Category Archives: Allergy Aware Foods

New Rice Mice and Zero Zebra Yummies!

Organic, Vegan and free from all 14 EU recognised food allergens… The products made by Rice Mice and Zero Zebra not only have fab names, but are utterly delicious and mean that even those of us with allergies, can enjoy treats!

zzc1506_strawb_barexping_sqrgb144dpi15cmUlula was actually asked by one of our wonderful customers to find this brand and make it available to them through Ulula because they had heard such good things about them, and we are so in agreement! As children with allergies, and now as parents with children with allergies, anything that helps an allergy sufferer to feel ‘normal’ is a most fabulous thing to have in your lives.zzc1508_pepperm_barexping_sqrgb144dpi15cm

So, it is a hard job for an Ulula taste tester, but somebody has to do it, and we can say, that hands down, the Zero Zebra Rice Choc Bar with Peppermint is the most minty, yummy chocolate we have all tasted this year – it is delicious, as are all the other flavours.

We asked Monika, the director and owner of Rice Mice and Zero Zebra what had inspired her to create this life changing brand for allergy suffered. As we expected – it is an inspiring, courageous and positive story, and here it is for you to enjoy too:

“In 2008, I founded Marthomi Allergy Free Foods in 2008 in Holland. One of my three children suffered from multiple food allergies and intolerances (milk, egg, peanuts, nuts, soya and many more). Back then, there were hardly any food alternatives, especially of the things that all kids love, like sweet treats.zzc1303_winter_comp2_phrgb144dpi10x7cm

I did a lot of market research and after long and careful consideration I decided to quit my existing career in order to spend all my time and energy on the topic ‘treats for children who suffer from food allergies’.

zzc1301_safari_pack_sqrgb144dpi_15cmI set my goals very high: The products had to be free from all 14 EU recognized food allergens, each product should be vegan, only organic ingredients would be used and these should be from fair and sustainable sources.

I insisted that the production environment should be professional and certified to best food production standards, it should be possible to scale to large quantities and cross-contamination of allergens should be excluded as far as possible. On top of this, the products should taste great, the packaging should appeal to the target market and the product end-price must be in a fair range.

rmb1502ricemice_oats_jpg_rgb_1506_d2 rmb1501ricemice_coconutquinoa_jpg_rgb_1506_d2 rmb1206ricemice_appleginger_jpg_rgb_1506_d2 rmb1205ricemice_cocoa_jpg_rgb_1506_d2 In 2008 (and even today) it was extremely challenging and ground-breaking to fulfil this list of requirements. I was told, more than often, by experienced international food production experts, that it is simply not possible to do all of this.

My enthusiasm and firm belief in my concept paid off and I found and convinced several partners to work with me.

In May 2009 I won a prize ‘Most Promising Innovative Entrepreneur’ at the Innobiz European SME Week 2009 in The Hague. zzc1302_school_openingcontent_phrgb144dpi10x7cm

The best and most fun part was the creation of new and suitable recipes. Towards the end of 2009 I finally had the first pallet of Marthomi’s first product: the Zero Zebra Rice Choc Bar Original, complete with all the attributes I set out to achieve and without compromising on anything!

zzc1507_zerozebraricechocbar_crispy_rgbThe company has two unique own brands  (Zero Zebra and Rice Mice) and we service our loyal customers throughout Europe.”zzc1505_original_barexp_sqrgb144dpi15cm

These wonderful products are perfect for ourselves, and perfect for presents too. They are exceptionally yummy and we look forward to you sharing with us how much you love them too.

And don’t fret – we know that you will be as happy as we are to hear from Monica that she has many more plans for these brilliant products in the future 🙂

 

 

When your little one is suffering with constipation

Constipation is bad enough when you are a grown up, but for little ones it can be miserable.

Constipation can occur for all sort of reasons; sometimes it is because of diet, some children have a sensitivity to foods and their bodies reaction is to experience a stool firming effect – constipation and for some little ones it is not what they eat but for example too little fluid intake. However it is common and in most cases, easily resolved.

How Holle can Help – when you are what you ‘Holle eat’!

