Lament of a Food Allergy Mom

For the past several hours I have been doing something that's against my personal code of conduct.



I guess that's kind of strange for a blogger to be anti-web-surfing, but it is what it is. I hate it. It feels like the biggest waste of time. I go looking for a simple answer on some query and two hours later...I've wandered over to Facebook a dozen times, stumbled on something that requires brain bleach, learned how to make a pinata, read about some random strangers's vacation to South Dakota, and scanned through hundreds of inaccurate, outdated, or inapplicable bits of information.

And don't even get me started on Pinterest. (What's the big deal anyway???)

Anyway...I was headed somewhere with this...

Oh, that's right. Food allergies. Or more specifically feeding children with food allergies. For the past several hours I've been web surfing looking for recipes that are gluten free and/or dairy free. Because it's a necessary evil. Because I don't know where else to turn for information on how to do that. Because I don't have the financial means to hire a live in cook.

The live in cook is me.
And I don't get paid near enough.


As if it wasn't hard enough to feed a "normal" family.

You know how it goes. Every bloody night that same question of despair, destruction, and doom:

WHAT'S FOR DINNER??? dinner...dinner...dinner...dinner...

Now imagine that one of your children is allergic to dairy--and we're not talking lactose intolerant here, folks. Think more like hives, swelling of body parts, closing off of airways, stabbing of epi-pen, racing to emergency room kind of allergic whenever he touches milk, cheese, butter, cheese powder, yogurt, sour cream, cream soups, etc, etc, etc.

Now, let's make things even more interesting, shall we? Add a second child that has Celiac Disease. This means she cannot eat anything with gluten, wheat, barley, rye, and even oats. No hives or closed airways here. Nope. It's "simply" an auto-immune disorder so just the body attacking itself whenever the smallest crumb of gluten is ingested resutlting in stomach aches, chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive, oh and an increased risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, and intestinal cancer. No big deal.

Go ahead. Go on. Make dinner.

Drawing a blank??

Yeah. Me too. Every single wretched night.

One of my 2012 New Year's resolutions is to have dinner on the table every night. Healthy, dairy free, gluten free, fast food free, hopefully not taste free dinner. It feels so monumental; it's worthy of a New Year's resolution spot.

It's like this huge elephant crushing me to death in my own kitchen. You know what that saying is about what to do with an elephant? Something about eating it one bite at a time. And hey! As long as the elephant is gluten- and dairy-free I'd be more than happy to serve it at dinner. But after two hours of web surfing for recipes I failed to pull up one single recipe that highlighted elephant as the main ingredient.

But at least I read the synopsis on "American Beauty".  And played a mean game of Word Warp. And of course updated my Facebook status. Twice.


P.S. I've had several people ask how I knew that my children had food allergies/sensitivities/issues. I'm dishing up on that tomorrow. Pun intended.


Mel said...

Here are a couple sites I found when baking for a friend with Celiac's and a dairy allergy:




The last site is often a little *too* healthy for my tastes and not all gluten-free, but it's a good start. I find that most vegan, having already become creative at ingredient substitution, often come up with gluten-free recipes. (I have a pretty awesome recipe for dairy- and gluten-free cupcakes if you're ever interested.) Best of luck in cooking dinner! (And if you ever come to Portland, there are a ton of restaurants here that are vegan and gluten-free. It's food allergy mecca.)

Nicole said...

Yikes. Just yikes. No wonder you're feeling the pressure! Well, you're probably headed in the right direction to turn to the internet. There are recipes and how-tos about EVERYTHING. Even trips to South Dakota, it sounds like. Good luck, mama. You can do this.

The Author said...

This is how I got started
She also has a link on her page for dairy allergies under "Live Casein Free" which is a gluten and dairy free cooking.

I thought it was crazy hard in the beginning, but now it is second nature. You'll get there.

Jodi said...

It was too hard and overwhelming for me to cook milk, egg, wheat and peanut free for my entire family. I tried for awhile but then I found my own way. I decided to continue to cook my favorite recipes as always and just modify them in my own way for Jonah. He's still eats pretty much the same thing we are, but just in a wheat, dairy and peanut free form. I know some people feel the whole family should eat allergy free when there is someone with as severe of allergies as Jonah has, but I thought and prayed and cried etc about it and came to my own decision. There is a lot of help out there, but it was almost too much for me. I think eventually you kinda just have to find your own groove and of course you have and you will continue to! I feel your pain - multiple food allergies (or any food allergies) are so scary, frustrating and a lot to handle on top of everything else life deals out! Good luck!:)

amber-girl said...

Wow! Maybe search online for cookbooks you can buy? And then use the cookbooks and put together meal plans for each night. Once you compile a bunch of recipes, then it will be easier to overcome the obstacle that every mom faces of what to make for dinner!

Amy said...

There is a gluten free store near my house. I will buy a book and hold it hostage until we can get together. Sound good? :) Or I can just mail it to you. That is crazy and hard to figure that out. What a drastic change that was last year when you discovered the gluten allergy. Wow! I would suggest vegan food, but a lot of that has wheat and grains. Not good for you. How about quinoa? Can that be eaten? I have some good quinoa recipes from a vegan cookbook. But then spices quite often have gluten in them hu? Wow. I will pray that you can find some sort of cookbook to help you!

MiMi said...

I bet that Pinterest has gluten free boards...LOL


Related Posts with Thumbnails