Egg Free Waffles

waffles

A yummy treat for weekend brekkie or brunch!

 

Ingredients:

280g (10 oz) plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp sugar

450 mls milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp melted butter

 

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and sugar.

Add in the remaining ingredients – milk, vegetable oil, water, vanilla and melted butter.

Whisk together until batter is mixed, it will be slightly lumpy.

Spray waffle maker with non-stick spray. Pour on enough batter and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes depending on your waffle maker instructions.

Serve warm and sprinkle with icing sugar (or any other topping you wish).

Mmm…perfect for a weekend treat!

Travelling with kids who have eczema and/or allergies

Travelling with kids_2

Having a little one who suffers from eczema as well as severe food allergies, travelling abroad can be daunting.  Our daughter was diagnosed with her nut allergy days before going on an overseas holiday – it was an anxious time to say the least!  So we have put together some tips for travelling/holidaying to help you prepare for that well deserved trip away!

Eczema:

  1. Routine: Don’t let your little one’s daily skin care routine suffer when on holidays.  It will make for a more enjoyable time for everyone if you can keep up the management of your kids eczema.
  2. Airplane: Make sure you have moisturiser on board and re-apply often as flying dehydrates the skin.
  3. Bedding: Bring your own where you can – hotels may use strong laundry detergents on theirs that may irritate skin.
  4. Flannels/Face cloths: Bring your own and multiple.
  5. Emulsifying ointment: Bring enough for bathing each day and for moisturising more often than usual if going to a warm climate.
  6. Prescribed creams/ointments/medications: Err on the side of caution and take as many as you would use at home – usually coming in small size packaging they don’t take up too much room and worth it in case of need. Keep them with carry-on luggage.
  7. Scissors: Don’t forget your nail scissors (in checked luggage), little ones nails grow faster in the sunshine!
  8. Refrigerator: Ask for a fridge in the hotel room/apartment before you travel to store medication but also to keep creams cool.
  9. Swimming: Be careful how chlorinated the swimming pools are if this affects your child’s eczema.  Make sure to apply emulsifying ointment before swimming to protect them.  Sea water can be great for eczema, but you must also be careful if your child has broken skin in the salt water.
  10. Shruggi: Don’t forget your Itchy Little Monkeys Shruggi – especially for bed-time and if travelling long distances in the car.

 

Allergies:

  1. Start simply: If you feel too anxious about travelling abroad, look for stay-cation options for allergy safe travel. An enjoyable, manageable first holiday experience with your little one will boost your confidence and you may want to venture further afield next time.
  2. Language: Find out the translation for your little one’s allergies in the language of the country you are traveling to.
  3. Adrenaline pens: Make sure you bring a letter from your doctor, you may be asked for this at the airport.
  4. Airplane staff: For severe nut allergy sufferers, when boarding the airplane ask for who is in charge and ask them to make a PA announcement saying that there is a child on board with a severe nut allergy, for passengers not to eat nuts on board and that they won’t be selling products that are nut based.
  5. Snacks: Bring some snacks from home to ensure that you have reliable reserves for on the go.
  6. Food: Before you travel, contact a few restaurants in the area you will be staying in and ask them if they can accommodate your child’s allergies. Many times, we have found that pasta abroad is made from egg rather than wheat, so we regularly bring our own and ask the chef to cook it for us if theirs is not egg-free.
  7. Find out where the nearest doctor/24 hour emergency clinic is before you travel or when you arrive.
  8. Relax and enjoy!

Eczema and the sun

Sun_blended

We all look forward to some sunshine after the cold and wet months of winter. Sunshine is great for generating skin-friendly vitamin D but we also need to protect ourselves and our kids from the harmful side of the sun.

Looking after a child with eczema in the sun takes a little more planning and preparation, so we put together our top tips to make it easier for you!

Some general advice…

Children’s skin, which is still in development, is far more fragile than adult skin, particularly when it comes to the harmful effects of UV rays.  Remember, even on an overcast or cloudy day, the sun’s rays will still reach us

General Top Tips:

  1. Avoid periods of peak sunlight (between 11am and 4pm) by encouraging activities in the shade or naps
  2. Ensure your children wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with filtering lenses and dark clothing (a black t-shirt protects more than a white one)
  3. Apply sunscreen frequently and generously (at least two layers every two hours and after each swim) on all exposed skin
  4. Drink regularly
  5. Babies under 6 months should not be exposed to direct sunlight, so keep them in the shade at all times

Top Tips for kids with eczema:

All of the above applies for kids with eczema, but there are some additional factors to take into consideration when your child has eczema.

