A recent post by one of our favorite bloggers, Heidi Bayer, the mom behind Brooklyn Allergy Mom.
Recently I was asked how I figured out how to bake top 8, allergen-free, and gluten-free.
The answer? One tear at a time. I didn't say this. Instead I said, well, our daughter was so limited that I had to find ways to make things for her. And that's what I did.
Ten years ago, I created recipes for cake that were simply rice flour, oil, and water. I baked the batter, cooled the cake, then using large cookie cutters I made adorable shapes like dogs, butterflies, and cats. I poured maple syrup into a bowl and our daughter enjoyed her 'birthday cake' dipped in syrup.
I cried when I made it. I cried when she ate it. It didn't seem fair.
I became the Allergic Iron Chef to one food allergic child. For many years, there were only 7 ingredients I could work with on any given day. There weren't enough foods for a 'rotation diet'.
Those were the days when I rose at 5am before work to make rice milk from scratch using brown rice and water, and to make homemade chicken broth for chicken soup with rice which was a staple for us.
The six month allergy visits, sometimes more depending on whether or not there was a new reaction, were more about adding allergens than subtracting them until she was 7. Throughout the years, we've gained, and lost, always holding steady at the number of allergens. It's as if we have the richest food allergy bank account in the world.
The really amazing news is that she's now thirteen, smart, funny, and her allergens seem to be decreasing.
A recent trip away from us was all about being a teenager, and not about having food allergies.
I remember when our child was small people would say "it gets better" and I couldn't see it because it seemed as though it was one step forward, ten steps back.
I was hopeful that by thirteen we would have outgrown 100% or at last 95% of our allergens. But that's not what happened. What happened was she grew up in spite of it all, and yours will too.
I'm a testament to the fact that the days get better, the children grow up, and there are people in the world who have been where you are and we're here for you.
PS - We can't do pea protein or coconut oil either.
Heidi Bayer is the mom to a child with over thirty multiple food allergies. When her child was diagnosed in 1998, she began her journey and learned how to live, cook, eat and think without milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, nuts, peanuts, and other every day foods. Bayer is on the board of the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation, Founder of the Brooklyn Food Allergy Caregiver Support Group and an active member of FAAN. She blogs as bklynallergymom.com where she offers her perspective on being a parent to a child with life-threatening allergies, recipes and humour and is the creator of "My Cake" an allergen-free line of cakes and cookies.