Friday, November 11, 2011

Yummy muffins!

My little guy wanted muffins, so I had to whip some up! :) This recipe is derived from the Gluten-Free Whole Grain Muffin recipe posted at gluten-free girl. You'll need a scale for this one. By using the weight measurement instead of volume you can easily switch out ingredients (like choosing a different flour or starch) and still get good results.

300 grams brown rice flour
50 grams arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
180 grams dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1 Tbl apple cider vinegar + rice milk to make 300 grams
100 grams canola oil

Prepare muffin tins and preheat oven to 350F.

Add apple cider vinegar to the rice milk and set aside. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in remaining ingredients.

As an add-in this time he picked A few little handfuls of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. :) I think I'll try chopped apples and a bit of cinnamon next time! After that, maybe coconut muffins by using coconut oil and a bit of shredded/chopped coconut mixed in and a little on the top that will get toasted?

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

The original recipe says this makes 15 muffins. Since non-eggy, baking soda-heavy muffins have a tendency to overflow, I was a more cautious and made 24 smaller muffins. As you can see they don't reach the top of the liners, but they are good kid-sized treats!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

No-Tomato Ketchup

One of the heartbreaks of my little girlie losing tomatoes is that she ADORES ketchup! She wants ketchup with nearly every meal. Thankfully I'd stumbled upon a tomato-free ketchup recipe some time ago and was able to come to her rescue. The recipe below is modified from one posted at

No-Tomato Ketchup

1 (14.5 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can pear halves in natural juice, less 1/4 cup juice
1 (14.5 ounce) can sliced carrots, drained
1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Place all the ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. (It won't take long!) It's a very similar color to tomato ketchup, just slightly transparent, and smells just like tomato ketchup.

It received the Miss M seal of approval! My husband thinks it tastes a lot like a certain roast beef sandwich chain's sauce. My oldest didn't care for it at all. I'm embarrassed to say I couldn't bring myself to try it. I have a lot of food aversions, and this apparently was just too much for me. But it makes a large batch and I won't have to mix it up too often. I split up the finished ketchup and put half in the freezer. I need to buy a little squeeze bottle and fill it up with safe ketchup so it's easier to manage than spooning out of the pictured container.

More Allergies :(

I haven't posted in a while because the food allergy situation is changing so much. No fun new recipes for Little C and now it's become clear my little girl is sensitive to some food too. Because of her symptoms she is now going to be screened for eosinophilic esophagitis.

New additions to C's allergy list: mustard, grapes, barley, oat, celery and almonds. This summer he also mildly reacted to peaches and cherries but we're hoping that was oral allergy syndrome and will retry them this winter, since those didn't show up on the skin test. Of course grapes didn't show up either, and when he retried them this week after much begging, he reacted with a rash on his face and arms and coughing. He snuck a raisin the next day and reacted with a rash again.

Miss M has had troubles for the last 2 years that neither we nor doctors were never able figure out. After doing a food diary it became all too clear that she quickly reacts to tomatoes and potatoes. I suspect dairy might be a problem too. She hasn't undergone allergy testing for tomato or potato, so I'm not sure why those foods are causing problems, but there isn't a doubt that they do. In November she's scheduled to have an upper endoscopy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Crispy Cookies

It's been a while since I'd made my little guy his own safe chocolate chip cookies, and the recipe I used before needed some changes, so we gave it a try together while my girls were in school. He especially loved taste-testing the dough along the way (a great benefit of egg-free batter!).

I intentionally made these small because they were for him but also because my previous attempts produced a rather flimsy cookie, but these are pretty sturdy despite begin thin.

Chocolate Chip Crispy Cookies

1/2 cup shortening (I use Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup barley flour*
1/2 cup oat flour*
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
3/4 tsp baking powder (homemade corn free, see sidebar)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat.

In a medium bowl, cream the shortening, brown sugar and white sugar. Then mix in the applesauce. In a separate bowl mix together the barley flour, oat flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder and salt. Slowly mix in all the dry ingredients into the sugar/shortening mixture until fully blended.  Then stir in the chocolate chips.

 Place rounded teaspoon-fulls on the lined baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between each. Bake for approximately 8 1/2 minutes or until edges are set and center is no longer bubbling. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Yields about 60 cookies, 2" in diameter.


* If you can't use gluten grains, why don't you try substituting the barley and oat with your favorite flour?

