Today, during breakfast, when Moses was eating an almond (and deciding that he liked the taste of it after all), he commented:
“Hey, I’m not allergic to too many things anymore…
Because I used to not be able to eat almonds, and now I can”.
My heart filled at that moment.
We rejoiced with him and shared in his excitement that he is able to eat so many more different foods.
We gave him high fives and told him that over time, he’ll be able to eat more and more foods. We reminded him which foods he still needs to avoid: wheat (gluten), milk, fish, eggs and some nuts (like walnuts). And told him that very soon, we’ll be baking with a tiny little bit of an egg to see if he will also be able to eat baked goods with eggs.
He went off to do his own thing, and my heart rejoiced.
Moses doesn’t often talk about his food allergies. He just accepts them. Knows that it’s been a part of his life, his whole life until now.
He’s used to us bringing his own food to parties. Eating a different meal and dessert than everyone at extended family dinners and birthday parties.
When well meaning adults accidentally offer him a birthday cake, he is used to saying, “No, I can’t eat that. I have allergies”. He very rarely complains.
Sometimes, he asks why he can’t have a certain food, and we’ll explain to him that it has an ingredient in it that makes him sick. And, if we can figure out a way to make that certain food in an allergy-free way, we tell him that we’ll make it for him on the weekend.
I’ve learned to keep an organic lollipop in my purse at all times because he often gets offered candy from well-intentioned adults (even at his Taekwon-do class, the kids get candy at the end of each class — for several weeks, they weren’t allergy free and we had to take away the candy and offer him the organic lollipop. I’ve since sent an email asking them to re-think their policy of offering candy at the end of class — many children [mine included] don’t react well to sugar, or at least to offer allergy-free choices — happily, they now are).
The latest heartbreak (my own) was when the parents at Moses’ school wanted to throw a surprise party for his Kindergarten teacher, whose last day was on Friday (Moses’ new teacher is returning from maternity leave on Monday). The parents thought it would be a good idea to make a surprise cake for the teacher and wondered if we could make an allergy-free cake for the occasion. We do have an allergy-free cake recipe, but last time I tried to make it, it was a disaster. It calls for four different flours, and we still haven’t figured out a good icing. We didn’t want to experiment with his whole class since we typically find that “allergy-free baking” doesn’t taste the same as “typical desserts”. We offered to make an apple crisp. Our apple crisp recipe is easy and delicious! One of the other parents even offered to make a second double batch so that we could have enough for all of the kids.
Then, we were informed that some of the parents told the organizer that “some of their children don’t like apple crisp” (really, who doesn’t like apple crisp????), so it was decided that they would make a cake, and we could bring a special dessert for Moses (like always).
Oh, how, my heart broke. I thought how nice it would have been for Moses to be able eat the very same foods as the other kids for one day.
So… we wound up making a special dessert for Moses. DH tried out a new recipe: a GFCF “blueberry buckle” (it’s like a moist coffeecake, but with blueberries) from the Food Allergy Survival Guide, and he sprinkled icing sugar on top to make it fancy. Moses loved it!
Moses’ normal seat in his classroom just happened to be on the very table where they decided to place the going away cake. It was decorated fancy and Moses excitedly pointed out how the cake had a chalkboard, tiny chalk, and a tiny eraser on it. But, never once did he complain that he wouldn’t be able to have any. He happily ate his delicious blueberry cake (while I longingly looked at the chocolate cake).
Anyway, all that to say that a lot of things go on behind the scenes for families with food allergies. And, how thrilled I am that Moses allergies are healing. And that he is noticing and is happy about it too.
April 23, 2012 – We found a great gluten-free white cake mix at the Bulk Barn. Now that we’re not concerned with cross-contamination, we can shop at the Bulk Barn! Moses loved the white cake with allergy-free chocolate chips that DH made for him, to bring to a birthday party. (He was crazy after though — Moses doesn’t do well on sugar).
May 9, 2012 – Moses actually had an allergic reaction to the GF cake mix (even though he tolerated it fine a couple of weeks ago). hmmmmm…. Read more here.