Food Allergy Experience

Menu Planning 2017 (4)

We had a great week last week. We enjoyed the sunshine almost every day. We took one day and went to the Omaha Zoo. It was a lot of fun. If you’ve not gone to the Omaha Zoo, I highly recommend it. Assuming of course, you live near Omaha or are driving nearby.

This week I have three days to hangout with the kids and am not certain what we’re doing yet. But I’m sure I’ll come up with something fun.

I’m struggling a bit coming up with some variety. Its been two years since I’ve menu planned. I’m in desperate need of some new ideas. This is especially true for lunch. I’ve always worked full-time. So having the kids all the time coming up with decent lunches that won’t take a lot of time to make, is a bit challenging. I’d love to hear what lunches you’ve made and have been a success with your family.

Menu Planning

Monday
     AM: Almond Butter Toast with honey
     Lunch: Chicken Salad, French Fries, Veggies
     Supper: Pot Roast w/veggies

Tuesday
     AM: Muffins
     Lunch: Sack lunch in the park
     Supper: Tacos

Wednesday
     AM: Cereal
     Lunch:Grilled Cheese, Tator Tots, Fruit
     Supper: Beef & Broccoli 

Thursday
     AM: Cereal
     Lunch: Chef Salads
     Supper: Chicken thighs, Baked Potatoes, Corn

Friday
     AM: Smoothies
     Lunch: Almond butter sandwiches, Fruit, Yogurt
     Supper: Pizza w/salad

Saturday
     AM: French Toast
     Lunch: Beanie Weanies
     Supper: Spaghetti 

Sunday
     AM: Doughnuts
     Lunch: Left-overs
     Supper Grilled Bratwurst, Potato Salad, Fruit

So that’s it! Nothing too great. I did get an Instant Pot recently so I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with it. I’ve put a couple of items on this menu which will use it.

I have a couple of recipes I’ve tried in the last couple of weeks I will share this week.

I’d love to see your menu. Please feel free to share a link to your menu plan or just share it in the comments.

 

Menu Planning 2017 (3)

Wow this week went fast! We kept ourselves pretty busy this week with a trip to our local zoo, the botanical center to see the corpse flower, music lessons, and cleaning out some of our clothes. It was incredibly, hot this week so I did not really follow my menu plan last week. Hitting 100 a couple of times did not have me wanting to turn on the oven or even cook.

Next week, we’ve got a slower schedule and it looks like we will be a few degrees cooler. I’m hoping that’s correct.

Menu 7/23

Monday
      AM: Muffins
      Lunch: Sack Lunch
      Supper: Pasta with meat sauce
Tuesday:
      AM: Smoothies
      Lunch: Fish sticks, Fruit, Fries
      Supper: Pancakes and eggs
Wednesday:
      AM: Cinnamon Toast
      Lunch: Hot dogs, Salad, Fruit
      Supper: Chicken Stir-fry
Thursday:
      AM: Almond Butter Toast w/honey
      Lunch: Chicken Salad
      Supper: Salsa Chicken
Friday:
      AM: Cereal 
      Lunch:  Grilled Cheese, Applesauce, Jell-o Cup
      Supper: Pizza 
Saturday:
      AM: Smoothie
      Lunch: Beanie Weanies
      Supper: Lemon Chicken with rice
Sunday:
      AM: Cereal
      Lunch: Leftovers 
      Supper: Grilling out 


Well, that's it! Nothing to exciting but I am trying out a few new things. 
I also made biscuits and gravy last week and will post that recipe soon. 
What's on your menu this week? Share a link to your menu plan.

Lunchables: More than a lunch

I have two kids, one with food allergies and one without. My eldest has no food allergies and my youngest allergies have improved greatly. He is now down to only two main allergies: Wheat and Nuts/Peanuts. Its amazing to have seen his progress.

I often talk about our food allergies and the struggles with food and finding food when away from home. I try to share a balance of struggles and successes. Sometimes I find this balance hard. Its easy to look at the negatives and a bit harder some days to find a  positive.

