FARE Kids Who Care: Callie Milner

Callie FARE BlogCallie Milner wants everyone to be able to enjoy dessert together, which is why she started Callie’s Nut-Free Treats, a home-based bakery business that has been churning out nut-free baked goods and delighting customers in the Chicago area. At just nine years old, Callie and her mother Dara are donating all proceeds from their sales to FARE so they can help raise funds for food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness. We asked Callie to tell us more about her successful fundraiser:

What are your food allergies? What’s it like having food allergies?

I am allergic to peanuts. When I go to a restaurant and I am ordering food, I have to be really careful that the server understands that my food cannot touch anything with peanuts. Cross-contact is the biggest thing about having food allergies. Having a food allergy makes you have to think in every situation about what you are eating and what others are eating around you. It is usually ok, but sometimes people don’t listen or understand and that is when it gets tiring. It is also tiring when there are really good treats around you that you can’t eat, and that is why I made Callie’s Nut-Free Treats!

Tell us about how you have been fundraising for FARE.

I have been making Callies’ Nut-Free Treats to raise money for FARE. I dance at All About Dance in Chicago and Ms. Jessica and Ms. Shannon (the owners) have let me have bake sales there for 3 years.  All of my treats are peanut, tree-nut and shellfish free and many are gluten-free and egg-free. I also have a website that people can order off of as part of the bake sale. I have raised over $9,000 so far and I don’t plan to stop!

Why did you want to do it? Why was it was important to you?

Callie’s Nut-Free Treats was really important to me because when I would see a good treat, I would really want to eat it, but I couldn’t because of my food allergy. So that’s why I made Callie’s Nut-Free Treats. I know how it feels for kids with food allergies and I want to make treats that a lot of people with food allergies and also without food allergies can eat. Now I don’t feel bad when I see great treats. I also wanted to teach people about food allergies and why they have to be really careful.

Which of your baked goods is your favorite? Which is the most popular seller?

My favorites are chocolate-covered chocolate sandwich cookies, chocolate sandwich cookie and potato chip milk chocolate bark, chocolate covered graham crackers with sprinkles and marshmallows. Our best sellers are the chocolate-covered chocolate sandwich cookies and solid chocolate pops.

How can you be a good friend to someone with food allergies?

You can be a good friend by not eating something they are allergic to when you are near them. You can also help protect someone with food allergies by telling your mom, dad or nanny to not serve foods they are allergic to and not allow foods to touch what you are allergic to when they come to your house. Like if a knife was used on peanut butter and then put in the jelly jar, I can’t eat that jelly.

What advice would you give a kid or a friend who was just diagnosed with food allergies?

Some tips I would give a friend that was just diagnosed with food allergies would be:

  • Be very very very very very very careful when you go to a restaurant. You have to say my food can’t be touched to what I am allergic to. You can ask the server to ask the chef what is safe for you to eat.  Make sure they understand cross-contact.
  • If someone is eating something you are allergic to, you have to speak up for yourself and say can you please not eat that and go wash your hands.
  • There are still a lot of great things you can eat. You can eat out and you can make lots of good things at home. I have traveled lots of places and I get to eat many yummy things.
  •  I have made lots of great friends and done special things because of my food allergies so don’t worry.

Thank you, Callie, for supporting FARE and providing safe treats for individuals with food allergies in the Chicago area. Callie’s treats are available for pick up to those in the Chicago area and can be ordered online at calliesnutfreetreats.com.

Food Allergy Friendly Baseball Games 2014

baseball-gameSpring is here, and so is baseball season. We are encouraged by the number of baseball teams that are actively engaging members of the food allergy community by hosting special “peanut-sensitive” or “peanut-aware” games.

Follow the links for more information about how to purchase tickets and the accommodations available at specific games. We will be updating it with new events as we learn of them.

All season: Florence Freedom (UC Health Stadium, Florence, KY)

April

April 12: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox (U.S. Cellular Field)

April 13: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies (Citizen’s Bank Park)

April 13: Tampa Bay Rays at Cincinatti Reds (Great American Ball Park)

April 18: Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies (Coors Field)

April 25: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)

April 25: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium) - email disabledservices@yankees.com or call: 718.579.4510 for more information

April 26: San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals (Nationals Park)

April 27: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field)

April 27: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)

April 27: Miami Marlins at New York Mets (Citi Field)

May

May 4: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium) - email disabledservices@yankees.com or call: 718.579.4510 for more information

May 11: Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park)

May 18: New York Mets at Washington Nationals (Nationals Park)

May 21: Mobile Baybears at Tennessee Smokies (Smokies Stadium)

May 22: Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park)

May 25: Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves (Turner Field)

