Tag Archive: allergy

The allergy convo

When I first launched into this whole baby allergy thing, I was overwhelmed to say the least.  And I have a pretty strong background in food and sensitivities.  So I imagine it’s even worse for a non-food-obsessed parent with a new diagnosis – kinda like you’re stuck in the middle of a tornado of info.  Right at the time when you feel like you’re getting your bearings with your new little one! 

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For this reason I’m going to share what I feed P.  And what I do in social situations.  And all the stuff I learn as I go. 

I wasn’t going to have baby stuff on this blog, but it’s my life now.  Despite my best efforts, it consumes my every thought.  And I want to help other allergy mamas (if I can).  If you have zero interest in baby stuff, you can skip these posts.  I’ll still share other recipes on HHH. 

For the record, my little man CAN’T have: peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, soy, gluten, or dairy.

He CAN have: eggs, shellfish, fish, coconut*. 

*The FDA classifies coconut as a tree nut, but FARE considers it a palm fruit.

Stay tuned. 

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Please don’t take my blog as a replacement for medical care or advice.  If you have questions, see an allergist before introducing new foods or trying my recipes!

More allergy free baking with coconut flour

Success number one with coconut flour baking was enough of a confidence boost to encourage me to try again.  So I did.  This time with a few of the super ripe bananas we had on hand. 

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Success number two!

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Because the bananas were almost entirely brown I didn’t think much sugar was necessary and I was right!  This bread is sweet in a way that doesn’t taste “healthy”. 

I loved it.  And so did P.  I think it’s going to be the recipe I use for his birthday cupcakes.  Can you believe it’s almost 1 year??? 

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I did add molasses to add some flavor and a touch of sweetness since I was only using a mere 1 tbsp of maple syrup.  Feel free to use another liquid sweetener if you want (ie honey, agave).

Coconut Flour Banana Molasses Bread [dairy free, grain free, wheat/gluten free, nut free, FODMAPs friendly]

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine wet ingredients (first 6 listed) in one bowl, mix well.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients.

Pour into large greased loaf pan. 

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

*The large loaf pan seemed too big when I poured the batter in, but it expanded and ended up being a good fit.  It’s too small for a mini loaf pan, but could probably use a bit more batter to fill out a large one, so prepare to have a more squat loaf.  I didn’t care about this because it still tasted good.  Alternatively, you could pour the batter into muffin tins.  Baking time will need to be reduced significantly (I’d start with 25-30 minutes).

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I’m getting the hang of this super absorbent flour…and the texture and flavor are preferable to other GF baked goods which can be a little bland or dry if significant amounts of sweetener or oil or egg aren’t added.

I thought this loaf was nice because it only used a minimal amount of coconut oil and eggs.  Lots of grain free type breads call for 6-8 eggs and that’s just insane to me. 

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I’d rather eat my eggs on the side.  🙂

One small step…

I finally got up the nerve to try feeding P coconut this week. 

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The first day I only used coconut oil when I fried his eggs.  Seemingly no reaction (his chapped face has been giving me false alarms all winter…it’s very stressful).

The second day I tried coconut milk in a quinoa porridge.  He wasn’t a fan until I added banana and cinnamon, though, so he only ate a little.

Again, seemingly nothing.

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So then I baked these pumpkin muffins!

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First of all, they were really good.

Second of all, he ate them! 

A baked treat that both my son and I can enjoy without GI (me) or immune (him) responses!!!  This is one small step for our diets, but one giant leap for my ego. 

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My confidence in the kitchen has been waning lately (although all your supportive comments have helped me SO much I can’t even begin to thank you guys enough).

So I highly recommend making Juli’s muffins.  They are a small batch, which I like, because P only ate a quarter of one at once (I gave him scrambled eggs and avocado too).

I made a few small tweaks:

1. I made them with blueberries instead of chocolate chips (P loves blueberries and we have a lot thanks to a recent Costco trip).
2. I had to increase the coconut flour a bit (~1/3 cups + 1 tbsp).
3. Mine yielded 6 muffins and the cooking time was only 28 minutes.

I bet they’d be good with banana puree or applesauce in place of pumpkin too!  Ideas flowing. 