We were out and about earlier this week and it was lunch time. We’d stopped by Target for the ICE waters, they were on sale for $1.00 and my kids were asking for one. I was starving so thought I’d look for something quick we could eat that would save me from cooking. Unfortunately, the Target wasn’t a Super Target so it wasn’t looking overly hopeful.

As we wandered, we found ourselves in the Lunchables aisle. My daughter suggested we get one. I gave my usual reply, “No. We need to find something Little Guy safe”. She excitedly said, “Mommie there’s a Lunchables he can have!” After a few times back and forth, I processed what she said. And, she was correct! He can have exactly 1 Lunchables.

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The Nacho Lunchables is safe. It does not contain wheat or nuts. Its basically corn tortilla chips and salsa with cheese dip. So it works for his allergies. We were all super excited. Little Guy was excited to try out something new. He wanted to wait to eat until he got home while his sister ate in the car.  After eating it, he decided the salsa was better than the cheese sauce.

I know, to the average kid, eating a Lunchables isn’t a huge deal. Its hardly blog worthy. For some its even a monthly, weekly, or daily substitution for school lunch. But for a little guy who has grown up with many limitations its exciting to eat something other kids eat and enjoy.

You see a simple Lunchables is so much more than a Lunchables. Its an opportunity to be a typical (because I’m trying hard to stop using normal) kid. To blend into the background instead of to stick out. To be like his friends. A Lunchables is also freedom. If we’re out and about and lunch time hits. We now have another option to run into any grocery store and grab him lunch. Prior to this, we had to be selective which grocery stores we stopped at in order to increase our chances of finding food for him. Then, we had to search for something that would work. This is simplified. This is easier and faster.

So yeah, this is so much more than a Lunchables. And we are beyond excited about this.

Menu Planning 2017 (2)

Sorry I missed last week and this one is a day late! Nothing quite like missing one and being week 2! I unfortunately had internet connection issues. It was pretty sporadic and seemed to affect anytime I wanted to get on to blog.

Menu Plan

Monday                                                                                                                                                            
                AM: Smoothie
                Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, FF, Banana
                Supper: Pasta with white sauce and chicken
Tuesday                                                                              
                AM: Cereal
                Lunch: Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit Cup
                Supper: Tacos, Chips & Salsa
Wednesday
                AM: Bagels
                Lunch: Tuna Salad Sandwich, Salad
                Supper: Asian Chicken with Rice             
Thursday
                AM: Almond Butter Toast
                Lunch: Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit
                PM: Biscuits & Gravy
Friday
                AM: Muffins
                Lunch:  BLTs
                PM: Pizza
Saturday
                AM: French Toast
                Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Tator Tots, Apples
                Supper: Lemon Chicken
Sunday
                AM: Cereal
                Lunch: Left overs
                PM: Grilling

So that’s it. Nothing too fancy this week. I am trying out biscuits and gravy this week. I’ll let you know how that goes. What’s on your menu? I’d love to see your menu plan!

Allergy Friendly French Toast

Once my Little Guy was able to start eating eggs, French toast became a popular food in our house. He is suppose to have eggs daily. I’m not 100% he does get it every day. But he certainly gets it multiple times a week.

I’ve not found a good egg-less French toast. So if you happen to have one those, please share it here. You can easily alter this recipe to be milk-free and wheat/gluten-free. I did find this recipe on-line somewhere but its been a few years and I’m not sure where. I apologize for the lack of credit provided.

Vanilla French Toast 

Ingredients
2 Large Eggs
1/2 cup milk or non-dairy options
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
6 slices bread (If using wheat/gluten-free you could use more

Directions
1. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs, add milk, sugar, vanilla
2 soak bread in the mixture, allow excess egg mixture to drip off
3. Cook until browned on both sides.
4. Top with your favorite topping

What’s your favorite breakfast? Please share your recipe with me!

