Please read, before reading

I am saddened by the comments on this blog that often take a judgmental turn. The information is intended to be just that -- information. You need to make your own decisions for your life and be accountable for your actions. I debated closing the blog, but feel there are many valuable items listed for families struggling with food allergies, especially early on.

If you need further information please contact a doctor. If you need to verify a product's ingredients, please look at current labels and contact the company yourself. Note many posts are several years old. Use your best judgment and do not make up comments to scare people.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dairy Alert

I recently contacted Road's End Organics to find out if there is any dairy in their products, specifically their Mac & Chreese.  Here was the response:

Thank you for your email.  There is dairy ONLY in the prepouched chreese mix for Road's End Organics Mac & Chreese.  There is dairy present on the same manufacturing lines and in the plant where Road's End Organics Mac & Chreese is produced.  The manufacturing lines are thouroughly cleaned before our product is run.  There are no peanuts or tree nuts on the same manufacturing lines or in the plant where Road's End Organics Mac & Chreese is produced.
Be warned just because it says dairy-free, it still might not be.  Be sure to check out my mac and cheese recipe!

New Recipe -- Dairy-Free Macaroni and Cheese

Okay, so now that my daughter has been going to a drop-in daycare (where there is no real food) she is learning all sorts of new things.  Of course there is dramatic play in a play kitchen where they serve pretend pizza and macaroni and cheese.  We have a good pizza option, in fact she eats it all gone.  But for mac and cheese I just haven't found a good prepackaged one and using vegan gourmet cheese usually gets wasted because it gets moldy so quickly.  I searched the Internet and couldn't come up with anything that wouldn't require a trip to Whole Foods.  So the other day, I was thinking about parmesan cheese and came up with this idea.  Now, I don't know if it tastes good to those who eat dairy-free food, but I do know that my daughter ate a good portion tonight.  That means it has to taste pretty good if she's going to actually eat it.  Here's what I did and I linked all the products that I used.  I use these products regularly so I feel this recipe is a good option for us.  If you have a good mac and cheese recipe to share, feel free to post in the comments.

Dairy-Free Macaroni and Cheese
(This serving size is small and makes about 1 cup cooked)

2 Tbsp dairy-free butter (I used Earth's Balance because I like how it melts)
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup original rice milk (I buy the individual 8 oz containers that can be stored in pantry)
2 Tbsp Vegan grated topping (I also use this on top of toast and abc spaghetti)
1/2 cup macaroni
1 cup vegetable stock (optional)

1. Melt butter on medium in saucepan.
2. Add flour and salt.
3. Slowly add milk. Bring to boil.  Stir constantly.
4. When sauce thickens reduce heat to low.
5. Stir in vegan grated topping.
6. Boil macaroni for 8 minutes in vegetable stock or water.
7. Mix macaroni and sauce together.

**I added a couple tablespoons of the vegetable stock to the sauce after the macaroni was cooked.  This is optional.**

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I'll be taking a short break from blogging for the next few days.  Have a safe (and reaction free) and happy holiday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Silk Soy MIlk coupon

Go here to print a 75 cents off Half Gallon of Silk Soy Milk!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Be Sure to be reading my other blog

I've got lots of fun ideas posted for ideas for the holidays on my other blog, Reflections from a Mother's Soul.  Be sure to check it out!

Homemade Clay Ornaments

Here's a really easy ornament idea for kids with allergies.  I don't know about you, but I just have such a hard time trusting store bought clays and doughs.  Mostly because my daughter is so young and it ends up in her mouth no matter how many times we discuss that it's not for eating.  And with the allergies, you never know what might end up in the clay or dough.  I'm sure there aren't any regulations to list allergens on those kind of products.

Here's the recipe for homemade clay.  It make a lot. You can easily half it or store what you don't use in a zip-lock bag.  I'm not sure how long it will keep, but I would imagine at least a month.

Before we started, we looked at our Christmas tree and decided what was missing -- a moon, a gingerbread boy, twinkle star and a bunny.  We also made a handprint ornament for Daddy that we are keeping white -- it's didn't photograph very well, but turned out pretty nice.

Play Clay
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda (1lb box)
1 1/4 cup water

1. Mix cornstarch and baking soda together in saucepan.
2. Add water to cornstarch and baking soda.
3. Bring to boil on medium heat.
4. Stir constantly until mixture is consitency of mashed potaoes.
5. Remove from heat immediately and put on a plate.
6. Cover with damp cloth.
7. When dough cools, roll it out to 1/4 inch on wax paper.
8. Use a cookie cutter to make shape.
9. Poke hole in top for string to add to hang from tree. I used the other end of a small paint brush.  A pin or toothpick would work, too.
10. Allow 36 hours to dry depending on thickness. To speed up, turn oven up to 350 degrees.  Place ornaments on wire rack or in cardboard box on rack.  Leave in oven until oven is cool.
11.  Leave white or paint with paint.

Yes, my 2-year-old painted these all by herself (I'm so proud).  I stood back and watched.  She was delicate with the ornaments and painted them really nicely.  I was surprised on how deliberate she was with her strokes and choice of colors.  I tried to get her to choose a couple other colors.  But she only wanted red, pink, blue and another blue (I mixed white with blue).  I'm guessing she had a vision.

**You can also add food coloring to water before mixing it with cornstarch and baking soda**

If you are familar with clay projects, there are a lot of different items you can make.  In the past I used this clay to make a pinch-pot, which is fun to do with kids.  Since there is no baking it's really nice, especially if your resources are limited.