Certain foods can have a stool firming effect, whilst others can have a stool loosening effect. If your little one becomes constipated avoid feeding constipating foods for a while or feed them only in small quantities.

Rice Porridge can have a firm stooling effect, in which case, you can happily swap to Holle Millet Porridge (gluten-free) or Rolled Oats Porridge which are both stool regulating.holle-organic-millet-porridge-with-rice

Carrots, bananas and raw apples can sometimes cause constipation in babies and complicate their digestion. Good alternatives are parsnips, pumpkins and cooked apple and pear.holle-pure-organic-pear-baby-food

As in all aspects of parenting, there is always an element of trusting your instincts – and those of your baby. If your little one refuses to eat a certain porridge, or fruit, or vegetable, they might well be instinctively self-selecting – telling you what they don’t need, and that may well help you find what they do need in order get themselves comfortable once again.

The beauty of Holle is that the company and their nutritionists, understand this completely – both scientifically and instinctively – and have produced a good selection of Demeter quality foods to support your little one’s needs. For a helpful and handy list of all the Holle Jars and their guide to introducing solid food take a look at the Holle Nutrition Guide.holle-demeter-baby-jar-nutrition-guide

How can I tell if my little one is constipated?
If your little one is straining to do a poo, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are constipated. When it comes to a baby’s bowel movements, there is often no normal number or schedule. Similar to adults, babies’ bowel movement patterns vary. Poo can also change in texture from day to day.

If you’re concerned that your baby may be constipated, look out for these signs:

• Crying and discomfort, irritability or pain before doing a poo
• Dry, hard, pellet-like poo that she has trouble passing
• Fewer than three bowel movements a week
• Foul-smelling wind and poo
• Loss of appetite
• A hard belly
• As odd as it sounds, very liquid poo can be also be sign of constipation. Liquid poo can slip past the blockage of hard poo in the lower intestine. If you see this, don’t assume it’s diarrhoea. It may be evidence of constipation.

What causes constipation?
There are several possible reasons why your baby may be constipated:

• Formula milk. A formula-fed baby is more prone to constipation because formula can be harder to digest than breastmilk, causing poo to be firm and bulky. A breastfed baby is unlikely to get constipated. Breastmilk produces poo that is almost always soft, even if a baby hasn’t done a poo for a few days.
• Introducing solids. Babies often become constipated when they start solids, as their bodies learn how to manage new foods. Low-fibre foods and not enough fluids also contribute to constipation.
• Dehydration. Your baby may be refusing milk because she’s teething, or is poorly with a cold; Your older baby may not be drinking enough milk or water with her solid foods. Whatever the reason – if your baby isn’t getting enough fluids, she may become dehydrated. This can cause dry, hard poo that is difficult to pass.
• A medical condition or illness. Occasionally, constipation can be a symptom of a food allergy, food poisoning, or a problem with the way the body absorbs food, known as a metabolic disorder.
• Worry – maybe about a big change such as moving house, starting nursery or the arrival of a new baby.
For more information and advice click here NHS

Babies who haven’t been weaned
If your baby is constipated but hasn’t started to eat solid foods, the first way to treat them is to give them extra hydration between their normal feeds. The Holle Nutritionists recommend for little ones’ the Baby Tea which contains the herbs fennel, aniseed, caraway and camomile, which together act effectively to relieve wind and support and encourage healthy digestion.holle-organic-baby-tea

The Tea can be taken either on its own, or if your little one is still drinking Milk, the Tea can be mixed in with your Holle Infant Formula by using 1/3 Holle Tea and 2/3 water. Do not use more water than recommended on the packet when you make up the bottle.

