Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting to know us and birthday cake!

I am so excited to be a part of this blog! For me recipes need to be easy to follow and easy to make or I wont touch them lol! This blog has given me many ideas on ways to cook for my 1 yr old daughter with many food intolerance's. We finally did allergy testing and all tests, except for grass, came back negative as we thought, because there is no testing to check for GI response allergies (or intolerance's as they like to call them). We have a plan to slowly introduce dairy/soy/rice/bananas and a variety of other foods that our daughter has reacted poorly to but for right now I will be learning to cook free of all of these.

Our first obstacle....Birthday Cake and frosting!

Since I am fairly new to cooking with many restrictions I visited our local Whole Foods and found many birthday cake mixes. One that I especially thought looked promising is a yellow cake mix by Cherrybrook Kitchen (most all of their products are dairy/egg/peanut/soy free.) It does call for butter so i picked a tub of Earth's Balance dairy/soy free butter and brought it home to make. It was so easy as it only calls for butter, water and the cake mix, and tasted GREAT! Its a bit more dense then your average cake but well worth it to be able to let my daughter have cake on her birthday.

To frost it I made a very simple frosting that required powdered sugar, "safe" butter,almond flavoring and a bit of water to smooth it out. I first melted the butter (the amount of butter depends on how much you want to make. I used about 1/2 cup of butter.) I then mixed in powdered sugar to make it clumpy and added about a teaspoon of water just to smooth it out. If you want it thicker you will want to add more powdered sugar. After I got it to the consistency I wanted I added 1/4 tsp of almond flavoring and 3 drops of pink food coloring. It turned out great and my daughter loved it! You can tell it tasted good by how she dug into it! For everyone else I made mini cupcakes with the same cake mix and frosting mix.

Everyone loved them and couldn't even tell they were allergy free!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our Story

Since I've been introducing the new allergy cooks, I thought it would be appropriate to share a little bit of our story, too.

In October 2007, our youngest son (then 5 months old) had an anaphylactic reaction to his first bottle of milk-based baby formula. After allergy testing, a severe dairy allergy was confirmed as well as allergies to egg whites and egg yolks. Because his allergies were life threatening, we immediately began living as a dairy-free/egg-free family. A year later, peanuts were added to his list of allergens.

As I began making more and more from scratch, I found that it was often cheaper (and healthier) to make our own meals and not rely heavily on pre-packaged, processed foods. As I had the time, I recorded some of our favorite recipes here as a way to organize them. I had no idea that it would become a source to meet other allergy families, swap recipes, and share stories. Being in contact with other families has been such a blessing!

2009 began our intentional journey of integrating more whole foods while continuing the strict avoidance of his allergens. I began using more whole wheat flour, coconut oil, sucanat, and the like in our recipes during this time. Baby steps, as they say. :)

In December 2009 at his annual allergy testing, it was determined that our son's allergies had disappeared! All tests came back negative! Gone! God is so good! He passed the live milk challenge that was conducted under medical supervision. He has also passed at-home tests of baked-in egg. He won't touch a straight egg yet. LOL! We will do at-home testing for peanuts after he turns three in May 2010.

2010 will mark the beginning of learning how to cook without limitations of allergens, but within the limitations of nourishing foods. I've started a new recipe blog to organize the recipes I convert towards whole food and cook from scratch.

Although I won't have a lot more to add regarding DFEFPF recipes, there are still several recipes that we've tried but haven't gotten around to posting yet. I'm hoping that the addition of more allergy cooks to Must Follow Recipes will keep the recipes flowing. If you would like to include your family's recipes as well, please email me! {missbecky75 *at* gmail [dot] com}

If you would like to read our full story, feel free to visit us at Boys Rule My Life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pre-Packaged Dairy-free, Egg-free, Peanut-free

Scroll to bottom of this post for the list of DF-EF-PF pre-packaged food.


(Whew... what a title!)

