Seeing Food In A New Light - Making a Difference, One Bite at a Time Blog at Allrecipes.com - 256785

Making a Difference, One Bite at a Time

Seeing Food in a New Light 
 
Nov. 13, 2011 12:52 am 
Updated: Nov. 14, 2011 10:19 am
Hi everyone!  My name is Angela and I'm new to the blogging world.  I don't have a Facebook account and I am not on twitter so I'm pretty much in the dark when it comes to social media .   So why am I starting a blog now?  I'll try to make this short but it started a couple of months ago...

My daughter (who is now 15 months old) has had eczema ever since she was 2 months old.  We figured out that she was probably allergic to milk and peanuts but even with those items out of her diet and mine, her eczema still wouldn't go away and she was always rubbing her face on our shoulders as if she was itchy.  When she turned one, her pediatrician finally said that we could take her in for an allergy test.  We had a blood test done (a traumatizing experience for both daddy and daughter) and it turns out she is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat and soy. 

After the doctor called with the results, I felt defeated.  What will she be able to eat?  She had been eating the meals from daycare every day but now that we knew about her allergies, there was very little she could eat from the daycare menu.  I started preparing breakfast and lunch for her every day but since she can only eat rice, meat, veggies and potatoes, it has been a challenge trying to bring variety into her diet.

A few good things came from all this.  First, my daughter's eczema has disappeared ever since we started monitoring the food that she eats.  Second, it forced me to start reading labels and ingredients on everything that I buy.   I realized that processed foods all contain one or more of the items that she is allergic to and came to the conclusion that I will have to cook "whole" food meals for my family.  Third, I've been encouraged to learn more about organic, whole and unprocessed food and the benefits of eating well.

So, back to the reason for why I've decided to write this blog.  I hope that this blog and the AR Menu Planner will keep me on track for cooking healthy meals for my family.  If anyone ends up reading this, I hope you will keep me accountable and maybe share some tips if you have family members who have dietary restrictions.  I'll also use this blog to process everything as I continue to learn more about nutrition and the benefits of healthy eating (and cooking!). 



 
 
Comments
Nov. 13, 2011 5:38 am
Hi! Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and living with, caring for and keeping your food allergy child safe will get much easier and a normal way of life for your family and those around her. My son had eczema as well as a baby. He would also get red splotches around his mouth and on his cheeks when he ate. When he was almost one he started having diarrhea. The diarrhea went on for two months before the doctors figured out it was food allergies and not "Toddlers Diarrhea". Turned out he was allergic to peanuts and eggs. We had been feeding him eggs almost every day (sigh). The diagnosis was scary. Grocery shopping took as long as two hours sometimes due to reading EVERYTHING! He refused to eat meat and since beans are a legume and in the peanut family those were out as a source of protein. We turned to sunflower butter as an alternative to peanut butter and a source of protein. He had been eating it for about 2 months when he had an anaphylactic reaction to it. So, now he is allergic to Eggs, peanuts and suflower seeds and oil. He lives a very normal life. He is also very aware of his surroundings and will remind anyone he is with to read the ingredients. As his allergist said, "It's unfortunate that he had to go through anaphylaxis however, it's fortunate he remembers it and knows how real and serious his allergies really are." We have never had to use Benadryl or the EPi Pens since his reaction. All you need to do is be dilligent and the people around you and your daughter need to do the same. I have found that almost every one is willing to go out of their way to keep these kids safe. Also, it seems almost everyone these days knows someone with allergies. Yes, they can be frustrating at first, scary and unfair to the kid. We still live a normal life. We go Trick or Treating. This year there were only 2 houses where he could actually get something but my husband and I filled our pockets with candies he could have so at every house he couldn't have something, we gave him something we had. We ski and eat in the lodge that is LOADED with people eating peanut butter and gorp. We just grab a clean tray for the cafeteria and keep all his food on that, not the tables. You too will find easy solutions that will become "normal" for you. My son is almost five now and doing well. he understands his allergies and helps to keep himself safe. Good luck to you and your daughter! It gets much easier! If you have any questions you would like to ask or that you need help with let me know.
 
Nov. 13, 2011 5:48 am
One more thing, and maybe you already know this but I didn't right away. There are lots of allergens in body care products as well so you need to read those lables too. Since my son was a baby, we used Burts bees products thinking we were doing the best thing because they are natural products. For some reason we switched to Aveeno. One day about a year ago the store didn't have it so grapped some Burts Bees baby soap. My son broke out in eczema so i read the bottle and one of the ingredients was sunflower oil. I was mortified to learn that I had been bathing my baby in what was essentially poison to his body. So, moral of the story is you have to read EVERYTHING!
 