“Absolutely love this milk started my baby on it at one week old for a top up with my breast milk as I found it too hard to express breast milk! My baby girl took to it instantly and has had no negative side effects, although I found she was constipated (this is normal for breastfeed baby’s as they absorb all milk) although I did email ulula to ask if they had experienced anyone else having constipation, there customer services was incredible and suggested making the formula with 30ml of their kinda tea and they sent me some samples to try! Instantly this relived my baby’s colic and constipation! She LOVES the milk so much that TBH would chose the formula over the breast lol but she is happy with both! I would highly recommend both these products!” Vicki

“Hi, We we’re giving breast milk & bottle but now only give bottle milk & our 4month old was getting constipation. I read somewhere to give him a tsp. of juice which worked but I didn’t want to be giving him so much sugar all the time, I read a review on this website from the goats milk that said they use this tea. I ween him off the juice now & his poo it great. I use little tea pot & get three bottle from one tea bag. It works fine & saves me some money. Thanks Holle x” Charlotte

Constipation in children
Constipation is common in childhood, particularly when children are being potty trained. As well as infrequent or irregular bowel movements, a child with constipation may also have any of the following symptoms:

• loss of appetite
• a lack of energy
• being irritable, angry or unhappy
• foul-smelling wind and stools
• stomach pain and discomfort
• soiling their pants
• generally feeling unwell

If your child is constipated, they may find it painful to poo. This creates a vicious circle: the more it hurts, the more they hold back. The more constipated they get, the more it hurts. Even if pooing isn’t painful, once your child is really constipated, they will stop wanting to go to the toilet altogether. The Weleda Nappy Change Cream is a must for sore bottoms.cal_nappychangecream75mltubeen

Ways to help prevent and relieve constipation in babies and children:

• Make sure your baby/child has plenty to drink – this includes breastfeeding and formula milk feeds.
• You may want to try gently moving your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion or carefully massaging their tummy to help stimulate their bowels.baby_body-oil
• Once weaned successfully, give your child a variety of foods, including plenty of fruit and vegetables which are a good source of fibre.
• Encourage your child to be physically active – it really helps.
• Get your child into a routine of regularly sitting on the potty or toilet, after meals or before bed, and praise them whether or not they poo each time. This is particularly important for boys, who may forget about pooing once they are weeing standing up.
• Make sure your child can rest their feet flat on the floor or a step when they’re using the potty or toilet, to get them in a good position for pooing.
• Ask them to tell you if they feel worried about using the potty or toilet – some children don’t want to poo in certain situations, such as at nursery.
• Stay calm and reassuring, so that your child doesn’t see going to the toilet or mealtimes as a stressful situation. You want your child to see pooing as a normal part of life, not something to be ashamed of, and food and eating as their friend, not something that ultimately hurts them.

If your little one’s constipation is not getting better don’t struggle on alone; do please consult your GP or Health Visitor for support.

Today is International World Pasta Day!

Pasta has long been a favourite dish for children and adults alike; highly nutritious and a great energy source, served either with a vegetable sauce or just with some cheese, it is a quick, simple, delicious meal that we all enjoy. With gluten, or without, there is a pasta for each of us. To celebrate the special occasion of today, we have taken a look at what each kind of pasta says about you** but we leave the pasta shapes and the Mie Noodles to your imagination – let us know what you come up with 😉

Spaghetti: Warm hearted

If spaghetti is your go to pasta, you are csm_mais-reis-spaghetti_minikuerbis_gemuese_01_117f7f64d9warm hearted. You gravitate towards the classic and never fail to help a friend out. Choosing spaghetti means you are sympathetic and kind. You are also open-minded and sensitive, and you always listen when someone needs you.

http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-spelt-spaghetti.html                 http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-corn-rice-spaghetti-gluten-free-pasta.html

Penne: Easy goingalb-gold-organic-emmer-penne

If  penne pasta floats your boat, you are easy going. You are relaxed and do not have an anxious bone in your body. Even-tempered and mellow, your day to day life may get hectic but you never let that get in the way of things you truly care about.

http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-emmer-penne.html

Rigatoni: Determined

csm_mais-reis-rigatoni_spinat_pilze_01_28a5780239If you like rigatoni, you are determined. Anything you set your mind to, you accomplish. There is no limit when it comes to what you can achieve. Your resolute outlook on life keeps you focused and gets you places.

http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-corn-rice-rigatoni-gluten-free-pasta.html

Farfalle (for us the Pantacce Tricolour): Energeticalb-gold-organic-pantacce-tricolore

If farfalle makes your heart soar like the butterflies they are shaped like, you are energetic. Doing nothing all day bores you. You have to get out and experience life! If you like farfalle, you are active, spirited, and have a bubbly personality.

