My Child Has Food Allergies?! -Starting Places

This post is for my kids, for those who care for them, and for all of you who are just getting started and feeling overwhelmed with providing safe alternatives for someone you love who has food allergies.

I’ve discovered a lot of resources in my 10 years as a food allergy Mom.  For those of you who are also milk, egg, and peanut allergic, if you have any to add- many thanks for sharing!

1.  Of course, of course, of course- you should see a doctor and learn from them all you can about how to care for your loved one with food allergies.  Then, I suggest exploring the many fabulous resources provided by national organizations such as FARE and Kids with Food Allergies.  If you haven’t yet viewed my Resources Page, please explore the bounty of great information found on the linked pages there.

2.  We are milk, egg, and peanut allergic.  Since vegan recipes avoid animal products like milk and eggs, for us, vegan resources would be a good place to start, but **be sure to avoid products that may contain nuts.  Some great vegan blogs I’ve found (and hope to add to) include:

bunnykitchen.com

vegan-heartland.com

Or how about this list of “main stream” goodies that are “accidentally vegan”: http://www.peta.org/living/food/top-accidentally-vegan-foods/

3.  Social media!  This year, I have discovered some awesome support groups on Facebook with Moms like me that share recipes and all sorts of great tips for living with food allergies.  They may or may not have the exact allergies you do, but again, it is a starting point.  Some of them are “closed” groups, so you will have to request membership from the admins.  Some examples you can search for on facebook are: “No Nuts Moms Group Support Group and Forum”, “Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy- Safe Food Finds“, “Deliciously Dairy Free”, “Multiple Food Allergies R Us”.   I also find tons of recipes that are a good fit for us or can be modified to meet our needs on Pinterest.  Here is a link to my “allergy friendly” board, where I “pin” things that I want to try later or even links I’ve created to my own recipes to share with others.  http://www.pinterest.com/emilyloganphoto/allergy-friendly/

You can also find others who “eat like you do” on freedible.com

4.  Snack Safely.  Their primary service is the publication of the Safe Snack Guide, a catolog of snacks free of specific allergens (currentlly peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs). They also partner with several manufacturers in compiling this list.  Tons of great information, including the Safe Snack Guide, can be found at http://snacksafely.com/

5.  Blogs like us! 🙂  I have been so happy to discover other people, blogging their hearts out right along with me, sharing their experiences and recipes with others in the same boat.  These bloggers avoid all or at least some of the same allergens we do.   Again- a great starting point.  And remember, like myself and many of these bloggers disclaim: always do your own homework.

http://www.mamacado.com/p/mama-food.html

http://ibakewithout.com/about-2/

http://www.amazingandatopic.com/p/introduction.html

http://speedbumpkitchen.com/

http://indulgingwithallergies.blogspot.com/

http://www.gratefulfoodie.com/about/

http://nut-freemom.blogspot.com/

http://theallergistmom.com/about/

http://foodallergybitch.blogspot.com/

http://monicasfoodallergytips.blogspot.com/

http://yesnobananas.wordpress.com/about/

http://trickandtreatsafetoeat.wordpress.com/

http://adventuresinallergies.wordpress.com/

http://allergenmenumom.com/about/

http://ohmahdeehness.wordpress.com/about-2/

http://www.foodallergybuzz.com/

http://whyriskit.wordpress.com/about/

http://pastaandbananas.com/about/

http://blog.thrivingwithfoodallergies.com/sample-page/

http://home.allergicchild.com/about-us/

http://momversusfoodallergy.com/about/

http://foodallergythingymabob.com/about/

http://www.mothernova.com/about-mothernova/

http://foodallergysleuth.blogspot.com/p/our-story.html

http://ellasurreau.wordpress.com/

http://mustfollowrecipes.blogspot.com/

http://trustthelabel.com/?q=about

Phew!  After jotting all those down, I can’t believe there are so many!  What a blessing!  If you have a food allergy blog that I haven’t mentioned here, especially for milk, egg, and/or peanut allergies, please share!  I would love to “meet” you.  Thank goodness for internet “connectivity”.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Vacation Grocery List

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The only way I can actually relax on vacation, is if I do the cooking myself.  For that reason, we try to stay somewhere with a kitchen.  We have made do with just a minifridge and microwave, but let’s just say it was no gourmet affair.   Every year, I try to make a grocery list ahead of time that will allow us to be in and out quickly once we arrive at the store near our location.  This year, I’ve decided to blog it so I don’t have to rewrite the darn thing next year- and also to share with you of course!  Some items we prefer Publix brand for, but if you know of another brand substitution that is milk, egg, and peanut free- please share!

