fruit flavour compressed candy, Made in China No allergy warning, but does not contain milk.Colours 141, 162, 163, 171 Target
Park Avenue, Mick Mouse gift set with candy, 15gMade in China No allergy warning, but does not contain milk.Colours 141, 162, 163, 171 Target
Toblerone, 400g Contains milk, almonds, soya, egg Target, Coles, Big W
Ferrero Rocher, 200g, 375g Contains milk, hazelnuts, gluten, soy Coles, Franklins, Big W
Ferrero Collection, 260g, various chocolates inside Contains milk, gluten, almonds, soy, hazelnuts Coles
Kinder mini eggs, 85g Contains milk, hazelnuts, soy Coles, Big W
Kinder Mix, 86g Contains milk, soy, hazelnuts Franklins, Big W
Belgian Chocolate, Decorated milk chocolate egg, 90g Contains milk and soyMay be present: gluten and tree nuts Coles
Belgian Chocolate, Cool Rabbit Fair Trade 140g Contains milk and soyMaybe be Present: Gluten and tree nuts Coles
Select milk and white Chocolate Easter Bunnies, Assorted Flavours Contains gluten, milk, soybeans.May be present: tree nuts Woolworths
Select Milk Chocolate Egg, Chick or Bunny Lollipop, 40g.Sweet Season Universal Candy Milk Chocolate Bunny, 150 g Contains milk, soybeansMay be present: tree nutsMay contain traces of hazelnuts, almonds and glutenContains milk and soy WoolworthsBig W

High Risk Products – these Easter products are NOT safe for children or adults with peanut or tree nut allergies, especially for those at risk of anaphylaxis

Note:  All Cadbury’s, Red Tulip and Park Avenue Easter chocolate products are unsuitable for people with nut allergies.  Below I have listed some of the more popular products that need to be avoided.

Lindt gold Bunny milk 100g, Two bunnies in a gift bag May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts Target
Lindt gold bunny and egg, 90g, 220g.  Milk chocolate egg and gold bunny May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.  Contains milk Target, Big W
Lindt Gold Bunny Hutch, 50g and Mini Chicks, 50g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.  Contains milk Target
Lindt LINDOR Assorted Eggs 160g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk. Target, Woolworths, Big W
Lindt LINDOR milk, 160 g, 235 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.  Contains milk. Target, Coles, Big W
Lindt Easter Gift, 100g, Milk Chocolate Lindor Eggs with a Gold Bunny Porcelain Cup May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk Target
Lindt Carrots, 80g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk Target, Big W
Bugs and Bees, 100g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk Target, Big W
Lindt Easter Egg milk, 120 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk Target, Big W
Park Avenue Disney Pixar Cars Melamine Breakfast Set with milk chocolate egg, 60g May contain traces of Peanuts, other tree nuts and wheat.Contains milk products, soy. Target, Big W
Park Avenue Dora the Explorer Lentincular cup and sticker sheet with milk chocolate egg, 60 g May contain traces of Peanuts, other tree nuts and wheat.Contains milk products, soy. Target, Big W
Park Avenue Dora the Explorer candy gift set 20g Manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, milk and soy Target, Big W
Park Avenue Barbie candy gift set, 20g Manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, milk and soy Target, Big W
Park Avenue, The Smurfs melamine breakfast set with milk chocolate egg, 60g May contain traces of peanuts, other tree nuts and wheatContains Milk products, soy. Coles, Big W
Park Avenue Hot Wheels melamine breakfast set with milk chocolate egg, 60g May contain traces of peanuts, other tree nuts and wheatContains Milk products, soy. Coles, Big W
Klett milk chocolate sitting bunny, 150 g Traces: peanuts, shell fruits, gluten Target
Klett milk chocolate egg 100g May contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten Target
Klett Duck, 150g Traces: peanuts, shell fruits, gluten Target
Harfords, 18 pack easter eggs, 360 g Gluten FreeProcessed and packed in the same factory as products containing eggs, peanuts, seeds and tree nuts.  Contains milk, soy and suphites. Target
Cadbury No 6 Hollow Egg, 50g May contain traces of nuts.These labels are impossibly difficult to read. Target, Coles, Woolworths, Franklins
Crunchie egg, 110 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts Target, Big W
Cadbury Dairy milk hollow bunny and eggs, 258 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy
Cadbury Dairy Milk 15 hollow eggs, 250 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy Target, Big W
Freddo and Friends, 230g May contain traces of egg, peanuts, tree nuts Target
Cadbury Favourites, 260g 300g, 600g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy Target, Coles, Franklins, Big W
Cadbury Dairy Milk easter bunny, 180 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy Target, Big W
Cadbury Mixed Bag, 250g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy Target
Cadbury Smiling Bunny, 100g May contain traces of nuts Target
Cadbury Dream Eggs bag, 130 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy Coles, Big W
Cadbury Caramello egg bag 125g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk, wheat glucose syrup and soy Coles, Franklins
Cadbury Turkish Delight egg bag and Cadbury Strawberry Egg Bag, 135 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk, wheat glucose syrup and soy Coles, Franklins
Cadbury Top Deck egg bag, 135 g, May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy Franklins
Cadbury Crunchie egg bag, 135 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nutsContains milk and soy Franklins
Cadbury Crème egg bag, 135 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk, wheat glucose syrup and soy Franklins
Red Tulip Birds eggs, 100g May contain traces of nutsContains milk Coles, Big W
Red Tulip Humpty Dumpty Egg, 165g and Humpty Dumpty mini carton, 175 g May contain traces of nuts.Contains milk Target, Woolworths
Moshi Monsters character Eggs 90g May be present: Peanuts, Wheat (gluten) Tree NutsContains milk and soy Woolworths, Big W
Cadbury Egg Crate, 20 pack, 340 g May contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.Contains milk and soy Woolworths, Big W
Select milk chocolate hollow eggs, 20 pack 360 g May be present: gluten, tree nuts, peanuts.Contains milk, soybeans Woolworths
Red Tulip Hollow Eggs May contain traces of nuts Woolworths, Big W

