When our family discovered David’s food allergies a few years ago, we eliminated all the problem foods from his diet and continued on our way. It was hard at first, but then got easier, but over time we got sloppy and lazy about it and over time, the foods started creeping back into our regular diet.
One of the main culprits was CORN. It’s not too hard to eliminate CORN and Corn syrup and corn starch, but one day we noticed him reacting to a food that had none of those listed on the label. This lead to a google search of other names of corn, and I was surprised at what I learned. The names used for this ingredient sound nothing like corn. In fact, it was three pages long, with three columns on each page. WHAT? Since I have a visual memory, I started to scan the list daily so that I could start to put it to memory. I also had the kids read the list- they have spongy brains. 🙂
What I learned was that it was not reasonable to try to just avoid certain foods- I needed a plan of attack. We decided to switch to all “real” foods. Foods that had very few ingredients- and all of which I could pronounce. I would increase our fruits and vegetables to fill in the gap where store bought crackers, bars, cereals, drinks, etc had all been before.
Here are some of the resources I found to help along the journey:
Green Bean Delivery – These folks deliver organic fruits, veggies, and other groceries directly to my door. I also started purchasing my non-homogonized, pasteurized milk from there- in glass bottles and with the cream on top.
Simple Food for Busy Families– This excellent book has been an encouragement from the beginning and is still a great go-to resource.
My vitamix. Really. A delicious fruit and veggie smoothie can help fill in any gaps in mealtimes when you do not have something else quick to grab.
I also requested some new knives. My old ones were pitiful and difficult to use. For Mother’s Day I requested these:
My Nutrimill. With my mill I can make all kinds of flours that we can use in our kitchen without the worries of corn with strange names getting into our foods.
Cute Little Cutters: These seem silly, but the kids love it when I make their veggies in adorable shapes. Think about carrots, cucumbers, cheese, watermelon, cantelope, etc. All these are more fun when cut like little stars or flowers.
Certain restaurants are also very helpful. For example, the wonderful folks at Jason’s Deli have been willing to help up by disclosing the full list of ingredients in all their foods that we are considering for our son. Also, B.Ds Mongolian Grill is also a great choice. They even have a special “allergy zone” where they can cook your foods on their own pan if you have allergy issues.