Be sure to check out my other toddler-friendly ornament idea here!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snack idea -- Gingerbread house

So I had this elaborate plan to use this dairy-free frosting to make a gingerbread house with my 2-year-old. Well, we didn't succeed.  One, I'm really not that crafty, although I try.  Two, she couldn't help but lick her fingers every two seconds.  And three the frosting wasn't that good of a glue.  So, as I looked at it I realized we could still make a house that would meet my little one's standard.  Note no assemble required.  It was almost like decorating a cookie.

graham crackers
frosting (we love this recipe)
dairy-free chocolate chips
fruit snacks
gummy worms, cut up (I bought these at Target for 99 cents-- the gumdrops were too big for my daughter to eat and were almost $4.)
Any other favorite little snacks

1. Cut graham cracker so it has a peak to look like a house.
2. Put frosting on the graham cracker -- be sure to let your little one do this.  I used the other end of a plastic spoon as a knife, so she could safely frost the  house.

3. Put candy/decorations on frosting.
4. Eat up.  I let her eat it right away.  She demonstrated so much restraint decorating that I had to reward her with the tasty treat!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yummy Dairy-Free and Egg-Free frosting

Wow!  This was the best frosting I've tried yet.  Even if you don't have to be dairy-free, you should really try it. I found it here and followed the directions exactly.  It tasted so good I didn't make any adjustments.  And it was definitely toddler approved!!

Dairy-Free and Egg-Free Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs melted dairy free margarine (we used Earth's best)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c dairy free shortening
4 tsp vanilla soy milk 

Mix with mixer for five minutes.  Use food coloring if desired.  

For more great recipes, check out the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dairy-free and Egg-Free cutout gingerbread cookies

It's so hard to find tasty baked good recipes for everyone.  It's just too much work to make two sets of cookies dairy-free and regular dairy-based cookies.

I found a really good recipe for cut out gingerbread cookies that do not have milk, butter or egg in them.  Yes, you can taste what's missing.  But once you add the frosting, it balances out really well.  What I most liked about this recipe is that the dough was really easy to work with and that my 2-year-old could help me with no worries.  Hooray!  I also liked that this recipe didn't have any odd ingredients that I would have to purchase.

Cutout Gingerbread Cookies
(original recipe found here)

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 Tbsp hot water (I just have a measuring cup full of hot water and scooped out Tablespoons as needed)
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. In large bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Mix with fork or whisk. Set aside.
2. In mixing bowl add shortening, brown sugar and 3 Tbsp hot water. Mix in mixer on medium.
3. In a cup mix 3 Tbsp hot water and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture.
4. Add flour slowly to shortening mixture.
5.  You may need to add more hot water if dough is crumbly.  I added about 3 Tbsp more.
6. Split dough in half and make two thick patties. Wrap in plastic wrap for 1/2 hour to 1 day.  (I made my dough after making dinner one night and we rolled it out the next morning -- worked out really well.)
7. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface.  Use cookie cutters to make shapes.
8. Place cookies on parchment lined paper.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until done.

**For frosting these I just bought a Betty Crocker frosting tube and used Enjoy Life chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons.**

Cooking with a Toddler Tips:

  • Be prepared.  Have a game plan in mind.
  • Do as much prep work ahead of time before telling your toddler you're ready for them.  Have everything ready -- line cookie sheets, clean cookie cutters, clear work space.
  • Plan for it to take longer than you anticipate (and it should if your toddler or child is actually helping).
  • Give them a job right away.  As I dusted the counter I had her move the flour around.  As I was moving the cookies to the cookie sheet, I gave her dough to manipulate.   Keep finding little jobs so they don't get bored.
  • Don't get upset as you watch them brush flour on the floor.  It can get cleaned up.
  • Have a wet paper towel or washcloth nearby.  You'll need it.
  • Let them have a little freedom and independence.  Give them the rolling pin and let them try.  Let them put a cookie cutter wherever they want.  Don't rush them, let them experience it.
  • Reinforce good listening by commenting on how they are following directions or working well with you.
  • I filled all four cookie sheets with cookies as we worked and put them in the oven after I cleaned her up.  It would be too hard to watch the oven and a messy, curious 2-year-old.  I found we both focused well doing this.
  • Have fun and take pictures.  Precious memories.

Check out our surprise box filled with other gingerbread boy activities.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Verdict

Very very Yummy!!  That's the verdict to the dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe I posted a couple days ago.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

I want to share a pumpkin pie recipe that is dairy-free. It's not egg free, but I'm not convinced my daughter has an egg allergy.  What I do know is she can tolerate eggs in baked goods no problem.  But milk is a little different story.  It seems whenever she has more baked goods with milk in a week her dirty diapers are a little looser.    So, I decided to make this recipe for her.  It is very similar to most pie recipes.   And it doesn't have a lot of "unusual" ingredients.  By unusual I mean I have to go out the store and spend $20 for ingredients I will only use a 1/4 tsp and then it sits in my pantry for a long time.  I like when substitutions are simple.

I'll give an update after we try it tomorrow.  But I wanted to share today in case someone was searching for a recipe for the holidays. This one has some really good reviews.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Snack idea -- Chocolate No-Bake Crunchies

When my daughter was first diagnosed with a milk allergy, I was so disappointed that she might not have chocolate.  Well, of course I have now educated myself and have found several productes with chocolate that are dairy-free.  Here is a very simple snack idea that I read in Prevention magazine.  The original recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate chips, which are usually milk-based.  I used Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips and frankly I think they taste better.

Dairy-Free Chocolate No-Bake Crunchies

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips, melted (use regular chocolate chips if no allergy)
1 cup corn flakes
1/4 cup raisins

1. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 1 minute.
2. Gently stir in raisins and cornflakes. Be careful not to crush the cornflakes.
3. Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  The recipe says it makes 36 pieces, but we made about 24.  It all depends on how large you make them.  Your choice.
4. Put in fridge for  45 minutes (we ran to the grocery store instead of waiting at home).

