Introduce peanuts to infants earlier to prevent allergic response! in a new tab)

This may not be ground breaking news to some of you. Last week, I was fortunate to attend the Dietitians of Canada webinar by Elissa Abrams, MD, FRCPC re: understanding the updated guidance on early introduction of allergenic foods.

Looking at the “LEAP’ forward study of 640 infants at high risk of peanut allergy, results showed early introduction of peanuts results in 80% reduction of peanut allergies at 5 years of age. This early oral introduction appears to be true of most common allergens, milk protein, egg and peanuts and potentially wheat.

Its suggested that you introduce these solid foods one at time, in small amounts a few times per week around 6 months of age. Introduce only small amounts, ie.’ 2 tsp smooth peanut butter in cereal. Don’t place the food on the skin first as this increases the risk, it is the oral introduction that is preventative.

Reactions may include hives, swelling, abdominal signs, vomiting diarrhea or fainting. inconsolable crying in which case, consult your physician, Large observational studies and randomized controlled trials have found early introduction of allergenic foods such as peanut to be safe, with low rates of reactions (approximately 2%) that are mild, and exclusively skin reactions

Even during a pandemic, the CPS continues to recommend (Canadian Pediatric Society) that if infants are at high risk of food allergy (due to eczema, other food allergy, or an immediate family history of allergies), allergenic solids should be introduced early—around 6 months, but not before 4 months of age.

Along with this data, did you know that the demand for peanut butter has increased by up to 41% over the past 3 months, possibly a trend towards plant based diet and with the closure of schools, children at home aren’t restricting their peanut consumption.

This post was inspired by my dinner tonight, a budda bowl with peanut sauce, totally yummy!

Rhubarb Strawberry Cream Pie

My husband has yearned for rhubarb strawberry pie. Since our garden rhubarb isn’t producing (will have to transfer to a sunny spot), he bought some rhubarb along with strawberries anticipating the master baker would come up with a brilliant recipe! First I checked my mother’s recipe list knowing it was a family favourite, then the internet and eventually adaped both for our guests, one with diabetes so used Truvia (baking form of stevia) for 50% of the sugar.

Voila, this is the product!

The crust was made with olive oil becel soft margarine. I know some of you will object, this has become an area of debate. Since I have a family history of heart disease, I’m opposed to using butter or coconut, known in the literature for elevating LDL cholesterol. My preference for a tender pastry is lard, however environmentally and because my guests are vegetarian, this is forbidden. So I settled for the Mediterranean alternative, yes …I have tried oil based pastries without much success. It wasn’t the most tender pastry because I always underestimate my fat, but it looks great. As well the bottom pastry was not soggy which is often the case with slow cooking pies, it too 1.5 hrs to cook!!!

The lattice pastry top was as per request from my husband.

Lovely flavour, without much sugar…not too sweet or too tart!!

Green Pea Harvest Snaps

Parmesan Roasted Garlic Green Pea Snap Crisps

First ingredient is green peas with about 27 ingredients when the sub-ingredients are included, highly refined!
Nutition-wise: high in protein, iron, and fibre, low in carbohydrate.
Perhaps it would be nicer to eat fresh snap peas with a dip or hummus!

While shopping in Safeway’s yesterday, was interested in their featured display; as I was commiserating, another shopper eager to get her spicy Harvest Snaps reached around me toppling a neighbouring display. I was quite surprised and commented that she must really love the product. She was happy to share her views on the variety of flavours available.

I decided on the parmesan roasted garlic because I was going to share with my husband who has an aversion to spicy foods.

The package weighs 85g and the portion size is 1/2 bag=50g. That would be a very large portion for me, the product tastes like cheesies. It has 29g carb with 8g fibre= only 21g available carb! There is 9 g fat, mostly canola oil which has a good balance of monounsaturated fat however many of my clients may be concerned about GMO’s. Only 150g sodium which is not too bad for a snack, and 9g protein, 20% iron, quite astounding for a snack.

But it is highly processed, thank goodness the first ingredient is green peas, but it has a total of ~27 ingredients when you include the sub-ingredients!

Do I think it’s a healthy snack…. well better than some chips and cheesies but there are better whole foods that one could choose… like snap peas alone or with dip or hummus!

Updating Traditional Recipes

Banana Tea Bread

Taking recipes from the past and updating them- Banana Tea Bread!

My mother cooked everything from scratch, we often had casseroles with lots of vegetables. either on the side are in the casserole and always had dessert!

So looking back in time, I resurrected my mom’s banana tea bread recipe.

With more variety of seasonal fruit, we’re collecting overripe bananas quickly. Wanting to minimize waste, I decided to research my mom’s recipes and found banana tea bread. Although most of her cooking was healthy, she did use the hard margarine or shortening with trans fatty acids and rarely used whole wheat flour.

To make a healthier version, I went 50% whole wheat and used an olive based soft margarine (has no trans fatty acids and very little saturated fat). Perhaps I should have tried olive oil but adding more fluid to the recipe may have altered the dry ingredient ratio. As well, because I was sharing this with my diabetes brother-in-law, I substituted truvia (stevia) for the sugar, so it had no sugar in it, per se.

It was moist, sweet enough and tasted rich with banana!

Metformin recall

There have been reports of unacceptable levels of nitrosamines in some of the metformin , slow release medication  and there is a recall.  It is not suggested that you stop taking your metformin, however it may be advisable to discuss this recall with your doctor or pharmacist.

Baked Tofu with Ginger

Are you looking for a tasty vegan tofu dish, I have a gem for you that I cooked tonight!  It has a very delicate Japanese flavour.

Baked Tofu with ginger  (2 servings)

300g tofu 1/2 block  ( I used mediium)

1.5 T soy sauce

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp rice vinegar

 1 tsp sesame seed oil

 2 tsp parsley, chopped

 2 tsp gingeroot grated

Cut the tofu into strips, combine the remaining ingredients into a marinate.  Marinate while bringing oven up to 400 degrees, pour out some of the marinate and bake 12-15 min, may need to drain marinate while cooking.


This recipe is from SOS cuisine, excellent for reflux or irritable bowel disease, high in iron, protein, low in cholesterol.


Opening office #105, 5700 Cowrie St. Sechelt next week, Tue-Thur, 10-4 pm

Safety Precautions for Covid 19 visiting Dietitian’s office:

  1. Removing most of the chairs in the waiting room to ensure physical distancing
  2. Removing all the magazines to reduce the number of touch points.
  3. Making some of the kitchen area off limits to reduce the number of touch points.
  4. Providing hand sanitizer in the waiting room and bathroom
  5. Putting up notices on the entrance door and in the waiting room to advise patients about Covid19 protocol
  6. Pre-booking precautions to ensure clients are not showing Covid 19 symptoms
  7. No cancellation fee, if clients are feeling unwell prior to the appointment.
  8. Patients will be spaced with 30 minutes between each appointment, to ensure no overlap
  9. Desk surfaces, chair, door knobs will be sanitized, before, between and after all appointments.
  10. Clients will not be seen if they are not wearing facemasks, as will the Dietitian during the visit.
  11.  No drop-ins