I’m a stay at home mom that has a passion for sharing what I’ve learned with others. I have always loved to cook and I don’t remember a time ever where I didn’t love watching cooking shows. I grew up watching Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and Martin Yan on PBS. I cooked a little in high school and college, but I didn’t really get my hands into it until I was on my own and entertained for friends and family. I did cook for a special someone (that was just a “friend” but later became my husband!) and joked that he was my guinea pig so my husband wouldn’t spend the first year of our marriage eating gross food. I’m pretty sure that I used more butter than Paula Deen that first year. Little did I know back then that all of my interest in food and what was in it would pay off.
We suspected food allergies in my son at about 2 months of age. He had blood in his stool and I was nursing at the time. Everything I knew and read pointed to a milk allergy, but we took him to our family doctor. This particular physician told us to “keep an eye on it.” My mothers sixth sense kicked in and I knew better, so I cut milk out of my diet and called a pediatrician. Within a few weeks, things cleared up for a while and we loved our new doctor. Our son did seem to have some skin issues, which I attributed to family skin issues, but a blood test at his 9 month check up revealed high white blood cell counts. A second test confirmed and we were sent to Family Allergy and Asthma, where we saw Dr. James Sublett. He was tested for indoor and outdoor allergies, with both the scratch test and RAST test. He showed numerous indoor/outdoor allergies as well as food allergies to milk, soy, corn, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat. We were floored.
This really took us by surprise, even considering my significant environmental allergies and my husband’s childhood egg allergy. One thing that was in our favor was that our son had not been exposed to a lot of these foods, so he had not developed a whole lot of likes and dislikes. I didn’t really know many people that had food allergies and I really didn’t know where to start. We did get information from the doctor, but unless you have someone there almost holding your hand, you still feel out there, all alone. I searched the internet and found some sites that were very helpful. While we don’t have as many restrictions as that of someone with Celiac, the gluten free community has done a great job in getting information out there and providing people with resources and recipes for dealing with allergies and intolerances. We have found lots of products that help us cook food that is nutritious, allergy free and pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.
I think everyone that goes through a diagnosis where food is involved definitely feels overwhelmed at first. I would go to the grocery store, which actually had a gluten free aisle, and almost be in tears because I wondered what in the world I was going to feed my child! It’s definitely something you learn on a curve. We have made mistakes. Big ones. Ones that have landed our son in front of a “sick bucket” or even in the ER. But by God’s grace, our son is a happy, pretty healthy, very active 3 year old.
Fast forward another 2 years and a daughter later who ends up with an egg allergy. I kept telling myself, “At least they have a MATCHING allergy!” Her egg allergy is way less severe and we are hopeful that she will outgrow it.
This is our journey dealing with food allergies. I hope that you can come along and find something you can use for you and your family. I wouldn’t be here posting this if it weren’t for other people out there sharing about their experiences.