Summer and Ice Cream

Ahh…summertime! One of my favorite times of year. Nothing quite says summer like watermelon, backyard bar-b-ques, ice cream, and catching lightning bugs. Summer is one that fills my childhood memories. We were kicked-out of my parents house first thing in morning, returned for lunch and supper, and we stayed out until the street lights came on. Those memories are so itched into my memory they easily come flooding back once the weather warms up.

As a parent, there’s some of my summer memories my children probably won’t have. One of those being staying outside all day long with the run of the neighborhood. One reason is we live in the city instead of rural Iowa. Another reason, is I have read stories of child abduction and such. I basically trust very few people.

With a kiddo with food allergies, even more of those activities are more difficult.

For example, backyard bar-b-ques. We grill-out as a family every weekend. However, we hardly ever get invited to friend’s backyard bar-b-ques. Those are the mine-filled events that require constant and diligent attention. When we go, we always take all of my Little Guy’s food. Its easier and safer that way. Unfortunately, often times we get overlooked as an invite. Its hard to want to invite the family who may require extra considerations.

Going out for ice cream is another summer time memory that’s more challenging with food allergies. Last summer my Little Guy was able to add milk back into his diet. Prior to this, going out for ice cream was not an option because of his dairy allergy. Now he has dairy back, but its still incredibly difficult. Last summer we found a soft-serve ice cream place that he could safely eat. But the elusive fun mix-in ice cream was out of the question.

That was until this weekend. We found a frozen yogurt place that had allergy information clearly marked on the machines. They kept the nuts apart from the non nut options. They had fruit to top the ice cream a long with some safe candy options. My Little Guy was thrilled to be able to go out and experience this. It was so much fun seeing his excitement as I told him he could pick his ice cream and toppings.

You can see the ice cream shop website to see if you have one local to you. If there’s not one near you, ask around and see if there’s something similar to you.

How do you manage your food allergies and summertime fun? What’s your favorite childhood memories? I’d love to hear from you so please share below!

Allergy Menu Planning 2017 (1)

My goal is to get back into the habit of menu planning. When I do it, meals seem less boring and repetitive. It also decreases food waste. Since I’ve been out of the habit for a while, it may take me a few weeks to make re-establish the habit.

My menu for the week 1

Monday July 3
   Breakfast- Cereal 
   Lunch- Out to lunch 
   Supper- Grilling out: Chicken, potato salad, watermelon 
Tuesday July 4
   Breakfast- Muffins
   Lunch- Chicken Nuggets, Apple Slices, Jell-o Cups
   Supper- Holiday BBQ 
Wednesday July 5
   Breakfast- Cereal
   Lunch- Grilled Cheese, French Fries, Watermelon
   Supper- Tangy Lemon Chicken, Rice 
Thursday July 6
   Breakfast- Cereal
   Lunch- Chicken Salad sandwiches, Lettuce Salad
   Supper- Tacos
Friday July 7
   Breakfast- Smoothies
   Lunch- BLTs, Apple slices
   Supper- Pizza Gluten-free 
Saturday July 8
   Breakfast- Pancakes, bacon, eggs
   Lunch- Beanie Weanies 
   Supper- Honey Garlic Chicken
Sunday July  9
   Breakfast- Cereal
   Lunch- leftovers 
   Supper- Grilled hamburgers, Potato Chips, Grilled Veggies, Coleslaw

And that’s our week.  Nothing too overly exciting. My kids are now staying home for the rest of the summer. I’ll need to up my game on lunch but am hoping I can get by this week without having anything super exciting.

What’s on your menu for the week?

Traveling and Eating Out

We’ve spent some time traveling this spring. We have road tripped from Iowa to Ohio and have made a couple of quick weekend trips. Traveling with multiple food allergies was always troublesome. However, the decrease in number of allergies has made eating out so much easier! It was amazing when we did the longer road trip, I didn’t pack a ton food.

