Saturday, August 17, 2013

Food Allergies

I have three sons, ages 5-11 years old.  They are all three very healthy, smart and happy.  Each one also has his own food allergy, as do I.  I am allergic to many raw fruits and vegetables. They make my mouth and sinuses itch, my lips swell and sometimes my throat closes a little.  #1 son has a strange allergy to certain preservatives, like hexametaphosphate. When it comes in contact with his skin, wherever the problem food has touched, turns read and welts up. #2 has a soy allergy. This one is a problem, not in his reaction (it affects his BMs), but in trying to avoid the allergen. Soy is in nearly every prepackaged food available. It also comes under different names. The tricky part is knowing which names and also knowing that for my son, soybean oil and soy lecithin are not a problem. Soy protein, soy flour, mono and diglycerides, and msg (mono sodium glutemate) are. Also, "natural flavoring" can indicate soy. Now I am not that great at making bread, and we are big on the bread consumption. Yet most companies use some sort of the "bad" soy in their recipes. I spend more time searching labels on the bread isle when I shop than any other part of the store. It's the same with canned soups and pastas, like Campbell's and Chef Boyardee. It's not enough for me to check the labels one time and then always buy that product. I did that for a while but then found that the bread I had been buying, Orowheat, suddenly started using soy flour in most of their loaves. I can buy Peppridge Farms bread and Costco bread, but that means a trip to Wal-mart for the one and Costco for the other. Neither are nearby.  Oh, and did you know that certain anesthetics may contain soy? This is how we discovered #2 had a soy allergy.  He came out of an outpatient surgery, as red as a tomato when he was 1 yr.
My youngest son, #3 has a peanut and orange allergy. Turns out the hives and constant sinus issues, dark circles, etc. were caused by peanuts and oranges. None of the boys has a severe allergy, thankfully. But it's enough that they each have to be aware of what they eat. #3 has taken the dietary change quite well. He can have other nuts with no problem, and has since discovered that he loves cashew butter. Unfortunately that is an expensive nut butter, at $7 for a 12oz jar. While he was in preschool, he had become very responsible about his allergy. At age 4, he would scold the cafeteria ladies if they mistakenly put oranges on his plate. He's 5 now and about to go into Kindergarten. I will have to be more diligent now as parents bring in snacks for the kids at class parties. 
I have learned how to make my own pop-tarts, using pie crust and jam. Next I want to try making my own granola bars, peanut free. Eventually I will learn how to make a proper loaf of bread. For now, I will just have to get a Costco card and make the 90 minute drive twice a month to buy bread. Lots of bread.

No comments: