Welcome to the Wacky World of Food Allergies

Hannah Rose was recently diagnosed with milk and egg allergies. So we’ve embarked on quite the new journey.

We’ve replaced milk with Soy Milk. (Silk makes a very vanilla and a chocolate flavour that enriched for kids). In fact, we’re buying a number of soy “replacement” products: soy cheese, soy butter, soy yogurt–you get the idea. We’re also looking for alternative sources of calcium (like calcium enriched OJ, and the aforementioned enriched soy milk, along with foods naturally containing calcium).

We’re also reading labels like never before. Which is how we found the soy cheese that contains milk proteins. (No we didn’t buy that brand of soy cheese!) We’ve managed to find bread that doesn’t contain any milk or egg. (Thank you Whole Foods )

I’ve gotten a new cookbook:  Allergy-Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood which contains recipes for avoiding eggs, dairy, nuts, and gluten.  (Although not always all 4 ingredients at once!)  I’ve also been researching on how to adjust current recipes with replacements for milk (and milk products) as well as egg.  It seems as if there are quite a number of options out there–it’s just a matter of trying out these “experiments” and finding the ones our family likes best!

We’ve been thinking, talking, and doing research into this whole thing.  Did I mention it’s still very new to us?  While Hannah Rose’s allergies are on the milder side, we still want to avoid them completely.

She likes to go to McDonald’s occasionally.  OK, so probably more often than occasionally–but like most of us, she doesn’t always get what she wants as often as she likes.  I decided to look up McDonald’s Nutritional Information.  I wasn’t too surprised to find out that the Chicken McNuggets have milk.  Most breaded items will have either milk or egg.  I was pleased to find out their hamburgers (including buns) have no milk or egg.  However, I found it oddly strange that their French Fries have milk.  Apparently hydrolyzed milk is a starting point for their beef flavouring.

I’m finding some good resources on-line in regards to food allergies–one being The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Like I said, this is the beginning of a new journey–and I’m sure I’ll have much more to write on this subject as we travel down this road!

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14 Comments

  1. 6 June 2008 at 9:03 pm

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI’ve gotten a new cookbook: Allergy-Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood which contains recipes for avoiding eggs, dairy, nuts, and gluten. (Although not always all 4 ingredients at once!) I’ve also been researching on how to adjust current … […]

  2. thekeenanator said,

    6 June 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Wacky Food Allergies says it all. While milk and egg allergies I have heard of, here is one that you might not be too familiar with; meat allergies. A few days before I turned 16 (5 years ago now) I was diagnosed with an allergy to the hormones in Beef (red meat), Pork, Chicken, Veal, and others. Lets just say I stay away from meat all together. While being a vegetarian is doable, it sort of stinks for one who is forced to live the lifestyle. Anyway, I’m learning and soy is not only healthy, but it tastes great! And Whole Foods is a blessing I never knew about until this allergy. Just thought I’d drop by and let u know of this one. I wish you the best in your food experiments.

  3. 7 June 2008 at 12:03 am

    […] Welcome to the Wacky World of Food AllergiesI’m finding some good resources on-line in regards to food allergies–one being The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. Like I said, this is the beginning of a new journey–and I’m sure I’ll have much more to write on this subject as we … […]

  4. Libby said,

    7 June 2008 at 6:50 am

    My son is also allergic to milk and eggs, plus peanuts, shellfish, beef, and lamb. It sounds like you’ve made a good start in adapting for your daughter’s allergies. FAAN and Whole Foods are great resources. You might want to check out the Living with Food Allergies Blog Carnival:
    http://rationaljenn.blogspot.com/2008/05/living-with-food-allergies-carnival.html

    Good luck!

  5. bren said,

    7 June 2008 at 10:14 am

    @ thekeenanator
    I have actually heard of meat allergies before–but have never come across anyone with them. That bites that you developed an allergy to meat. Are you forced into a vegan lifestyle–no meat/animal products of any kind, or is it more vegetarian with some animal products being ok. Agree Whole Foods is a blessing! And thanks for dropping by.

  6. bren said,

    7 June 2008 at 10:15 am

    @Libby
    Thanks for the resource! In my book, the more resources the better!!

  7. Linda Coss said,

    7 June 2008 at 10:29 am

    Welcome to the wacky world of food allergies! I’m sorry you have to join us here.