I included these cookies this week on Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday! Be sure to visit and see all the creative allergy-friendly recipes!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chicken Drumsticks

I've made this meal a few times for the whole family. The kids especially love it! It's easy and cheap too!

Chicken Drumsticks

Drumsticks, skin removed
Oil, I used canola
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Pour just enough oil in baking dish to coat the bottom. Put the chicken in the dish and coat each piece in oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes, turn the pieces, season the other sides, then bake for another 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.



I've submitted this recipe to Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday!

I'm not sure if I'll be able to make the exact version of this recipe for Little C again though. :( Last time I made it he broke out in hive around his mouth and I'm not sure why. The black pepper maybe? Since, he hasn't eaten any chicken either. Yesterday he actually had a major reaction and according to his action plan I should have used his epipen, but didn't realize that until this morning. Again, I'm not sure why. He's fine today, thankfully.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Homemade Rum Vanilla Extract

This is one of those little projects I put off for way too long, but it is SO easy! Now we have not only safe vanilla extract for the little man, we have lots of yummy and inexpensive vanilla extract that I use in all my baking. Many commercial extracts are marked as gluten-free but they are made with corn alcohol.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

  • Good quality, unflavored rum
  • Vanilla beans (I used 8, a mix of Tahitian and Madagascar beans)

That's it!

Split the vanilla pods vertically, then scrape the seeds out and into the bottle. If the beans won't fit into the rum bottle (or whatever bottle you use for your vanilla extract), cut them in half. Place the pods in the bottle too.

There are homemade vanilla tutorials all over the internet, so if you want a few more photos, they will be easy to find. Typically vodka is recommended, but little guy is allergic to many of the sources, so I used rum because it's made from sugar cane. Research the brand you buy and make sure no other flavors are added to it. Another safe option we found for my guy would have been barley vodka, but went with rum because I wanted to be able to use it when baking for my gluten-free friend too!

Let the vanilla mixture soak for about 2 months, shaking it occasionally. I keep the bottle in a dark corner of my counter. I use it pretty frequently, but if you don't, give it a shake once and a while.

I added this to Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday post! Check out the other allergy friendly recipes linked up!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More new allergies?

I haven't been experimenting with new recipes much this summer, short of baking the same cupcake recipes without guar gum. One of these days I'll write up the coconut yogurt recipe I'm using (gum-free is a struggle!). The goal for this summer was to find a safe multivitamin and hopefully a safe vegetable or two, but we haven't done that yet. Unfortunately it has been one reaction after another and little guy seems some new allergens: celery, cherry and peach. I hope I'm wrong but I'm pulling them for now. Corn has become even more of a problem and he's now even having trouble with citric acid (which is generally corn derived). He reacts to yellow mustard now too, so I don't know if that's the mustard seed or if he's reacting to the source of the vinegar (wheat and/or corn).

The good news is that he is becoming more aware of what food is safe and what isn't. We got him a MedicAlert bracelet in his favorite orange. It usually takes some bribing with Enjoy Life chocolate and he's only wearing it when we go out now, but it's a good first step, right?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Maple Arrowroot Cookies

This is a copycat recipe I came up with when I had to stop buying my son's favorite commercial toddler cookie because they contain with sunflower oil, an allergy of his we discovered a few months ago. He LOVED the store-bought cookies, but these are even better! (I even let him have them as part of breakfast sometimes.)

Maple Arrowroot Cookies

1 cup shortening (I use Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 Tbls maple syrup
1 cup barley flour
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (homemade corn free, see sidebar)
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Beat shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add applesauce and maple syrup and mix.

In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients. Gradually add to wet mixture until fully combined.

Roll dough into a ball and cover in plastic wrap. Let chill in refrigerator for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill cookie press/spritz gun with dough and desired shape plate OR simply roll dough into 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" logs and slice into 1/4" rounds. Place cookies on parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Cookies will spread slightly during baking.

Bake for 10 to 11 minutes until the edges are golden. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely. Cover in a container with a tight lid.

(Below is a photo of the unbaked pressed cookies.)

I shared this recipe on Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday. Take a peek at all the other recipes shared too!

Friday, May 20, 2011

3 day food diary

I've been meaning to post this for a while, so I thought today, "Eat Like Us Day," would be fitting. This is the 3-day food diary I submitted before his visit with the hospital nutrition department. I always felt like he ate a lot every day, but seeing it all written down overwhelmed me!



