Thursday, August 15, 2013

Allergy Friendly, On the Go

As most of my readers know, my youngest child has some pretty serious food allergies. For those who might be new to this blog, this is Beaker:

Beaker is a sweet, fun, super awesome four year old. With food allergies.

His list of allergens include wheat, soy, garlic, hazelnuts, eggs, dairy, and shellfish. So far we have established that soy (in all forms, including soybean oil and soy lecithin) is VERY bad for him, and wheat also makes him quite ill. Garlic is another to which he definitely reacts. He isn't dairy allergic, but is lactose intolerant - he can eat small amounts of cheese, but milk or ice cream make his stomach miserable. And trace amounts of egg in baked goods is fine for him, but we haven't yet tested egg in any other form. The test for hazelnuts was inconclusive, so for now he is still completely tree nut and peanut free, just in case. Best not to tempt fate with that one! We haven't tested shellfish yet. 

We bring food for him pretty much everywhere we go. Like most four year olds, Beaker is growing fast and often has a big appetite. With his allergies and sensitivities, we can't just stop at any drive thru to pick up a snack for him if we're out and he gets hungry - very few restaurants have food which is truly contaminate free and safe for him to eat. Even grocery stores can be tough to find easy snacks for him sometimes, since fruits and veggies need to be washed and cut, and that's hard to do if you're stuck in the car running errands. Pre-portioned individually wrapped snacks that are safe for him are also usually very expensive. And that's IF we're lucky enough to be able to find a grocery store near wherever we happen to be. It saves us a huge amount of time, trouble, and expense to simply pack up meals and snacks for him to bring with us.

These are a few examples of the allergy-safe meals I pack for Beaker:

Mini sausages with ketchup for dipping, carrot bits and cheese bites, pieces of pear, and an EnjoyLife allergy-free cookie.

I also included a small cup of applesauce on the side for a snack. Beaker likes to dip pears in applesauce. Apparently they just taste better that way!

For this lunch, Beaker helped me pack an Easy Lunchbox with his favorite turkey-cheese rolls. He also chose a pair of allergy safe cookies, some carrots and cucumbers, halved grapes, and pear chunks.

Cucumbers from the garden are one of Beaker's favorite snacks. It tickles him that they can go from growing on the vine to his plate in five minutes.

Another favorite is Thomas the Tank Engine. Here is another Thomas meal, this time with shredded chicken, carrot and apple slices, Beaker-safe trail mix tucked into the little treasure box, strawberries from our garden, cheese bits, and a broken up allergy safe cookie.

This one came to the lake with us for a fun fast beach lunch. The main box is a robot clip-lid box I found at Target for less than $2, and the side dish is a round Thomas container that I think was $3, also at Target.

The side dish holds his snack ~ mango pieces, Tings, and an EnjoyLife allergy safe brownie bite.

For lunch, he has Canadian bacon slices, strawberries, cheese bits, Van's Say Cheese crackers, and another brownie bite.

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  1. How do you keep your apples from getting brown by lunchtime when you slice them before school?

    1. For apple slices I place them in a bowl or sandwich baggie, add a little lemon or lime juice and a little water and shake them up well to coat. The citric acid in the juice keeps the apples from turning brown and the splash of water dilutes it a little to keep the apple slices from tasting sour.

    2. You just do this right before you put the lunch together or is this an overnight thing?

    3. Both :) Sometimes I put lunches together the night before, sometimes I put them together in the morning. Most often it's the night before - I'm not a morning person! Tossing the apple slices with lemon-water only takes a few seconds, so it's not really time consuming at all. Sprite also works, and adds a touch of extra sweetness, but it's not something I generally keep around.


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