In my home, we avoid cows milk, eggs, peanuts, cashews, and sesames. Penny is allergic to all of these food items and for my mental health, we simply don’t keep them in our home.
I always get the questions: “How do you do that?” “What do you eat?” “Can’t she just take a pill and drink milk?”
To answer some of these questions,
An allergy is not the same as intolerance. Someone who is Lactose intolerant cannot digest the lactose (sugar) in milk. It gives them gas, diarrhea, bloating, etc… Someone who is allergic to milk can show a variety of symptoms ranging from mild hives all the way up to anaphylaxis. A milk allergy requires complete avoidance of milk while many people who suffer from intolerance avoid is for comfort or some are even able to take a medication to help aid the digestion of milk.
How do we do it? We have to! It was shocking and difficult at first. It seemed like all the food we bought contained milk or eggs. Our life now consists of reading many many many labels and sticking to foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Now for the interesting question. What do we eat? Here are a few examples of what we give Penny to eat for each meal.
- Cereal (read the label) with Soy/Almond/Coconut milk
- We make home-made waffles and sub the ingredients that we can’t have with ones that are allergen friendly.
- We also found a brand of frozen waffles that do not contain her allergens.
- Fruit is always offered on the side of her breakfasts.
- home made vegan muffins
Lunch or Dinner options
- Chicken Nuggets and potatoes (Read the labels!!!! Many chicken nuggets contain her allergens) with Plant-based milk.
- Daiya Pizza
- Rice with Beans
- Pasta with red sauce. (Red sauces contain milk. I have to read many labels to find the ones that do not. I am hoping to make my own red sauce one day. If you have a good recipe, PLEASE share with me!!)
- I have tried making a vegan alfredo sauce. I have made it twice and both times it was pretty good. (Considering I am NOT good at cooking) I used silken tofu, vegan cream cheese, vegan cheese, unsweetened almond milk, minced garlic, and black pepper. I also found a recipe online for white sauce using potatoes as a base. I lost the recipe 😦 BOO!
- Tacos with Vegan Shredded Cheese. (Some taco seasoning contain milk, I have to buy accordingly)
- “quesa”dillas. I used Vegan Cheese and Country Crock instead of butter.
- Ritz crackers with pepperoni
- Tortilla chips
Now this is only some of the stuff that we eat. I can’t remember everything and I am always looking out for stuff to make or bake. My toddler is the same as yours. She is picky some days, refuses foods she ate yesterday, wants to eat the same things over and over again, and just wants to make my mealtimes interesting.
I am not a great cook, so I use recipes for pretty much everything. When I find something that works, I use it repeatedly. If you google “Milk-free, Egg-free, Peanut-free, Cashew-free, Sesame-free recipes, you WILL hit a dead end! I look for a recipe that I think we will enjoy and substitute the allergens for ingredients that we can use.
Examples: Instead of butter, we use Country Crock. Instead of milk, we use unsweetened soy or almond milk. Instead of peanuts or peanut butter, we use sunflower seeds and so on…
Life with allergies just means we are a little more attentive to what we put in our mouths. We don’t miss out on anything. We find alternatives for everything. There are so many alternatives to traditional ice cream!!! Look a little harder next time you are at your grocery store.
Also, be sensitive to the feelings of other parents at your school. Don’t be so quick to anger if your child’s classroom is not friendly to certain foods. Consider how scary it is for the other parents to leave their child knowing that they could be exposed to a life-threatening reaction. Please follow these rules. One child’s snack should not be more important that another child’s life.
Don’t be discouraged! No matter what things come your way, you will come out stronger! You can handle anything that comes your way!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)