Resources for the Allergic Kid

I really don’t want this blog to be all gluten-free talk, all the time, but I did want to mention a few resources that have been really helpful to us these past few weeks. I don’t know how we would have survived without the internet, which always manages to reassure you that there are others out there just like you, except when it is scaring the pants off you with dire warnings that everything could be so much worse. Which I guess is also helpful, in its own way.

Anyway, if you happen to find yourself needing to create a gluten-free, egg-free, milk-free, nut-free, peanut-free, legume-free, coconut-free diet (surely that day is just waiting for you right around the corner, have you HEARD what they are saying on the internet?), here’s some things you need to get. (Disclosure: no one paid me to say any of this, or gave me free stuff, or even batted an eyelash in my direction. Would it have killed them to do a little eyelash batting? WOULD IT? Links to Amazon and whatnot do not benefit me in any way.)

The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread, by Laurie Sadowski

This little gem of a book contains recipes for all kinds of breads, crackers, and muffins that are gluten-free, egg-free, milk-free, and nut-free. She rarely uses bean flours (AWESOME) and when she does, she recommends an alternative. She also usually uses agave nectar or brown sugar as sweeteners, if you’re worried about white sugar. Her recipes are seriously dazzling – light and fluffy and actually bread-like. This is where I got the recipe for the donuts and I also made these beauties this week:

Those are double-chocolate muffins. SO GOOD. I…ate the whole batch. The Captain only got like, two of the dozen. I could not stay away. A definite keeper and could even pass as a cupcake for birthday party purposes. This book is a must-have. One word of warning – she does rely on xanthum gum as a binder, I’ve been reading online that some GF people have trouble with that. But for us, so far, so good.

Allergy-Proof Recipes for Kids by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger

I think these are the people who make Enjoy Life products, which means they have lots of experience making yummy foods out of air, water, and a little sugar. They amaze me. This book is a good transition book if you’ve just discovered that your kid has a boatload of allergies, and everyone is having trouble giving up macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. These recipes are look-alike recipes for the usual kid fare, and although they are probably less healthy than, say, a nice brown rice and vegetable stir-fry, they are pretty popular around here. They’re also easy to make – mostly they just use rice flour and other stuff you can get at your local supermarket, so if you’re between trips to the health food store, you can use this book to get by. If your kid has a friend with multiple food allergies, and you’d love to have them over for dinner or a sleepover but don’t know what the heck to cook, this is a good book to get – you’re sure to find something that is not intimidating to make that all your kids (and guests) can enjoy.

The Gluten Free Vegan by Susan O’Brien

gluten-free vegan

This book isn’t a perfect overlap for our allergies, as it does use several legumes and soy-based products that are off-limits to us. However, I’ve found plenty of really, really good stuff in here – the main courses and salads are SO delicious, and the few baked goods – mostly biscuits and scones – turned out great. Going gluten-free really requires a whole new approach to cooking – you can’t last forever just trying to make lesser versions of “the real thing” using substitutes. This book is your next step – filling, tasty dishes that just happen to be gluten free.

My next stop on the cookbook train is a paleo book – since we actually do eat chicken and turkey, I’d like some meat-based recipes that will work for us. Unfortunately many paleo books I’ve seen rely heavily on eggs and nuts, both of which are no-nos, but I’m sure I can find something. Anyone with any recommendations?

Lastly, here are a few blogs that I’ve just started reading that look amazing:
My Real Food Life – Gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, just about everything else free except tree nuts – and she’s right here in Ottawa! I may stalk her. Also, her Resources page has dozens more recommendations that I’m working my way through.
The Gluten Free Vegan – Megan is super sweet, and happens to cook gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free. Plus, she’s Canadian too – so the ingredients she uses are available here. yay! She does use nuts and soy but there’s still a ton of original and unique recipes here.
The Allergic Kid – Recipes for kids with no nuts, eggs, or dairy. They aren’t gluten-free, but still some good ideas here, and also I’ve learned a lot about having an allergic kid in general.

I’m sure there are more – many more. But that’ll keep you busy for a while.

13 thoughts on “Resources for the Allergic Kid

  1. Check out ‘Well-Fed’ for an awesome Paleo cookbook. She uses nuts only as garnish and they’re nearly always optional. There are some egg recipes that you can skip. The only thing is that she makes pretty frequent use of coconut milk, but you could probably sub rice milk or something instead?

    Have you guys done any of the oral challenges at the allergist (recently)? That could knock some things off your list? Our allergist tells me 98% of the kids in his practice with a dairy allergy outgrow it by age 10 (most earlier). We’re headed back for another oral challenge next week after the last round of skin tests gave us completely baffling results (all negative for several types of nuts and dairy, which totally conflicts what we saw last time….) But I definitely *believe* the results of the oral challenge.

  2. Sara

    I have nothing valuable to contribute except you’re doing an amazing job making the best of a really tough situation…we have food aversions but nothing that threatens health or well being – those are hard enough to get around!! I look forward to hearing more about your baking adventures 🙂

  3. Thanks Lynn – I’m gonna look at some of these.

    Lil D’s school here in Costa Rica is NOT nut-free. In fact, the hot lunch program occasionally serves desserts with nuts in them. The teachers tell him to stay away from the food then, but still… it’s so different at home. It’s just not a common allergy here. The teacher had never seen an epi-pen.

    I still feel lucky that nuts are not very common in the cooking here, and when they are, it’s usually a tree nut, which is not our main anaphylactic allergy.

    I know you don’t want to make it the focus of your blog, but the food avoiding that you have to do must be a major part of your life and thus it makes sense that it would come up on your blog at times.

  4. Love this book list another great one is “Finally Food I can Eat” by Shirley Plant. Eat, Drink and be Vegan is also fun to use and adapt to make the recipes gluten free as well. For the adventurous!

  5. I think many people would be happy to find posts like this, and those of us who don’t have to deal with this crap can just deal with it. I can’t imagine the obstacles you have to navigate just to keep your kid fed – it would bring me to my knees.

  6. thanks so much for the link to my little blog Lynn!

    Anytime you wanna talk allergy-free baking and ideas for substituting stuff like eggs and binding agents, I’d love to chat 🙂 And anytime you want some muffins let me know- i baked waaay too many last batch lol!

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