But what CAN he eat?

My husband and I get this question all the time….The first question is always “What is your son allergic to?”, once we answer that people are generally overwhelmed and wonder what in the world we feed him. To be honest, for the first 2 years he survived on mostly rice, ketchup and green beans. As we have adapted to this new life we’ve gotten much, much better at feeding our son, thank goodness! Our son, JT, is allergic to all dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, beef, mangoes, melon, shell-fish and when he was younger white fish, peas and wheat. Fortunately he outgrew those last 3 when he turned 3. Being able to eat peas has not helped much, he is still a picky little boy, but being able to eat wheat has made a huge difference. Imagine…bread…pasta…flour!! When he was first diagnosed with all of those food allergies at 4 months old we asked the same question “What CAN he eat?”. It was overwhelming and it was scary. Each time I introduced a new food we worried and watched, waiting for the first signs of a reaction and crossing our fingers that it wouldn’t happen. And we were lucky. Nearly all of his allergens have been discovered through testing and any reactions he’s had have been fairly mild. We’ve never had to use his epi-pen and we hope we NEVER have to in the future! As it turns out, he can eat all sorts of things! I just had to learn to adapt the recipes that i already made to work for JT. I learned to make “meatloaf” without eggs, milk and beef and it still tastes good too! I also had to learn to read and decipher food labels. I was shocked at how many foods in the regular grocery store he could eat. We’ve never been foodies, we don’t eat all organic, and I can’t afford to constantly be shopping at specialty markets. Over the years it’s gotten better and much easier but you can’t let your guard down. Part of why we have been so fortunate is because we are constantly vigilant, constantly talking about it, if I start to get lazy a company will change their product ingredients and it will go unnoticed, or I’ll cut my sons sandwich with the same knife that I used to cut his sisters grilled cheese. If I have succeeded in raising a healthy kid with food allergies, you can do it too and I’m happy to help!

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One response

  1. It’s hard and can be so overwhelming and scary! Reading ingredients will become a second nature to you, if it hasn’t already. I’ve had some really close calls – one time, when I was at my mom’s, there was some raw cookie dough in the fridge. (I know, not a good idea to eat it anyway!), but I scooped some up with my finger and right before I put it in my mouth, I decided to read the ingredients and saw there was peanut flour in it! So terrified. I still sometimes have nightmares about accidentally ingesting it. I’m not allergic to it at an airborne level, but if my boyfriend has nut oils on his hands and touches me, I break out in hives all over my body. It never hurts to be too cautious!

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