 

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On Thursday March 14, we said goodbye to our tiny 15 week son, Alexander.

A routine check-up with our obstetrician on Wednesday revealed his little heart had stopped beating.

I delivered him in the wee hours of Thursday morning.  He looked as though he had simply fallen asleep.

Birdy wept when I told her that her baby brother had died in Mummy’s tummy.

She drew Alexander asleep in his basket surrounded by twinkling stars.  She told me each star represents the love of one of his brothers and sisters, which will shine on him forever.

There are no words to express our sadness.

Alexander Macdonald Roe.

14.03.2013

We will always love you xxx

 


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We’ve had our regular council clean-up this week.

I love council cleanup. I love seeing the detritus of people’s lives hoisted out on the street. I love that for a few days, outside those perfectly manicured lawns, there are half-rotten pieces of outdoor furniture, mildewy mattresses, discarded prams and broken clamshell paddling pools. It reminds me that even the lives of those who appear to have everything under control still contain a bit of mess and clutter.

There are two basic types of people in this world, chuckers and hoarders.  Chuckers enjoy council cleanup because it’s a chance to clean out some mess; hoarders love it even more because they can drive around the streets looking for freebies to collect, just in case they need them for a rainy day.

In my heart, I’m more of a chucker.

I love to de-clutter. I love to give stuff away. But I’m also a big believer in recycling and not wasting things, so I must confess that our backyard is full of other people’s discarded treasure – climbing frames, outdoor furniture, baby swings, even some of our kids bikes have been salvaged from council cleanup.

But all this chucking and salvaging and de-cluttering has raised a much bigger question for me, a question I’ve wrestled with ever since having kids: when is it OK to throw out or give away your kids’ belongings?

Especially without telling them, let alone asking their permission?

I found this especially hard when my daughter was at pre-school. She would bring home piles of craft that she’d made and all of it was really special to her and had to be kept forever. Thankfully home-made stuff usually falls apart and you can eventually convince your child that the egg-carton dinosaur really doesn’t bear much resemblance to a dinosaur now that its ears and tail have fallen off and the words ‘free-range’ appear to be tattooed down its back where the green paint has scratched off. But it’s not just art and craft that clutters up the house, it’s also stuff like those stupid little kinder surprise toys, party bags full of junk from the $2 shop, colouring books that are ¾ finished or that favourite top they always want to wear but that is now so stained and full of holes that you’re worried they’ll be mistaken for a homeless street urchin if they go out in public.

