(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.
I recently posted that our daughter's milk allergy appears to be gone. She has been eating pretty much everything now. It's such a strange feeling not washing my hands 50 times in an hour period because I have milk or cheese or butter or anything. She's been out to eat quite a few times, too. I still get nervous, very nervous. But overall she isn't having any problems with milk. We'll be going to the allergist later this summer. I really don't know what we will discuss, but follow-up is good.
As far as we can tell, our 3-year-old daughter's milk allergy is gone. She has been eating yogurt every day --I used yogurt as a control to know how much was going in her each day. After the first initial days of dairy eating she had a mild eczema breakout on her arms. It went away within a day. We have gradually been increasing her yogurt intake every three days. She's now eating 4 oz of yogurt a day. No skin rashes to be found. She even ate pizza at preschool last week. Her teachers looked at me nervously when I told them to let her try it. Thankfully, I work in the same school so they weren't so worried knowing I was in the building. It's been so exciting to watch her eat new foods. Goldfish crackers were on her list to try right away. Crazy how the simplest thing as a goldfish cracker was so dangerous. Now it's not a problem.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have regarding our journey with the milk allergy!
During spring break, we ventured on the airlines for a trip to visit grandparents. Our daughter will be 4 in a couple months and has allergies to milk, egg, tree nuts and peanuts.
I was so nervous -- would they take away the Epi-Pen when going through security? How will I make sure the airline seat is clean of allergens? Don't even talk to me about all the public restrooms I knew we would have to use.
I can confidentially say that for the entire trip -- two airplanes down, two airplanes back, airport public areas, grandparent's house, multiple restaurants, and too many bathrooms to count-- there was not one (repeat not one) incidence of rash on her face. Even during her normal days at preschool we occasionally see her all rashy with no direct reason. It sure doesn't help that she still put everything in her mouth.
Well, our daughter was plagued with a cough after the vacation and ended up with an ear infection. The antiboitics are finally out of her system and I could hardly wait to test her for milk at home. NOTE: DO NOT DO ALLERGY CHALLENGE TESTING AT HOME UNLESS ADVISED BY A DOCTOR.
For morning snack I gave her some icing made from milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. The same icing she has had for many of her at-home milk testing. I kept the Benadryl close at hand. She ate it. We waited. Normally 10 minutes is the wait time before we see hives all over face. Guess what? Nothing!
For lunch I daringly gave her a third of a piece of string cheese. She ate a couple bites, then we made her wait 10 minutes. No rash. We let her finish the rest of the string cheese (still just the third of a regular size). Nothing. No hives. No cough.
We didn't get too excited. I think we have just had to deal with her milk allergy for so long that her possibly not having it any longer isn't as big of a deal as it would have been two years ago. Don't get me wrong there is nothing that would make our lives easier. But we really have adapted.
We waited to check her bowel movement before trying anything else -- just in case her tummy couldn't handle it. All was normal on that front. After dinner we gave her Cool Whip that recently changed it's formula to more creamy and gave her a terrible reaction several months ago. She ate the creamy Cool Whip with some strawberries. We set the timer for the third time today and waited 10 minutes. No reaction. Hooray! I think I'm numb.
Next on the menu is yogurt and then toast with butter. Wow! I never thought we would see the day. We are going to continue to take it slow, and I'll get a call into the allergist next week. I just wanted to share to give those you out there hope!!!
Well, well, well. I have searched high and low and lower to find a granola bar that I like sans peanuts. About a year ago I realized I had a reaction to peanuts and tested positive for a peanut allergy. Several other tree nuts were positive, as well. I used to love eating a granola bar for a quick on-the-go snack or even as a low calorie breakfast. Well, guess what? Many Most granola bars are processed in facilities or on equipment with tree nuts and peanuts. My 3-year-old loves Glutino breakfast bars and Enjoy Life Snack Bars, which are free of many allergens including wheat. Well, I just like wheat and haven't been satisfied with the flavor for myself (plus the cost is pretty high -- almost a dollar a bar and that is with my savings tricks).
