Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What the heck do you feed your kids?

Whenever someone finds about my girls' food allergies, one of the first questions they ask is 'So, what the heck do you feed your kids?'

Rylie has to avoid anything containing milk and peanuts/tree nuts...which also means avoiding anything that could be cross-contaminated with these ingredients. Believe it or not, she's the 'easy' one, and I feel like there are tons of foods she can eat. She can eat pretty safely at restaurants and we make sure to ask all the right questions about food preparation.

Rowan is the challenging one, so I will talk about the foods that she eats. She has to avoid anything containing milk, egg, peanuts/tree nuts, wheat, soy, chicken, turkey, pork, and citrus. She cannot eat anything at a restaurant due to cross contamination. When we eat out, we always bring her food.

So here are the foods she eats ALL the time. There are other foods that I prepare, but these are our regular safe foods:

Oatmeal with honey (Old Fashioned Quaker Oats)
Lundberg Farms brown rice cake with blackberry jam
Banana slices with blackberry jam

Main Protein (at lunch or dinner)
Organic Prairie uncured beef hot dog
Homemade hamburger squares (I add olive oil and shredded sweet potato to ground beef, and bake)
Canned pink salmon - Chicken of the Sea  (the packets contain soy, the cans do not)
Baked organic salmon with garlic salt, basil and black pepper
We tried Ians allergy-free fish sticks, but the girls didn't like them that much
Homemade spaghetti meat sauce with Mrs. Leepers gluten-free spaghetti

Lundberg Farms organic brown rice
Mrs. Leepers gluten-free pasta - animal shapes
Gerber 1st Foods sweet potato (babyfood) for 'dipping sauce'
Fruit - apples, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, banana, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries
Vegetables - Baked sweet potato with brown sugar, fresh steamed broccoli, corn on the cob, or canned corn
Motts granny smith applesause - no sugar added

fruit, raisins, applesauce
Orville Redenbacher Natural microwave popcorn - Simply Salted
Gerber 1st Foods prunes (babyfood)
Kix cereal with raisins (dry, like a snack mix)
Corn chex, Rice chex and raisins
Tostitos natural blue corn chips (also yellow chips)
Veggie Stix
Stretch Island Fruit Strips - grape (doesn't contain lemon juice)

Desserts and special treats
Homemade smoothies - strawberries, bananas, a splash of apple juice or honey, So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt. I also use blackberries, blueberries, pineapples
Enjoy Life cookies (these are fantastic)
Yummy Earth organic lollipops
Skittles and Starburst Jellybeans (Easter, Halloween, party treats)
Dum Dum lollipops
Homemade baked treats using recipes from Cybele Pascale's Allergen-Free Bakers Handbook

Mott's Natural Applejuice - no added sugar
Elecare formula mixed with Rice Milk

I've also made things like chocolate-covered strawberries, using Enjoy Life chocolate chips, which are allergy-free

There are some other items that the rest of the family eats, because they keep allergens out of the kitchen:
Vegenaise is an egg-free mayonannaise that actually tastes really good.
Earth Balance is the margarine we use, because it's dairy free. Rowan can't have it because it contains soy, but we use it because it helps keep her safe. Milk is one of her worst allergies.

We don't really cook with cheese or eggs. If I eat anything with cheese on it (pizza), I wait until the kids are in bed. I make sure I didn't drop anything, and I clean up really well.

Even before we knew about the allergies, cooking with whole foods and buying organic was something we were already doing. That doesn't mean I do it all the time - I enjoy bad food just like everyone else. And I have a major sweet tooth. But when it comes to my kids, I don't want to feed them a bunch of processed crap. Because they have to avoid certain food groups, I want the majority of their calories to have nutritional value.

Overall, my kids eat really healthy. I think their nutrition is probably better than a lot of kids who don't have food allergies. Hopefully this helps some of you that have kids avoiding multiple foods - it can be frustrating if your child is newly diagnosed, and it's hard to come up with new ideas for safe food.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing Jen. Thank you for writing this blog. I am going to share this post with as many clients and friends with food allergies as I can. How lucky these girls are to have you as their mom! And I agree with your statement about their nutrition being better than a lot of kids who do not have food allergies...this is so true! Thank you for taking the time to write this Jen. I suspect this will help so many food allergic families out there.