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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday - Dinner

**This is a week-long series that will detail the food that I feed my almost 3-year-old who has multiple food allergies, including dairy, egg, tree nuts, and peanuts.  Each day I will detail the food she eats for her meal.  I will update snacks with the dinner menu.  Included you will see how I menu plan and prepare meals for the allergic child. I will be starting Sunday (although I will be skipping Monday).**

Ingredients: Ground Beef (we buy a quarter cow every year), tomato soup, macaroni noodles (note these are made in a facility with egg, however we have never had a problem eating them), Green Peppers, Onions, Frozen cherry tomatoes

Mashed Potatoes: Ours had milk.  Hers just had Earth's Balance Spread.  After boiled, I put hers in a seperate bowl.

Salad: Spinach, carrot, cucumber, Italian Dressing (dairy-free)

Motts Country Berry Applesauce.  She also drank soy milk with the meal.

Today's Snacks
AM: Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal, Fruit Crisps
PM: Teddy Grahams, Prunes, Water

Sunday -Lunch

**This is a week-long series that will detail the food that I feed my almost 3-year-old who has multiple food allergies, including dairy, egg, tree nuts, and peanuts.  Each day I will detail the food she eats for her meal.  I will update snacks with the dinner menu.  Included you will see how I menu plan and prepare meals for the allergic child. I will be starting Sunday (although I will be skipping Monday).**

Sunday Lunch

Alphabet Spaghetti (1/3 cup Eden Organic Alphabet pasta, 4 oz Hunts tomato sauce, Vegan Grated Topping sprinkled on top).  Sometimes I make extra and refrigerate for future meal.  I also buy 8 oz Tomato sauce cans and freeze the other half in a baby food jar.  I find Hunts Tomato Sauce on sale for 33 cent to as low as 25 cents at Walgreens.   

Frozen Peas.  I put about 1/4 cup in small serving bowl (keep the rest frozen in freezer bag) with a couple tablespoon of water.  I heat in microwave for 1 minute.  If she doesn't eat all then I save for a future meal.

Fresh Raspberries


**This is a week-long series that will detail the food that I feed my almost 3-year-old who has multiple food allergies, including dairy, egg, tree nuts, and peanuts.  Each day I will detail the food she eats for her meal.  I will update snacks with the dinner menu.  Included you will see how I menu plan and prepare meals for the allergic child. I will be starting Sunday (although I will be skipping Monday).**

Breakfasts at our house are pretty simple.  We have a couple open cereal boxes to choose from, Quaker Oatmeal (single packs), and pancakes or waffles (I make in bulk and freeze).  We usually have fresh or dried fruit.  It works for us.  Plus I can let our daughter decided what she wants to eat and she gets to earn a little independence.

Sunday's Breakfast

Today our daughter choose Quaker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal- Low Sugar. 

I heat up water in measuring cup.
Mix all together in bowl.

Served with soy milk.

Today's second breakfast: Kashi Honey Sunshine and Craisins. Often after finishing her oatmeal, she is still hungry.  I usually give her some cereal with dried fruit until she's full.
When her soy milk is gone, she will drink water.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Coming this week: How I prepare Meals

I think the biggest struggle for me initially with having a dairy-free child was planning and preparing meals. This week (in almost real time) I will post our meals for the week and how it works for us.  I'll post each day, three meals a day -- I'll be starting on Sunday (but will be skipping Monday).

Maybe you can pick up a tip or two along the way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reaction to Study -- Can Peanut Allergy be predicted?

In my last post,  Melanie asked my reaction to a couple articles.  I will first address this article:  In Infants with Egg or Milk Allergy, Can Future Peanut Allergy Be Predicted?

Summary:  Basically the article states that infants with milk and egg allergy are more likely to have a peanut allergy.  Thus parents of milk and egg allergic infants should stay away from peanuts unless advised by a doctor.

My Reaction:  Since my daughter first broke out in hives at 6 months after a teaspoon of milk-based forumula, I have been overly cautious with every single new food she tried.  Whether blood tests are positive or not.   As an life-long food allergy sufferer, I know that there is absolutely no science behind allergic reactions.  Articles such as this may try to prove one way or the other.  I really think it depends on the authors of the study and what they want to prove.  Do I think there is a good chance that an infant allergic to dairy and egg may be allergic to peanuts?  Yes.  Is a current allergy a predictor for a future allergy? No.  Infants are growing and changing constantly.  Allergies can come and go.  Two years ago our daughter was allergic to blueberries -- not any more.  Plus many blood tests can come back false positive in infants and really aren't an accurate measure.  The best measure of an allergy is actually seeing what happens when a suspect food is eaten.

Did I avoid peanuts with our dairy-free toddler?  Yes.  Simply because I didn't want to gamble. But nearly two years ago we had a doctor tell us to try peanut butter on our daughter at home.  His theory was if she didn't have any eczema that she probably won't react.  I DID NOT follow that advice.  In fact for anything that we haven't tested her for yet, I have avoided.  She tested positive for peanut about a year ago and we have seen the reaction only in food that is manufactured on equipment shared with peanuts. 

