So I have been invited to participate in a blog hop by Mishaps And Mayhem Of A Gluten Free Life. The idea is to get a bunch of people together to share food allergy stories. You can read more about it here.
A daunting idea to this baby blogger, but here’s my contribution…
Recently when my cousin Krystal put her youngest daughter on a gluten free, dairy free, egg free diet, it became apparent what a juggling act this would be. Krystal has three children – should she cook “special” meals for her youngest and keep feeding the others their usual meals? Or how would she get all three children to eat the “new” food? And what about situations outside her control like food sharing at school and daycare?
Here are a few ideas we came up with to make the transition a little easier.
Research, Research, Research!
Health food shops have heaps of allergy free food on offer, but they are often quite expensive, especially when you are switching your whole pantry over. Spend a day going from store to store, and do a price comparison on the things you might need, like breakfast cereals, bread, cake mixes, gravy mixes, muesli bars and biscuits. Each supermarket chain will have a different range of gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and nut free products. Even Aldi now has a “free from” range worth checking out. Gluten free folk have an especially large range to choose from these days, so it can be exciting to discover what’s out there.
Get to know your additive numbers
Potential allergens can creep into products without a whole lot of warning, disguised as thickeners, stabilisers, emulsifiers… you get the picture. Get yourself an additive codebreaker and take the time to learn which numbers to avoid, and when in doubt, avoid processed foods with long lists of numbers in their ingredients. Or if you are unsure, just avoid processed foods!
Make a batch of cupcakes and put them in the freezer at daycare or school. When someone has a birthday celebration, staff can defrost one of so that your child is not left out when the cake appears.
Get your kids to participate
Kids are more likely to eat new food if they help to prepare it. Why not get everyone to help create yummy allergy-free meals together? They can taste new ingredients along the way, and when the meal is ready, everyone gets to eat the same thing.
Ok, so I’ve given you a few tips to get you started, but I’m sure there are heaps more. Got any handy hints? Leave your comments below!