How We Eat

by Hope Sewell on May 19, 2011

in allergies, eos, family, kids

Ok….now that everybody’s story has been told I wanted to answer a few FAQs.  But before I get to that I want to answer this question, “Why raise awareness?”  The answer?  Because it shouldn’t take 18 months to get a diagnosis for a failing child.  Mom’s need to be aware that EOS could be the answer to their child’s issues.  PLUS doctors need to be aware.  Our first pediatrician did NOT deal with our situation in an acceptable manor.  I think he froze under the pressure of “I don’t know what to do!”  The doctors in Louisiana gave me a real hard time.  I saw 5 doctors there 1 regular pediatrician, 1 ENT, 2 allergists, and 1 GI.  Only the ENT said he would help me see things through no matter what.  Spent many a day in his office in tears.  Most doctors are familiar with EOS and that’s about it.  So get educated.  We as moms cannot rely on the doctors to figure everything out in a timely manner.  When I go see a doctor (other than Dr. Ashley) I take a file folder of all the doctor records I have.  I’ve taken the time to get every record that is available to me….you can get them free most of the time.  Most of the time the doctor has not “read up” on your chart.  There is TONS of information out there.  Get educated and don’t be afraid to request testing or get a second opinion.

Ok…on to my FAQs.  I get asked all the time, “How do you do that?”  “Do you cook 2 different meals?  One allergy friendly and the other one regular?” “What do/can they eat?”

1. How do I do it??  I research and experiment.  Here are just a few books that I like to use.  There are NO “all inclusive” books.  Some recipes I don’t have to change or manipulate and some I do.  These are all great books.

 I love these magazines too!!  Living Without has TONS of ideas and articles and recipes!!  Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food is NOT an allergy magazine but it is what I call a “fresh foods” magazine.  The recipes here do not use a lot/if any prepacked or canned ingredients so they are really easy to manipulate.  It’s got some GREAT recipes!!

PLUS the internet is FULL of websites and blogs with support and recipes.
 
Number 2: I do NOT cook two meals (one for T and L and one for the rest of us).  I cook one meal for all of us.  There are some exceptions….like pancakes.  If I make boxed pancakes I do make two separate batches.  One 1 lb box of GF Bisquick is $4.19 a 5 lb box of regular Bisquick $5.35

Number 3: What can they eat?  Below is a picture of just a few things.  Recently the local supermarkets are stocking more and more allergy friendly food.  Just because it says Gluten Free doesn’t mean we can eat it.  We still have to watch for oats, barely, rye, eggs, fish and nuts.

 For breakfast (if I don’t cook pancakes….which I normally don’t unless it’s the weekend) Tobin eats Cocoa Krispies.  These are corn syrup free and GF…they do contain malt flavoring which is derived from barley but it’s such a trace amount that he can handle that.  Lilly has YoBaby yogurt…$2.50 for 4 servings.  She’ll also eat a GF frozen waffle sometime or cereal too. 

For lunch: hotdogs are popular.  We use Hebrew National.  Mac and Cheese is also huge.  A box of Annies GF mac-n-cheese is $3.99.  We also do something called chocolate toast.  This is my own invention.  It’s a piece of brown rice bread (found in the freezer section for a little over $4 a loaf), topped with Sunflower Seed butter (our replacement for peanut butter.  it’ll set you back about $7 a jar) and then topped with chocolate chips.  Bake it in the oven till nice and melty.  I started this when I couldn’t get Lilly to eat anything else and it worked like a charm.  It’s full of protein and claories and she normally will eat it all up including the crust.  They also like plain lays potato chips.

Afternoon snacks are tough.  That box of Chewy Bars you see in the picture costs $3.99 for 6 (and that’s on sale).  The cookies are a little over $4 for 12.  The crackers are the most economical at around $2.50.  Lilly is PICKY!!  So finding a snack for her is tricky.  Oh…and those GF ice cream cones up there….$8 on-line…not counting shipping.  They do eat a lot of fruit and applesauce. 

