Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Recipe: Cinnamon Swirl Iced Spiced Loaf, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

A little slice of cinnamon swirl iced spice cake heaven

This weekend I got it into my head that I wanted something cinnamon swirled. I realized I had a few boxes of Namaste Foods spice cake mix in my cupboard and that would be an easy, allergen-free base. (I buy Namaste Foods spice cake mixes by the half dozen come fall, for occasions such as these.) I did a quick survey of cinnamon swirled recipes on Google and came up with this recipe below, adapted from Gluten-Free On a Shoestring.

I served some to my musical improv teammates and they went ga-ga over it: “It’s so moist. So delicious. How did you do this?” And none of them are food allergy free. It's that good. 

This recipe is easy (slightly genius) and it’s quickly become a new classic in my home. I hope it will in yours, too!


A vein of cinnamon-sugar. Oh my!

Cinnamon Swirl Iced Spiced Loaf, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free
Recipe adapted from Gluten-Free On a Shoestring

For the cake batter:
One box of Namaste Foods spice cake mix 
Make according to the directions

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture:
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I use sugar in the raw)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the glaze:
1 cup Domino confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon Lactaid milk (you can use any kind of milk, or OJ or even water), plus more by the 1/4 teaspoonful as needed

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line loaf with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
Make the Namaste Foods spice cake mix using eggs, water and oil as per the box directions. 

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar, mix well and set aside. 

Pour a generous half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer with a spatula. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top. Pour the remaining batter on top followed by the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. 

Using a knife at an angle perpendicular to the bottom of the loaf pan, carefully swirl the batter in all directions - I made several zig-zags. The top of the batter will look uneven; it’ll sort itself out whilst baking, don't you fret.

Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes at 350°F or until an inserted knife comes out clean. I turn my loaf pan at the half way baking mark to ensure an even bake.

Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, using the parchment paper, remove the loaf gently from the loaf pan and place on the wire rack, undisturbed, to cool completely.

While the cake loaf is cooling, assemble the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners sugar and milk. Mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the quarter teaspoonful, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon in a thick, pourable glaze. 

Drizzled iced spiced cake

At about 30 minutes, the loaf will still be warm and it’s time drizzle the glaze over the loaf in a back and forth motion creating the beautiful striations you see above.

Slice in generous, thick slices and share!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Interview: Kyle Dine & Friends Food Allergy Education for Schools

I can’t say enough good things about my friend, colleague and fellow food allergy advocate Kyle Dine. You know Kyle. But did you know that he has this incredible new project called Kyle Dine & Friends Food Allergy Education for Schools? I had a chance to ask him some questions about his new project and his inspiration. Read on and then order his DVD for yourself and your school!


Allergic Girl: What is this new project  - "Kyle Dine & Friends" Food Allergy Education for Schools DVD about?

Kyle Dine: It's an allergy awareness video that is aimed at children filled with songs, puppets and games. It's a two-disc DVD set aimed at kids ages 4-7 & 8-11 respectively, with age-appropriate content. The video is a mix of entertainment and education that gets important messages across while increasing support, understanding and empathy. 

AG: Who is "Kyle Dine & Friends" Food Allergy Education for Schools geared towards/who is your ideal audience?

KD: The ideal audience is any elementary school classroom. I've received wonderful reviews from teachers who have shown the video to their class. Students (both allergic and non-allergic) were engaged, clapping along and participating in the follow-up quiz at the end. 

AG: What do you hope "Kyle Dine & Friends" Food Allergy Education for Schools will accomplish?

KD: A general understanding about food allergies, and support for the children who have them. I hear so often that peer support can be the biggest influence in a child's perspective of their own food allergies and risk-management. This is the video that I would have LOVED to exist when I was a kid. I was too shy to tell my entire class about the ins and outs about allergies. A video featuring a guy with a guitar, hilarious puppets and fun games would have helped a ton.

AG: How did this project come about?

KD: Schools eager to have more allergy awareness for their students. I performed live food allergy awareness assemblies at 100 schools during the last school year. It's encouraging to see that type of interest in education, but an insane amount of travel for one roaming musician/educator! Schools are looking for a "just press play" solution to a growing issue within schools. This video can reach more students than I could ever while criss-crossing the continent.

AG: How is this project different that what you've done before?

KD: This project has been a complete community effort and I am so proud of the number of people and organizations who were a part of it. The video was funded by the allergy community through Kickstarter. The educational themes were fine-tuned by an online working group of 125 allergy advocates. The final script was reviewed by FARE, Food Allergy Canada, Anaphylaxis & Allergy Australia and the Anaphylaxis Campaign (U.K.). Additional funding and distribution support came through various allergy-aware sponsors as well as KFA and FAACT. This project brought one very large community together because they all believe in the importance of educating children about food allergies. I'm proud to give back by offering 20% of the DVD sales back to food allergy non-profits. 

AG: Is there anything else included with the video?

KD: One of the neatest features is that the audio is fully dubbed in Spanish, French and German. This will help raise awareness with ESL schools and in foreign markets too. There is also a quiz within the bonus features to reinforce key messages. I'm also happy to partner with Food Allergy Canada in creating a teacher resource guide which is available on the video's website.

AG: What is your songwriting process?

KD: I first think what is the message that children with food allergies need to hear to help them stay safe and positive. Songs like "Never Keep a Reaction a Secret", "Able to Read a Label" and "Stop! Please Don't Feed Me" are examples. Music, lyrics and melody seem to just flow from there. I often joke that while many musicians write from the heart, I write from the immune system!

AG: Where do you find your inspiration?

KD: Kids with food allergies. I remember how tough it was growing up dealing with exclusion, teasing and feeling like a burden because of something I couldn't control. Knowing that life gets easier when non-allergic children simply receive allergy education is all the motivation I need to give them the facts in a fun and engaging way.

AG: Where can I purchase this for my school?

KD: You can purchase at and donate to a non-profit, or


As always, thank you Kyle for your hard work, dedication and overall excellent allergy dude-ness!