1 cup Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal (Gluten Free Variety)
5/8 cup West Soy brand Plain Rice Beverage


1 2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce (Kroger)
39g cooked weight Cook’s brand ready-to-cook ham steak, pan-fried in small amount of bacon grease

Snacks throughout the day

15 g Enjoy Life chocolate chips
5 homemade rice graham crackers, weight = 40g


2oz West Soy brand Plain Rice Beverage
15 g (uncooked weight) De Boles spaghetti-style rice pasta, a few drops of canola oil and a pinch of kosher salt
1/2 pound (uncooked weight) bison, fat drained, lightly salted



1/2 cup Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal (Gluten Free Variety)
1/4 cup West Soy brand Plain Rice Beverage
3 coconut muffins, homemade


35g cooked weight Cook’s brand ready-to-cook ham steak, pan-fried in small amount of bacon grease
4oz apple juice

Snacks throughout the day

10 g of Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom dark chocolate bar
2 coconut muffins, homemade


145g chicken nuggets, homemade



10g (1 pack) Mrs. Mays Freeze Dried Apple Chips
1 coconut muffin, homemade
103g red grapes


1 medium fresh pear
65g chicken nuggets, homemade
4 oz apple juice

Snacks throughout the day

1/2 cup Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal (Gluten Free Variety)
1/4 cup West Soy brand Plain Rice Beverage
10 g of Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom dark chocolate bar
12 Edward & Sons Brown Rice Snaps
2 tsp coconut oil (he dips the rice snaps in the coconut)


55g roasted turkey tenderloin, cooked with canola oil, kosher salt & black pepper
¼ cup white long grain rice cooked with homemade chicken stock, pinch of salt

Overall, he really needs more calcium. He refuses to drink the new rice milk we had to switch to, and he can't drink the So Delicious coconut milk anymore that he used to love, because it contains guar gum. So he doesn't drink any milk substitute anymore, just has it in the many bowls of cereal he eats every day. Once I ever get his skin cleared up I have a multivitamin and a corn free calcium supplements to trial him on (separately). He is also lacking in vitamin A, primarily. We got some ideas for new foods to trial when safe, and I'm to push peaches (which seem safe for him).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chick-faux-la Nuggets

My son is all about the look-alike foods and Chick-fil-a is one of the only fast-food we'll still occasionally pick up in the drive-through on a busy day, so he needed his own version too!

Chicken Nuggets

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs fresh chicken breasts (2-3 breasts), cut into 1 1/2" chunks
  • rice milk to submerge cut chicken (or safe milk substitute)
  • a few drops of apple cider vinegar (or safe vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups safe flour (I use a mix of oat and barley flours)
  • Kosher salt 
  • Black pepper
  • canola oil (or safe oil/fat)

The chicken I buy comes in a plastic container that I use also use as my preparation dish. The less I have to touch raw chicken/meat, the better. Cut into chunks, about 1 1/2" across. The more uniform the pieces, the more evenly they will cook.

Once all the pieces are cut, pour rice milk to nearly submerge all the chicken. Add a few drops of apple cider vinegar. (This mimics buttermilk.) Mix in a bit and let sit for about 5 minutes while you do the next steps.

Pour canola oil in shallow pan to achieve a depth of about 1/2". Turn on heat to medium.

Now mix up your flour. I mix equal amounts of oat and barley flours, about 1 1/2 cups total. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, I use about a teaspoon of each.

Bread each piece of chicken in the flour mixture by completely covering then shaking off excess. Place into the hot oil. Place your chicken in an orderly fashion so you can keep track of which ones need flipping! Continue on until your pan is full.

When the first-placed nuggets start turning golden on the bottom, flip them over! Watch carefully and flip the rest of the nuggets as they are ready.

Watch for the 2nd side to turn golden brown, and when each nugget appears ready, remove it from the pan. I usually cut a few of the large nuggets in half to check that they truely are cooked through. Odd-shaped nuggets may need a 3rd cooking round on their side if the top and bottom cooking wasn't sufficient.

Repeat process until all the chicken is cooked!

These freeze really well! I usually just keep them in the refrigerator since my son eats them up so quickly, though. To reheat, place in a 375F oven until oil begins to glisten at the surface (about 5 minutes for refrigerated, 8-9 for frozen).