We don’t always buy these boxed treat but it is helpful and convenient.  I try to always have something homemade on hand.  Betty Crocker’s GF Mixes are very convenient but also very costly.  The regular one you see below cost $1.95….GF $4.19 and $5.62 at Wal-Mart.  Thankfully my mother-in-law helps us out and gets them cheaper from the commissary at Fort Rucker.  The Barilla pasta- $1.79 for 16 oz.  GF $2.39 for 8 oz.

Ok…what do we do for supper??  Tonight we’ll have hamburger steaks with mushroom gravy, fresh green beans and stewed squash.  In place of breadcrumbs I use ground Chex cereal.  In place of wheat flour to thicken the gravy, I use tapioca starch.  I try and cook normal meals with acceptable ingredients.  It CAN be done!!

Do we eat out??  Yes but not much.  See this stack of papers??  This stays in my car and is an allergy free/gluten free menu for some of our favorite places to eat.
 2 for TCBY…one for soft serve and one for hand scooped

 Chick-fil-A is the easiest to follow!!  What can they eat from there??  Waffle Fries, hash browns, and fruit cups.

 Burger King: kid’s cheeseburger meal NO BUN
 Sonic: Kid’s cheeseburger meal again with fries OR tots and no bun
 Longhorn: baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon and sugar
 We are on a Burger King kick right now…it’s close and convenient.  But on the road we eat a lot of Whataburger, Wendy’s etc…
Things they’ve never eaten: Pizza, a hamburger or hotdog with the bun, cakes or cookies from anywhere outside of home (we can’t be in the Publix cookie club :(, brownies (these just do not translate well into egg free), doughnuts, chicken nuggets, milk shakes, sandwiches with soft bread or mayo,  peanut butter, scrambled eggs, Snicker’s bar, Recess’ pieces, M and Ms, ranch dressing,  and the list goes on.
Parties, play dates at friends houses, family get-togethers,  church functions, Community Bible Study, any type of “day outing”, restaurants…..all of these things require planning and preparation on my part.  I have to know what is being served, assess if they can eat it, and then try my hardest to make something comparable or similar too whatever is being served.  Small handheld baby snacks are hard because there just isn’t anything.  And in our society, food is EVERYWHERE!!!  We can’t even go to church for and hour and a half without there being a snack.  It’s tough and I’ll admit that sometimes we stay away from events because I don’t feel like cookin’ up something.  But I try to make those occasions few and far between.  I’ve gotten pretty good at making “look alikes”….

One last thing.  Thank you all so much for the sweet compliments on my job as a mother to these two crazy peeps!!  I cannot take any of the credit.  God has so prepared me and equipped me to handle what He’s allowed just like He has all of you.   That doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed and overwhelmed.  And I do fail quite often but I am confident that God has provided all that I need for this life.  One example of that is when I was pregnant with Tobin.  We started The Maker’s Diet….eating food closer to it’s original state and staying away from boxes and over processed groceries.  Little did I know that this change in lifestyle would go about 3 steps further when Tobin was born.  God was preparing me to look at food a new way.  This kitchen hasn’t seen a can of cream of mushroom soup (gag) in almost 10 years!!  😉
Eating gluten free/allergy free can be overwhelming.  When we first found out about Tobin’s allergies around his first birthday we were handed a sheet of paper with a hotline number to call for help.  WHAT???  I’d LOVE to help people who have just found out about their allergies.  I’ve done LOTS of research.  Plus, I’ve often wondered what would happen to us in a time of disaster like what has happened in North Alabama.  We can’t just go up to the local food stand and get whatever.  I’d love to help in that area as well.
I hope this has answered some of your questions about how we deal with EOS and food allergies on a practical level.  Thank you so much for all the kind words and encouragement!!  We have been so blessed!!
Hugs!!

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