  1. Heat can be a key factor in triggering your childs eczema. When out and about, covering them up in light cotton trousers and tops will not only protect against sun exposure but will help to keep them cool
  2. Sunscreens can irritate eczema in some children. Make sure that you test any new sunscreen before applying it to the whole body
  3. Look at ingredients of the sunscreen – some are based on chemicals, some non-chemical minerals (usually titanium dioxide) and some are a combination. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin whilst those containing titanium dioxide sit on the skin and act as a barrier
  4. Try not to rub too hard when applying cream as this will trigger itching
  5. Sun exposure is drying to the skin. Be even more generous than usual with your regular emollients (moisturisers) and use a heavier emollient than usual at night.
  6. Apply your emollient about half an hour before applying a sunscreen. This will stop the sunscreen from becoming diluted by the emollient and will make sure that the sunscreen keeps its protective properties
  7. Remember that sunscreens are not designed to allow your child to spend unlimited time in the sun but to provide protection when they are exposed to sunlight.
  8. Salt water and sand may be irritating for some children with eczema, particularly if the skin is broken or cracked. Particles of sand or salt can lodge in the skin cracks and sting. Chlorine can also be irritating for some children. Always apply a thick layer of emollient before swimming.
  9. A tepid soak in a bath, with oils suitable for eczema, will remove particles of salt and sand and help to soothe the skin after a trip to the beach or the pool.

Our Top 10 Tips for Itchy Skin

  1. Itchy little monkeys!  Our top tip for caring for a child with itchy skin is to give them the gift of our skin-saving Shruggi™ to protect their skin from the damage caused by scratching.  The Shruggi™ is made from 100% certified organic cotton and silk. It is super soft and comfortable.  It is machine washable, lightweight and comes in bright colours with the Itchy little monkey characters on it, so your child will love wearing it. Combine this with one of the Itchy little monkeys bedtime stories to make bedtime easier and to give the child (and therefore the parent) a good night’s sleep!
  2. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!  And do it often.  Thick ointments are much more effective than lotions and creams, they offer the most protection for your child’s skin.  Moisturising after washing and bathing is a must!
  3. Take a bath!  Having a daily bath helps with your child’s itchy skin, but remember not to let them stay in for longer than 5 minutes.  If your child is reluctant to get out after 5 minutes, pull out the plug – they can continue to play but are not immersed in the water!
  4. Tough as nails!  Ensure that your child’s nails are kept short. Short fingernails cause less damage to the skin if your child does scratch. If scratching at night is a problem, remember to put on their cuddly skin-saving Shruggi™ at bedtime for a peaceful night’s sleep.
  5. Be Trigger Happy!  If you can learn what your child’s eczema triggers are you can try to avoid them where possible. Main triggers are heat, dust, grass and pollen, synthetic or woollen fabrics, biological detergents, cigarette smoke, cats and dogs, stress.
  6. Keep cool!  Keep your child’s bedroom and surroundings cool.  Heat and humidity can cause itchy skin to flare up.
  7. Be natural!  Dress your child in light, breathable, natural fabrics, such as cotton. Wools and synthetic fabrics such as polyester, can irritate the skin.  Light layers work great as they can put on or take off a layer to stay comfortable.
  8. Go undercover!  Skin that is covered up seems to be less likely to itch especially if your child’s trigger is environmental or airborne.
  9. Don’t wash your dirty laundry… in biological detergent!  Always wash your child’s clothes in non-biological washing detergent and wash new clothes before they wear them. Do not use fabric conditioner.
  10. The Art of Distraction!  Finding a distraction from your child’s itchiness is easier during the day with games and activities.  At night-time, read them one of the Itchy little monkeys stories to help them relax and go to sleep.

Easy Peasy Chocolate Biscuit Cake

 

Chocolate biscuit cake

Another alternative for a special treat!

Egg-free, nut-free & no cooking needed, this one will go down well with kids & adults alike!

 

Ingredients:

250g (8½ oz) milk or dark chocolate

100g (3½ oz) butter

400g (14 oz) digestive biscuits

1 tbsp golden syrup or honey

5 tbsp pouring cream

900g loaf tin

 

Method:

Melt the chocolate with the butter.

Mix in the golden syrup or honey along with approx. 5 tablespoons of cream until you have achieved a smooth silky sauce.

Allow to cool a little, then break in the digestive biscuits.

Transfer to the loaf tin that has been lined with parchment paper.

Chill for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

To serve, turn out onto a suitable plate.

Leave to set at room temperature for 20 mins before cutting into slices to serve.

Easy peasy!