How long do you keep that stuff? And is it okay to just throw it away after they’ve gone to bed?

I have a strong memory from childhood of the moment I discovered that my mum had thrown out my absolute favourite pair of shoes. The soles were falling off, and I was seriously in danger of causing myself a permanent disability if I kept wearing them, but I was absolutely devastated that my Mum had thrown them away without telling me. And because I remember that feeling, I always have this lingering sense of guilt when I throw something of Birdy’s away without asking her.

I also know that if I  throw something away without asking, I have to be prepared to face that terrible moment when she says, “Mum, have you seen that little parachute man I got at Luke’s party!”, or ‘Where’s my favourite orange T-shirt?”  In that moment, will I be brave enough to say, “Honey, I’m really sorry, but I threw it away,” or will I find yourself umm-ing and aaaring and muttering, ‘Gosh, I just can’t remember exactly where I last saw that… Maybe it’s in the wash!’

Do you throw away your kids stuff without asking them, or do you consult them before you heave things out? How do you stay on top of the clutter?


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We’ve been away on holidays last week.  It was my Dad’s 80th birthday so went to visit him in the little town where I grew up.  I also managed to throw to together a mini-book tour, visiting my two old primary schools, a local pre-school and hosting a special Storytime at Griffith City Library.  But a holiday can’t be all work and no play and since I had all that family babysitting on tap, we also managed to enjoy an extremely rare kidfree dinner out with some old friends.  During our uninterrupted conversation, we got to reminiscing about the travelling we’d done overseas when we were younger, before we had kids.   As the stories came out of various shenanigans around the world, I realised that one of the few things I miss from my life before kids was being able to occasionally travel to other parts of the world  (that and having any kind of uninterrupted adult conversation for more than five minutes!)

Of course, some people do manage to keep travelling after they have children, it’s just a lot more expensive and takes a lot more organization and planning.  It’s also likely to be a different style of travelling.  You might be less likely to back-pack around Europe and more likely to spend a week in a resort in Fiji!

I’ve never done one of those Fiji holidays, but they seem to be very popular with families because they include free kids clubs.  In fact they’re so popular around here that nearly every kid from Birdy’s kindy class has either been to Fiji or Bali in the last year.  She even said to me last holidays, “Mum, next time we have a holiday, can we go to Bali or Fiji so I can get my hair braided?”  She wanted to come back to school with braided hair like so many of her friends.  So what did we do?  We went to Griffith – OK so it’s not exactly Fiji, but there are lots of Tongans there!

For me, half the point of travelling is to see something different and have new experiences and you don’t have to go overseas for that.   On our holiday, we drove for eight hours in the car without stopping – that was a new experience.  We saw emus on the Hay plains – that was a little bit exciting!  And of course there was lots of time with family which is always special.  But one of the highlights of the holiday was when we went to Canberra on the way home.  We had a really nice day out at Questacon, which the kids loved, then at night we wandered the streets of Canberra in the -5 degree icy wind to see the Enlighten festival.  This is where some of Canberra’s leading artists create artworks that are projected onto the city’s most iconic buildings, like the old Parliament House and the National Library.  That was pretty spectacular.

Later that night, when we arrived home feeling cold, weary and hungry – we had another completely new experience – we discovered that Birdy and I have knits! That’s probably what we’ll remember – this was the holiday when we had knits for the first time!

So instead of staying up late having red wine and conversation, we stayed up to midnight treating our headlice.  My friend Jacqui pointed out to me that this was a pretty serious indication of the depth of our friendship that she was willing to stay up half the night picking knits out of my hair with fine tooth comb.  (I have a lot of hair, so it’s not a small job!)

The funny thing is, Caillie and I have now got our hair plaited to stop our knits from spreading.  So Caillie did go to back to school after her holiday with braids like she wanted.  We just didn’t have to go to Fiji to get them!

Reading Marty's Nut-Free Party at a special Storytime at Griffith City Library

Reading Marty’s Nut-Free Party at a special Storytime at Griffith City Library



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