Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

Archive for the tag “food allergies”

Rearranging….it’s all about the order

When people hear that my family contains several individuals with multiple food allergies I am asked “HOW DO YOU DO IT”

They mean…cook/bake/eat

Well they eat the same everyone else does…

their food goes on their plate they usually use their utensils and occasionally they use a napkin.


the cooking and baking

that’s different and often …rearranged

but not usually more time consuming…at least now that I’m used to it.

For example

we have to eliminate Dairy, Eggs and Nuts

Nuts is easy….for MOST recipes they are optional

in the few they are not you can try unsalted sunflower seeds or oats or another grain based product

Eggs are fairly simple as well

I tend to rely on either tofu, soy sour cream and creamcheese as substitute for egg or for ground flax seed

1 egg equals 1/4 cup soy product(if using tofu you have to puree it)


1 egg equals 1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 2 tbsp warm water


got that?

Dairy substitutes are pretty easy as well

light flavored olive oil for butter(helps maintain that buttery touch for the tongue)


Fleischman’s no salt margarine(I check ingredients every time just in case)


Earth Balance baking sticks

for milk use soy or coconut milk (our allergist at children s hospital has said to us repeatedly  that coconuts are not technically a nut in the same way the other nuts are…of course if you are unsure stick with what your Dr. tells you.)

now I suppose you might like a recipe.

the biggest difference is the “order of operations”…. in other words…time to rearrange

when making muffins/cakes/ cookies/most bars

the easiest thing to do is mix all wet ingredients in one bowl

oils or butters


soy products

vinegar/lemon juice


then the dry in the next bowl

flour, baking soda, baking powder

sugar is the only exception

here we go

wet ingredients together

stir in sugar

then add the dry ingredients

pop into a hot oven


Here is the recipe

(my grammas)

Apple Cranberry Muffins

1 cup oatmeal(dry)

1 cup plain yogurt

1 egg(I mean 1/4 cup egg substitute as mentioned earlier)

3/4 cup  brown sugar

2 tsp orange rind

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped cranberries

2 tbsp sugar

1 tart apple chopped

Preheat oven to 375

Mix oats with yogurt

Add egg, brown sugar, oil, and orange rind.  Stir to combine

in  a separate bowl combine  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.  Sift over wet ingredients fold together,

mix together cranberries and sugar and apple

stir carefully into the muffins

spoon into muffin liners and bake for 20-25 minutes makes about 12 muffins


The Family Cookbook…on Allergies

Many years ago I created a family cookbook,

After getting married, before kids, I requested recipes from my family and my husbands family.  Those who submitted recipes (and stories about family foods/gatherings) got copies of the cookbook.

Now that book is mostly a memory thing.

Many of the recipes are difficult to recreate without peanuts, treenuts, eggs. and dairy

and quite frankly even though not everyone in my family is allergic to all those I try to make most of our food safe for everyone


ok…sometimes I am but usually they eat what I make …well except for the one that hates veggies and if he sees any in his sauce painstakingly picks them out…even minced onions

But really even with the allergies, and even though I have fond memories of family meals, and eating some of these high carb delights …it just isn’t the way we eat anymore

I buy products with very little chemicals and very little salt in them

so processed soups (think : french bean casserole,and all those old fashioned stove top-to-oven delights) are out(yeah I could take the time to make my own dairy free cream soup…but…well….meh)

Occasionally I use Duncan Hines cake mix …the yellow kind as that is still “safe” for the kids, that box plus a small can of soda has saved the day a few times when I needed a quick batch of cupcakes for a school treat.

back to casseroles

so many of them have cheese.

well now we serve it on the side so the one who can’t have dairy can at least try the casserole(even if he won’t eat much of it)

the rest of us sprinkle cheese on top at our plate…not quite the same effect as a crispy browned cheese topping.

but I’m really not complaining…just stating reality

things change, they have to and when they do we try to embrace that…though not always perfectly.