We really enjoyed making these and my daughter loved them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Coupon Giveaway

Check out a review and Aveeno coupon giveaway on my other blog Reflections from a Mother's Soul!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Foam Soap for Sensitive Skin

If you have a child with food allergies, you are most likely dealing with sensitive skin issues as well.  I searched high and low for a foaming "fragrance" free soap to making washing hands fun for my daughter.  I couldn't find one.  For our regular foamy hand soap (that my husband and I use) I use a small amount of shower gel or bubble bath mixed with water.

I tried this with Aveeno Creamy wash.  I simply put a couple tablespoons in a well-cleaned soap dispenser and filled the rest with water.  Shake it up to mix it together.  I suggest adding a small amount of soap to see how it foams.  If you don't add enough it will be watery.  If you use too much soap it won't foam.  It's pretty easy to figure out and little one's just love foamy soap!  Plus you don't need to worry about itchy skin when you are just trying to clean messy fingers.

I stock up on Avenno soap (and other products) when it is on sale and couple the sale with manufacturer and store coupons at Target.  If you are patient you can get some really good deals.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Recipes on Life as a Mom

Oh, if you are looking for recipes, be sure to check out Life as a Mom.  She has a recipe swap for special diets.  So many to sift through, I think I'll be looking all day!

I posted a recipe, too.  It's also a good way to see other's blogs with special diets.  Have fun!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big Step

We have made a huge step with our daughter -- we have put in a drop in daycare at a health club that we recently joined. Thankfully, they do not allow food.  However they do allow sippy cups and bottles (for babies).  So it's a pretty safe place for our daughter, in terms of allergies that is.  I still am nervous each time we pick her up that she's going to be all rashy.  But so far, it's been nothing but fun for her.  She normally doesn't want to leave and has a lot of fun.  It's a big step for us to have her under the care of someone else.  It's a good transition for us since we are in the same building, but she is "away" from us.  Goodness, I don't what I'm going to do when she starts school.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Today my daughter ate a whole piece of her Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwich. I've been trying and trying to get her to eat it.  Each time I gave it to her she ate a little more.  Today she ate more than I could have ever expected.

I'm so happy about this.  I've been searching for an easy sandwich to take when we travel.

Oh, yeah...I forgot

We don't go out to eat very often.  When we do we bring several activities for our daughter to do.  If I haven't mention it before -- she's very active and needs to be occupied all the time.  I'll bring crayons, paper, small books that fit in my purse and of course, snack.  We also play I-Spy, although we don't call it that.

Last weekend, we decided to go to Texas Roadhouse.  I haven't been there in years and I remembered really liking their rolls.  I also wanted a salad to see how my allergic reaction to raw vegetables was doing.  We walked in and stepped on peanut shells.  We were seated at the smallest two-seater booth with a high chair.  I did my normal wipe down of the high chair.  The table had the rolls and butter in the center, which was only an arms reach from our daughter.  My husband and I looked at each other and I said "oh yeah, I forgot they have peanuts," as we looked at the big pail of peanuts pushed into the corner.  We had a free appetizer and that just added to the problem and then I got a salad with Ranch dressing and my husband had soup with cheese.  Are you getting the idea -- she was allergic to everything that was brought to this tiny table.  I only brought snack for her, which she was eating very quickly. I kept watching her snack deplete hoping our food would come soon.  I was relieved that the service was quick.  She started biting on her fingers almost itching them.  We kept saying, look up so we can check your chin.  I ordered shrimp (we still don't know if she's allergic to shellfish) and it came before I finished my salad.  Oh my, the butter was within reach again.  We were wiping our hands with Clean and Go Wipes often.  And I went to wash my hands after I ate.  My husband didn't feel secure walking on the peanut shells that were all over the floor (it was slippery), so he just used wipes.  Then she started taking her shirt off -- we were sure she was itching and uncomfortable.  My husband took her out while I paid.  It turned out she did NOT have any reaction of any kind. Thank goodness.

It was stressful.  Normally eating out is not that bad.  My advice -- avoid Texas Roadhouse if you or your children have allergies.

(Oh, I reacted pretty bad to the salad.  My throat hurt until I went to sleep that night.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dairy-Free Recipes

On my other blog I just went back through all my family recipes and tagged the several as dairy-free.  Some may have cheese buy you can easily substitute vegan or soy-based with the recipes I labeled dairy-free.  I'm not a fancy chef or anything -- just a regular Midwest mom.  Hope you can find something you enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Silk Soy MIlk Coupon -- 55 cents!!!

Here a link to a 55 cent off coupon for half gallon of Silk Soy Milk!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


For some reason homemade pizza for the dairy-free kid is just not easy.  If we have the Vegan Gourmet cheese that melts it goes bad before we use it all up. And I just haven't been happy with crusts.  English muffins work well, but you still have to have a sauce for a small portion.

Today I was walking through the new Hy-Vee grocery store in town and was pleasantly surprised by the selection of organic/dietary specific food.  I found this Tofutti Pizza and am so happy to have a simple pizza for my daughter.  Sometimes it really is just easier to use the pre-made version.  Especially when it's a small portion for a toddler who might not eat it for the first 10 times you give it to them.  Cost was just over $4 and there are three large slices.  I figure for the initial introduction of it, I'll cut those slices in half.  That makes six servings for $4, which isn't too bad.  I also liked that I knew all the ingredients listed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Trying to get a toddler to eat Sunbutter

I was so excited to find Sunbutter for my peanut-allergic daughter.  Every time she puts her finger in it a little more and a little longer.  When I want to try something new or eat something else on her plate, we call them polite bites.  I'll say take a bite to be polite (no, I didn't make that up -- learned it a child care center I worked at).  If she brings it to her lips or licks it that's enough for me.

