Living with Food Allergies

Thanksgiving Tips 2 (Re-post)

Here are a few things we do as a family when substituting for allergies.

  • Turkey: one of my commenters said that they use butter on top of the turkey. I have never done this, I usually baste a turkey in it’s own juices. Maybe this is a practice in different parts of the country?
  • Gravy: if you are headed out somewhere, WATCH out! Most gravies use flour to thicken. If you are making your own it is easy to substitute with rice flour or corn starch.
  • Stuffing: this is one of the hardest substitutions. I have not found a gluten free stuffing available on the market, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. We either go without or I have taken gluten free bread and made croutons ahead and carefully cook them with water and spices to make a type of stuffing. It’s not the same, but still works well.
  • Mashed potatoes: (one of the easiest things to make allergy free unless you are allergic to potatoes) use rice milk, less than normal to keep the potatoes from feeling “watery”. Dairy-free butter of choice. Or baked red potatoes with herbs, spices and olive oil are a nice change.
  • Sweet potatoes: watch the marshmallows (check ingredients) or leave them off. Substitute dairy for dairy free depending on what your recipe calls for. One thing we like to do is eat sweet potatoes plain or I chop them into pieces and add brown sugar with melted dairy free butter over top with pecans mixed in. YUM!
  • Green Bean Casserole: I mentioned this one in the previous post. Again, it is possible to substitute just know it won’t be exact, but it still will taste fabulous.
  • Bread: you can either bake or buy some gluten free bread or even better how about some cornbread instead? There’s a great recipe I have changed to make allergy free over here.
  • Pumpkin pie: this one gets a little harder, but you can replace the crust with gluten free crust and then for the pie filling instead of starting with a pie filling, you can start with pureed pumpkin adding in dairy free milk and spices.
  • Apple pie: use a gluten free pie crust or an easier and quicker idea is to make an apple crisp instead. Using rice flour or a combination of gluten free flours you can make the crumble quite easily. This is one thing we like to make all the time for dessert and even our guests that don’t have food allergies really enjoy it.

Reality is you can have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal without “traditional” foods. Years past I have tried out all kinds of different recipes that are not considered traditional and each one has gone over well.

I hope that you have a great day tomorrow whatever you are eating. Enjoy the gathering.

Until next time,

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Thanksgiving Tips (Re-post)

Ah…can’t wait for the big day!

Lots of yummy foods, friends and family gathered round enjoying a day of fellowship and giving thanks for the many blessings we have.

Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, famous green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, apple pie a la mode, sweet potato casserole…can you picture it all laid out on a buffet or in the center of the table?

Wonderful food and other than the cranberry sauce and turkey, each one of those “traditional” Thanksgiving treats has at least one major allergen in it’s recipe.

What is a person to do?

You could host the meal yourself. That is a lot of work, but can be done.

There are a lot of recipes out there that can help you maneuver through some of those tough ones. Or you can see the substitution list for some ideas of how to take the traditional recipes and make them allergy free.

For example, green bean casserole, while you can’t put the gluten laden fried onions on top, you could toss some of your own in a rice flour and quick fry them on the stove. They won’t be exact, but still will be quite tasty and that’s the point. The recipe could be made without the cream soup versions if you can’t have dairy.

If your family is like ours, and does potluck style, you can create some special sides for the allergy needs and let the rest bring what they will. Another option is to ask them to be sensitive to your family’s needs and help them with ideas of what to bring that everyone can eat.

What do you do if you are headed out to another home for the day, as our family will be doing this year?

It is difficult to ask a hostess to cater to your allergy needs, but at the same time hostesses usually feel bad that they didn’t make anything you can eat. Making a hostess aware that you don’t expect her to cater to your needs is important, but making the need known gives her the ability to decide how she wants to handle it. You might be surprised at how sensitive she may be.

If it is not possible for her to make something for you then by all means bring some of your own special food, making sure to have several small dishes to fill in where needed. Also, it is best to ask ahead, what she will be serving, so that you can provide substitutions as necessary.

