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Meet Our New Food Allergy Mom

Hello everyone! I am very excited about posting some recipes that are geared towards kids/families that have food allergies. Our household has spent 5 years avoiding dairy, pistachios, cashews, and for a short time period, eggs. I know that there are a lot of other allergies families struggle with and I will try to expand my search to address those as well. I know it is a hard journey. My goal is to help that journey be a bit easier. I would love any feedback you have to share!

I am a mom to three wonderful kids, Caleb (6 yrs old), and my two girls Joanna (4 yrs old) and Selah (2 yrs old). Caleb is the only one with any food allergies.

Caleb was 9 months old when we learned of his dairy allergy. One evening for dinner, he had more dairy than typical and broke out in rashes and swelling of lips and cheeks. At the allergist, a skin test showed an allergy to milk and eggs and a drink test showed an allergy to goats milk. We also learned that each successive exposure caused a worse reaction than the previous one. The allergist recommended that we carry an epi pen and avoid all dairy products, including foods that have dairy cooked in it or if a dairy protein (such as whey or casein) was on the ingredient list. We did not avoid foods processed in the same facility as dairy.

When Caleb was 3 yrs. old he tried a pistachio and started to break out in rashes and swelling which affected his breathing. This reaction was bad enough that my husband administered an epi-pen. A skin test showed allergies to pistachios and cashews. The allergist encouraged us to keep him eating the nuts he was not allergic to.

By age 2, Caleb outgrew his egg allergy and by age 5 he had outgrown his dairy allergy! He is still allergic to the pistachios and cashews, but our life has changed tremendously! Even though he can now eat dairy, he generally does not like it and his stomach tends to bother him as his body is not used to digesting the dairy. Therefore, we still don’t eat a lot of dairy in the house.

I have a passion for learning how to keep my family healthy through food, exercise, and a love for the outdoors. I love to try new recipes, learn to cook foods I have never eaten before, and aspire to grow my own vegetable garden. I am not skilled at developing my own recipes. Therefore, I have learned to find recipes I like via magazines, the Internet, friends and family, and tweak them to meet our families needs. I will always cite where I have found the recipes I post and whenever possible will provide a URL to the recipe.

I was so excited when I started making smoothies without using any milk, yogurt, or juice and they tasted great! My kids love them and I know they are getting some great nutrients. Feel free to play around with this recipe by using other frozen fruits (berries work great), other types of greens, or varying the amounts of the ingredients to your own taste. Enjoy!

Mango Banana Spinach Smoothie

Makes 4 cups

2 peeled bananas

2 heaping cups of cubed frozen mango chunks

1 cup of water (divided into two 1/2 cups)

3 packed cups of fresh baby spinach

a few leaves of kale

Place bananas, mango chunks, and 1/2 cup of water into blender.

Blend until mixed well. Add spinach and 1/2 cup water, blend. Add kale, blend.

Notes: Depending on the power of your blender and your desired consistency, you may want/need to add more water. You may also need to add the frozen mango and spinach leaves progressively or stop your blender and mix with a spoon several times during the blending.

ENJOY!

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Amanda Jensen, mom of 3

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