Here are the few ways I've introduced Sunbutter so far.

  • Sunbutter and saltine crackers (some crackers have milk, so watch out)
  • Ants on a log (celery, sunbutter and raisins)
  • Sunbutter and Jelly pinwheels (see this great way to make sandwiches here)
Anyone got any other ideas?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

H1N1 flu vaccine and egg allergy

Here's an article from the Mayo Clinic discussing the egg allergy and H1N1 flu vaccine.  What do I conclude after reading it...still not sure.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dairy-Free Chicken and Rice

I had some leftover grilled BBQ chicken drumsticks in the freezer.  I pulled the chicken off and made this tasty meal for my family.  Love, love, love recipes without milk or cream soups -- makes preparations so much easier.   I really liked the flavors of the onion and peppers.  I wouldn't substitute green peppers here.  Yellow and red peppers were the best flavor.

Chicken and Rice
(I found the recipe on yahoo answers, but changed it a little)

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
1 medium onion diced
1 cup instant rice (I use Minute Rice)
1 cup chicken stock (make your own)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Amount of leftover beef, pork or chicken (about a cup)

1. Make instant rice with chicken stock.  Boil stock, add rice, take off heat for 3 minutes.

2. Heat oil in pan. When oil is shimmering add peppers and onion.  Cook until softened about 5 minutes on medium heat.
3. Add garlic for about a minute.
4. Pour in rice and any stock not yet absorbed in rice.
5. Turn heat on low and cook for about 5 minutes.
6. Add meat and season with salt and pepper.  Warm on low for a couple minutes.

For more great recipes, check out the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More Snack ideas

Here's a link to some "pre-packaged" allergy-free snacks.  I haven't tried any of these, but they look enticing!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dairy-Free Chicken Nuggets

Hooray! I just found chicken nuggets made by Earth's Best for my daughter. The nuggets do have wheat and soy in them, but no dairy or egg. I just haven't had luck making chicken nuggets on my own without egg. These seem like a great alternative. I found them in the organic frozen food section. The ingredients listed are all familiar -- no strange chemicals or anything (although chicken meat is always sorta vague).

I don't know about you but sometimes it's nice to just open a package and pop food in the oven for 15 minutes instead of making everything by scratch. These seem like they will work for us. There are 16 nuggets in a package, so I figure that is at least 4 meals. They were a little pricey -- more than $4, but Earth's Best often has coupons on its website. I've even e-mailed and asked for coupons from them. They have sent manufacturer coupons to me in the mail!

Just had to pass it along!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Milk Allergy Study

If you haven't seen this series on Brett who is undergoing a new milk allergy study, you have to check it out. Here's the link to part 1 (there are 6 parts, be sure to watch them all). It's very interesting to see what they are doing to find a "cure" for milk allergies. WOW!

Monday, September 28, 2009


I saw this sample for Soybutter on Money Saving Mom (one of my favorite blogs). I haven't used any soy or other type of peanut butter alternative yet. So many are made in facilities that use equipment with peanuts.

Then I was reading this blog today and she linked to Sunbutter. I called the number on the website and talked to a very kind costumer service rep who is sending out some samples of that product.

So excited to try both!

Has anyone tried either or another product that works well for your allergic child?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My food allergies

I have suffered with food allergies for many, many years. I was only 4 years old when I realized that when I ate a carrot my throat "hurt." I told my mom, but she didn't understand what the problem was. I slowly came to realize that my throat hurt when I ate apples, raw potatoes (my mom would give me potatoes when she cut them up for dinner) and other raw fruits and vegetables. It wasn't until I was 14 years old did an allergy doctor ask me the question: "Do you get a sore throat when you eat raw fruits and vegetables?" After I told him that I did, he told me that I'm allergic to them. My mom and I just looked at each other with a "oh that explains that" look on our faces. I was so relieved to know that I wasn't just imagining the problem. That allergy doctor also diagnosed me with allergies to just about everything (such as molds, animals, grass, trees, weeds, etc) except dust.

I went through the series of allergy shots for 5 years from the ages of 14 to 19. Did it help? I don't think there is any real answer for that. Age sometimes factors into allergy severity. Also during some of this time I lived about 200 miles from where I grew up. I do not believe the shots helped at all with my allergy to raw fruits and vegetables, nor was the intention. The shots were to build up a tolerance to the other things I was allergic to.

Over the years, I was able to tolerate eating a salad or eating veggies if I coated them with dip (I tried to trick my body, which of course didn't work). The dip seemed to soothe the reactions just a little. I would eat these foods because I loved them and also because of the nutritional value. I would have a little discomfort for a while, but usually nothing visible. In fact, most people whom I've known for years don't know I have this allergy or forget unless I remind them.

The technical/medical term for this allergy is Oral Allergy Syndrome. It occurs when there is cross reactions between foods and pollen from weeds, trees, etc. For example, since I have such an allergic reaction (sneezing, wheezing, etc) to birch trees then certain fruits and vegetables may have pollens associated with birch trees causing a reaction. Reactions can vary from food to food and from person to person. Typically for me it's just an big lump in my throat for about a half hour. It may be longer depending on the food and how much I eat. My throat feels swollen and hurts. Sometimes I'll sneeze and apples sometimes make my lips swell up. Nothing serious, but makes the enjoyment of eating disappear. I normally eat small portions because the reaction can occur so quickly.

When I was 29 years old I had been able to build up a pretty good tolerance to most raw fruits and vegetables, and I pretty much knew which ones were going to cause more discomfort than others. Then I got pregnant. And you won't believe this. But I was able to eat everything that I was allergic to -- apples, bananas cucumbers, my favorite carrots, etc. Oh, it was fantastic. I didn't even realize it. Since I had been slowly buildng up that tolerance I just bought more fruits and vegetables when I was pregnant. I ate them without thinking -- maybe I had something more important on my mind. It was the best part of the pregnancy.

