The Mom Perspective
By Adele MIller Staff Reporter/Columnist
August 27, 2010
We have always had a person or two in our lives with a food allergy or two. Peanuts, tree nuts, dairy; you probably have the same. We have always been aware of what we ate around these friends, what we served at birthday parties, and I have often felt a little sad for these families and the restrictions that they live with. [back]
Well, when my son started eating solid food around the age of one, we found he had a dairy intolerance. Then after eating some soy-based products as replacements, he soon grew intolerant to soy. Over the years, we have known that other foods were starting to bother him, as well as our daughters. Well, now at the age of four, we just got back some allergy testing results for him and our daughters. Our family food restrictions now include: dairy, soy, eggs, gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats, yeast, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, apples, coconut, cashews and pineapple.
Can you imagine? We couldn't!
Now, don't misunderstand me, none of them will die if they eat these foods, at least not at this point. But right now some of these foods make them itchy, while others upset their stomachs and still others contribute to a general feeling of YUCK! My poor babies!
So when we got back these most recent results, my husband and I didn't know what to do. We stopped at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's on the way home, read the labels on everything, and worried about everything that our kids would miss. What would life without eggs be like? What would they eat for breakfast? Are all those gluten-free, dairy-free, everything-free boxed mixes also tasteless?
At one point in the store I looked around and thought to myself, "there is nothing in this entire aisle that my kids can eat." It was an awful feeling and of course I was smiling at them, telling them that it really wasn't going to be too hard.
Well, a few weeks later and I think I was on to something. In a lot of ways, this is the easiest feeding my family has ever been. We have dismissed the ideas of what is breakfast food versus lunch versus snack and voila --life is easy and food is delicious!
Our fridge is filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, we have played with making milks from pecans and pumpkin seeds, we joined a meat-CSA, and we are focusing much more on all that we can have.
Yes, there are days that my kids ask for foods that they can't have and we are still navigating the world of eating out-of-our-house, but for the most part these food restrictions have provided us a great opportunity to reconnect with whole, unprocessed, delicious food.