Posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert. Please always consult your physician for medical advice. This blog is not a substitute for professional advice. Due to the ever changing manufacturing process and/or ingredients, please check food labels each and every time to make sure they comply with your food allergies. The Alherrgy Mom Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn very small advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But NO, we won't let that sway our opinions, all products listed, are found in our home and are regularly used by us.

Our go-to food products

December 7, 2018

I remember at 6 months of age, when Lucas got first diagnosed with his food allergies, my world crashed. How was he ever going to lead a normal life? My mind immediately went to how much this severe medical condition would steal from him. I got a crash course of that impending life of his, when I choose to continue to breastfeed. His allergist said that if I continue to breastfeed him after this diagnosis, I had to immediately cut dairy and egg from my diet. As much as I give my husband a bad rap sometimes, he will go above and beyond for his family and I'm reminded of that when life hands you a bowl of sour lemons, he was the sugar. He took us to Wegmans that night and left me buy whatever my little heart desired. That was our first taste of reading food labels. While it sucked!!!! I was pleasantly surprised at the selection. Granted, 3/4 of the store was still filled with our poison but if we stuck with the specialty aisle's we were golden. We are fortunate to live in an area that has a Wegmans, Wholefoods, Kimberton Wholefoods and Amazon.. Fast forward to when he was off the boob at a year old and got diagnosed with a pea, pea protein, and tree nut allergies. (He can have almonds though but for the sake of the public and when he's out of the house, he's strictly tree nut free). His choices got cut down even more but I was more equipped to handle the news.

When you find allergy friendly products, you stick with them! Moms do non-stop research and in the age of social media and the internet, you really see how many products are out there in this day and age! Here are the products that we buy and LOVE! (I'm not paid to say any of this). These products have helped me, soooooo much in this allergy journey!

Enjoy Life- Their products are free from gluten and the 14 common allergens. Their facility is also nut-free. Enjoy Life Website

FreeYumm- Their products are free from the Top 8, sulphites and sesame allergens. They also have a dedicated allergy free facility. FreeYumm Website

MadeGood- Their products are free from most common allergens and are made in a facility free from peanuts, tree nuts and more! They also sneak in a full serving of vegetables into their products. Go check them out MadeGood

Better Bites Bakery- Their products are free from dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, no fish and no shellfish. Their facility is not certified tree nut free due to their use of coconut (FDA classifies coconut as a tree nut). Better Bites Bakery Website

Abe's Muffins- These muffins are seriously AMAZING!!!! Between my son and I, we can eat a whole container in a day! I try to keep my hands off of Lucas' foods but I can't with these! They are free from dairy, egg, soy and no nuts!!! Other than coconut (FDA classifies coconut as a tree nut), their facility is 100% free of all other tree nuts and peanuts. Abe's Muffins Website

Amanda's Own Confections- They ship and Amanda is seriously the most amazing person ever! I have never personally met her but we've had some correspondence. I believe in supporting small business and she is one I will support over and over again. Her chocolate is out of this world! Her products are free from Top 8 allergens and her equipment is dedicated free from Top 8 allergens. Amanda's Own Confections

MomPops- MomPops MomPops MomPops! We love MomPops!!!!! Another great (local to us) small business! I will get into fights with my toddler over MomPops! He wants to eat the whole box of MomPops in a sitting. I say "No" and he screams even louder and cry's. He has even resorted to going to the freezer and opening it to get to the MomPops. MomPops we NEED to hide. They are free from gluten, NonGMO, vegan, dairy free, soy free, peanut free and kosher. They are mini-sized frozen pops. Perfect size for a toddler and no guilt for mom because they aren't loaded with sugar! Let him eat 3 at a time. I don't care. Go check them out! MomPops Website

My 10 Tips and Tricks for Food Challenges

December 6, 2018

Food Challenges can be a challenge in more ways than one! When your little one is made to eat and it's imperative that it's done in the allotted time frame. It can be stressful on them and you, thus making the whole appointment nothing but a fight. I don't know about you but making my toddler eat, when he doesn't want to or eat something he doesn't like, leaves momma having to think on her feet and FAST!

