December Food Finds

Here are some of my new dairy/soy free food finds.  One is a great find, the second is just a maybe, since there is a chance of soy/dairy contamination.

1.  Wholly Wholesome Pie Crust –  I had to laugh that I discovered this after making my last post about apple pie and dairy/soy free crust.  I could have just told you to go get this pie crust!  Well now you have option, right?   My sister gets the credit for finding this one in her grocery store when trying to make a pie I could eat.  I have such great family.  She got hers at HyVee but I used the product locator on the Wholly Wholesome site and was found I could buy them at Whole Foods.  They are in the freezer section and probably easier to find now that it is holiday time.  The brand has traditional, whole wheat and spelt pie crusts.  You can check them out here and click on the pictures to get an ingredient list for each variety.  I tried the traditional crust and thought it was flaky and delicious.  The traditional crust actually won in a 2009 Good Housekeeping taste test of frozen/refrigerated/from a mix pie crusts.  I highly recommend it if you are in a pinch or just looking for a good pie crust.  I like the look of a homemade crust better but Wholly Wholesome crust is definitely flakier than my crust recipe.

2. Annie’s Bunny Grahams-Cinnamon flavor – My 4-year-old loves Annie’s snacks and I indulge her every once in a while.  Usually she wants the cheddar bunnies but I happened to pick up a box of the cinnamon bunnies and realized the ingredient list looked pretty friendly: Whole grain wheat flour, cane sugar, safflower and/or sunflower oil, graham flour, corn flour, honey, calcium carbonate , salt, cinnamon, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla flavor.  However, they are made on equipment that also processes egg, milk and soy.  So, these may or may not be a good choice, depending on your child’s sensitivities.  I usually stay away from things made on the same equipment but I’ll admit I’ve snacked on a few here and there lately.  So tasty and we are kind of in between food trials.   Annie’s has all the ingredients and nutritional info for their snacks here.

– For those of you who read the old title about allergy friendly finger foods, I made it a separate post I will post soon.  Sorry for the confusion!

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Happy Baby Foods

I was in Target recently and was excited to see that Happy Baby Foods has come out with a new line of foods and redone their puffs so the puffs are now all  gluten, dairy, corn, and soy free.   We even found some oat free varieties so my little guy can have his first puffs!  They also have “yogurt like” puffs made out of coconut milk called Happy Creamies.  I’d love to try those someday.

They have some other mspi friendly looking foods, fruit squeezers combined with coconut milk and some rice cakes.  I think the rice cakes are still made on the same equipment with soy/milk so that might not work for us mspi families.

There is an excellent chart on their site which shows what major allergens may be present in their foods.

My little guy can’t eat most of these new things since they are food combos/fruits and he is only up to apples and bananas for safe fruits but I had to share my find, hoping maybe it will help some of your little ones!

Allergy Elimination/MSPI Diet- One Year In

I realized over my Thanksgiving meal that I had made it a whole year on this crazy allergy elimination diet.  Last year all the diet restrictions were new and all I ate was cranberries and turkey.  This year I had a whole plate of wonderful and safe foods. Granted, I’ve been able to add a few things to my diet but the majority of things were safe foods I’d found or created.  I realized how far I’ve come, learning and making accommodations to make this diet/lifestyle possible and how much Colin has improved.

Last year at this time Colin was about two months old and well into the nightmarish colic phase.  He started screaming by 8pm and it lasted 4-7 hours.  My husband and I were trading off who had “Colic Duty” shifts to keep our sanity.  Colin leaked milk whenever you laid him down so sleep was terrible.  He had constant diarrhea, blood in his diaper, an allergy diaper rash, eczema all over his face and belly, was spitting up/vomiting profusely and when he was awake, he was often arching his back and waving his arms around.  In between all of this he was a smiler, believe it or not, but boy was he having a rough time.  I had just begun removing things from my diet, starting with milk and then soy.

Fast forward to today. We have a diagnosis for Colin. (FPIES/MSPI/Food Protein Enteropathy)  I removed lots of food triggers from my diet and we are in a good place.  The colic is gone. Thank Goodness!!!  Colin is nursing but also eating solid foods (I wasn’t sure we’d ever find safe ones).  He can eat chicken, corn, carrots, rice, wheat, bananas and apples.  When we arent’ food trialing his reflux is gone, diaper rash and eczema are rare and his diaper contents are normal.   He is a super happy giggly active little guy running around meeting all his milestones with ease.  He isn’t a great sleeper, but with his history and sleep disruptions during food trials, it’s not a surprise. We are so thankful we are for where we are right now.

When I began the MSPI diet, followed by eliminating many other food triggers, I was depressed, starving and clueless as to what to eat.  I did a lot of label reading and internet surfing.  I started a word document to keep track of the foods I could eat and it became the beginning of this blog.  Although the deprivation of this diet is still really hard, as you can see by my recipes/snacks/products pages, I’ve got a decent number of foods I can eat and use for cooking.  I’ve also found lots of other websites, blogs, and allergy recipe pages to help augment my menu.  If you are just starting out, know that it is tough, the learning curve is huge but you CAN do this for your child!  I never would have thought I could make it this far, but I’m really proud that I have and I’ve been able to get Colin to a healthier place.