Nov. 13, 2011 6:44 am
You are doing a great thing. It's so difficult on the food elimination road. I hope it encourages you to know that they can grow out of some allergies. My daughter is 10 and almost normal ;) (we joke about that). A balanced diet is the key to ensure they don't develop more allergies. Because of Hannah's milk allergies, we fed her rice milk, rice ice cream, rice everything....by the time she was 7 she was allergic to rice! Stay on this track and you will see success! Hang in there.
 
Stephanie 
Nov. 13, 2011 8:21 am
Fortunately I have never had to deal with food allergies. But I can tell you that many years ago I made the decision to go veggie. Veggies are my most favorite thing to eat in the world, so it was no big sacrifice for me to do this, although the rest of my family didn't really like that I 'went veggie' on them. I still would cook their regular meals, they weren't 'deprived' of anything. But I adhered to this veggie lifestyle for over 7 years. It really becomes second nature and I bet you will find that to be true for you as well! Good luck and much success in keeping your daughter healthy!!
 
Nov. 13, 2011 8:38 am
Just a suggestion. At the top of this page is a tab that says thebuzz >>. Hover your mouse over that tab and a drop down will appear. Go down under Community Buzz to Recipe Buzz and click on that. It will take you to a page that has posts all day and night long by other people w/ cooking, baking, and nutritional questions including suggestions regarding things such as the challenges you face with your little one. Please take a few minutes some time and join in up there. You will be glad you did, I am sure!!
 
Lela 
Nov. 13, 2011 10:54 am
Having allergies myself--soy, it is hard to find processed foods that don't have soy in them. My Allergy doctor first put me on a rotation diet. You can google the rotation diet. Basically you rotate foods every 4 days so you do not develop an allergy to a certain food --like your son did with rice. I found this the best way to keep allergies under control. My daughter was allergic to red food coloring, wheat, etc. when she was 2. Needless to say she did grow out of her allergies. I still rotate foods when I am cooking, it has become a habit. Every 4 days you can have a particular food. Although, soy products I found I just have to avoid. Check out the following site and if you google the rotation diet you will find all kinds of info out there. There are also cookbooks out there, too.
http://www.food-allergy.org/rotation.html


cookbook:

http://www.amazon.com/Rotation-Diet-Cookbook-Relieving-Allergies/dp/1852309652


There are also people who have posted menus, etc. such as:

http://funkyfoodallergies.blogspot.com/2009/04/menu-plan-monday-rotation-diet-week-8.html


book:

Self-Help Allergy Cookbook Health Food Stores are a good place to start and using fresh ingredients to cook-organic produce. Hopefully, your little one will outgrow the allergies. It does take a lot of planning, but once you make up your menus it becomes easier. Just take it a day at a time or this case 4 days at a time.
 
alo_96 
Nov. 13, 2011 4:38 pm
Thanks for everyone's advice and encouraging words! I'll definitely check out all the suggestions!
 
Nov. 14, 2011 10:19 am
Hi Angela! I too got into healthy cooking because of health reasons (of my own). I'm glad to hear you've got a handle on her diet and that your little one is doing much better. I know it can be a lot of work at times so best wishes through this learning process. Kudos to you!
 
 
 
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alo_96

Home Town
Fremont, California, USA

Member Since
May 2010

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy

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Scrapbooking, Walking, Reading Books

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About Me
I am a wife and a new mom. My husband and I both work full time and are also very involved with our church so our schedules fill up fast! I enjoy cooking but because of my schedule, I need to find easy and quick recipes. I also enjoy watching TV and scrapbooking, but these days when I have free time, I usually sleep!
My favorite things to cook
Anything that is fast and delicious! I love slow cooker recipes because the are quick to prepare and ready by the time we get home!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom is a great cook and always made Chinese food for us growing up. I tried to learn from her growing up but still need to call her once in awhile for tips.
My cooking triumphs
I don't have one yet. I'm hoping that one day, I will have the guts to host a Thanksgiving dinner and make every single dish.
My cooking tragedies
Too many to list! I grew up eating everything on my plate so even if something doesn't turn out perfect, I try to finish it. But there are times when the food is just too disgusting and I have to throw it out!
 
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