*This post could really benefit from others’ experiences & advice- so please chime in to help all of the mamas with food allergy-afflicted munchkins!*
Firstly, I would just like to start this post by saying that I 100% acknowledge how difficult it can be to have a child with a food allergy and I commend the parents out there who take such special care of their little ones with dietary restrictions. My 4-year old niece is allergic to milk, and I am always amazed at how much extra work/thought goes into her meal planning and preparation. Of course, as with all things child rearing-related, I know this must get easier with time, but holy shnikes: I had never realized how many products contain milk!! Not to mention, she rarely gets to partake in Birthday cakes/ice cream and other goodies that her friends get on special occasions (thank goodness for popsicles!)- which I know is hard for her and her parents when she feels left out. Last year, we found an ice cream shoppe with dairy-free sorbet, and the little girl was in pure ecstasy…savored every last drip!
Recently, one of Benny’s lady-friends found out at 15 months(ish) that she has a nut allergy. No PB & J for this sweet little miss I spoke with her mother about the new-found food allergy just a couple days after the diagnosis, and it is definitely an adjustment for their household. Not only can Ben’s pal not have nuts or nut products in her house, her allergy is so severe, that she can’t even have products made in a facility with nuts. There is a chance that she will grow out of this allergy, but – as I am sure any parent who has witnessed their child have a severe allergic reaction will tell you- it is not something they will be testing for a long while.
As a parent, not only is this one more thing to keep you awake at night (like this and this)- but you also want to make sure your child doesn’t feel different or have a limited variety of foods. Being in Vermont, I feel like we are fortunate enough to have access to specialty food stores and restaurants/vendors that accommodate many dietary restrictions- but I know other areas of the country aren’t as lucky. (My sister always gets excited when she brings my niece up here to visit, because our “hippie stores” have lots of alternatives for Skylar )
SO this is where the advice of other mamas comes in handy (Ahem! Ahem!). I am sure there must be websites, blogs, books, etc. specifically targeted towards cooking for certain dietary restrictions. Does anyone know of any good ones to pass along? OR, better yet: does anyone have any particular recipes or tips for cooking for kiddos with food allergies??
Ben’s daycare is a nut-free establishment, and as much as he loves him some PB&J for lunch, we save that for days when he is home with me. I could see where coming up with a lunch time meal plan could get a bit tricky- especially if your child’s school or daycare doesn’t reheat food items. Any mamas out there have nut-free lunchbox suggestions?
THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR WEIGHING IN ON THIS ONE!