Cookie Pop Recipe on Mom It Forward

I’m blogging over at Mom It Forward today. Please visit their blog and check out my food allergy friendly Cookie “Cake” Pop recipe. Here’s a photo to entice you. And one of my baking inspiration enjoying this treat. To get the recipe, visit Mom It Forward. If you give the recipe a try, leave a comment here or there and let me know how it turns out. Got questions? Leave those in the comment section too or email me. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

Why I Don’t Like the Special Needs Label

The first time someone referred to my son as special needs it struck me like a slap across the face. It wasn’t intended that way; I just don’t consider him special needs. But I guess his food allergies are special needs. I just don’t want them to be. I want him to be normal, whatever than means. Food allergies are an invisible disability, which might be why I don’t think of them as special needs. I don’t see my son's food allergies when I look at him. I see an adorable three year old who melts my heart. Of course I would see him that way; I’m his mother. But others don’t see his food allergies either. They just see a toddler. And therein lies the threat. Last fall, before my son had any awareness of his allergies, we went to a parade where participants were throwing candy into the crowd.  A well-meaning grandmother (no relation) kept handing candy to us. I didn’t have the energy to explain to her why our son couldn’t have the candy. Thankfully, at two, he wasn’t all that … [Read more...]

Tips for Dealing with Food Allergies

This post is intended for first-time food allergy moms and for anyone who is not a mother to a food allergic child. Of my son’s food allergies – milk, eggs and peanuts – milk has been the hardest to manage because it hides in so many products on the grocery store shelves. I’ve had to become an expert at reading labels. It was really hard and overwhelming in the beginning. When he was first diagnosed, he was exclusively breastfed and it was my diet that had to change. I struggled with it. Sometimes I resented that I couldn’t just buy what I wanted to at the grocery store and that a normal shopping trip took twice as long. When I learned that his allergens could hide in medicines, lotions and other products, too, my frustration boiled over. Two years later, checking labels has become second nature. I have discovered a lot of alternatives to substitute in place of his allergens – and found a support group to deal with my frustrations. His food allergies are now just a part of our … [Read more...]

How to Make Pumpkin Soup

I love soup, especially in the winter, but I stopped buying it when my son was diagnosed with food allergies. I couldn’t find a soup that did not contain a milk product. It was probably for the best given the amount of sodium in most soups. I never thought about making soup myself until this fall when a plethora of butternut squash from the CSA begged to be pureed into a hearty soup. Making the soup was easier than I imagined and the end product was delicious. I was hooked! So when I checked out Kitchen Play’s progressive menu for December, sponsored by My Spice Sage, I knew right away I was going to give the Spicy Pumpkin Soup Shooters a try. I, of course, had to put my own twist on it. (Translation: adjust the recipe to accommodate the ingredients I did and did not have). I used less than a full can of pumpkin puree (hubby had used some for a cheesecake); I substituted soy milk for 2% because we don’t have cow’s milk in our house due to allergies; I added a little bit of sugar … [Read more...]

Facing Down the Food Allergy Bully

I haven’t written about food allergies in awhile. That hasn’t been on purpose. I’ve been making a list of posts; I just haven’t had the time to write them all but I need to. At the end of September, there seemed to be a flood of food allergy stories in the news (one from CNN and one from MSNBC on the same day, for example). I’m not sure what prompted the big release but many of them were tied to bullying. Its not an issue I’ve thought much about, at least not since I was in middle school, but its one I keep seeing and it breaks my heart. A fellow food allergy mom told me how her daughter was being harassed in school by a classmate. Another mom told me that her food-allergic son was threatened by a neighbor’s child. A friend emailed me an online dating ad that insinuated that people with food allergies were freaks. Here’s the thing that I’ve found so far on this food allergy journey: the day-to-day battle is such a struggle that its hard to see down the road to the issues we might … [Read more...]