(Formerly Life with a Dairy-Free Toddler)
A mother's focus on feeding a child with multiple food allergies -- currently peanut and tree nuts, and formerly dairy and egg.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.**
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!
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!
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)
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.**