I admit it... I was a big pre-packaged cooker before Witt's allergies hit us. Yes, allergieS. The dairy allergy was obvious and then the egg allergy was confirmed when he ate something with egg in it... I don't remember what it was, but I do remember him scratching terribly about two hours after ingestion. Poor little guy. I have not tried barley again yet as I just haven't had the time to pay close enough attention. So, at least two confirmed allergies... possibly a third.

Now that Witt starting to eat more table food, I must be more careful now than I was before; so, I want to start a log of pre-packaged foods that he has eaten so I can keep a reference. I hope this list will also help others and verify some of the foods that "appear" to be dairy-free egg-free. By appears to be I mean that there are so many milk derivatives that it is sometimes hard to keep them straight. Also, some things have the same labeling, but might not be milk-derived (ie "caramel color" can come from milk or other places - I have to call the manufacturer to find out). It's a very tedious process of reading labels (many, many times) to keep Witt safe.

Some of these might appear obviously dairy-free, but you just never know... we found dairy products in toddler toothpaste!!!

Although I am do a lot more "from scratch" cooking now, here are the prepackaged foods that Witt has already had without reaction (this will be a living list as I will add as we go and is in no particular order).

Please note that Witt has never had reaction to foods that use the terminology "May contain xyz" or "Processed on lines with xyz". The extent of each person's allergies is different, so be sure to read the labels. This list is not "guaranteed" safe, it is just what worked for us.

UPDATE: Dec 2008 - Witt also tested positive to peanuts this year, so this list will also include peanut free foods he has eaten.

For Milk Allergy Mom's list of tried foods: click here and here.
I Can't Believe It's Vegan also has a huge list of dairy-free egg-free prepackaged foods.
Go Dairy Free has a wonderful list of not dairy free, possibly dairy free, and surprisingly dairy free ingredients.
For other DF Bloggers, check out my Dairy-Free Blogroll.

Cereal/BreakfastPlain Cheerios
Cinnamon Life
Pop-Tarts: Brown Cinnamon & Sugar with icing
Pop-Tarts: Strawberry (no frosting)
Malt-o-Meal Berry Colossal Crunch
Van’s Wheat Free Mini Waffles
100% Pure Maple Syrup
Lucky Charms
Fiber One Caramel Delight
Kellogg's Frosted MiniWheats (Strawberry Delight)
Kroger Instant Oatmeal Lower-sugar Apples and cinnamon
Malt OMeal Marshmallow Mateys
Bluebird Mini Honey Buns

Nabisco Graham Crackers - honey
Cambridge Graham Crackers - honey
Pringles chips- Plain
Best Value Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Wal*Mart brand)
Kroger Value Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Ritz Original Crackers
Cambridge Ritz style crackers
Clancy's Pretzel Sticks (from Aldi)
Golden OREOs Original
Vanilla MoonPies
SuperPretzels (plain)

Bush's Black Eyed Peas
Del Monte Green Beans
Le Sueurs whole carrots
Plain Applesauce
Canned fruits
Fruit bowls (no parfaits, yogurts, ONLY plain)
DelMonte Greenbeans
Ragu Sauteed Onion & Garlic Pasta Sauce
Parkay Squeeze "butter"
Fleischman's Unsalted margarine
Willow Run Vegan Margarine
Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
Tofutti Sour Supreme / Better Than Sour Cream
Heinz Ketchup
Kraft Creamy Italian dressing & dip
Kikkoman's soy sauce
Red Star Nutritional Yeast
Rachel Ray's Beef Flavored Stock
Heinz Worcestershire Sauce
Kikkoman Soy Sauce
Hormel Real Bacon Bits (50% Less fat)
Chef's Cupboard Onion Soup Mix (from Aldi's)
Private Selection Organic Chicken Broth (Kroger)

I buy online from The Vegan Store:

Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese: "Cheddar", "Mozzarella"
Veganaise Mayonaise
Parmazao Imitations Parmesan

