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Alternatives and Creativity Managing Food Allergies

Posted Jan 14 2009 8:47pm
It can be very frustrating, particularly around the holidays, how many things a peanut allergy cannot have. As we all know, the limitations go much deeper than just avoiding peanuts. My sister-in-law, who has two tree nut allergic children, gave me some great advice so Tyler does not feel like he is missing out on all of the treats.

For her children, if there is something they see that they cannot have, she offers to make something similar as soon as possible. If someone brings brownies to scholl, they know, if they ask, mom will make safe brownies in the next day or so for them. This has helped them not feel like they are being totally deprived.

Recently, I started keeping safe candy and cookies in my purse. I am amazed how many times we are in situations where I need an alternative. Tyler is always happy to come and get his special safe treat that he knows I have stashed.

For some of you that manage multiple food allergies, I know this can be challenging. We dealt with milk and egg up until early this year. Yet, I still managed to make cakes and cookies that he could eat. Sometimes a little creativity was needed but we were always amazed how I could make Tyler not feel left out.

One thing that became a issue at the end of our milk allergy was Parmesan cheese on pasta. I drown my pasta in it. I love it! So, Tyler wanted to have some, too. After much thought, I came up with a safe alternative that he loved. Want to know my secret? Flour!

Believe it or not, I just sprinkled a little flour on his pasta (not enough to have much taste) and it looked just like my Parmesan cheese. He was always so pleased with his special cheese.

Creativity (and a sense of humor!) is a pre-requisite for a mom of a food allergic child. If you don't learn to develop it, managing it will be much more mentally draining.

I do have my limits when it comes to creativity and sense of humor. I recently mentioned to a friend how much I miss pecan pie this time of year. Amazingly she had a recipe for for a pecan pie alternative. It's nut free and she claims it tastes exactly like pecan pie. The main ingredient: pinto beans!

I admit, I'm not brave enough to try this. If anyone else is brave enough to try it and share their experience, I'll be happy to pass on the recipe. But, make sure you have a little Bean-o on hand, too!
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