**Note:  I am not a doctor or in the medical profession.  I am a mom to a toddler with mutiple food allergies.  I also suffer from multiple food allergies (many different from my daughter).  Please seek medical advice and attention from a doctor before doing any challenge food tests at home. **

Friday, May 21, 2010

Current Giveaway - Scrubbing Bubbles Coupons

Be sure to check out my current giveaway over at Reflections from a Mother's Soul.  I'm giving five (5) lucky winners a $5/1 coupon for Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Power Sprayer and $1/1 coupons for the Scrubbing Bubbles Power Sprayer refill.  I really like how well it cleaned out the tub.  With a eczema prone child it's so important to get that tub really clean.

Be sure to enter!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Question time

I am a little at a stand still on this blog lately.  I alway have things to share, but I'm not sure what you the readers are really interested in reading about.

So, I open this up to you.  You can either post a comment below or e-mail with a question about dairy-free, egg-free or nut-free diets or just about raising a toddler. It can be about specific products, getting toddlers to eat, or how to explain to family members. Nothing is off limits.  I will be addressing your questions in a future post.

Remember if you wonder, others might be wondering, too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BugaBees Book Giveaway

The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies by Amy Recob is one of our favorite books to read.  It discusses the common food allergies in a fun and easy-to-understand way.  Amy is sponsoring a giveaway of the book on her blog  The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies.  If you have commented on her website, be sure to do so by May 15!

Leftover bread or crust -- do this

Recently we made these cinnamon sugar bread crusts from leftover bread.  So good.  I used Earth's Balance spread instead of butter.  Yummy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Porcupine Meatball recipe

I found this recipe in a dairy-free cookbook, but I can't remember which one.  Recently I made my mother-in-law's porcupine meatball recipe about a month ago, but wanted to compare this one with my family.

Porcupine Meatballs II
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1/4 cup uncooked rice (I used Minute Rice)
1 tsp minced dried onion (my favorite)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 lb ground beef (uncooked)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt (recipe calls for 1 tsp -- too much for me)
1/2 cup water

1. Mix 1/3 cup of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup uncooked rice, onion, garlic, pepper, mustad, vinegar and ground beef. Shape into 20 small meatballs or 10 large meatballs.
2. Place in skillet.
3. Mix remaining sauce, oregano, salt and 1/2 cup water. Pour sauce over meatballs.
4. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover.
5. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is done.

Check out more great recipes at Life as Mom!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Milk test -- positive

Reminder: do not do food challenges at home unless advised by a doctor.

We tested our daughter with milk-based ice cream this weekend.  The results -- hives on her face.  So we concluded she can eat just about any meal with milk "cooked" or "baked" inside it, but no cold or uncooked milk is safe.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

What... She ate cheese enchiladas

I made beef and bean enchiladas earlier this week loaded with milk-based cheese.  We feed them to our daughter.  She really enjoyed eating them -- I know because she makes happy sounds as she eats.  The good news -- no allergic reaction.  None at all!!

We are hopeful that this allergy is disappearing.  Next on our testing list is milk-based ice cream.

**Reminder do not do any allergy testing at home unless advised by a doctor.**

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce freezes well

Recently I posted a couple recipes that use a dairy-free cheese sauce.  I tried freezing it last week and unthawed for dairy-free macaroni and cheese.  The results:  Wonderful.  I simply unthawed the sauce and then heated it up on the stove on low.  

Tip:  Use baby food jars to freeze this sauce or extra tomato sauce for toddler size portions.  Plus it doesn't take up too much space in the freezer.

Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup 
nutritional yeast flakes (I found them at a health food store -- a little pricey but so worth it)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp powdered mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dairy-free butter (I used Earth's Best)
1/4 cup rice milk (you can substitute soy if you like)

1. Mix water, nutritional yeast flakes, cornstarch, mustard and salt in blender for 30 seconds.
2. Melt dairy-free butter in sauce pan.
3. Add blended mixture to melted butter.  Keep on low to medium-low and whisk for 3 to 5 minutes.  It will thicken some.
4. Slowly stir in rice milk.  Stir until it thickens to consistency you want.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just in time for Berry Season

I probably haven't mentioned that our daughter was allergic to blueberries when she was just a year old.  Oh, I was so excited that she liked them -- another fruit to add to the list.   Her face was a little red after eating them, but she was always a little red in those days.  I gave her blueberry pancakes soon after and she broke out in hives.  Noooooo, I thought, but she liked them.

I held off testing her for blueberries until the other day.  She devoured them.  I told her we had to watch for food allergies (she understands what that means, now).  We waited and waited and no hives or even redness.  "Hooray," we shouted!  So happy to have another fruit to add to her diet.  We recently discovered that she likes blackberries, too.  Good timing, too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, Benadryl Recall

There is a big recall on children's Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl.  See press release here.
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