 

Blissful Banana Bread

Banana bread

For all those hungry little monkeys out there who love their bananas!
Another egg-free recipe for you to try. In our house, our daughter’s job is mashing the bananas (so you might end up with less than you started with!).

Ingredients:
100g (3 ½ oz) softened butter, plus a little extra for greasing
140g (5oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 very ripe bananas
50 ml milk
2lb loaf tin

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)/170C fan/gas mark 4.
  2. Grease the loaf tin with some butter. Line the base with baking parchment and grease this too.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar, then slowly mix in the flour and baking powder. Peel, then mash the bananas. Now mix everything together adding in the milk last (depending on the size of your bananas you may not need as much milk if the mixture is wet enough).
  4. Pour your mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the banana bread to cool on a wire rack before removing from the loaf tin.
  5. Wrap tightly in cling film and store in airtight container. You may also freeze for use at a later date (defrost and warm through before serving). Deelicious….!

Scrummy Festive Shortbread

Scrummy shortbread

Looking for a really quick & easy recipe and to spend some fun time bonding with the kids?
You can’t go wrong with this simple shortbread recipe!

Ingredients:

125g (4oz) butter
55g (2oz) caster sugar, plus extra to finish
180g (6oz plain flour)
Baking tray
Cookie cutters

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F) / Gas 5.
  2. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½ inch thick.
  4. Cut into shapes and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Eczema & Christmas

Christmas Tree with a Christmas Star and Gifts on a blue/white

 

This time of year the weather can be a problem for little ones with eczema as it dries out the skin – and so does central heating.
Here are some top tips for looking after your child’s eczema during this festive time!

Cotton
Especially around Christmas time, there are plenty of festive jumpers for kids in the shops – but if they are not cotton, they will be uncomfortable and make your little one very itchy. If wearing party dresses, wear cotton tops underneath.

Central heating
Instead of turning up the heat, pile on the (cotton) layers. Central heating can cause havoc with sensitive skin.

Wrap up
Don’t forget your little ones exposed areas when they’re outside in the biting wind – hands and cheeks can all feel the full force of the elements. Cover up to help protect vulnerable skin.

Party food
With all the festive and indulgent food available during the Christmas period, make sure to keep healthy snacks with you – too much sugar can trigger flare ups!

Warm baths
Having a daily bath helps with your child’s itchy skin, but remember not to let them stay in for longer than 5 minutes. When its cold outside don’t be tempted to turn up the temperature of the water, your little ones skin wont thank you for it.

Moisturise
Don’t forget to take care your child’s moisturiser/emollient with you when out and about and apply often.

Yummy Egg-free Chocolate cake

cake

This delicious chocolate cake is the staple for big celebrations in our house! To make it dairy-free as well as egg-free, you can use soya margarine instead of butter.

Ingredients:

85g (3oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
300mls boiling water
300g (10 ½ oz) self-raising flour
100g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
20cm round cake tin

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

50g (2oz) butter softened
140g (5oz) icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp boiling water

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 160C / Fan 140C / Gas 3
  2. Grease the cake tin.
  3. Add the butter, golden syrup and vanilla extract to a heatproof jug. Add 300mls boiling water and whisk with a fork to combine.
  4. Sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, then tip in the butter mixture. Stir until you have a smooth batter, then add to the prepared tin. Bake for 50-55 mins until the cake is well risen and springy to touch. Leave to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the chocolate icing, mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water to make a smooth paste. Let it cool. Beat together the butter and icing sugar until creamy. Fold in the cooled cocoa paste and mix together to form a smooth icing.
  6. Once the cake is completely cooled, take a palette knife and smooth the icing over the top and sides of the cake to your desired taste.
  7. This really is a great cake for all those birthday celebrations – you won’t have much left!

Crumbly Coconut Squares

 

Crumbly coconut squares

These are very popular in our house. Be warned, they are really tasty! They are packed with oats so they provide good slow-release energy for kids and adults alike.

Ingredients:

350g (12oz) butter
2 generous tbsp. golden syrup
175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g (3oz) plain flour
375g (13oz) rolled oats
125g (4.5oz) desiccated coconut
38cm x 25cm (15’ x 10’) Swiss roll tin

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), gas mark 4.
  2. Place the butter, golden syrup, sugar and vanilla extract into a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir, allowing the butter to melt and form a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and add the flour, oats and coconut. Stir to mix and pour into the Swiss roll tin, spreading evenly into each corner and smoothing the surface of the oats with the back of the spoon.
  3. Bake in the middle of the oven (too close to the top will cause them to burn) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  4. Once cool, cut into squares and store in an airtight container.
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