Friday, January 21, 2011
Cooking with Food Allergies
About three and a half years ago we found out that our oldest son was severely allergic to tree nuts. Then a few months later we found out he was also allergic to beans (legumes). A year after his first initial diagnosis we discovered he was also allergic to eggs. It was hard dealing with his allergies at first. Constantly having to check labels and making sure that everyone he was around knew he had these allergies. But cooking with food allergies is also difficult. A lot of foods are processed with tree nuts or "may contain nuts." In the last year it has become much easier. He is old enough to know what he can and cannot have and also able to tell others or ask what is in something. We've learned that he can have eggs cooked in something (which makes cooking so much easier), and that we can have beans and cornbread and he gets a special meal that night. I thought we were really on the upside of this allergy battle until yesterday. Since my baby turned one I thought "this would be a great time to give him a peanut butter sandwich." After about 5 small bites he starting breaking out in hives and coughing and then his eyes, lips and tongue started swelling. I quickly gave him benadryl and we went to the closest urgent care. After a couple of hours of observation, a steroid shot and puking all over mommy, he was much better. But now we have a peanut allergy too. A "life threatening, keep your epi-pen handy" peanut allergy. Since this one is new to us, I started looking at what we have in our cabinets. I knew a lot of things were processed with peanuts but didn't realize how much until now. When I called the pediatrician today they named things to watch for with peanut allergies, "pizza, pizza sauce, bbq sauce, cookies, crackers, and everything that is cooked in peanut oil, etc..." I am just glad I enjoy cooking and baking. I can control what goes in my food and how safe food is for my children.