Why we're here...

The quick version :) We are a family of 7 (plus 5 if you count pets, sadly now 3) living with severe food allergies (thus far dairy and beef, thinking the baby might add some to the list) and as vegetarians (mostly vegan, except pastured eggs occasionally), organically, and I generally attempt to do everything as quickly and easily as possible (think one bowl everything!).

The long version... This journey officially started one Saturday in April (2011) when my husband decided to let me (his very pregnant wife) "sleep in" and took our 18 month old son downstairs. The minute I fell asleep again they came back up, my husband said that Jake seemed tired again and wanted me. Byebye sleeping in. We settled back in bed, Jake on top of me, I dozed for a minute and opened my eyes admiring my boy. He sleepily opened his eyes and threw up all over my face, head, back (no idea how), pillows, you get the idea! To which I said "Change Jake, I'll be in the shower!" At which point my husband admitted "oh I gave him milk". At this point we knew only that he didn't like milk.

When I told his doctor this story in passing at his 18 month appointment she felt that was an unusual reaction and he should be seen by an allergist. Jake had never touched a milk product willingly, but we figured maybe an intolerance or preference. Clearly we were wrong when I brought him to be tested and the doctor said "he's allergic to milk". By the look on his face he did not think I was entertaining when I replied "Oh come on, that's ridiculous". Thus... I had to remove milk from his diet, as well as my own because he was still nursing. Which at first was tough due to my unnatural obsession with ice cream, but there are enough milk substitutes to deal with that. However, later this summer he was still having symptoms. Brought him to get tested once more and found he was allergic to eggs as well (again my "Are you kidding?!" was met with a quiet smile). (2014 Update: he's fine with eggs now, his milk allergy severity has sky rocketed, as well as a new beef allergy. and too many environmental allergies to list! But seriously, who cares if he cannot own a horse!)

Moral of this, I had a lot to change in the cooking department! I attempted to use vegan recipes. Thus, these recipes were born, and further, this website. Apparently allergies are occurring more and more but it is very difficult to find recipes to accommodate. My goal is to help that cause by providing ways to work around that and still eat well (and by well, I mean food that my chicken-wing-addicted-husband-who would-never-eat-anything-that-grows-in-the-ground-if-his- obnoxious-wife-does-not-nag-him-until-he-gives in- will actually eat. (2014 Update-This man has become a near vegan at home for his little man! He's a fabulous father! However, I learned quickly to cook for him!)

2016 update! we now have four children ages 6 to 6 months. Only one has confirmed allergies, but it's looking possible that this may increase by one or two (currently we are just watching and waiting :) Please don't take our peanut butter away!!

2018: We now have 5 children. The oldest is 8, and still seriously allergic to milk, and beef. Youngest is 3 months. and no other confirmed allergies. but the 2 year old can not eat bananas, though sadly she loves them. the baby throws up constantly... but who knows:)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Get Your Kids to Eat What you Cook!!

Well, what a year...  baby number 5 surprising us (or will be in Oct/nov) , I have not made any headway into spending less on groceries. Or on this blog obviously! But we are recovering from losing a pet, and possibly one more being terminal, my father's cancer (he will be home soon for a bit before surgery. well not my home, 10 hours from here) and many other things.

 I have however, found the key to getting the kids to eat more vegetables, and foods that I cook, in general. Here's the (probably familiar? ) background...

Dinner Time!! What are we having?! I want this! I don't want this! I don't like this! Can you make this?  Me: head spins and I lose it. I decided that I would never again make more than one dinner!!! FREEDOM!!!!! I prewarned the kids. I informed them that dinner is dinner and whatever I make is dinner and they would be expected to try it. If they choose not to eat it, they are able to get a banana, or other fruit, but not a whole other separate meal, and they can get it themselves.

Guess what happened..... For two days they tested... and now they have found out they actually like things they didn't know they did! what?!?!?! My life got much easier!!! The only exceptions are that each of my children has a true dislike for one or two things (lets say that we found out my 6yo lady may possibly vomit on the table when forced to take a bite of sweet potato... um the end...). If I am making something exclusively those truly disliked foods (ie. chili, my 3 almost 4 yo has a reaction no one wants to see with beans.... and since we are vegan, chili is beans!) I will substitute something I decide and something easy. (said almost 4yo loves sweet potatoes and will make that his whole dinner)

And guess what else? They don't complain and aren't so "picky". So pretty much I learned that that was my fault and not theirs. Special... add it to the list. haha....

I also make lunches now primarily vegetable and fruit based and am trying to keep them from as much bread (though we do use Ezekiel which is the best). But seriously, my 6yo daughter would eat toast for every meal if I let her (with Earth Balance butter). So probably missing some nutrients. And, while I didn't mine making breakfast or dinner, lunch was driving me crazy. So  no I have 5 compartment plates that I fill with whatever I feel like and see what happens. The kids think it's fun (they even call them the "cool cool plates") and it's easier than taking 4 lunch orders.

Next up: I have mastered (almost) living in a regular hotel room with the inability to go out to eat bc of allergies. (which by the way, now my current youngest cannot have bananas, that's fun. But bc she's not anaphylactic, we do let others eat them. Important when your husband has braces and he's whining about being hungry :). I will post that soon!