Dealing with Kids' Food Allergies | Mom Tip Monday

Does your child have allergies? For today’s Mom Tip Monday Liz Calloway, fellow KidSteals fan and blogger behind Times to Laugh and Cry, shares her tips dealing with food allergies with your kids.

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My husband and I have always loved to cook -- it's one of the things that we have enjoyed doing together since we met. We joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and explored and experimented with new foods like kohlrabi, celery root, and garlic scallions. Never would I have imagined how that enjoyment would be put to the test after our son was born.

At 10 months old, my son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies: dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs. As an exclusive pumper, this meant that I needed to eliminate all of these allergens from my body too -- a challenging feat, but one that my husband and I met head on. Our goal had been to breastfeed for a year and now we weren’t sure there was a formula that my son would even take. We had to make this work. Going to the local pizza place for dinner after work wasn’t an option any longer. We needed to know everything about anything that we ate. This becomes even more important now that my son is 2.5 years old and wants to eat off of our plates.

We researched substitutions and met with many people that offered advice and tips and realized that some of the best things we could do was cook for ourselves as we could control what went in -- our old hobby has become our new hobby! A website we found was a wonderful resource for finding allergy-friendly recipes.

Flavors, such as seasonings and oils, have become popular in our household. Grapeseed Oil has a wonderful buttery flavor and is a great replacement. I drizzle it into potatoes as I am mashing them and add in a little rice milk or almond milk to give it a creamy consistency. (Thankfully, we don’t have an almond allergy.)

We’ve found other things that offer one to one substitutes such as rice milk vegan cheese, and rice pasta, as well as new foods that we can add into our regular rotation of meals like quinoa – a fantastic grain that is gluten-free and can be used like rice but with a grittier, grainy taste and a bit firmer texture.

Baking has been challenging and fun at the same time. I’ve made cinnamon rolls, muffins, quick breads, crisps, and cobblers – mostly successes but a few failures. The joy on my son’s face makes it worth it – I do tend to follow recipes more closely here since baking gluten- and egg-free is more challenging. But being egg-free means we can lick the bowl without fear of getting sick.

Being out and about, is equally challenging - as is daycare. Communication is key as well as having a plan. I don’t want my son to ever feel excluded or different as he gets older, so we’ve been careful to find substitutes when necessary and always have a back up treat. There are lots of safe treats on the market now. Daycare keeps a cupcake in the freezer for birthday celebrations so that he has one too. When it was time for his birthday celebration at school, we made sure that it was something that everyone could have – I asked if there were any other allergies in his class and ended up making jello jigglers instead of cupcakes – the kids loved it and my son was really excited that everyone got the same treat.

With time, we have grown out of an allergen but added a few more so we are constantly evolving our cooking and baking ideas as well as ensuring that my son gets to try new and exciting dishes as he expands his palate.

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Thank you Liz!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

Posted in: Mom Tips