I shared this recipe in Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday 4/22/11 post!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes Update: Gum-free

My little guy seems to have developed a guar gum allergy in the last few months, in addition soy, so that means some of my older recipes were due for makeovers. Today, I'll share the makeover of my coconut cake recipe! Since I was testing I just did a half-batch, but that was perfect for one pan of cupcakes! They may have been slightly more delicate than the original recipe that include guar gum, but I think they turned out great! Most importantly, they were a hit with my son. :) I'd planned a chocolate frosting for them, but they didn't last long enough for me to mix up a frosting!

Coconut Cupcakes

1/4 cup palm shortening (I used Spectrum)
1/4 cup coconut oil (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbls unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp unflavored gelatin + 1 Tbls hot water (mix and set aside)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbls rice flour (=10 Tbls)
5 Tbls tapioca starch (flour)
5 Tbls arrowroot starch
6 Tbls coconut flour
2 teaspoons safe baking powder (see sidebar)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups rice milk, hot

Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat sugar, coconut oil and shortening. Blend in applesauce and gelatin mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix in half the flour mixture, then half the milk, until blended. Slowly mix in remaining flour and milk.

Bake in lined cupcake pans for about 20 minutes. Bake cake layer in greased or parchment lined pan for about 30 minutes. Let sit in pan until cooled.

Yields 12 standard-sized cupcakes or single 8" round cake layer.

I shared this recipe on Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday! Check out all the other great allergy friendly recipes shared this week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oral Rehydration Solution

What do you do when your little one is sick with a GI bug, getting dehydrated, but is allergic to Pedialyte? You save yourself a trip to the store, for once save money, and mix up your own rehydration drink!

This recipe is courtesy of the World Health Organization. I was able to locate it thanks to one of my little guy's team of doctors, so I'm reposting it here since even he had a difficult time finding the exact recipe. The more people that know the recipe the better!

Here is the original recipe, which can be found at C's nutrition specialist recommended the recipe #3.

For 1 Liter of oral rehydration solution mix:

  • 1 Liter cold drinking water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used Kosher)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (can substitute honey)
Stir until sugar and salt dissolve.  Store cooled and discard any remaining solution after 24 hours.

I tasted it afraid it was going to be salty and it wasn't! I was pleasantly surprised! To me the commercial drinks are far too sweet, where this is just slightly sweet. If I end up with this rotten virus I'll be mixing up some of this solution for myself instead of chugging the dye-filled Gatorade my husband has been drinking.

*Update* I tasted some of the solution after it sat in the refrigerator overnight and it was horribly salty! I guess when I first tasted it the salt hadn't dissolved completely.  So in the future I will be sure to mix up really small batches because it sure tasted better at first!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Updated Barley Oat Pancakes (Top 8 Free)

I mentioned these pancakes in my previous post, so now it's time for the recipe! I remember taking a photo of the regular pancakes cooking (they turned out fluffier than the original post's photo) but I can't seem to find it, so the number-shaped pancake will have to do!

Barley Oat Pancakes (Wheat, Egg, Dairy, Soy, Corn free) 

1/2 cup barley flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1-1/2 tsp safe baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbls maple syrup
1 Tbls canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup rice milk
coconut oil to coat griddle & to "butter" pancakes

Preheat a pan or griddle on low-medium to medium heat. (On my electric stove I set it to 3 or 3-1/2.) Coat pan lightly with melted coconut oil.

Stir together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Set batter aside for a minute or two to thicken.

Pour batter onto hot griddle and cook until edges turn a light-medium golden color and bubbles start to form on the surface. Flip over with a spatula and top with coconut oil. Cook other side until golden brown.

Yields 18 3" silver dollar pancakes

I've been making these every couple days at the demand of this little man. :) 

Birthday Boy!

Subtitled: What was supposed to be his allergy-safe celebration

My little guy recently turned 3! Kid birthdays here always start off with a number shaped pancake, and that's the case allergies or not. I used a modified version of these barley-oat pancakes I posted a while back and I'll repost it soon. :)

He spent the morning playing and then snoozed the afternoon away! We were all waiting for him to wake up so we could have his celebration! 

One of our recent purchases was a cotton candy machine especially to make special treats for our little guy. Not that you *need* cotton candy but with as many things as he can't have, we wanted something really special that he could have, that would always be safe. Instead of using the artificial stuff they give you with the machine, I just put plain organic cane sugar in. One tablespoon of sugar makes a big cloud of fluffy white cotton candy! The plan had been to use the cotton candy machine his birthday afternoon, but he slept all afternoon! I was happy we'd tested it out a few days prior. :)

His favorite tv show right now is Team Umi Zoomi and I found printable party decorations online so that's what we used. I made Chocolate Wacky Cupcakes and dusted them with tapioca starch powdered sugar because he doesn't like icing. 