I thought I would make a list of the places we’ve found we could eat safely with food allergies

  1. HuHot- This was a place we’ve eaten even when we had 6 and more allergies.
  2. Culver’s– This is a Midwestern burger place. They have wheat-free buns and offer applesauce as part of the kids meal.
  3. Red Robin– Burger place with gluten-free buns, fruit and veggies as part of the kids meal
  4. Fridays– have gluten-free buns for burgers. Has a decent allergy menu in regards to wheat free/gluten-free options. Kids meal can do a salad in place of fries.
  5. Chipotle– Burrito place but offers rice bowls in stead of the wheat tortilla. Also has corn tortillas for the kids menu. kids menu comes with a piece of fruit.

I’ve been exploring the Find Me GF app. I’ve not used it enough at this point to feel I could review it appropriately. I’ll provide some feedback once I’ve used it more.

Do you have a favorite place to eat that caters well to allergies? Please comment with your favorites.

The Hiatus is over….almost

Hello my friends! Wow…Its been awhile since I’ve been around. Sadly its not because my little guy’s allergies have miraculously healed. Rather, I started (and now finished) graduate school. It took me about 2 years to finish. It was a bit more time consuming than I had ever imagined. I have now finished my last test and will be resting and returning to my meal planning and food allergy topics very soon!

I do want to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit and check out my blog despite my lack of writing. Its nice to see people are still very much interested in food allergies and find some value in what I’ve written.

I do want to share with you some excited news with you today. My little guy is currently down to 2 (ok 3) allergies! I can’t believe how much has changed since he was diagnosed at 6 months. His allergy list includes wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. Now I say tree nuts, however, he has been successfully eating almonds in the form of almond butter. He’s not a fan of actual almonds.

Our next allergist appointment is in August and I’m hopeful that his numbers will continue to fall. We’ve been extremely lucky his numbers are falling naturally verses with treatment. We are also extremely lucky we can eat out in more places now. This made our vacation much easier! It was the first in 6 years I didn’t cook once. Yes! We ate out the entire time we were gone!

I hope this gives you hope. Food allergies are a struggle, but there is hope for improvement in the actual allergies and/or improvement in options.

We will talk soon!

Death by Cheese: A Desperate Mommie’s Plea

I’m so tired of cheese. I’m tired of the word cheese. I’m tired of saying cheese. I’m tired of hearing cheese. I’m tired of whining because he doesn’t want to eat the cheese. I’m tired of begging him to eat cheese. I’m TIRED of cheese! At this point, I’m certain cheese will be the death of me.

You see, my little guy does not like cheese. And worst of all, we are limited to shredded cheddar. We’ve tried a little bit of Gouda and String Cheese and poof, he reacted. It wasn’t even much of either of those types of cheese. So, the allergist said to stick to shredded cheese. I’m so tired of cheese, that I asked the allergist if we could do something different than cheese. I was told no. We have to get through cheese to move on to yogurt. I’m sure he’ll like yogurt. I hope anyways, he’ll like yogurt. We just need to get to yogurt.

To help to put this in perspective, he’s been doing cheese therapy for about 3 weeks now. Yup, 3 weeks (or so) I’ve been trying to add in a bit of cheese to his diet. That’s a really long time to have to eat cheese daily. No wonder the poor kid is sick of cheese.

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The worst part of this whole thing, besides the whining and complaining and out right refusal to eat, is he has to eat up to 1/4 of cup of cheese. That’s a lot of cheese to eat in one setting. And, its enough that its very difficult to “hide” the flavor in anything. I’m so tired of cheese.

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All I really want is a thumbs-up from him, for one cheese recipe. That’s it. I’d be ecstatic for a thumbs up for something I made with cheese. I’d be one happy mommie.

Please help me get that one thumbs-up. I’m in the search for some good shredded cheese recipes. So, if you have any for let’s say cheesy potatoes or some other crazy, amazing cheesy casserole pass it on to me.

If we can’t make progress on this soon, cheese will most definitely cause my death.

-A Very Desperate Mommie