Our household is a direct reflection of US childhood allergy statistics: 1 in 3 kids in the US has food allergies. We are the same. I have heard varying reasons as to why children develop allergies, and since no one really knows why, I won’t try and hypothesize about that here. What I am concerned about though, is my child’s nutrition.
Now, I will fully admit that I am a terrible cook. Like embarrassingly terrible. So it is almost unfair to this poor child that he has allergies and lives with me. I was initially so afraid of feeding him the wrong thing that for his first birthday instead of cake, he got a bowl full of blue Jell-O. See, aren’t you embarrassed for me?
My son has allergies to milk, eggs and soy and if you haven’t read your food labels lately, soy is in EVERYTHING and is also often a substitute ingredient for milk. So it has actually been a nice wake up call for me to try and get us to eat more REAL food. Which of course we all know is the right thing to do, but it is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when my kids have a thing for chicken nuggets, meatballs and grilled fish sticks. I do not want to be making 2 separate meals, so I have been out researching how to better feed my family.
Once I started putting out there that I needed help with food, I have been amazed at the world that I’ve uncovered of people making really good food, substituting standard fare with something just a little bit different.
Our pediatric allergist suggested following the Paleo diet, which my husband and I were already familiar with as we try to eat along those lines anyway, and it has been good for some ideas. If you are not familiar with it, it is essentially a gluten-free, dairy free way of eating, think protein and veggies (a very simplified take on it). We bought The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and that really helped us with dinners. (This is an affiliate link to the book on Amazon).
There are a lot of people in the same boat as me trying to feed their families with a variety of allergies who are writing blogs with some great recipes, so it’s a matter of finding some ideas that will work for us.
I was also recently introduced to a line of baby and toddler nutrient boosters from Baby Brain Organics. I’ll call them nutrient boosters, probably not the right term, but it is a ground seed mixture that you can add to your kid’s meals giving them extra nutrients like protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and iron, which all sound good to me. My older two kids drank a ton of whole milk early on, with my little one being on rice milk, which is about as fortified as water, I’ve been concerned about how the lack of nutrients are impacting his overall development.
Amy Brown is a mom and is the one who started Baby Brain Organics. After speaking with her about my challenges she gave me some to try. My little guy doesn’t realize it is in his food and it makes me feel a lot better, I throw it in cookies and pancakes and oatmeal that the rest of us eat because it is great for all of us.
So while I may not be the best chef in town, I’m at least trying to get the right nutrients into my kids and I’m working at overcoming my fear of feeding my child with allergies. I have mastered the dairy-free, egg-free cake and so his second birthday was far more civilized.
If you have any advice for me, I’m still open to suggestions for healthy resources and would love some new ideas!
Note: The Primal Blueprint link is an affiliate link to Amazon.ca. If you purchase the product through this link then I will get 4% of the purchase price as a referral fee. Do what you like, I just find it helpful to see a product that someone is talking about so I like to include them. Plus I really like the book.