Blowing out the candles!

He had such a fun time! He ate 3 cupcakes. :) 

That's where the subtitle comes in. :( Later that night his face got a bit rashy. The next day he was sporting quite a pair of allergic shiners along with flaring eczema and the GI issues that go along with any reaction for him. Rotten birthday present.  

He ate the same recipe cupcakes just 1 month earlier, all the same ingredients with no issues. The only thing that I don't use on a nearly daily basis? Guar gum. Guar gum is also an ingredient in the coconut milk and ice cream that he once loved but started refusing in January. Refusal typically indicates the beginnings of an allergy, I just didn't connect it. Guar gum is in the legume family which he has a lot of trouble with already so I'm not terribly surprised, just disappointed and sad. 

Later the same week, he started refusing he favorite soy yogurt, saying it made his belly hurt. He had been eating it daily. He would ask for it, look at the bowl, cry, give it back to me uneaten. On Sunday, after not requesting it for several days he asked for it again so I gave him a really small bowl. He gobbled it up and asked for more. I gave him a little more, he ate it, then asked for more, and I gave him the last little bit. Within an hour he was crying about his belly hurting and later that night the allergic shiners & GI symptoms appeared.

So…instead of outgrowing allergies he's just gaining them.  I never posted an allergist update in Feb but that appointment confirmed a definite allergy to sunflower seeds, still a very strong reaction to dairy (cross contamination was the likely cause for the cracker reaction), and a new mild allergy to carrots and tomatoes. I wish I'd taken in soy and pinto bean samples, I meant to but forgot. I'm sure he would test positive on both of those now. :(

Just this past week he caught a rotten bug from his in-preschool-sister. Between the soy and the virus he lost 2 pounds in under a week that he couldn't afford to lose and surely knocked himself back down to the bottom of the growth chart. He's reacted to strawberry flavoring in Zofran and corn in fever reducers and has been all-around miserable. After C was doing so well I'm now back to working with a nutritionist trying to find a way around spending more than I usually spend on a week's worth of groceries for the family to buy some elemental formula to supplement my little guy ever-shrinking diet. :(

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate Wacky Cake - Gluten, Dairy, Egg Free!

My daughter's birthday was recently, and she wanted a chocolate cake. My little guy loves chocolate now too, so he certainly couldn't be left out! So, on with the search for a safe chocolate cake for him!

To the rescue, wacky cake! Luckily my search didn't take long! Wacky cake is a traditional recipe that it said to have been developed in the depression era - it's already dairy and egg free! All I needed to do was switch out the wheat flour. Many recipes also include a bit more sugar (a full cup) than I've included below, but that was just too sweet and sticky to me. I reduced it just a bit so the cupcakes are still sweet, but not too sweet to be topped with icing or to mix in some mini chocolate chips like I did in the photo below!

The cupcakes are so yummy I even made them again for my daughter to take to her preschool class to share! No one even noticed they weren't the typical ingredients! :)

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Dry Ingredients
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 + 1/8 cup tapioca starch
1/4 + 1/8 cup arrowroot starch
1 1/2 guar gum
3 Tbls cocoa powder
3/4 cup + 2 Tbls granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Wet Ingredients
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
5 Tbls canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (if safe - I omitted and it was still yummy!) 
1 cup water

If you are baking a cake, mix right in the 8" sqaure or 9" round pan! For cupcakes, mix in 1 bowl and have prepared 12 cupcake pan ready for the batter. 

Mix together all the dry ingredients. Make 2 (or 3 if including vanilla) wells in the flour mixture with a spoon and pour the vinegar, oil and vanilla extract in. Pour in 1 cup water, quickly stir together until there are no lumps. For cupcakes, immediately transfer into cupcake pan. Place into preheated oven.

Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes and a cake for about 30 minutes. 

Shared on Cybele Pascal's Allergy-Friendly Friday, March 25, 2011.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The ups and downs of food allergies

I haven't tried any new recipes in a while, but later today I plan on doing some chocolate cupcake experimenting. My little girl's birthday is this weekend and I want to make sure my little guy has a safe treat too! He's really loving chocolate lately, so I think a chocolate cupcake is in order. I'll be sure to post whatever works!