Can you bring something? If that’s the case, you know you can make an allergy free dish that will please everyone and you can pile that on your plate during the day.

Thanksgiving is only a day away, so these tips may be a little late, but I hope they help.

For the Christmas holidays, I will be compiling a list of great cookie, cakes, and dessert recipes. Drop a note in the box if you have one you’d like to share with us. We’d love to hear what you are doing.

Until next time,

Another Dairy Allergy Child ~ ARRGH!

I know…it’s easy right?

Already got one what’s the big deal?

The problem is…

This one is just 4 months old and formula (milk) is ALL he can eat. And no, breastfeeding is not an option at this point, wish it was because that would be an easy fix.

Formula is very expensive to begin with (and all of them are made with corn syrup, really healthy, don’t you think?) and now having to buy an allergy-free one–YIKES!

We tried the typical hypoallergenic store brands…still not helping, in fact one of them made him worse than the milk based formula.

So, we have to use a truly allergy free formula at an average of $30 for a 14 oz. can. That is used up in roughly 3 days!

Thank goodness we are cloth diaper fans…otherwise we’d need a full time job just to pay for them both!

Not good on the budget and especially not good on very little income, which is where we are right at the moment thanks to the current economic crisis…so the plan?

Yes, I DO HAVE A PLAN!

Well, that is a different plan than finding a wonderful mama willing to give me a deal on her left over unopened cases on Craigslist. Which I did find and what we bought will tie us over for a while.

The Plan:

To Make My Own Allergy-Free Formula

I’ve been doing some research and I will be working with our pediatrician this next few weeks to create a good, alternative, homemade, diary-free formula.

Will it be less expensive?

Not sure.

But I will know what’s in it. AND less expensive or not it won’t be based on corn syrup and that is priceless!

Hmm, wasn’t there some contest about that priceless credit card thing? I know, getting sidetracked…but I should look and see if it’s still out there. Maybe that will pay for formula and diapers. Oh, yeah, using cloth…already have…although, I’d love more. Side-tracked.

After talking with the Dr. tonight I think we might be able to do it! It will not based on goat’s milk, although that is a nice option, isn’t usually a good one for a true dairy protein allergy.

I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Until next time,

Imagine…

Life without food allergies.

Our world changed drastically the day we found out about Little Miss’ food allergies. We entered a world we didn’t really understand or knew much about. Now, I’m an educator to almost everyone in our lives. Honestly, its a bit tiring, but worth it for her health and vitality.

I found another video you might enjoy.

What’s it like?

“Not fun”

“Sad”

“Can’t go to baseball or games…”

“Bad stranger has moved next door and you are not allowed to move. You are always looking out the window to see if that guy is out in his driveway so that your children can go out and play”

“You don’t know where the risk is.”

“…Think of the un-obvious things that people take for granted…”

“We were going to go to the zoo but instead we went to the hospital.”

I never let my guard down, because the minute I do that it feels like I’m playing a bit of Russian Roulet”

“That’s the scary part, you can be doing your best, but it may not be enough.”

“I don’t think it is possible to really, really understand it unless you are living with it.”

“I wouldn’t wish it on any parent…there is nothing more scary than to see your child not be able to breath.”

I imagine…

Eating everything that has nuts in it…like snickers…eggs for breakfast every day…eating in a restaurant and order off the menu without having tow worry.”

These were a few quotes that really stuck out…especially the ones from the parent’s perspective.

Now that Little MissĀ  is getting older and is more aware that most people do not have food allergies she struggles with how “unfair” it is that she can’t enjoy bagels, donuts, ice cream, and a great many other wonderful treats.

As a mother, I never get to let my guard down for fear of an asthma attack, general bad health, or the worst, a trip to the hospital…I wish more people understood why I “control” her food so much; why I’ve given up on a lot of activities that include a lot of unsupervised children.

That’s what I imagine the most…understanding people in my life that don’t sit back and judge me for protecting my child.

Until next time,

Children With Food Allergies

I found this video recently and I thought you’d like to have a little look into the life of children living with food allergies.

Until next time,