This is my list for out of town groceries for 5 days for a family of four, with two children allergic to milk, egg, and peanut.  We try to stick to simple recipes that hopefully our kitchen-away-from-home will have the tools to execute and just focus on hitting the basic food groups:  protein, produce, carb.

  • Breakfast:
  • Frosted brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts
  • +/- a box of cereal: Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Cookie Crisp
  • Vanilla soy milk.  We prefer Publix Greenwise brand but will use Silk in a pinch.
  • Lunch:
  • 1 loaf of bread.  We use Publix honey wheat.
  • 1-2 pounds of deli meat.  We do not use fresh sliced meat from the store’s deli due to the concern of cross contamination with cheese and meats containing nuts.  We use prepackaged Oscar Meyer delifresh honey ham.
  • Pepperoni.  We use Hormel original.
  • 1-2 bags of chips.  We like Tostitos original, Rold Gold pretzels, and Lays original or BBQ.  We have found milk in some BBQ brands, milk in some Tostitos flavors, and the potential for peanuts with other pretzel brands.  Always read the label.  The whole label, not just the “Contains” statement.
  • Produce:  Carrots, baking potatoes, bananas, watermelon, apples, strawberries, blueberries…mmmm.
  • Snacks:
  • Microwave popcorn.  At least a 6 pack.  We use Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals, Simply Salted variety.
  • If we’re lucky: ice cream!  We like Tofutti Cuties vanilla ice cream sandwiches, So Delicious brand vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and Purely Decadent’s Cookie Avalanche flavor of dairy free ice cream.
  • If not ice cream: popsicles!  We like So Delicious brand creamy fudge bars, Popsicle brand plain flavors (although they have recently had a recall where these contained milk so I may be revising my opinion of this brand), PhillySwirlz, and FunPops- the kind grandma always had in her freezer- the all-American brightly colored sugar-in-a-plastic-sleeve type.
  • Cookies!  We like Oreos.  Oreos have recently updated their labeling so that now ONLY the original and double stuffed are safe for us.  No more minis or vanilla kind. 😦  We also like Chips Ahoy original chocolate chip cookies.  I know the package says contains whey, but for some reason, these have never been a problem for us.
  • Dinner:
  • 1 pound of chicken breast cutlets.  1 pound of lean ground beef. 2 pounds of salmon.
  • 1 small box of Bisquick original baking mix (for “breading” oven-baked chicken).
  • 1 bottle of Morton Season All, salt and pepper.  Or *pack ahead*.
  • Canned veggies.  We like Green Giant brand green beans and corn.
  • Pasta sauce.  We use Prego Traditional variety.
  • Spaghetti.  We use Publix brand.
  • Dairy free margarine.  We use Earth Balance brand.
  • Cooking oil for greasing pans.  We use Publix brand vegetable oil, EVOO or canola spray.
  • Canned bread.  We use Pillsbury brand french loaf or original crescent rolls.
  • Tyson brand dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.
  • Oreida brand crispy crowns, waffle fries, or crispers.
  • Ketchup
  • Maybe a frozen pizza for Mom and Dad on nugget night.  Yes, we sometimes eat what they can’t.  We feel the world will be this way for them, and they will have to learn to adjust and take caution for cross contamination in every circumstance.  But that’s a whole other blog topic!
  • Hmmm.  One night left.  What to fix?  I think I will *pack ahead* (**= reminding myself) a baggy of Ener-G egg replacer and use the rest of my Bisquick box for pancakes.  So you will also need:
  • 1 package of Oscar Meyer bacon.
  • Oreida brand crispy crowns or hash browns.
  • 1 bottle of maple syrup.  We use Hungry Jack Lite.
  • Bottled water, soda
  • Plastic baggies to make snacks portable
  • Sunblock!!!

I know, this is not the absolute healthiest list, but it’s simple and I’ll rest easy knowing it’s safe and they at least got a few more nutrients than a week of fast food would provide.

Also, when we get to our kitchen-away-from home, I always run the dishwasher first to rewash the dishes.  That’s just me.  I want to know for sure that they have been cleaned properly and are free of cross-contaminants.

Happy trails!