Every once in awhile I find an old family recipe that has no eggs or dairy in and that is what I’ll share with you now.

I know it’s not winter but save this recipe…you won’t regret it


1/3 cup shortening(I use dairy free butter)

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups dark molasses


stir in 1/2 cup cold water

in another bowl sift together

6 cups sifted flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

add the flour mixture to the wet mixture

in a small dish mix together 2 tsp baking soda with 3 tbsp cold water and add that to the bowl

mix it all together


roll out to 1/2 inch thick(I roll thinner) cut out shapes

bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so until no imprint when touched.


1st Day of School….new schools new challenges

My oldest will be in highschool this year

Before now



a teacher

was responsible for making sure

Epi Pens

and Inhalers were with him


and they were kept in the school office

not this year

this year

they are with him.

when he remembers to grab them

I sigh

I worry

I lecture

I throw the epipen trainer at him


I scream

“emergency emergency

your throat is closing up

you didn’t realize something you ate had nuts in it

quick quick what do you do?”

and then he groans or yells back depending on his mood

and demonstrates his skills for me

ending with…


and saying…

call 911

I anguish

Have I prepared him well enough?

he’s been reading food labels for several years now

Have I remembered to tell him everything he needs to think of?

I know, I know

Let go and let God.

but I’m mom

and if anything ever happened to him because of something I failed to prepare him for…

please pray…

for both of us

An Alphabet of Products I Love

So I’ve been thinking

as a mom of

food allergic kids

What are some of our favorite products?

{scroll down for a list of our favorite brands}


Apple Sauce(no sugar added)





Bread(we like village hearth)


cheese(not safe for our dairy allergic but the rest like it)

Chicken(I like white meat the rest like dark)

cheetos(I don’t think that counts as food but certain family members do)

Dr. Pepper(for when a migraine hits)


elbow macaroni(careful of the brand some are made on equipment that also processes dairy/egg)

fresh fruit(buy organic when possible and regardless wash thoroughly)

frozen juice(100% juice only)

fish(even within brands it can be difficult to find consistency always read labels)

frozen pizza(every busy house needs a few on hand for our dairy allergic we keep pizza sauce and pepperoni and he makes his own bread pizza in the microwave)

fake almond extract(does just as well as the real…and contains no nuts!)

ground meat(I cook up 6 pounds at a time and then freeze in recipe size portions for a fast meal!)

graham crackers(we like honey maid)

grape juice(has to be the dark purple(the kids think white grape juice tastes weird!)

green bananas(so when the ripe ones are gone the green ones will be ready to eat)

hard rolls(more label watching!)


italian dressing(label watch there are some brands that are dairy free)

Jello(we stick with the name brand for best results…however if you need to avoid red dye you can always buy knox and make it with fruit juice)

knox gelatin(some day I’ll share my recipe for old fashioned knox blox here)

ketchup(we like heinz)

kleenex(we like whatever is on sale)

lunch meat(we go for low sodium, and low fat, no msg…when possible make a turkey breast and slice it up)

marshmallows(watch for eggs)

meat sticks(we like klements, no msg)

navel oranges

noodles(we buy rice noodles, soba noodles, and regular wheat noodles, always watching ingredients lists for allergens)

Olive oil(specifically light flavored, as it works in both sweet and savory dishes)


onions(always have onions, and onion powder on hand!)



pizza sauce(watching labels for no dairy)

pizza rolls


Q  ??? nothing here

rice milk

ranch dressing(watching labels for no eggs)

string cheese



sour cream(we like daisy)


thousand island(no egg or dairy)

U ???

Vegetables(they prefer fresh)

watermelon(in season only)


yogurt both dairy and non dairy(we like greek yogurt and the silk variety for the non dairy folks)

zytec(not a food but our go to allergen fighter!)

some brands we love

Daisy(dairy products, made with few ingredients compared to other brands)

Eden foods

Eden Foods - Pure & Purifying

Enjoy life foods

Hodgson Mill

Hodgson Mill Flours & Meals

King Arthur Flour

Just Tomatoes, etc.(freeze dried fruits and veggies)

Just Tomatoes, Etc.!