Near East Couscous - Wild Mushroom and Herbs
ASIA Specialties Soy Ginger (from Aldi)
Near East Rice Pilaf Mix - Original
Jehling Ramen Noodle Soup - chicken flavor (from Aldi)
10 Minute Success Boil in Bag Rice
Smart Taste Pastas
THAI KITCHEN Spring Onion Instant Rice Noodle Soup

Baby Finger Foods
Gerber Graduates APPLE wagon wheels
Gerber Graduates mini fruits (dried) - banana strawberry
Kroger Brand Little Comforts Puffs – Blueberry, Strawberry Apple
Gerber Graduates Juice Treats

Nesquick Chocolate powder
Hershey's Chocolate syrup
100% Juices
Silk Soy Milk
Rice Dream Milk

Hebrew National Hot Dogs (of course cut up very small with skin removed.)
Great Value fully cooked Homestyle meatballs (frozen at Wal*mart)
Tennessee Pride mild sausage patties
Brookdale Vienna Sausages
Brookdale Potted Meat
Valley Fresh 100% natural while chicken in water
Ian's fish sticks (GF, CF, DF, EF, SF, NF)
Boca Burgers - original vegan
Hormel Real Bacon Bits (50% Less Fat)
Carolina Pride Beef Smoked Sausage
Banquet Chicken Nuggets
Hormel Natural Choice 100% Honey Deli Ham

Sunbeam King Thin
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Publix white
L'Oven Fresh white (Aldi)
Sara Lee Soft & Smooth 100% Honey Wheat - see Aimee's comment

Mt. Olive Kosher Mini Dill Pickles
Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater-tots
Old El Paso Taco Dinner Kit

Tofutti Cuties (ice cream sandwiches)
Great Value Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Dairy Free Ice “creams” (DREAM, Purely Decedent)
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Red Velvet (substitute eggs with a little less than 3/4 c unsweetened applesauce)

Fast Food
McDonald's French Fries - see Melissa's comment
Burger King plain hamburger with bun
Burger King french fries
Chicken MeeFun (rice noodles) from our local Chinese restaurant (not at a buffet)
Terriyaki Chicken on a stick from our local Chinese restaurant (not at a buffet)

NOTE: This post has been copied from my personal blog. The original post (from May 2008) and all the comments are still available there, but I thought it would be most handy for those that read here as well.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Welcome New Allergy Cook: The Snells

A little about our food started when my daughter was born last January. I felt from day 1 she had a MSPI (milk and soy protein intolerance) but her drs were quick to dismiss me. She was so sick for so many months :( She was diagnosed with reflux at 3mo and we were told to thicken her formula with rice cereal. This helped keep the formula down but worsened her allergy symptoms (mucusy diarrhea,eczema,bad stomach aches, off and on rashes, etc) Finally i went on my own and got some nutramigen formula which still didn't help so i went to Neocate (an elemental formula) and simply thick (an alternative to rice cereal to thicken with) and she was a happy baby again! From there we started to try foods. What a hard thing this has been!

We first did the rice cereal which was a no go :( Next I tried green beans and she liked the taste but she had a GI reaction so that was stopped as well. We then tried and failed sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, zucchini, carrots,egg noodles and bananas. As of now she is almost 1 yr and can eat apples, pears, dairy/soy free puffs, dairy/soy free crackers, kix cereal, strawberries, grapes, neocate nutra (an elemental form of rice cereal) and can have pear, grape and apple juice. Since she has so many foods she has done poorly with it has made it very hard to find and make things she can eat. I shop a lot at whole foods and get mixes or "safe" alternative ingredients there. We have RAST testing coming up on the 26th of this month but unfortunately since that only tests for skin reactions we most likely wont have a better idea of what she is truly allergic to. Its mainly just trial and fail for us.As of now she has not had eggs or anything with egg in it nor has she had peanuts or anything of the like.