About a month after my daughter was born, I reached for a carrot at dinner without thinking. Ate it up and my throat hurt worse than it ever had hurt. It hurt all night and I even felt it a little the next morning. What?? But I could eat it all and it was so good. On Christmas, I ate a raw almond and almost went into anaphylaxis shock. I was almost gagging for air. I quickly found some benadryl (I was still nursing and not on any other allergy medicine) and it got better quickly. What?? I used to eat those even before the pregnancy with very little to no reaction. Did my body allow me to get the wonderful benefits of fruits and vegetables for the sake of my unborn child? Is that possible? That is my conclusion.

So, now I am slowly trying fruits and vegetables again. And I ate cucumbers this summer and an avocado last week. You have no idea how exciting it is to eat something that normally makes you uncomfortable. I hate, absolutely hate, when I hear people moan and groan about eating fruits and vegetables to stay healthy. I would love to taste the sweet flavors of fruit every day if I could. Next week we are hitting the apple orchard. And no matter how much my throat hurts, I'm eating those tasty apples. Or at least until my lips swell up and I start sneezing.

I knew my daughter would have some kind of allergies. I didn't think she would develop them at 6 months or to milk products. I asked one allergy doctor (we've been to three now for her) about her developing the Oral Allergy Syndrome and he told us that it's not a life threatening allergy. And not to worry if she does have it. I guess I have to wait for her to tell me. Right now she's eating lots of raw fruits and I watch to see if she reacts differently. Raw vegetables are harder to give to a 2-year-old, but in time we will see. For now, we worry about milk, eggs, peanuts and cashews.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another good blog to read

This blog is great. She has a school-age child who has food allergies. Here's a link to her recipes!! Goodness I don't even what to think about my daughter in school yet and having to deal with school lunch or birthday snack.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Recipe for Soy Pudding

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just take the Jell-O pudding mix and add soy milk or rice milk? Hasn't worked for me. I found this great recipe on Silk's website and made it today. We rarely have dessert with dinner so it was a real treat!

Chocolate Soy Pudding
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups soy milk (vanilla or chocolate)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp dairy-free margarine (I used Blue Bonnet Light)

1. Mix sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt together in saucpan on stove.
2. Slowly add soy milk and stir constantly with whisk. Bring to boil.
3. Let simmer covered on low for 8 to 10 minutes to thicken. (I actually kept stirring and didn't cover or let sit simmering-- misread directions and turned out fine).
4. Take off heat. Stir in margarine and vanilla.
5. Refrigerate for an hour.

**One item we found that our daughter can tolerate that has milk is Cool Whip. My guess is that it is processed or some part of the milk protein is changed enough that she doesn't react. So we added that to the pudding with some sprinkes and she loved it. She actually ate more of the Cool Whip than the chocolate pudding. Beware of the dairy-free cool whip because it may not be milk free. Always check labels.**

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Silk Soy MIlk Coupon

Here's a link (I hope it works) for a 55 cent off coupon for 1 half gallon of Silk Soy Milk. I received it in an e-mail for signing up for their website. I highly suggest signing up if you haven't yet. Not many coupons out there for soy milk and even Silk Soy Milk coupons are rare!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dairy Free English Muffin Pizza

Here's a new one we tried tonight. My husband and I having pizza tonight and I try very hard to make our daughter's meals look like ours. Here's an easy recipe for a dairy free pizza and it was a winner with our picky 2-year-old!

Dairy Free English Muffin Pizza

1. Toast English Muffin to lightly brown.
2. Place a tablespoon or more of sauce on top.
3. Use a grater to grate the vegan cheese
4. Top with meat and/or vegetables
5. Place in warm oven until cheese melts.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blog to Read

I just came across this blog Food Allergy Assistant. There are some great suggestions, articles and recipes. Check it out!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recipe -- Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

I made the dairy version of this last week and made a dairy-free version for my 2-year-old. I try to make as many of our meals look like hers if I can. Sometimes it's easier than other times. This one was easy to substitute.

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
This recipe is for 4 servings. See my notes below to see how I made one serving for my daughter.

4 chicken breast, flattened
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup Mozarella flavored Vegan Gourmet cheese (cheddar flavor works, too)

Coating Mix
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used crushed saltines)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

1 Tbsp dairy-free butter (I use either Blue Bonnet Light or Smart Balance Light)
1 tsp Vegan grated topping (parmesan cheese substitute)

1. Flatten chicken breast.
2. Heat broccoli and onion on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until softened.
3. Add cheese to broccoli and onion. MIx and mash broccoli, onion and cheese.
4. Put a spoonful of broccoli mixture in center of each chicken breast. Roll up.
5. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic powder, basil and oregano together.
6. Place each stuffed chicken in breadcrumb mixture.
7. Place in baking dish.
8. Sprinkle with butter and Vegan grated topping.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

** When I made this last week I made ours with real cheese, so in step 3 I separated our portion with my daughter's portion of broccoli and onion. And then added the appropriate cheese in each. I only stuffed one for her. I always bake hers in a separate dish, but at the same time -- just in case some butter or or cheese would cross over to hers.**

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tofurky Coupon

Tofurky franks are one my daughter's favorite lunches. I like it for her too. She gets a good amounts of protein and fiber.

