Food Allergies=Bane Of My Existence

Pinterest is awesome. I remember when I first discovered it. I was so careful with what I pinned. I wanted my boards to be carefully curated. I would only pin things that I thought were a reflection of me. I didn’t over pin and I was very exacting with what I wanted to display. Prior to Pinterest, I had notebooks filled and filled with lists, and things cut out of magazines.  

Now, my pins are 1. Clothes and accessories that I want to buy for myself or my kids. 2. Parenting tips. 3. Recipes. Lots of Recipes. 

I love Pinterest, I really do, but I also sort of hate Pinterest. It’s really not Pinterest’s fault. It’s the association. Like hating the doctors office because you’re always sick when you’re there. I hate it because it represents the weekly struggle of finding recipes that my entire family can eat. Every week, usually on a Saturday or Sunday, I make out my menu. I have a notebook just for my menus. I have three columns and three rows for each day. I plan out every meal and every snack for each person. I try to overlap things. I make a meal that I just have to change one thing out for each person. I’m a firm believer in, you should just eat what’s given to you, but I am also a firm believer in, it’s hard to never be able to eat things that you like. 

My son has several food allergies. He is allergic to milk, soy, eggs, cocoa powder, (now that one’s just cruel), and winter squashes. He also has a hard time with acidic fruits. These allergies, as you can see present quite a problem when trying to find things to cook. I didn’t realize until I had my son, how many things have milk and soy in them. Thing that you wouldn’t think needed it. Soy lecithin is the worst. Soy lecithin is my nemesis. Seeing those two words on a product that has no business being a soy product, makes me ragey. There have been moments where I forget where I am and I may have ended up scaring a co-shopper or two with my, “WHY SOY ????” rage.

My daughter is a picky eater, and it seems like the only thing that I can get her to eat is cheese and yogurt. I don’t think dairy is all that healthy for you, so this makes it tricky. I don’t just feed her straight cheese and yogurt. I usually try to put different things on her plate, and then let her have one favorite food as well. E.g. Pasta, Broccoli, and yogurt. I have often been given the advice of, “She won’t starve. If you’re strict and don’t give in and then you don’t feed her anything in between meals, she will eat what you give her at the next meal.” Maybe this works for other kids, but not with my A. She doesn’t eat. And then she loses weight and drops off the charts. When I go to the doctors office for her well child visits, I get a big print out that says, “YOUR CHILD IS UNDERWEIGHT!!!!” So waiting her out is not an option. Weight checks are a normal part of our routine and supplementing her with PediaSure when she completely drops off the charts is common. 

I try to not make two meals for dinner. Usually, I try to just substitute half of the meal if I can’t find enough soy and dairy free meals for the family that week. If I am making enchiladas, I will supplement E’s part with coconut yogurt instead of sour cream. Etc.

When I do find a brand that makes soy and dairy free products, I get emotional. Have you ever been completely lost and feel helpless, and then someone comes and points you in the right direction? Or maybe you got a flat tire, and someone comes and helps you? Well, that is how I feel when I discover a brand with no eggs in their mayonnaise. Or a cheap brand of coconut yogurt. I want to run to the headquarters and give the CEO a big hug. If you’re ever at Target, chances are, you might run into me, either screaming at the soy lecithin or crying over Amy’s Organics. 

At the end of the day, I am aware that there are much worse problems than mine. But it also doesn’t make mine any less challenging to me. I overall have figured things out with preparing meals for my family. I have learned to make a lot of things by scratch. It is time consuming, and finding new recipes that everyone will like is always a challenge. Food allergies are not an easy thing, and I am totally putting a teal pumpkin out on my step for Halloween. https://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.V_CFgJMrLVo 

Check it out guys. Disclaimer: You may receive a lot of moms crying out of appreciation on your front porch.

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