Food allergies seem to be everywhere these days, but I never thought they’d hit so close to home.
My 6 year old daughter was only 11 months old when we discovered her allergies. She had a pretty severe reaction to a common toddler food: Mac n cheese! And this one was homemade! Thankfully, after one frantic call to the pediatrician, some Benadryl, mommy’s milk and an Aveeno bath, mommy had finally calmed down (baby was already chilling at this point.)
(Nursing Note: I’m a breastfeeding advocate, and I’m convinced that nursing and that good-for-baby breastmilk helped us both calm down after this scary allergic reaction.)
After a visit to the allergist and a diagnosis of dairy and nuts (peanuts AND tree nuts), I had a moment of panic: dairy is in EVERYTHING!!! How are we going to handle this? No milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream? No baked goods with all that stuff in them? Oh no!!!
There’s so much help for kids with food allergies!
That was until I started doing a little research and found the Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) website. Thank God, these people reassured me that, not only were we going to be ok, we were going to be GREAT!!! (Kind of like what happened that one time with the ice cream sundaes.)
My daughter was not reacting to my breast milk, even though I was drinking cow’s milk, so that was fine. Baby food, rice cereal, Cheerios and many other things she ate were already dairy-free!
We tried rice milk and she LOVED IT! (Since then, we’ve added coconut milk to our repertoire!)
Fast-forward a few years and we have even discovered dairy-free treats at Baskin Robbins and Cold Stone Creamery!
Like KFA said, we’ve been doing great. And one recent dairy-free outing was so great, I wanted to share it here.
Our experience at Pappasito’s Mexican restaurant was GREAT!
I received a gift card to Pappasito’s Mexican restaurant recently, and we decided to go one beautiful afternoon, just after we had taken the traditional bluebonnet family pictures it seems everyone loves to take in Houston in the spring. (They do turn out pretty cute!)
Once we let our super friendly server at Pappasito’s know about the food allergy, she reassured us she’d let the kitchen and her manager know. Shortly after that, the manager came, followed by the chef, both making sure that we knew they were aware of our request and would take every precaution to make sure our daughter’s meal was dairy-free.
Talk about impressive! It was almost a Disney-quality food allergy experience. (I’ll have to write about that sometime soon! They are over the top incredible about food safety and catering to food allergies and other needs.)
You often hear about “restaurants gone wild” in the worst ways (bad food, horrible service, etc.) But when things are great, I love being able to share!
I’d love to hear about how you’ve handled food allergies in your family. Share your story in the comments below!
Laughing thru life,