    Although you found something that said that McDonalds burgers don’t contain milk, watch out for cross-contamination — there is usually cheese all over the grill, spatula, etc.

    You may also be interested in checking out my books. My cookbook, “What’s to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook,” contains over 145 recipes, all of which are completely free of milk, egg, and nut ingredients. “How To Manage Your Child’s Life-Threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips For Everyday Life” contains the nitty-gritty “how do you handle things” information that you can really only get from a fellow parent who’s been there.

    In addition to the other great resources that you have already discovered, my website, http://www.foodallergybooks.com, contains a very extensive list of food allergy resources, all conveniently arranged by category. I recommend you check to see if there’s a food allergy support group in your area.

  8. Anne said,

    7 June 2008 at 2:43 pm

    My daugther was diagnosed at 1 with soy, egg, dairy, wheat, corn, fish, shellfish allergies (she has now outgrown wheat and corn which makes life a LOT easier). Trying to eliminate all these foods was a challenge. Many trips to the grocery store with tears rolling down my face. The good news is that it becomes a routine and now 3 1/2 years later, I cannot even remember my life without food restrictions.

    Enriched rice milk is a great source of substitution to dairy (it is loaded with calcium). You replace it one for one in all recipes. The taste is a little sweeter than normal milk, but it just makes the food tastier. Fortified orange juice is another good source of calcium. Of course, leafy greens are best, but getting a young one to eat them is quite a challenge!

    Please be aware that some soy yogurts use a starting culture that is dairy based. This might not be a problem for you since your daughter has a mild allergy. But it should be of concern for children with dairy anaphylaxis. Instead of soy, you can try rice yogurt. Ricera makes a rice yogurt in 4 flavors. You can find them at whole foods or at your local natural food store.

    I am a member of the Loudoun Allergy Network and our website (www.loudounallergynetwork.org) contains a list of ingredients to look for that contain egg and dairy. In the beginning, I printed this list and brought it to the store. Some of the terms used for dairy and egg are obscure and you would never know unless you had that list that they contain them. This website also has a list of allergen free products, and websites where you can purchase them.

    Good Luck….

    /Anne

  9. allergymom said,

    9 June 2008 at 9:19 am

    Just wanted to let you know that McDonald’s chicken nuggets contain milk, however the crispy chicken strips (of course more expensive) do not contain milk or egg. I used to buy my daughter a cheeseburger happy meal and an order of chicken strips, then I’d eat the cheeseburger 🙂
    That was before we found out she is allergic to gluten too. Now we just avoid McDonalds all together, and I suppose (sigh) we’re better off without it.

  10. bren said,

    12 June 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for letting me know about the chicken strips–good to know she has a choice in that matter. However, I think the not being able to have their fries may mean we don’t visit McDonald’s as often.

  11. 23 September 2008 at 11:58 am

    Glad to find your post. My son was just diagnosed with peanut, tree nut and egg allergies. Makes grocery shopping and cooking quite the challenge. I’m just getting over the initial shock.

  12. bren said,

    23 September 2008 at 12:04 pm

    @Nothing Fancy

    I understand how overwhelming and challenging this can be. It does get easier in some respects. You get into new habits (like reading the labels on everything ALL the time!). There are a lot of resources out there.

    Best of luck and health!

  13. kellyrudnicki said,

    12 October 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I am sorry you have to join our “club!” seriously though, the initial diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming all at once. what to eat? what to buy? where to go? are all the questions i often asked. i am working on a dairy, egg and nut free cookbook that is geared toward baked goods and treats. my son is 6 now and sufferes from severe dairy, (used to egg but outgrew at 3), egg, peanut, tree nut and legumes. he also has asthma. checkout my food allergy blog for recipes that might help you out. if you are looking for something in particular post on my site what you are looking for and i am sure i can find it. my site is http://www.foodallergymama.com or click on my name.

  14. bren said,

    13 October 2008 at 7:10 am

    @kellyrudnicki
    Thanks for the welcome into the club! We are getting better at all this. Took a gander at your blog–and looks like some great info there! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to be starting a new food blog soon…have the bones together, but with the wedding in less than 2 weeks–just not the time to launch it properly. Will be including allergen free recipes we’re using. Course, always looking for more!


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