http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-pantacce-tricolore.html

5. Gemelli: Creativealb-gold-organic-strozzapreti

If you are one with gemelli, you are creative. You have incredible original ideas and are artistic. You are innovative, original, and gifted. Choosers of gemelli are imaginative and resourceful.

http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-strozzapreti.html

6. Elbow: Generousalb-gold-organic-einkorn-drelli

If elbow pasta is the one that you want, you are generous. You consistently show kindness towards others. You are always thinking about how you can do more for your loved ones.

http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-einkorn-drelli.html

7. Rotini (Or in our case, Fusilli) : Fearlesscsm_buchweizen_mit_currysauce_02_cf54be97aa

If rotini is your one true love, you are fearless. You are bold, courageous, and brave. Your intrepid outlook on life allows you to live to the fullest. You are lionhearted and not afraid of anything.

Who knew! With this exciting new knowledge, you can enjoy choosing your pasta supper to match your mood!

http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-corn-rice-fusilli-gluten-free-pasta.html            http://www.ulula.co.uk/alb-gold-organic-wholegrain-spelt-fusilli.html  http://www.ulula.co.uk/seitz-organic-gluten-free-buckwheat-fusilli.html

** http://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/what-your-favorite-pasta-shape-says-about-you/

Organic Gluten Free Pasta Fusilli

I recently wrote about our new gluten free pasta for kids in fun dino shapes. Today, I thought I’d mention the latest addition to our gluten free pasta range the Seitz organic gluten free fusilli. There’s also a great lentil bolognese recipe below that goes really well with the fusilli (as well as any other pasta) and is suitable for young children and, of course, adults.

Gluten free buckwheat fusilli

Organic Gluten Free Pasta – Buckwheat Fusilli

This organic buckwheat pasta is not only gluten free but also looks great on the plate. The striking black shapes appeal to kids and adults alike and makes for a fascinating combination on the plate with many sauces.

The slightly nutty flavour is delicious and goes well with practically any sauce of your choice. We’ve tried it with tomato and cheese based sauces, as well as red and green pestos, and it really is lovely. Customers have told us this gluten free pasta goes particularly well with fish.

How is it to cook with? Unlike many gluten free pasta varieties this fusilli keeps its shape very well after cooking, as you can see in the photo below. This makes it an ideal gluten free option for use in a great looking pasta salad for lunch or even for picnics or lunchboxes.

Pasta that is Guaranteed Gluten Free

Seitz is an established family owned business in Germany that has longstanding experience in producing gluten free products and particularly pasta. Their production line is used soley for producing gluten free products, so this fusilli is guaranteed gluten free.

Recipe Idea – Gluten Free Fusilli with Lentil Bolognese

Just like pasta, red lentils should be a staple in your larder. Especially if you are cooking for young children – red lentils are a perfect source for protein, potassium, phosphorus and iron. This is a super quick recipe for busy families that tastes delicious and creates a visual treat when combined with the black Seitz gluten free fusilli. Of course, red lentils are also gluten free so this makes it a great sauce to combine with the fusilli if gluten in your diet is an issue for you or your child.

This recipe is a firm favourite in our family – let me know how you get on.

Ggluten free pasta with sauce recipe

Ingredients

Serves 6. Quantities can be halved.
1 onion
1 clove of garlic (optional – depending on the age of your child)
2 carrots, coarsely grated
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
45ml/3 tbsp olive oil
150g red lentils
1 can chopped tomatoes
45ml/3 tbsp tomato puree
475ml stock (ideally a low salt version)
15ml.3 tbsp fresh marjoram or
5ml/1 tsp dried marjoram
seaoning to taste (optional – I like to use minimum salt).

Method

In a large saucepan, gently sweat the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in the oil for about 5 minutes, until soft.

Add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and marjoram, and season to taste. Stir well.

Bring the mixture to the boil, then partially cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes until thick and the lentils are soft.

Use as required.

You can download our free Lentil Bolognese recipe sheet from the Bohlsener Mill Organic Red Lentils product page.

I’d love to hear how you find the Seitz gluten free fusilli and the lentil bolognese sauce. Send me your favourite pasta sauce recipe ideas and photos and I’ll add them to the site.