Since I last posted there have certainly been some ups and downs when in comes to food allergies. Little C wasn't supposed to have another checkup with his allergist until April, but it's been moved up to later this month, so I'm hoping to get my thoughts together for the appointment with this post.

The bad:
#1 In mid November we discovered these crackers at our local grocery store. Amazed to find a new safe cracker, I let my little guy try them and he LOVED them. Devoured almost the entire box in one afternoon. And less than 24 hours later was very clearly having a definite reaction.

I called the company that next day when he was reacting, to see if they changed the maltodextrin that was clearly stated on the box "from tapioca" to corn, and they insisted that nothing had changed. C's been eating this company's brown rice snaps since that was almost his only solid food, so I do trust them. I don't know what happened. We re-trialed the crackers (a different box) an he did NOT have a reaction to them, so my only idea is that the previous box was cross-contaminated with something from of their flavored cracker lines. (Maybe the bbq variety?)

#2 Then while we were on vacation I gave him chicken that seemed to be safe, but turned out not to be. I'm not sure what it had on it that he reacted to.

#3 I bought the wrong box of tea and picked up a kind that had "essence of lemon." C is used to sneaking a sip of my glass of iced tea and he did when I'd made a pitcher of tea using 1/2 "lemon" bags. Almost another week of reacting.

And here's where the reactions just start running in to one another...
#4 I bought a case of juice boxes to send in to preschool for snacktime and foolishly left the shrink-wrapped case on the kitchen floor. He pried a straw off the side of one box and then poked through several boxed of citrus and berry fruit punch. The strawberry was a problem for sure & I already suspected orange would be a problem.

#5 A bowl with a few dry chocolate Cheerios was left unattended on the kitchen table. He quickly swiped it. Not sure how many he ate.

#6 Unattended cup of cow's milk left on the kitchen table another day, also grabbed.

Somewhere in there was also a stomach virus.

I feel like there were other reactions in there too, but I cannot remember what they were. I got suspicious about all sorts of cross-contamination, so nearly everything was suspect really. When he has successive reactions it takes a lot longer to recover, but finally, just after New Year's he started to get back to normal.  That was nearly 6 weeks straight sick.

When he is in a reaction I have to put him on an even more restricted diet (under the advisement of his allergist). It's basically the BRAT diet, but modified for him. His GI system is flared and he has trouble digesting anything, so no fatty foods, no red meat, and I've discovered no grapes. Mainly when reacting he eats nonstop rice products and apples, and when he's a little better I let him have oats, chicken and turkey too.

During this time I did take him in for a check-up with his pediatrician and confirmed that he'd lost a 1/2 pound from his last recorded weight in October.

The good:
By mid-January C had been healthy for just about 2 weeks. I'd slowly introduced his favorites back into his diet: soy yogurt, coconut milk, beef & bison, grapes and even retrialled those suspect rice crackers without incident. We visited his GI doctor and he weighed in at an amazing 30 pounds! He not only regained the lost weight, he gained back more, putting him at the 50th percentile for weight for his age. An amazing thing considering he used to be under the 3rd percentile.

(I consider that proof that you can get fat on rice cakes!)

Recent good & bad: 
Since C was doing so much better I decided to finally trial something new. Sunflower seeds aka Sunbutter. I'd intended to try it a long while ago and even included in on one his scratch tests but never had the nerve to feed it to him. But his skin looked great and he wasn't having any GI trouble, so we tried it. He wasn't a fan, but he did eat a little bit which is a big step, and didn't show any immediate reaction or GI reaction! But his ezcema did flare a bit in the following days, so I'm not sure what to think.  The allergist wants to me bring along all recent suspect food to the next appt for fresh food scratch testing, so I'll bring it too I guess. 


I'd planned on doing a product feature of one of little C's favorite things, but called the company this morning to ask them a question (I wanted to clarify before recommending) and now I'm left a bit uncomfortable. Considering just how often I was buying it, I'm really disappointed. Another case of "your family should probably not consume our product." I appreciate their truthfulness when I called, but aarrrgggghhh!!! Now I wonder if cross-contaimination from their product contributed to some of his trouble . Basically small companies don't have the $ to keep everything clean or isolated from cross contamination and big companies that could afford to, won't dare disclose their proprietary information and don't want you to buy from them anyway.