And the best part of alllll….they are nut free, dairy free, grain free, wheat free, FODMAPs friendly and vegetarian.

Disclaimer (aka stating the obvious): I’m not an expert by any means, so please don’t trust some random person from the internet before seeking advice from your pediatrician and/or allergist.  I did lots of research about coconuts before introducing them to my son, who is allergic to peanuts, sesame, and tree nuts.

To quote this site "The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) states: “Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet." 

Proceed as you wish.

Nuts and dairy and soy, oh my!

I’m going to gloss over this because I want to update you all (so when I reference dietary things in the future you know why and what is going on) but I don’t necessarily want to discuss the details because it’s my son’s life and I want to respect his privacy. 

His blood work revealed several allergies, including peanuts and sesame seeds.

Additionally, he’s allergic to wheat, soy, cashews (therefore, tree nuts), and dairy.

He is NOT allergic to eggs, fish, shellfish, or walnuts. 

So yeah, this is crazy.  At first I was really overwhelmed, seeing as we are vegetarians, and that eliminates a lot of food options.  I’m still kinda taking it all in. 

The doctor is optimistic that he can grow out of the wheat, soy, and dairy allergies, but it means completely avoiding them now (apparently this increases the likelihood that he will be able to tolerate them later). 

The nuts and seeds are more confusing.  Did you know sesame seed allergies are the new thing?  They are climbing in prevalence and are often associated with peanut allergies.  It’s weird that walnuts are okay but cashews are not, since both are tree nuts.  I’m not sure why they are differentiated in the blood work and what that means for other nuts, but our MD felt it was important to omit all nuts and seeds from his diet for now.  Which means zero hemp, flax, chia, sunflower, etc.  I made the mistake of googling myself down a rabbit hole and got scared when I discovered mustard and poppy seed allergies exist too.  And seed oils are in EVERYTHING! 

As you can see, I have a million thoughts on this and it’s hard to get one sentence written out before another thing pops into my head.  Our allergist is fantastic but I get the sense he doesn’t want me to get super focused on the yes/no list right now because it’s all subject to change (fingers crossed!).  That’s fine, but I’m really just trying to educate myself.  I wish there was a way to test every nut and seed.  That said, I guess there’s not a point since we are still supposed to avoid them all. 

Do you know how hard it is to make creative vegetarian food without all these foods?  Every peanut allergy replacement is made with either seeds or soy.  And don’t get me started on all the vegetarian proteins that get knocked out without hemp, soy, and dairy. 

Thank goodness for quinoa, beans and eggs.  And fish, I guess, although I’m not really loving all the mercury and radioactivity that goes along with it.  Soooo, yeah…our kitchen is looking different nowadays.

To make things even more confusing, P is going through a picky phase.  He eats bananas 100% of the time.  And that’s the only thing I can rely on.  He eats eggs 50% of the time.  Quinoa has a similarly mediocre average, even when made into pancakes (I’ve tried a sweet banana plum quinoa cake, a savory pea and egg cake, and a squash variation…all with a range of acceptance). 

I have tried every fruit and vegetable under the sun with a 2% success rate.  I swear without bananas the kid would starve. 

It is really frustrating.  It also has Kyle and I reevaluating our own diets.  In the venn diagram of our threesome, the middle section has very little overlap right now, which will certainly make things hard for family dinners going forward. 

And even though the MD told me my breast milk wouldn’t be affected by the foods he’s allergic to, I have to say, I’ve seen a noticeable difference in his eczema  since I stopped eating (or seriously reduced) nuts, seeds, and soy in my own diet.

But you know me.  I’m not about to give up any time soon.  I want to raise an adventurous eater with a diverse palate, in spite of the new limitations.  If he lives off of avocado and corn puffs until he’s 2 years old…well…maybe it will make for an interesting childhood story when he wins Top Chef season 46.  🙂

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Some of his faves (for now at least): apple (slices that he can gnaw on), banana, celery (again, he loves gnawing sticks), corn puffs (the plain Arrowhead Mills cereal), steel cut oats (made in the rice cooker with less liquid so they are clumps), avocado, pear, and melon (I froze a bunch of cantaloupe chunks in the summer so I just thaw them).

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What the [bleep] is with the allergies in kids today!?!?!