In Case you didn’t notice

our list is comprised of many “whole foods”

and not very many “processed foods”

having multiple individuals

with multiple food allergies in your life will do that to you

the only real way to get as close to completely safe as possible

is to make the food yourself

from scratch



isn’t that difficult


is way healthier

not just for the food allergic individuals

but yourself as well

stay healthy

stay safe

keep reading those labels!

a NEW dish: Baked Sausage and Pepper Ziti

I love cook books

to me they are more than

getting a recipe for supper

or dessert

they are for reading.





looking at the pictures

analyzing the recipes


like any good



I check them out from the library

I salivate over

new recipes

(even the ones I could never make for my kids because of nuts or egg whites or whatever)

but yesterday I saw one from a good housekeeping cookbook

and the recipe is on their website!

and it is ….


Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti

the house still smells like it!

(it does contain I save some out for my dairy allergic child prior to adding the cheese so he can try some!)

I used sweet italian sausage(the recipe says to use either sweet or hot)

and I used penne pasta as that was what I was able to find at the store

but it is super simple and could easily be made in a dutch oven!(a one pot meal is always appreciated)

to make in one pot cook the pasta first then set aside

then follow recipe as written

and …my photo:


enjoy…I know what we’ll be having for left overs today…

my oldest says this recipe is a definite MAKE AGAIN!

Garlic Bread My Way!(no dairy)

Garlic Bread My Way!

so my kids love garlic bread but as one can’t have dairy

we can’t just buy some from the freezer section and pop in the oven

what we can do is buy a loaf(or in this case two) of french bread

slice almost completely through(or buy pre sliced if you want)

in a small bowl mix together 1/4 cup of light flavored olive oil per loaf of bread

then add in

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

stir together and using a pastry brush

carefully open up and brush on one side of each piece of bread, leaving loaf in loaf shape

anything left in the bowl? brush it over the top of the loaf!

cover with tinfoil

and bake at 350 for 5-10  minutes depending on how crispy you like it


(sometimes instead of the above recipe I’ll mix olive oil with a dry Italian dressing mix….they love that too!)

and ….its safe for them! whoot whoot

PAPER PLATES: yes please!

So we are heading into that time of the year

when activities pile up

time available shrinks

and the house rather than spring cleaning becomes

spring piles(piles of clothes that need to be washed, and dishes that need to be cleaned)

to make life easier…once a week(when we are really busy)

we use paper plates.

argh…I said it….paper plates…the environmentalist in me is shrieking in horror

the mom in me

sighing a deep sigh of relief!

no matter how hard I plan

with two growing boys

leftovers are not what they used to be

there aren’t as many

and they

don’t last as long as they used to .

So end up cooking more, and doing more dishes…

how else do I stay sane?

Tyson Chicken nuggets.(or patties, or strips)

one meal a week during busy weeks its fast they can pop it in the microwave themselves!

and….its safe for them!(well…relatively) it contains nothing they are Allergic to YAY!

fresh veggies  washed and cut in massive amounts at the beginning of the week usually last Sunday through Thursday

pasta made in a big batch maybe gets us 3 days tops so if you don’t put anything on it

one kid that hates sauce can eat it plain

the other can top with pizza/spaghetti sauce and with the nuggets have a meal!

its not always fancy

its not always pretty

but we try to always eat one meal a day together(when possible)

and if paper plates and chicken nuggets calm the time constraints….so be it!