Download a .55/1 coupon (expires 9/30/09) for any Tofurky product here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Soy Yogurt

For some time now I've wanted to give my daughter soy yogurt, but I just couldn't seem to find any that were truly dairy-free. After posting on a message board I read that
Silk Soy Yogurt is in fact dairy free. At my trip to Whole Foods this week I picked up a 32 oz container (I bought the large container because I knew it would take a couple tastes before she would embrace it and buying the larger container was cheaper than buying the 6 oz containers). And for afternoon snack my daughter has been eating it up! I put some frozen strawberries (I unthaw them first) and a couple graham crackers. She just loves it. I'm so happy to have another healthy snack for her.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Egg-Free Mayo and a Tuna Melt

I made a trip to Whole Foods this week. I had some coupons that I had been waiting to use for some milk-free and egg-free products.

I purchased Veganaise for my daughter and am so impressed with the taste. And it didn't cost any more than a regular jar of mayo. Until now I've avoided all things with mayo because I didn't have an alternative. Yesterday I made her a tuna melt and while she didn't eat much of it, I'm certain we will be able to rotate that into our lunch routine. It takes several tastes before a child will eat a new item. And then a toddler will change her mind often about liking a food anyway.

Tuna Melt
Half piece of hamburger bun
small can of Tuna
2 Tbsp Veganaise
Slice of Tofutti cheese

1. Toast bun for five minutes at 250 degrees.
2. Mix tuna and veganaise together. Add more veganaise or less to taste
3. Spread a thin layer on toasted hamburger bun.
4. Place cheese on top.
5. Put back in oven for 5 minutes or until heated through. The tofutti cheese will soften, but not really melt.
6. Save tuna for future meal later in the week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dairy-Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's my latest attempt to make chocolate chip cookies. I think they turned out great!! Only thing I would do different is add 1/2 tsp of salt. Funny how you miss an ingredient when you are so used to tasting it.

Dairy-Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
original recipe found here
1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp oil (I used blended oil)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 to 2 Tbsp water (if needed)
3/4 cup Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine shortening, vanilla, oil and sugars until well mixed.
3. Combine flour and baking soda in separate bowl.
4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Mix well.
5. Add water if dry. It should have regular cookie dough texture.
6. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
7. Drop cookies on cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Or until cookies are done. Mine tuned a light brown similar to regular cookies. However the original recipe says they won't brown like regular cookies.
8. Cool for a couple minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool.
**The best part of this recipe is that my 2-year-old was able to help. I didn't have to hover and worry she might touch something that would cause a reaction!**

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thank You

I just was looking at my blog and realized many of you have been sending comments my way. Please don't think I've been ignoring. I thought that this blog was set up like my other one and comments would be e-mailed to me (I don't think I'll ever fully understand blogger). I honestly didn't think I had too many readers and never bothered to look for comments. I apologize to anyone who has been waiting for a reply back. If you have questions or further comments, post away. From now on I promise to comment back.

Advice I would give if you are looking for where to buy products after reading them here or
somewhere else is to search the product name (I use google). And from there most sites have a "where to buy" link. Usually you type in your zip code and stores near you will be listed.

Thank you for reading and for the great encouragement and support!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


We saw a new allergy doctor today. I was very impressed with his patience with my 2-year-old and his knowledge about allergies. He did a skin test on her and concluded that she is definitely allergic to milk, cashews and peanut. The peanut reaction was the largest on her little back. We did find out that she is not allergic to pecans, almonds, walnuts and may or may not be allergic to eggs and some other tree nuts. She also did not show any reaction to mold or pollens.

My reaction: I'm a little disappointed that we have to avoid peanuts all together. However, I am so glad that I did not give her any peanuts or peanut butter to test at home. That would have been very scary. (That was the advice one allergy doctor gave us to do.) It is highly like that she will outgrow the milk allergy. There is a 20 percent chance she will outgrow peanut. Thankfully, now there is more education out there about peanut allergies and schools are very accommodating and understanding. I guess if this is our challenge, it's not that bad.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Allergy doctor

Tomorrow we go visit a new allergy doctor (because we have moved). I cross my fingers that they don't want to do any testing. But on the other hand if they can get "real" results for us, I'm willing to do what they suggest. Hopefully some answers come from the appointment.

What I did for Birthday Cake

Okay, I struggled with what to do to make the birthday cake fun without allergic reaction. I compromised a little with dairy-free Pillsbury frosting (not the best tasting, but time was limited with making all the salads) and I used Devils Food cake mix from Betty Crocker. The cake mix tasted really good. To make the rest of the turtle I made Carrot-Raisin Muffins that I know won't cause an allergic reaction. I gave her the chocolate coated muffin and the rest of the guests received cake slices. Guess who didn't eat their share -- yep, my daughter didn't even touch her muffin. She was so hyped up with activity that she couldn't sit still. Good news, we had muffins for snacks for the next few days! Prepare if you must, but be prepared to have your toddler change your plans!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Birthday Cake

I am making a special cake for my daughter's 2-year-old party. We can't just go and pick out a cake at the store because odds are there will be milk and egg in it and I don't know how much. So, I tried a homemade cake as a test because it didn't have much milk or egg in it. She can tolerate milk and egg in baked goods, but whenever I try something new I still watch for a reaction. This cake was too moist for the decorating I want to do. When I gave it to her to try, my toddler said "no." No to cake -- come on. But that is the toddler way.

So, I decided to make a box cake because it really doesn't have that much more milk or egg in it; and odds are she might not touch it at all. Also, part of this decorated cake has cupcakes, and I think I might use a different recipe for the cupcakes (or even make muffins that I know she's okay with) and give her one of those instead of the cake. I bought Pillsbury frosting and don't see any milk products listed in it. I made frosting last year, but it took so long to make. I think it will be okay. I will update this (with photos) early next week. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another positive test result

We test milk with our daughter ever couple months or so to see if her reaction to it is gone. Today we hoped that maybe since she is almost 2 that it will have subsided.