I hope that gives you a better idea of what we have been through and we are facing in the future. At this point our daughter will not be on cows milk until she is at least 2yrs so its going to be quite a challenge to find things she can have to get her the nutrients she needs to continue to grow and be healthy. Your blog gives me so much hope that I will have a bunch of different things we will be able to share with her. Right now we put her to bed and then eat dinner just because its so hard to have her watch us eat and know we cannot give her any. Before she was born I never had any idea on how hard this could be!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Welcome New Allergy Cook: Scottish Twins!

My son, Gabriel, had his first allergic reaction when he was 2 months old, after he had milk-based formula for the first time. While we were in the ER the doctors told us that he had a milk allergy and that we should only give him soy-based formulas. But, when we tried soy he had a similar reaction. Doctors confirmed his milk and soy allergies with blood tests and we thought surely he wouldn't be allergic to anything else.

When he was six months old we started introducing solid foods. We made sure to only try one food at a time and never introduce more than one new item in a week. It was through this process that we discovered his allergies to eggs, pineapple, and tomato. Then, around 14 months Gabe was accidentally given a cereal and we discovered his peanut allergy. By the time he was two years old blood and skin tests had confirmed his allergies to cow's milk, goat's milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, pineapple and tomato.

In December 2009, skin tests showed that he no longer had the tomato, pineapple, or soy allergies. Since I have a soy intolerance, most of my recipes still do not contain soy products.

Feeding Gabe has always been a challenge, but I have reached the point now where I can adapt just about any recipe to be safe for him. Our family focuses a lot on alternative health and whole foods, and we document our journey toward wellness at We like to avoid processed foods and many of my recipes reflect that.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Welcome New Allergy Cook: Melody!

I am a married mother of a 2-year-old girl who has allergies to milk, egg, peanut and other tree nuts. I hope to share my recipes that will help other families who have these challenges with allergies. I grew up with allergies to grass, mold, flowers, etc. Plus I am allergic to raw fruits and vegetables (although I could eat them all when I was pregnant!). So, I have great sympathy for those who have allergies. It's not always easy, in fact it's very frustrating. But you just have to channel your energy to see the positive.

I exclusively nursed my daughter for about 5 1/2 months. After her checkup, the doctor advised I start giving her cereal. I decided to give her cereal with a little bit of milk-based formula. She had less than a teaspoon of the cereal before she started rubbing her chin and crying. Her face nearly tripled in size. I didn't know what it was at first, so I was on the phone with a doctor who wasn't very helpful (one of many not so-helpful doctors). I was so concerned that she might stop breathing, and we lived twenty minutes from the hospital. I eventually recognized the rash as hives (from my own allergic reactions when I was a kid) and was able calm down some. I never imagined her first bites of "food" to be such a big deal.

From that moment I concluded that it was a milk allergy (one doctor said it might be the rice cereal, I disagreed). I didn't even know a baby could be allergic to formula or that formula was milk-based. Once she turned 1, I started her on soy milk and started making food without dairy. We did a blood test and concluded that she might have an egg allergy, too. At a year we did some testing at home, and we determined she is able to tolerate milk and egg in baked goods. Although I still limit that intake because there are no guarantees. At her 2-year-old checkup we tested for other allergens and found out she is allergic to peanuts and cashews, too. Some other tree nuts are questionable, so I avoid all nuts because most nut products are processed together.

We live in the dairy-state, so all I have ever known for cooking is dairy. I had to re-educate myself on how to cook without milk, cheese and a million other products. At first it was very challenging. We were living in an area that didn't have a Whole Foods nearby or any other grocery stores that supported alternative diets. Since January 2008 we have lived in a much larger city, and if I read about a product I would like to try I can usually find it. However, I don't always want to go out and buy what ends up to be expensive ingredients that may only be used once or twice. I really like recipes that are simple and contain ingredients I have in my pantry or refrigerator So I hope you find that my recipes are practical and tasty.

Here's a link to my blog, Life with a Dairy-Free Toddler.