Leckerli as we call it or “Honey Cookies” if you don’t know the language

OK so these are a favorite of mine


they call for nuts grrrrrr

which means if I make them

I’ll be the only one eating them

as  2 of the  kids have nut allergies

but tada…substitutes work in this recipe!

so here is the recipe

and my substitutes will follow in bold

11/2 cups whole-unblanched, unsalted almonds( 3/4 cup wheat germ, or oat bran or ground unsalted raw shelled pumpkin seeds)

3/4 cup honey

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp grated lemon peel

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp brandy

4 cups of sifted flour

dash salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 cup powder sugar

3 tbsp water


Grind almonds(or measure out the wheat germ, or the oat bran, or grind the shelled pumpkin seeds) finely in blender

Pour brandy and lemon juice over the almonds(or wheat germ, or oatbran, or pumpkin seeds) and lemon peel

In a saucepan, bring honey, and granulated sugar just to boiling, stirring the whole time – do not boil

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes

Stir in the lemon juice mixture

In a large bowl

sift flour with salt, baking soda and spices.

make a well in the middle of the dry mixture

pour the honey mixture into the well you just made

Work it together

it will be very stiff! VERY

Preheat oven to 350 the powder sugar and the 3 tbsp water


get ready and mix together


Divide dough into 4 parts, wrap 3 in plastic wrap so they don’t dry out

roll out 1 part between 2 sheets of wax paper to a 6×8 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick

Bake on a parchment paper lined pan for about 10 minutes or just till golden.

as soon as they come out of the oven use a pastry brush to coat the top of each with a thin layer of the powder sugar mixture

take off pan and allow to cool

repeat with each of the parts of dough


ok so I didn’t use parchment in the picture but usually…I do!


tip for

using  the wax paper….USE IT!

the dough is stiff…but very sticky as well

roll it out between two sheets of wax paper

then peel of one layer of wax paper

turn it over onto a fresh sheet of wax paper then

peel off the other layer of wax paper

then using a pizza cutter slice the dough into strips

sounds time consuming but goes fast when you ger in the groove


this dough can also be rolled out and then cut out with cookie cutters!

and did you notice the only substitute was for nuts the recipe already does not call for eggs or dairy!

ok I yelled

the other day the annoyances were too much.

What’s for supper??(as soon as breakfast was done)

I don’t like that…

Wha’ts for supper??(as they are packing their lunches)

any thing else??

What’s for supper??(as soon as they walk in the door from school)

whats for supper??(you asked three times already and  the answer hasn’t changed just because you don’t like the answer)

making supper can be a drag

and when you finally have put together a meal that is safe for everyone….whines of” I don’t want that” get tiring…awfully quick.


so…I yelled

sick of being


sick of people whining they’d rather have something else

sick of the food allergies

can I have one day…just one day when everyone can have anything.

one day when I don’t have to read labels 5 times

one day when I don’t have to worry that the redness on my child’s face is the start of a reaction

so ok I yelled

and they

they covered their ears and asked if I was finished.


and in a few minutes I was

we sat down to eat

and they ate

and I ate

and one more meal

under the belt

where all walked away

without an allergic reaction…

then off to bed and the day starts again in the morning.

I don’t need to be told I’m blessed, blessed to have a roof over my head

blessed to have food to put on the table

blessed that we have knowledgeable doctors to help us through the food allergies and other allergic conditions that arise

and with that in mind

tomorrow…I will try to not yell


when they ask….

What’s for dinner???


My Child is dairy Allergic….NOT LACTOSE INTOLLERANT

So we recently visited the school my son will be at next year…and as most he will have to take home ec.

I mentioned to the teacher that he is ALLERGIC to DAIRY, EGGS, and ALL NUTS!

and she said…

thats ok we’ve dealt with lactose intolerance before


people who say that….just don’t get it

in other words….I will be riding that teacher like no tomorrow and making sure she works with me to keep my child safe and by the end of the semester their will hopefully be no doubt in her mind about the severity of FOOD ALLERGIES!

Seriously there IS a difference

once again folks

Lactose Intolerance 

may give you the runs, make your tummy hurt and generally make you feel sick



Please folks….it gets old it gets redundant but you have to

-advocate for your children

-educate your children

-educate others

and try despite all odds against you to keep your patience



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