May 25: Oakland A’s at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)

May 25: Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park)

May 28: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium)

May 30: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)

May 30: New  York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies (Citizen’s Bank Park)

June

June 1: Delmarva Shorebirds at Lakewood BlueClaws (FirstEnergy Stadium)

June 6: Oakland A’s at Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park)

June 11: Gwinnett Braves at Louisville Bats (Louisville Slugger Field)

June 13: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)

June 15: Vermont Lake Monsters at Lowell Spinners (Lelacheur Park)

June 15: Wisconsin Woodchucks at Madison Mallards (Warner Park)

June 20: Long Island Ducks at Camden Riversharks (Campbell’s Field)

June 20: South Bend Silver Hawks at Lake County Captains (Classic Park)

June 21: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals (Nationals Park)

June 22: Philadelphia Phillies at Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field)

June 22: Tri-City ValleyCats at Lowell Spinners (Lelacheur Park)

June 23: Chicago Cubs at Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park)

June 23: San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park)

June 24: Mississippi Braves at Birmingham Barons (Regions Field)

June 28: Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field)

June 29: Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)

July

July 1: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves (Turner Field)

July 6: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park)

July 17: New Britain Rock Cats at Reading Fightins (First Energy Stadium)

July 19: Milwaukee Brewers at Washington Nationals (Nationals Park)

July 19: Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox (U.S. Cellular Field)

July 20: New York Mets at San Diego Padres (Petco Park)

July 20: Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park)

July 20: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)

July 21: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)

July 22: New York Mets at Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field)

July 22: Tampa Bay Rays at St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium)

July 27: Brooklyn Cyclones at Lowell Spinners (Lelacheur Park)

July 27: Portland Seadogs at New Britain Rockcats (New Britain Stadium)

July 29: Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park)

July 29: Brooklyn Cyclones at Lowell Spinners (Lelacheur Park)

July 30: Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park)

August 

August 3: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals (BuschStadium)

August 8: St. Louis Cardinals at Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park)

August 8: Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field)

August 9: Sioux City at St. Paul Saints 

August 10: Williamsport Crosscutters at Lowell Spinners (Lelacheur Park)

August 15: Indianapolis Indians at Louisville Bats (Louisville Slugger Field)

August 17: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals (Nationals Park)

August 19: Toronto Blue Jays at Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)

August 24: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)

August 25: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park)

August 25: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies (Citizen’s Bank Park)

August 31: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves (Turner Field)

September

September 8: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium)

September 13: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies (Citizen’s Bank Park)

September 14: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)

September 16: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park)

Have you heard about other games in your area? Post your comments below.

Does Early Exposure to Nuts Lower a Child’s Allergy Risk?

ImageAre children more likely to develop a peanut or tree nut allergy if their mothers eat nuts during pregnancy or while nursing? Over the years, a number of studies have attempted to answer this question, but the results have been inconclusive. According to a new FARE-funded study, eating nuts during pregnancy does not cause food allergies in children. Further, although more studies are needed, it is possible that eating nuts may prevent a child from developing a food allergy.

In an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics on December 23, a research team affiliated with Harvard Medical School reported on their study, which suggests that mothers who do not have allergies and who eat nuts during pregnancy may lower their children’s risk of developing a peanut or tree nut allergy. The study, which was funded by FARE, received considerable media coverage.

The team, led by Dr. A. Lindsay Frazier, looked at the history of 8,205 participants in the Growing Up Today Study 2 (GUTS2) – children who were born between 1990 and 1994. The researchers reviewed records of the mothers’ diet immediately before and during pregnancy, and shortly after the infants’ birth. Of this group, 308 children had a food allergy, including 140 cases of peanut or tree nut allergy.

The incidence of peanut or nut allergies was significantly lower among the children of mothers who did not have food allergies themselves and who ate nuts at least five times per month compared to those who ate these foods less than once per month. “Our study supports the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases the likelihood of tolerance and thereby lowers the risk of childhood food allergy,” the researchers concluded. They noted, however, that additional studies are needed. “The data are not strong enough to prove a cause-and-effect relationship,” commented one of the authors, Dr. Michael Young. “Therefore, we can’t say with certainty that eating more peanuts during pregnancy will prevent allergy in children. But we can say that peanut consumption during pregnancy doesn’t cause peanut allergy in children.”

A study that should shed more light on this issue is currently underway. The LEAP (for “Learning Early About Peanut Allergy”) Study, conducted by Dr. Gideon Lack and colleagues at King’s College London, has been following 640 children since infancy to determine whether or not exposure to peanuts early in life can prevent the development of peanut allergy. This study, which is co-funded by the National Institutes of Health and FARE, should be completed in 2014.