Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Struggles with Allergies

About 2 weeks ago I took Logan in to be allergy tested.  I've had a suspicion that he was allergic to cow's milk since he was around 6 months old.  Whenever he had anything dairy he got a rash around his mouth.  And one time, I gave him a bite of vanilla ice cream and his entire chest broke out in a horrible, itchy, red rash.  Since then, I've been avoiding giving him any kind of dairy.  But, not everyone believed me.  Daniel wasn't even completely convinced.  So to prove to everyone, I decided to get him formally tested.  This in and of itself was controversial among my family and friends.  Many people said he was too young, it was a waste of time, allergy testing is unreliable, it would be traumatic, and on and on.  But that little voice in my head (my mother's instinct) told me to take him.  So I did.

The testing went absolutely great!  And turns out, he is highly allergic to milk and also to eggs.  Also dogs and dust.  In fact he is so allergic to milk and eggs he has to carry an epi pen with him at all times and avoid eggs and milk even if they are cooked inside of things (such as in cookie dough or pancake batter).  On top of that, he is SOO allergic to milk and eggs the doctor suggested I cut them out of my diet as long as I'm BFing him.  To say the least, I felt vindicated!  Moms- we are our children's voice and advocate.  Listen to the little voice telling you to do or not do something.  It could save their life.  I had to listen to a doctor tell me my son "could have died" if I hadn't followed my gut.  To all those people who thought I was crazy or paranoid or didn't know what I was talking about, I have 3 words for you:


After I got over the joy of being right, I was faced with the reality of having a child suffering from extreme food allergies. Turns out, eggs and milk are in A LOT of foods.  I've never been much of a label reader, but wow, has that changed!  I am a label reader now!  It's so nice that a lot of food companies publish which allergens are in their products under the ingredients list.  I gotta say, I feel sorry for anyone allergic to wheat or soy.  Those ingredients are in EVERYTHING!  But I digress...

So what I'm trying to say is, it's been hard to find things to feed my little boy.  What's worse, the doctor said he's so allergic, he may never grow out of it.  He may never be able to eat anything with milk or eggs in it.  This makes me sad for my sweet Logan.  He may never get to enjoy an ice cream cone.  What is a childhood without having ice cream on a hot summers day, having it melt all over you, and dropping half of it on the sidewalk?  So in an attempt to bring back a piece of his childhood I already feel is slipping away, I went on a search this week to find ingredients we can use at home to make foods Logan can eat worry free and enjoy.

This led me to my local Trader Joe's grocery store.  I knew if I was going to find weird vegan ingredients, this would be the place.  I found some almond milk and some no-dairy margarine (because regular margarine contains whey- aka milk-, who knew?).  It cost me $7 bucks for a small container of the "butter" and a 1/2 gallon of the "milk" but salvaging a piece of childhood is worth it, right?

So we hurried home to make some cookies, not quite ice cream, but still a crucial part of being a kid.  I gotta say, these cookies are REALLY GOOD!  And you can eat the dough worry free, because there's no eggs.  This has never stopped me before, but I know it is sometimes frowned upon to eat raw eggs.  I was worried that the cookies would have an "apple" taste, but they really didn't.  If I didn't know it, I would say these were no different than any other sugar cookies I had ever had - except extra tasty.  They are nice and chewy and the dough is am-maze-ing.  Anyway, here's the recipe and some pictures of the beauties.

Dairy Free, Egg Free Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

Logan demonstrating step 1
2.  In a large bowl, cream together Earth Balance and sugar until smooth.  Beat in apple sauce and vanilla.  Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.  Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Logan licking the beaters
3.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden.  Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

They really are tasty, and most importantly, my little man can eat them worry free!  I guess his childhood isn't ruined after all!  It's just going to take more effort to supply him with life's simple pleasures.  

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