This is just going to be a prominent topic for me on this blog. Food – Allergies and my search for safe healthy foods for my toddler that she can actually eat.
Yesterday, my family and I went to Sprouts (that is a super market in our town, and it sells food that is clearly labeled Gluten Free.) They seem to have one of the largest selections around my town of allergy friendly foods so far. And yes they cost more in general – but that is why we only shop there for my daughter’s foods and maybe some fresh produce since those prices are not too bad.
This week we found some crackers and pasta that are both Gluten free and Rice Free! The main issue I have with finding my daughter food to eat is not that I cannot find Gluten Free options, but that finding food that a toddler with immature swallowing and chewing issues can eat, as well as not having other allergens in it. A lot of the times when I find “Gluten Free” options, the replacement is either Rice or Corn. But both of those items are on our Allergy list. We also run into the OATs issue, we cannot have oats as well.
The safest foods I have found includes fresh veggies (boiled to be very soft or steamed so that they are easy to chew). And sometimes I can find some cereals, made with Quinoa or Millet that she can eat, but a lot of the times they are MIXED with foods she cannot have. Many times I find myself getting excited to find a box that is labeled “QUINOA CEREAL” only to read the ingredients, finding rice to be a second ingredient. It’s very disheartening.
Last night we tried a new cracker – it had a new food item in it but we kept our fingers crossed and tried. The new item was Cassava. So the crackers are made of Almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and Cassava (and a few other ingredients) but they are gluten free, rice free, oat free and Lily has NOT gotten sick from them YET. So I am over the moon!
We also bought some Lentil Pasta (no other ingredients, which is AMAZING). We often find that mixed with Rice or Corn – which is a no no for us. I am going through a lot with this baby -but thankfully with the help of these types of food stores, it is becoming a little simpler for us to find FOOD.
We are at the toddler stage where she is refusing Puree food – and feeding her from a bottle is not really a great option full time since we do want to see weight gain and we want to have her experience real food that she can chew.
I didn’t realize how hard it could be with a baby/toddler to find her food that she isn’t allergic to until I had this little girl. My previous child, who is now 10, has ZERO food allergies. I was lucky with him. But if you have a child with food allergies, stay strong. You can do it. There are more and more resources lately – and getting a diagnosis can be hard sometimes because some children have multiple allergies like my Lily. But you can do it.
I am going to make a list of Gluten Free foods that we find that are “oat free” and “rice free” very soon -to possibly help others out who are like us- who are MORE restricted than the regular gluten free norm. So keep updated with us on our journey.