We gave her some graham crackers with milk-based icing (1/2 cup powdered sugar to 1 Tbsp milk). Of course, she didn't want to eat them at first, so I had to jazz them up with some sprinkles. We were so optimistic when after the normal five minutes it takes for her to react, there was no reaction. It took about 10 minutes for her lips to get puffy and those little hives to appear. I say that's progress. We gave her 1 tsp of Benadryl and within about 10 minutes the puffiness was about gone. So no milk yet, but maybe soon!

Please follow the advice of your doctor before you do any allergy testing at home. Our daughter's reaction is just hives around the mouth and we know what to expect. Some allergic reactions can cause a child to stop breathing. You don't want to be that situation if you can avoid it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Snack idea

I actually haven't tried this on my daughter yet, but I'm almost certain it will be a winner. I came up with this idea while making this Taco Bell-like Mexican Pizza, which by the way was excellent. (I even made a dairy free version using dairy-free cheese!)

Cinnamon Tortilla (there probably is some fancy name out there)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
tortilla shells, as many as you want
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1. Heat oil in 8 inch skillet to 350 degrees.
2.Mix together sugar and cinammon. This will be more than you need for this snack. I keep some in a shaker for future use. Set aside.
3. When oil is hot, dip tortilla shell into the skillet for 20 to 30 seconds. I flip half-way through. The tortilla should crisp up and turn light brown.
4. Take tortilla out of oil and set on paper towel.
5. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Cut into strips or triangles!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple Meals

I found that with a toddler with allergies, you can't just open a package of pre-made food and heat it up. So many have milk or egg in them. On top of that I start looking at the fat, sodium and other ingredients that really aren't that good for her. Here are some suggestions for quick and easy meals that don't require a lot of prep work.

  • Hamburger Rice Casserole. Take leftover hamburger, add rice and peas. Mix together. Substitute other vegetables or chicken for variation.
  • Chicken soup. Take leftover chicken, add chicken stock, carrots, potatoes, celery, onion. Heat to boil then let simmer on stove for 20 minutes. This recipe freezes really well. I use 6 oz baby food jars and it works perfect. I add rice or noodles before serving.
  • Beef and/or Vegetable Soup. Take leftover roast or steak, add beef stock, carrots, potatoes, celery and onion. Heat to boil then let simmer for 20 minutes. I freeze these, too.
  • Alphabet Spaghetti. A favorite right now!
  • Rice and Peppers. Use a 1/4 cup rice and add diced green, red, yellow pepper. Good side dish.
I normally cut up fresh fruit for every meal. Occasional I will give canned fruit or applesauce. I've found that using leftovers is really helpful because she doesn't eat a lot and I can fill the meal in with a variety of meat, rice, couscous, vegetables, etc.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dairy-Free Beef and Broccoli Noodle Casserole

Depending on how many serving of this you want to make you may need to double or triple this recipe. I made this specifically for my daughter while I made a non-dairy free version for us. This yields two small portions for my toddler. Idea for the white sauce came from here.

Dairy-Free Beef and Broccoli Noodle Casserole
Note: This is a stove-top casserole

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup rice milk
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup noodles (I use egg-free, but egg noodles would work great here)
1/4 cup leftover roast, cut up
1/4 cup broccoli, cut up

1. Cook noodles. Drain
2. On high heat mix olive oil, salt, pepper and flour together. Stir for a couple minutes until smooth.
3. Add milk and continue to stir constantly.
4. Turn heat to medium and add cornstarch until thickens. About 5 minutes, mine took less.
5. Add leftover roast, broccoli and cooked noodles. Heat through on medium low for about 5 minutes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sweet Potatoes

This is a great way to make sweet potatoes. I made up two and froze them in one-size portions for quick vegetable to add to lunches or dinners. Good way to get some good nutrition in your little one! And of course I didn't add butter.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I wonder if

Having a child with allergies has me uttering these words very often  "I wonder if..."  Yesterday, my daughter had an explosive diaper after snack.  I thought of everything she ate yesterday and nothing new.  I did give her Aunt Annie's graham crackers (shaped like bunnies). I wonder if that was the cause.  It was the second time she ate them.  I vaguely remember her having a messy diaper last time she ate them, too.  Maybe.  It's so hard to remember.  So, I looked at the ingredients again (I must check labels four times before I give her something new) and it say it was made on machinery with eggs, milk, soy and wheat.  It only contained wheat.  I'm going to wait a week or so and give them to her one more time.  If we have the same reaction then I know.  

When she has these reactions, it can be very frustrating.  I wonder if it is teething.  I wonder if it was something she picked up off the floor.  I wonder if it was something outside. I wonder if it was something she's had before and now has a reaction to.  I wonder, wonder, wonder.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day Ideas

Over on my other blog I have posted some ideas for Father's Day gifts.

Check them out here!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Stoneyfield Farm has coupons on their site for organic products.  I printed some that were soy-based.  Here's the link!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fruit Snack

So, we've been buying the Gerber fruit snacks.  Not a lot of nutrition in those and yes they are expensive.  In fact all fruit snacks are expensive.  Today, I decided to break down and find some that weren't too costly and had some nutritional benefit.  

Here's what I chose:  Welch's Fruit Snacks -- Mixed Fruit

This is why I chose them: 
  • no fat/no saturated fat
  • 1 g protein
  • 25% Vitamin A
  • 25% Vitamin E
  • 100% Vitamin C

The only down fall is that there is 6% carbohydrates, but the packaging claims made with real fruits. I paid $2.50 for 10 pouches.  So I guess for a once in a while snack it will be okay.  I also like that they are not messy for snacks in the car, which we are going to need this summer.  Plus, my toddler just loves chewy snacks and this is a little bit better than a gummy candy.    

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dairy-Free Brownies and Baking with a Toddler

Having a child who can't have dairy presents all sorts of problems.  I love cooking with kids and my daughter is ready to help.  The problem -- most baked goods have eggs or milk, and she can't help.  Even though she can tolerate most baked goods that do have eggs or milk, if she were to touch it while helping then she would most likely have a reaction.  I found a dairy/gluten free recipe for brownies that we made today.  She had so much fun helping.  They turned out really good and she was pretty excited during the whole process.  Here a link to where I found the recipe and what I did below while cooking with my daughter. 

Dairy-Free Brownies
1 1/2 cup oat flour (don't substitute regular flour because it won't work)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup rice milk (I buy the small cartons for cooking)
1/4 vegetable oil

1. Mix dry ingredients together with whisk.  When doing this with my 22-month-old, I poured each into a larger container and had her pour each in by herself (yes, we got sugar everywhere).
2. Add milk and oil.  Mix well.  I let my daughter stir it up for a couple minutes.
3.  The mixture is really dense.
4. Pour into greased (original Pam is dairy-free) 8 x 8 pan.  
5. Bake for 30 minutes.  Make sure toddler is in a safe spot when you open the oven.
6. Turn light on oven to let your toddler peak in -- be sure they understand not to touch the oven.

**Tip: Don't stick a toothpick in to see if done.  I did this and it deflated.**

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meal Idea

The hot dog rut.  We've all been there.  We want to give some meat with a meal and don't have any readily available.  We resort to hot dogs.  Hot dogs aren't the best in nutrition and I just don't like that there is 21 percent saturated fat (keeping in mind that's based on a 2000 calorie diet).  

The other day when I was picking up dairy-free cheese, Tofurky Franks caught my eye. It looks like a hot dog, but is tofu-based.  No saturated fat and 11g protein.  Much better I thought.  I picked it up and it wasn't too expensive (about $3 for 6 franks).  Now, would my daughter eat this?  I tried it before I gave it to her and it actually tasted pretty good.  I believe in honesty with kids and explained to her this looked like a hot dog, but it's Tofurky.  She looked at it and said "brat" and then "hot dog."   I asked her to try it and she started saying "Tofurky, Tofurky."  I asked her if she liked and she said "yeah."  And she ate about half of one.  A much better solution to the "what do I have to feed her today?" problem.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bless You --Seasonal Allergies

It seems my little toddler has inherited my seasonal allergies (my husband is pretty sneezy, too these days).  We were at the doctor yesterday and he confirmed what I suspected.  

As a life-long sufferer, I wanted to share some tips that give a little relief for me. 

1.   STAY INSIDE. If you or you child are really bad.  I mean runny nose, watery eyes, can't breathe well, and just feel completely exhausted. Staying inside  is the only way to keep the pollen out of your hair, skin, clothes and of course your nose.  What happens when you go outside is that you bring everything that is in the air inside.  So unless you hose down after you come inside (See 2.), you best just stay inside.

2. SHOWER OR TAKE BATH before going to bed.  If you do go outside, be sure to rinse off before going to bed.  This will help keep the pollen off your pillow, blankets and sheets.  Just think if you didn't do this you are sleeping in what is making you miserable.

3.  KEEP WINDOWS SHUT.  As hard as that is, it's the best way to keep it out of the house.

4. MEDICINE.  Discuss with a doctor what will work best for you.  I have used the same medicine for about 10 years and it's been the best I've used.  For kid's under 2, be sure you talk to a doctor before starting anything.  Most allergy medicines have a drowsy effect, and those tend to be the best for you to fight the allergies.

5. KEEP A JOURNAL.  I decided to keep a journal of when plants are blooming and what I see happening when we are really bad.  I noticed the lilacs bloomed a day or two ago. That might just be the culprit.  Keeping a journal will help me keep track of when my daughter is having difficulty and give me a pattern to discuss with a doctor.  

6. DON'T HANG LAUNDRY OUTSIDE.  Again you're bring allergens inside if you do this.  The key is to keep outside outside during really sensitive times.

7.  WATCH FOR OTHER ALLERGIES TO APPEAR.  Along with my seasonal allergies, I have food allergies to raw fruits and vegetables.  The reaction I get is a sore throat.  It's like a big uncomfortable lump in my throat.  It's not life threatening, but makes eating those foods nearly impossible.  The reaction can last from a half hour to a few hours.   This allergy is connected to the way the fruit is pollinated.  This is not very common, but if you have a child already susceptible to allergies (such as a food allergy or seasonal allergies), it's important to listen to other problems they have.  It's hard when they aren't able to communicate it, but as they get older be sure to listen.

8. KNOW YOUR CHILD'S OR YOUR SYMPTOMS.  When I was in high school, I began to know the difference between a cold and seasonal allergies.  I think it's a little different for everyone, but understanding the difference will help you treat the right problem.  Treating allergies with cold medicine doesn't work for me.  But an allergy pill taken daily will help.  Again check with a doctor for treatment.  

9. WASH JACKETS OR SWEATSHIRTS OFTEN.  Again this will help cut down on allergy attacks if you aren't wearing the pollen on your sleeve.  

10. STOCK UP ON KLEENEX AND VASELINE.  We go through so many tissues during allergy season that I stock up months before.  I always have a few extra boxes stashed away.  And I keep a box (or two) in every room.  Some people only have tissues in the bathroom.  I just wonder how they can survive...then I remember that most people don't sneeze as much as I do.  Vaseline is the best to put under the nose as the tissues rough up the nose.  Too bad you end up rubbing it off as quickly as you put it on.  It still helps.

Be sure to contact a doctor if you or you children have allergy symptoms.  
Related Posts with Thumbnails