Allergy Free!

It was almost a year ago when we entered the Wacky World of Food Allergies.

Fortune has smiled upon us.  More accurately, fortune has smiled on Hannah Rose.

She was recently retested for her food allergies and she tested back allergy free!  She was quite excited–as were we of course!

We’ve been gradually re-introducing milk and egg back into her diet.  She’s enjoying eating all her favourite foods that she couldn’t eat.  Last night was pizza night, and she was quite excited to have cheese on her pizza again.  (We had been making cheese-less pizza for pizza night, which actually isn’t bad.  But the cheese does serve a grand purpose–it keeps the sauce saucy and adheres your toppings to the pizza!)

This morning she tried Irish butter for the first time.  (Kerrygold–you can get it at Costco…you can’t buy better butter!!!)  She thought it very yummy.

She’s on schedule to start drinking milk and eating eggs again next week.

Looks like I won’t be needing my Allergy Free Cookbook anymore!

The best part about all of this is no longer needing to worry that she may have an adverse reaction if she accidentally ingested milk or egg.

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Let Them Eat Cake!

I know I’ve been MIA lately–it’s all the wedding planning, I tell you!!!

With Hannah Rose being allergic to milk and egg–she can’t eat any of our wedding cake.  (Our ring-bearer is also allergic to egg).  So I was on the hunt for something they could have that would be yummy–I just haven’t the time to whip up some cupcakes from scratch for them.

Enter Divvies.

They make cupcakes, cookies, popcorn, and candies–all Peanut-Free, Tree Nut Free, Egg Free, and Dairy Free.  They’re out of NY–but ship all over the country.  So we thought we’d give them a try.

We ordered chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting.  (You do know that Hannah Rose is a girlie-girl, yes??)  They arrived in 3 days.  They were well packaged.  They sell their cupcakes a dozen at a time, and they came with a generous sized tub of frosting and sprinkles.

The taste?  Like mine–which is to say they were good.  They’re a bit more crumbly than your normal cupcake, but I noticed the same thing when I started making egg-free cupcakes.

The price?  It’s a bit on the high side for cupcakes–but for some occasions it will definitely be money well spent–like our wedding.  And yeah–we’ll be getting chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting.  Figured why not?  There’s the bride’s cake, the groom’s cake–why can’t we have flower girl (daughter of the groom) cupcakes???

If you don’t want to go the ordering route, and would rather some a few bucks and make the cupcakes yourself–there’s a great cookbook I’d recommend: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

And Kristine, thanks for the link to Divvies!  You’re a life-saver!!

What’s in YOUR Food?

Thinking of the wacky world of food allergies–thought I would start a conversation about wacky food combinations–you know the HUH?!?! you experience when you find out that whatever it is you (or your child) is allergic to is in something you NEVER expected it to be in–be it egg, milk, soy, peanuts, gluten, wheat, whatever…

Topping my list at the moment is the whole MILK in McDonald’s Fries thing.

I’ve also heard (though been unable to substantiate) that Big Boy Restaurants put pancake mix in scrambled eggs.

Could also be fun to do the opposite–for instance, did you know there is NO milk or eggs in Oreo Cookies?!  Hannah Rose was happy to find that one out!!!

Ingredients Lists for Food Allergens

The following pics are a couple examples of cut and carry sheets that you can get at Kids Health

They have a lot of good information on food allergies–including these great cut and carry sheets that help you interpret food ingredient labels more effectively.  It’s crazy–but “egg” isn’t always written as egg on ingredient lists.  It’s part of the fun here in the wacky world of food allergies!

Something we’re learning to do is to always read food labels.  Obviously.  And by always–that’s even on packages of food that we’ve read the ingredients on before and determined them to be “safe.”  Manufacturers sometimes change ingredients up.

Here I’ve pictured the cut and carry sheets for milk and egg, but they have them for others!

Hope some of you with food allergies (or kids with food allergies) find these useful.  I know we are!!!

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!