Gluten Free Pasta for Kids

A new gluten free pasta for kids that isn’t just guaranteed ‘free from’ but is certified organic and comes in fun dinosaur shapes for younger children.

Gluten free pasta for kids by Seitz

Finding tasty gluten free food suitable for children can be a real challenge. That is why the Ulula team is so pleased to be able to stock this latest addition to our kids pasta range. Now you can buy top quality gluten free pasta for kids without having to worry, as this new pasta from Seitz is produced in a factory that doesn’t handle any food stuffs containing gluten. Seitz is a long established family owned business from Germany that has many years experience of producing gluten free products, pasta in particular.

Our new gluten free pasta for kids comes in the great dino shapes that have proven so popular in our non allergy-aware children’s pasta range. Now having a special dietary need doesn’t mean your child has to feel different to the rest of the family or friends when they come round for tea. And, of course, being certified organic you know your child isn’t going to be eating lots of chemical nasties with these fun pasta shapes – an important consideration when feeding kids with special dietary needs.

Seitz Gluten Free Pasta for Kids – on the Plate

The Seitz pasta shapes are made from organic corn flour and organic rice flour and have a slightly longer cooking time than you’d perhaps expect, around 11-13 minutes – just check and adjust cooking time to your preferred texture. Most importantly, and unlike many gluten free pastas for kids on the market, the Sietz dinos retain their distinctive shapes when fully cooked. So, no more sloppy mess that doesn’t appeal to anyone, let alone a young child!

Our taster testers were not only impressed by how these pasta shapes looked on the plate but also their taste. They all said their children enjoyed the mild taste that complemented a variety of sauces. Here’s one of our favourite comments:

“A great gluten-free pasta that my little one just gobbled up. It went down so fast I didn’t think he could have had time to taste it, but when I asked he said the dinos were ‘yummy’. Will definitely give him these again.”

The Seitz Gluten Free Pasta for Kids in Dino Shapes come in child friendly pack sizes of 250g and, depending on your child’s age and appetite, our testers suggest that would give your little one about five portions. Single packs cost only £2.29 and you can buy a multi-pack of three for £6.57.

Let us know how you find the Seitz gluten free pasta for kids. Why not send the receipe for your child’s favourite gluten free sauce or accompaniment and we’ll share it here with other parents.

Gluten Free Snacks for Weaning Babies – Rice Bran Nibbles Are Back in Stock

Thankfully we have managed to get the popular Werz Organic Rice Bran Nibbles back in stock. These certified organic gluten free snacks are always a hit with parents who want to wean their babies with sugar free treats. The small size are perfect for your baby’s little hands to hold properly and as they are nibbled they slowly disintegrate, giving your baby a satisfying experience.

I think one of the reasons the Rice Bran Nibbles are so popular is that there are not many savoury snacks that are gluten free and suitable for very young babies on the UK market. Stock up for Christmas as they sell well with our regular mums and dads.

Incidentally, we have lots of mums and dads who eat the rice bran nibbles themselves – perfect with dips. So, whether you have a gluten intolerance or not try these nibbles this Christmas party season.

Gluten Free Snacks – Some Sugar Free Sweet Alternatives

Organic four grain biscuits with carrots - young children love them

Organic four grain biscuits with carrots - young children love them

The popularity of the Werz Rice Bran Nibbles never ceases to amaze me. They really are one of the few organic gluten free snacks that are ideal for young babies. I think one of the reasons the Rice Bran Nibbles are so popular is that there are not many savoury snacks that are gluten free and suitable for very young babies on the UK market.

Unfortunately it is very hard to keep up with demand and we have today sold the last packet of our current batch. Be assured we are awaiting our next delivery and will keep you informed.

If you are uncertain of offering sweet products to young children you may wish to consider our range of gluten free and sugar free sweet snacks. This small and exclusive range is free from added processed sugar and is sweetened using only natural organic ingredients such as rice syrup or honey. My particular favourites are the rabbit shaped Organic Four Grain Biscuits with Carrots. They come in packets of mixed boy and girl rabbits and are great fun – young  children love them!