We’re back! Today we are suppose to talk about our favorite allergen-free alternative.
But I would like to kill two birds with one stone and talk about tomorrow’s topic, too: Hardships/realities of Food Allergies.
Now, this is a topic that I can get behind…
It’s hard enough having to make sure that my child does not consume anything with his allergens in them—but the COST of these allergy-free foods is CRAZY?
Am I right? Can I have an Amen?!
I mean, seriously, folks. My hubs is a pastor and we have a foundation for the homeless…for a living. And because my kid has allergies I have to pay nearly $4 for his itty bitty box of milk?!
I am not sure I have a favorite allergen replacement because the cost of all of them STINK!
Plain and simple…STINK!
I guess the applesauce packs. They aren’t too costly.
Or the gummy candies—because he can eat them.
But that isn’t too healthy, now, is it.
Fresh fruit—yes! But I am also a mom to three—2 of them in their toddler phase (although Max is now phasing out of that). Which means I am lucky if I make it out of the house with shoes and shorts not pajamas and slippers.
And I live in a foreign country—in a VILLAGE! Which is serene and lovely. But sometimes I just miss home soooooooooooo much! I miss being close to family. I miss the convenience of my home country. I just do. Such is life.
Back to the fruit (went off on a tangent)…
So, yes. Fresh strawberries and raspberries and blueberries.
But what little kid likes apple skin?
Not mine…So the more affordable fruit I have to prepare.
And then there are grapes.
But a large portion of grapes in Poland have seeds. So we go for the seedless grapes—which then are 3xs the cost.
Finally watermelon. But it’s sticky and doesn’t travel well.
Well, there are dried raisins. That’s true. But then it’s not fresh, right?
Something that is not fruit:
Popcorn is cheap. It sure is—but we all know popcorn is best when popped hot.
Perhaps sunflower seeds????
Any sunflower seed I have given him in Poland has caused extreme welting. I am not sure if it is the seed itself or the processing plant. Most of the language on the packaging is in Russian.
So then that leads to my paranoia about all seeds and processing—which leads me to only purchase Chia seeds. I throw those in his smoothies.
Potato chips??? Well, those may be his favorite snack, but I am really trying to cut back on throwing those at him—since, you know, it’s not remotely healthy. Addicting, yes. Healthy? Heavens no!
And finally pretzels. But not the crackers with the letters because they have whey. Nor the crackers with the animals because they have whey. But the round pretzels, twisted pretzels, and the straight pretzels, he can eat.
Be careful if you eat sourdough pretzels in the States, however, they may also have dairy. Fresh and hot pretzels, too. UWAGA (which means—be careful/caution).
But, after a while, pretzels start to taste like cardboard when you consume too many.
And, do you ever notice, that pretzels and peanuts are always touching in the grocery aisle? So I walk down the aisle nearly screaming—KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF! DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING! THERE ARE LOTS OF OWIES HERE!!!!
And my poor 3-year-old panics and hugs my leg. Okay. Okay—he’s gotten past that. But he walks dead in the center of the aisle and doesn’t touch a thing.
Tic tacs at the checkout and gum…Because most of the other grab food has milk chocolate, milk, or peanuts. Yea for us 😉
But, really…we do have alternatives that we use with everything. And, you mostly can’t tell the difference at all!
Oat milk…We use it in all recipes.
Soy yogurt…You can even make your own if you have a starter yogurt.
Coconut oil…It’s fantastic…and not too coconutty at times.
There was an amazing rice/coconut cheese that actually melted in hot cheese sandwich that we found in Germany. Unfortunately, we haven’t found any in Poland. But it is brilliant and out there. It’s just hard for us to find.
Carob chocolate chips…No soy or milk. Max seems to be able to tolerate these. These are also harder to find.
Rice pudding. It’s not a chalky-tasting as soy pudding. You just have to make sure it is rice pudding with NO MILK.
Homemade chicken soup with egg noodles. We have to be careful with store-bought broths and flavorings as many include beef, whey, or peanut oil.
I’ve blogged plenty about Cookie Butter. It’s sweet—but it is also divine. It can be made in cakes, on apples, on sandwiches, and so much more. We love it. My kids even eat it by the spoonful like we used to eat peanut butter.
And, if you missed it above, we love using chia seeds in smoothies. The trick is to blend them plenty up, otherwise, it has the raspberry seed texture to it, and you will feel as if you need to pick at your teeth. They help give your kid an extra bit of protein. Heavens knows, our kids need all the extra help they can get.
Tortillas. We make Max hot tortillas like we would make our daughters cheese crips. We just make his with his “butter” or cinnamon and sugar like a special treat.
And, of course, chips and salsa! Who can’t go to town on those?
We love waffles and crepes, and we make our own. They also save well to be eaten on a second day, if you so desire. And you can even warm your waffles in the toaster, if you so choose.
Here are our favorite recipes for waffles and crepes (I think I have shared the waffle one before, but it’s always good to see it again).
The most important thing to remember, is just switch out your allergy owies with the replacements that work for you:
Here’s the cookie butter we tend to buy while in the States. Holland has a different brand—but just as good.
This cookie butter, however, is fantastic because it comes in CRUNCHY or SMOOTH. Just like peanut butter!!!!
My 2-year-old has no allergies. But because her brother (a year older) does, I have raised the two of them nearly exactly the same with food items. My littlest didn’t even have a drop of real ice cream until we were recently at a friend’s house for lunch. I tried to give her the sorbet her brother was eating, but her big sister (10 years old) was eating real ice cream—and she had a bite. My youngest (the two year old allergy free kid) has not wanted a single bite of sorbet since.
It’s made it a bit more difficult for me now. She knows she likes whipped cream. He watches with big eyes.
They share the same cereal milk (oat milk)…
But when I have a big frothy coffee, she can eat some of the froth—where he cannot.
There is a lot that is not fair in the life of an allergy child—but I had to realize that just because Max has allergies, doesn’t mean Josephine has to live as if she does. And, although I try my best to make them the same foods, there are times when she does get an extra bite here or there. And so I always try to have a little something extra for Maxie on hand. Such as Oreo cookies. Or gummy candies. And he doesn’t even have to share.
If you have great dairy and nut free allergy favorites, I would LOVE to hear about them!
And, believe me, if you have frustrations. You are not alone. I hear you. I understand you.
Here’s to us raising our Allergy Kids!