Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Variety? NOT!

If there is one thing you can count on with kids, they like to eat the same things over and over again, and again......aaaaand again! Grayson would LIVE on pancakes and luckily we found a great grain-free, egg-free pancake recipe and considering the flours we use, he gets a lot of protein, thank goodness! But my word, give it a break already kid!! So while he enjoys the repetition of the same thing over and over, I find myself struggling with lunches, trying to find variety. Not so much because he wants it, because I know he would eat the same thing meal after meal if I let him, but because I try to rotate the few foods he CAN have. Kids who experience antigen reactions to food can develop new allergens with repeated use of the same foods over and over again, since it is related to a leaky gut. The food particles are passing through holes in the intestines, causing the body to develop antibodies to those floating particles of foods, so basically anything being eaten until the leaky gut is repaired, can become an allergen, loverly right? So anyway, trying to find lunches is fun, especially for a child who loves eating the same things over and over again. I batch cook as much as I can and then I freeze the foods making it easier to quickly serve up more of the same stuff every day, like the pancakes which are great for a toaster (and if anyone wants that recipe, I would be glad to post it) and chicken strips as well as fish bites (Grayson likes salmon). I created a breading using cereal flakes, "safe" chips, spices and flour and since we are also egg-free, we use almond milk and a little arrowroot starch to dip the pieces in before dipping into the "breading". I personally think the breading is quite tasty!! These heat up easily in the toaster oven on bake, I just under cook thema tad when I am making them initially. So the other things he likes are salads with an all natural organic honey mustard dressing we found at Wegmans (LOVE this store), ants on a log (celery with PB and raisins, currants or cranberries), and brocolli, lol, yes, he likes brocolli so he gets it with just about every lunch!! No variety there! He likes cauliflower too, but ummm, same family as brocolli. So now I am running out of ideas and really need to hit the cookbooks for more kid-friendly, mommy-time-saving-friendly lunch recipes!! I do have two great cookbooks, but finding recipes free of all of his allergens is challenging. I need to usually do some substituting....ok, a lot! I am getting better with it though. He used to love the Applegates Farms uncured all beef hotdogs, they are really good, it's all we eat in our house (well not ALL we eat, but all the hot dogs we eat, lol), but suddenly he turns up his nose to them. We tried cold cuts (Applegate Farms uncured, of course or Boar's head) but no luck there since he can't have any breads or cheese, blah, makes for a boring sandwich, ha ha ha. The pancakes are great for making sandwiches, but he doesn't like them that way. They are nice and thick though. He used to LOVE PB&J, but not anymore....maybe because the wheat isn't there to draw him in.

Speaking of what he is NOT eating, let's talk about milk. I know you all think that milk is a necessity for's not. Just get over that idea right now. As long as a child is receiving proper nutrition through foods, which includes a lot of green leafy veggies, calcium levels should be more than enough. Use a Magic Bullet and blend those green leafy veggies, hide them if you have to!! Grayson LOVES pestos with garlic, so we load him up on spinach that way. We also give calcium supplements (I take them myself since I am dairy-free for Gavin). Keep in mind that the vitamind D you receive from milk is "fortified", which you can get anywhere. Some basic facts to keep in mind when you are worrying about where your child will get calcium and vitamin D....we are the only mammal to drink another animal's milk and we are the only mammal to drink milk beyond weaning. Most adults don't even have the proper enzymes for digesting milk properly. When I cook with "milk" I use unsweetened almond milk which doesn't effect the flavor of the dish. I also use the original almond milk in my cereals, I love the almond taste in cereal. Honestly, with the exception of cheese, I don't miss dairy at all. I even feel better and lost a TON of weight, and for those who know me, I didn't have much weight to begin with, ha ha ha. But this isn't about me, is it? It's never about me, I'm just the mom! ha ha ha

My point here is to think outside of the box. Clear your mind of the "traditional" thinking when it comes to food. Kids are adaptable and so are you!! I am still learning the ropes and every day holds a new challenge, but the benefits we are seeing far outweighs the work involved!!


Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog, interesting stuff, however my head is spinning. I don't see how you keep up with it all. I am sorry that Grayson has allergies to many foods. Good Luck!

SAustralia said...

Do you have a list that you work off for the foods ?

Jessica said...

I used to make lots o' lists of foods he could and couldn't eat, so that I would be prepared (at a quick glance) at the grocery store, but the diet has changed so much (they are on the low oxalate diet) even since this entry, that I would have such a different list now. In addition to adding the LOD to GFCFSF and EF, we also have new/different IgG foods to avoid. We've been able to reintroduce foods he couldn't have in 2009 also. When I start a new "diet", I jot down things as reminders, to keep in my purse....but over time, I get so used to shopping for the same things day in and day out, that it's burned into my brain, lol. So the lists disappear eventually. I guess that means they move from the conscious to the subconscious, like walking, hehehe.