At this point, we've become seasoned food challenge participants ::sigh:: My hubby and I learn something new after each appointment. Like the last food challenge, baked dairy. Cupcakes. You'd think a toddler would LOVE to eat cupcakes, he eats the vegan ones at home and it's a non-issue. He can't get enough of them. Put him in a doctors office with a cupcake and it's like WWIII. It's him against all of us and the 2 year old is clearly #winning. We were almost done with the eating part of the challenge, he had half a cupcake he needed to eat and he needed to eat it within the next 20 minutes, after spending 10 of those minutes fighting with him, I said we need to put this in something. He loves pouches, sucks them down without even thinking and then I had my light bulb moment. So, I made my husband run across the street to the CVS and buy pouches. I asked the nurse for scissors and paper tape, then waited with baited breath for my husbands arrival because if this didn't work the whole last 1.5 hours would've been a waste and we'd have to do this all over again, on another day. I did surgery on the pouch, inserted that half-cupcake-from-hell, used the paper tape to close the bottom and handed it to my strong willed child, hoping for the best. We literally had 5 minutes left, hubby and I were both sweating it. He took a taste of it, though about it, but he continued to eat it. SUCCESS! With a minute to spare! Phew. Mom pulled a fast one and it worked! His doctor and nurse were clearly impressed and asked if they could give other parents this idea. I was shocked that I was only parent who thought of this. I said sure! Food allergy parents have to help each other out.

So here is quick list of helpful hints to make food allergy challenges less of a challenge:

1- Pouches, Pouches and more Pouches: Take several different kinds of pouches that your child already likes to eat. You could even get these WeeSprout Reusable Pouches. I always take both. Just make sure that if you take regular pre-filled pouches, you bring scissors and tape with you.

2- Yogurt: Yogurt is another go-to snack that my son will eat without thinking. Perfect for hiding stuff in. Extra perfect, if there is fruit in the yogurt. That helps masks the textures of whatever you're trying to hide.

3- Ice Cream or in my case Coconut Ice cream: Ice cream in our household, is that extra special treat that my son always asks for but I often say no. Just so I can keep it 'extra special'. I haven't tried taking ice cream before and it's not for the faint of heart but I'm packing it on ice and will try it, if this mom needs to pull out all the stops.

4- Toys and lots of them! I will pack toys that he hasn't played with in awhile. A few of his favorite toys and books. The hours go extremely slow when you're in a small room.

5- iPad: He only gets to use the iPad on special occasions. A small room with paper thin walls, yes, he will be given the iPad. I think of others and their ears.

6- Pack your patience: Just like animals, toddlers can sense your energy. I'm good at keeping my cool in front of my child, my husband on the other hand, will have a full-on man-sized meltdown if things start going south. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

7- Always take your EpiPens

8- Remember the diaper bag

9- Wipes and more wipes: Food allergy challenges can get messy, especially with a toddler or an infant.

10- DO NOT forget the food you're challenging!!!

I hope these helpful tips and tricks make your challenges, less of a challenge!! It takes a village and it takes a City to raise a food allergy kiddo.

DF, EF, TNF, Pea Protein Free Peanut Butter Blossoms

December 5, 2018

DF, EF, TNF, Pea Protein Free Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup Earth Balance, Whipped, Organic- (Always double check to make sure ingredients in this product are safe for your allergies!!!!) 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Additional granulated sugar (about 2 tablespoons) – If you want to be festive use Red or Green Sanding Sugar

About 30-40 Chocolate Kisses- Recipe below

Steps for cookies:

1.Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, earth balance and applesauce with mixer. Add in flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix until dough forms.

2. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar or sanding sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on parchment paper.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown, use your best judgment. Baking time varies.

4. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and place in fridge. (I found this worked best to keep the kisses in kiss form, until cookie cools).

Chocolate Kiss Recipe:

1 package Enjoy Life Semi-sweet Chocolate morsels (Always double check to make sure ingredients in this product are safe for your allergies!!!!) 

Kiss Molds from Amazon

In double boiler, melt down chocolate. Stirring frequently.

Once chocolate is melted, pour into molds and place in fridge until hard. Use a toothpick to get out any air bubbles.

Tag @the_alherrgy_mom and #thealherrgymomblog so I can see all your lovely allergy friendly cookies!!

Medical Alert Seatbelt Wraps

November 24, 2018

Medical Alert Seat Belt Wraps

Anybody who has a medical condition NEED these seat belt wraps! I've bought 2 from Dolores (1 for each car seat) and it was the best thing I ever bought for this allergy journey. They come with a self laminating card and emergency contact form that fit nicely in the pockets that are inside the wraps. God forbid, if i'm ever in an accident and can't communicate with first responders. Super fast shipping and Dolores was super easy to work with. I highly recommend her @etsy shop SewGoodByDolores and if you use code "Allergy" you save $2 off your order!

I even recently bought one for the jogging stroller. 

Peace of mind all around! 

DF, EF, Pea Protein Free Pumpkin Pie

November 23, 2018

DF, EF, Pea Protein Free Pumpkin Pie

2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin
1 cup almond or coconut condensed “milk” (or whatever milk substitute you use) + 1/3 cup of sugar- I put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until it got warm and somewhat thick (I didn’t have time to do it on the stove top.)
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust- I used Wholly Wholesome Pie Crusts (from Wholefoods and some Wegmans locations carry it.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare Crust as directed on the box. No need to grease the pie plate.