I've talked about going to Trader Joe's for almost two years, but just haven't found my way there. It's only about a half hour away, but I always like to go in that direction when I have something else to do. I finally found myself there a couple weeks ago. Now, just like every other store there are allergy-free products and products made in facilities with allergies or shared equipment with allergies. I was disappointed as I picked up animal crackers and other items that weren't safe for my multi-food allergic child. I finally arrived at the granola bar isle with a pretty empty cart. I found not one, but two different types of granola bars that would be safe for me to eat (only one is safe for my daughter who has a milk allergy). Okay, I thought -- I better like these. I kinda felt like this is my last shot (I swear I've read every granola bar label out there).
The first granola bar I came across was these. The disclaimer on the back says : "Our vendors follow good manufacturing practices to segregate ingredients to avoid cross contact with allergens. Made on equipment shared with milk, peanuts and tree nuts." I read this several times in the store and wondered if I should trust that or not. I decided to give them a try.
The verdict: Our daughter ate it, loved it, and no reactions. Hooray! These bars were about $2 for 12 bars (note: they come in two bars in a pack). I didn't mind the taste of these at all. Not my preferred taste, but I could eat and enjoy them. No reaction for me, either.
I walked down the isle and saw these. Oh, my god. No way. Chocolate granola bars -- my absolute favorite idea for a granola bar. I have big love of chocolate, which is hard to fulfill with a peanut allergy. I read the label. Same disclaimer: "Our vendors follow good manufacturing practices to segregate ingredients to avoid cross contact with allergens. Made on equipment shared with milk, peanuts and tree nuts." A little skeptical still, I bought the bars. The price was around $2 for 6.
The verdict: I ate one the next day and absolutely loved every bite. Yum. Then I waited and waited for a reaction. Nothing. Could it be, my search is over? A granola bar that met three criteria: I like it, It's allergy-free for me, and cost effective. I'm making another trip this weekend to Trader Joe's.
I've recently noticed an incline of readers to this blog. Welcome! I have been slow to post lately because of other events in my life -- mainly working as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and balancing family life. But I have great plans for more posts for this blog coming soon. I welcome any questions or ideas you may have. Comments are always welcomed!
I made a quick run to a locally owned grocery store yesterday. They carry a lot of items I can't find anywhere else (not just allergy-free, either). I was scanning the shelf in the organic area and came across Annie's Homegrown Gluten-Free Bunnies hidden toward the bottom. I was ecstatic when I read "Made in a peanut-free, tree-nut free facility." Our daughter is elated. I can't even count how many times she has asked for bunny or goldfish crackers. Her question usually is "Can we find some without food allergies?" So when I read the label to her she clapped excitedly. Sometimes it's just fun to have fun treats (like everyone else).
It's now been a couple years since our 3-year-old has been celebrating holidays with her food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs. Quite honestly, I don't really think too hard about what to do anymore. I treat Valentine's Day very similar to Halloween, Just insert hearts and cupids instead of pumpkins and ghosts.
Here are a few other ideas for treats for Valentine's Day:
Other Non-baking ideas: Fruit snacks, Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars, Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom Bars, Fruit Crisps, Chocolate chips, Dum Dum Suckers, and Smarties
Remember it's only a big deal if you make it a big deal. Also, if your children are young just baking something together is more important than the end result. Valentine's Day is a holiday to show love and friendship -- not just to eat a lot of treats.
A while back I realized that many Hershey Kisses flavors are in fact peanut-free and nut-free. I honestly couldn't believe it when I read the package. I have eliminated all nuts and peanuts from my diet since learning that I have an allergy, even though it's a pretty mild reaction.
I know have been eating Hershey Dark Kisses for about two months. And I am happy to say I haven't had any reactions (as far as I can tell). I am so happy. I am a chocoholic and buying Enjoy Life bars was really getting expensive. While I still enjoy Enjoy life chocolate and value their dedication to allergy-free products. I am extra happy at Hershey for providing me with a sweet treat that I can get a really good deal on after the holidays!
I made this Smore's in a Jar recipe for our daughter for Christmas! It was really yummy. I used crushed Teddy Grahams, Earth's Balance Margarine and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips for substitutions. It woudl be a great recipe to pass at a gathering! Really easy and fun!