Food Allergy Experience

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!

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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

(Not) All ’bout Those Hives

This morning was one of those mornings. You know when you don’t want to get out of bed but because you’re a mom, you take one for the team. That was this morning. I hit snooze on my alarm waking me up to go exercise and slept a few more minutes. And then started our usual morning routine.

My Little Guy is getting tired of hash browns. He’s had them now for almost a week straight. He’s been eating his cheese over hash browns as a step to introduce milk into his diet. So, instead of trying to convince him to eat the hash browns, I got a string cheese from the fridge, cut off a small check and gave it to him. He ate it, but didn’t like it.

Later school called, hives. He had them on his back, stomach, neck and face and he was itchy. They did an amazing job getting him his Benadryl and calling me. I called the allergist and then went to check on him. He was doing fine and besides being tired from the Benadryl and the we added on Zyrtec, he was his usual cheerful self.

I did hear back from the allergist with a plan going forward. We’re not giving up on cheese but we are sticking to one kind-of cheese. In this case, it will be shredded cheddar cheese for max. We’ll go back to a TBSP of cheese and work our way up to 1/4 of a cup before trying string cheese again.

A slight set back but not the end of cheese therapy. I’ll admit, part of me is a bit disappointed. I hate seeing my Little Guy uncomfortable and I really liked making progress. I also loved the idea of going out for ice cream once we’d completed therapy. I know, a bit selfish….Instead of getting discouraged, I am reminded that this is still progress. It was, after all, less than six months ago and he couldn’t finish a a whole muffin with 1/2 cup of milk in 12 muffins.

I am grateful the Little Guy is home and getting ready to bed just as normal. I am thankful that this reaction was just hives and nothing more. And, I’m glad we can continue with cheese.

 

From Muffin to Cheese

Five years ago when the Little Guy was diagnosed with food allergies, I seriously had trouble seeing life normal again. We’ve come a long way down this winding, bumpy path. He’s gotten a few allergies back and some have gone up and down like a roller coaster.

We’ve attempted adding milk back into his diet a couple of times prior to this time. Each time we were stopped before getting past the 1/2 cup in 12 muffins stage. This time we’ve slowly progressed through the muffin stage with today ending (hopefully) two months (or so) of milk muffin therapy. I can say, excitedly that this is not because he’s failed but because he’s passed! Yes! We are very excited in this house, especially the one eating the daily muffin and the one baking all the muffins.

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Tomorrow is a big day for him. Tomorrow he branches out to new territory. He moves beyond muffins to cheese. Yes, real cheese. Er, cheese made from milk. No more vegan cheese on his tacos. Ok, I may be getting ahead of ourselves. He’ll still need to have vegan cheese for tacos and extra’s until we clear the cheese stage. But this is HUGE!

It’s also extremely scary for me. You, see I had it set in my mind we were going to do pancakes. I had a plan for pancakes. I have the ingredients for pancakes. I was emotionally ready for pancakes.

But not for cheese. We have cheese in our house because we had tacos. My husband and I still use regular cheese on our tacos. So we have the supplies needed. My Little Guy and his sister have their breakfast orders in (eggs with cheese on top), so I now have a plan. Buuuut, I don’t feel emotionally ready. Cheese is scary to me. It makes this all real.

My Little Guy is ready to go in the morning. When you ask him, he grins widely and announces he will be eating cheese in the morning. He loves the thought of cheese. His face lights up as we planned out his breakfast tomorrow. He’s emotionally ready.

So, tonight, I’m going to go exercise, take a few deep breaths, and wake-up extra early tomorrow. I’ll put that smile on my face and hide any apprehension I may be feeling, because I have a five-year-old boy excited to try cheese for the first time.

 

Muffin Therapy, Step 3

We’ve done a lot of muffin therapy in this house. It’s basically been the first step in all of the food challenges. And, milk has been attempted two times prior to this one and egg was attempted two or three times. Luckly, My Little Guy has gotten much better about eating muffins. I do believe its because each time we added another allergen back into the mix, the mufffins become less dense and taste better.

We are on step 3 of milk muffin therapy. Last week was his first whole muffin with 3/4 cup of milk in 12 muffins. I was pretty nervous, because he’s never had that much milk and he’s been anaphylactic to milk. This equals a very nervous and anxious mom. Last week went great and we are on day 5. I’m optimistic that we’ll continue to do well.

After two weeks of 3/4 cups of milk we will call back into the allergist and find out the next step. I anticipate it will be 1 cup in 12 muffins. I’m hoping it won’t be for a full two weeks as that would be 8 weeks or so of daily muffins. Although he does do pretty well with it but does complain some with the last few bites.

We are progressing, even slow progress is progress.