Whisk pumpkin, condensed dairy free milk, applesauce, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. I used the 2nd pie crust for decorations. I used a maple leaf cookie cutter and arranged leaves on top. Be creative! Use any cookie cutters you’d like or keep it traditional.

Cover, gently, with tin foil. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch’ish from the crust comes out clean’ish. Use your best judgement. Take off the tin foil for the last 5 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden brown.

Cool and Store covered in refrigerator.

Tag @the_alherrgy_mom and #thealherrgymomblog so I can see all your lovely allergy friendly pumpkin pies!!!

DF, EF, TNF, Pea Protein Free Apple Pie

DF, EF, TNF, Pea Protein Free Apple Pie

6 sliced, peeled apples( I use 2 different types to add different tastes).
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust- I used Wholly Wholesome Pie Crusts (from Wholefoods and some Wegmans locations carry it.)

Heat oven to 425°F.

Prepare Crust as directed on box

In large bowl, mix together apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and lemon juice. Top with second crust. You can either lattice the top crust or cover it entirely with the 2nd crust. If you cover it entirely, slit the top in a few spots to allow steam to come out. Have fun with the top crust! If you have left over crust, you can lattice it and use some fun cookie cutter cut-outs on top of the lattice depending on the season or holiday. Baking is all creating something fun (and tasty)!

Cover, gently, with tin foil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Take off tin foil for the last 5 minutes or until crust gets a nice golden brown.

Let cool and Store covered in the refrigerator!

Tag @the_alherrgy_mom and #thealherrgymomblog so I can see all your lovely allergy friendly apple pies!!

Our Allergy Journey

November 21, 2018

Our Allergy Journey:

Unbeknownst to me, our allergy journey started on October 29, 2016 when our son, Lucas, was born. He was covered in a rash from the moment I first laid eyes on him and then for the next 6 months. I breastfed him from the beginning. Pediatrician thought he just had very sensitive skin. I agreed. Being a first time mom, I had no idea. He never had any other, consistent, outward signs of a food allergy. He was growing perfectly fine, gaining weight like he should, no GI issues except some spit up and being cranky at times. He was sleeping long stretches overnight at 12 weeks. We tried different soaps, different creams, prescription creams or nothing at all. Nothing was working.

Easter 2017 came. It was a fun day filled with family and food. Lucas just turned 6 months old. Dessert came out and without me knowing, my mother gave him the slightest taste of vanilla ice cream. It was instant hives all around his mouth. We took him upstairs and washed off his face and watched him for the rest of the day. The hives slowly started to go away. Phew! But I knew something wasn’t right. His 6 month well appointment with the pediatrician was the next day, so I took pictures to document everything. Took pictures of the food label too. I showed the pediatrician and immediately he said food allergies and it would be in his best interest to see a pediatric allergist. Two days later, we took him to the allergist. They skin tested him for a few major allergies. It showed that he had allergies to Dairy and Egg. We got handed a prescription for EpiPens. My world crashed. I got home that night and just cried and cried some more. My perfect baby boy had a major problem. I knew I couldn’t change anything with the diagnosis but I was faced with the decision to stop breastfeeding and go to an allergy friendly formula OR cut out, cold turkey, all his allergens from my diet. As much as I hated breastfeeding, I enjoyed it. So I continued on. My wonderful husband stopped everything, went to the grocery store and got me a whole bunch of dairy free and egg free alternatives. As the weeks went on, the switch was becoming easier on me and his skin cleared up. It was amazing! Major mom guilt though. How didn’t I recognize this from the beginning???? I can’t imagine how he felt!

Life went on with major modifications and our “new” normal. His daycare was and continues to be amazing with all his food allergies.

At 1 yr. old, he had an anaphylactic reaction to Pea protein and green peas.

At 1.5 years old, he had another anaphylactic reaction to Cashews, 911 was called and he went to the hospital via ambulance. At his next allergy appointment, they skin tested for Tree nuts. He had major reactions to all Tree nuts, except Almonds. Which we knew he’d most likely be fine with because he drinks almond milk.

At 2 years old, he had his 3rd Anaphylactic reaction to Cross-Contamination at Daycare. To this day, we still don't know what he came in contact with. It wasn't a fault in the daycare. It was an oversight on my part. I thought I had all my bases covered. This reaction got us an overnight stay at the hospital. His worst reaction to date. 

His 4th Anaphylactic reaction was at his allergist's office during our cooked egg challenge, soon after he turned 3 yrs old. They administered Epi and watched him for a couple of hours.

On the bright side. He outgrew his dairy allergy! He's still able to eat baked egg. We get yearly bloodwork to check his IgE levels on Pea, Tree nut and Egg.

It's a wild, chaotic, stressful journey for sure! But we were meant to walk to path for a reason. 

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