Going to birthday parties

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Meeting Cake’s needs at a birthday party is a pain. Basically I don’t expect anyone to make accommodations for Cake because I know it’s a pain, and instead I usually bring food for both of us. I ask the host what kind of food they are serving and then I try to bring something similar. This isn’t too difficult since most of Cake’s friends are two or three and birthday parties are either sandwiches or pizza or something easy like that. I bring cookies for Cake or I make some milk free cupcakes and bring those (the secret to that, in my opinion- So Delicious Coconut Creamer. It makes the cupcakes sweeter than when I make them with almond milk or coconut milk).

We went to a party recently and the mom made a TON of accommodations for Cake! It was so awesome! She had snacks he could eat – carrots, hummus, other veggies, popcorn with Earth Balance butter, and cake that Cake could eat! I thanked the hostess as much as I could, but I basically was so happy I almost cried. Being able to be ‘normal’ at a party is something that seems like it will be more difficult to do as Cake gets older.

Take the last party we went to as an example. We were invited to a birthday party last minute and it was a short walk from our townhouse (it was in our complex). They had pizza, cake, rock candy lollipop sticks, cheese puffs, Doritos, goldfish, an tortilla chips. There was also a drink with ice cream in it and cups with layers of yogurt and cake. Cake could eat the rock candy lollipop…..and that was only after I dug through the garbage a bit to make sure he could eat them. There were two huge tables of food…..and Cake couldn’t eat any of it. I don’t think he’s really used to that yet – he almost always can eat everything around except for what Allergy Dad gets for dinner when we are out sometimes. We have no family nearby so don’t have to deal with big family gatherings much. Anyways, Cake was happy that he got to eat the rock candy lollipop thing as we walked home, but it was a little sad to me that at a ‘normal’ party he can’t really eat anything.

Easter eggs.

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First, this post is overdue. My bad. I haven’t had any time lately to write any posts. Two kids under three (I only get that excuse for another week or two, then Cake turns three!), neither of which find sleeping to be all that important means I barely have time to do anything useful.

Eggs. Easter has a lot of them. Cake is allergic to eggs but only mildly…..which is determined by the fact that he has never had a reaction to eating baked eggs. When he was a baby, I tried to give him some scrambled eggs and some egg whites on different occasions. He generally just spit them out. He even tells me that he doesn’t like them, so I don’t worry about it.

When we bake and make batter with raw eggs I have him keep his hands out of the batter. This is done mostly by giving him some powdered sugar or the beginning of the batter, pre-eggs, to eat (which is just sugar and butter mixed together). And I have him wash his hands when we finish baking then watch for any reaction. There hasn’t been any. He’s even touched the batter and there hasn’t been any reaction.

So after we decorated eggs, Cake wanted to ‘play’ with them. I told him they were for eating (my bad!) and not playing. By ‘play’ Cake means he will likely hold them, squeeze them, somehow get dirt/food/unknown objects on them (seriously this kid gets stuff on his hands all the time, no idea how), and/or put them in a ‘special place’ where they will be forgotten about.

So this lead to Cake wanting to eat the boiled eggs. Sigh. Not coming up with a good reason not to, I showed him how to crack the eggs open and let him have one bite of an egg white. Then watched him like a hawk for the next few hours. No reaction and asking for more.

So the next morning I let him have three bites (three is the current favorite number). Again, I watched for a reaction. None. Awesome.

So the third morning I let him have half a boiled egg, only the whites, and again he was fine. By this point, we ran out of boiled eggs and I’m not hurrying up boiling more or trying it again for awhile, but it’s good to know that he doesn’t have a huge reaction to even boiled eggs.

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Peanuts….

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I try to question Cake often about what foods he can eat and what he can’t eat. I’ll ask him if he can eat _____ and he gives me the correct answer almost all of the time. We had a friend over the other day and he told her he can’t eat eggs that ‘look like that’ (while pointing to over easy eggs). Yay! I thought, awesome, he’s actually getting that he can’t eat certain foods!

Then we went to a park.

And he was sitting on the bench eating an almond butter and jelly sandwich (almonds and coconuts are the only nuts he can eat, which is awesome because so many products have coconut and almond in them). A women came up and talked to him. She started to ask about his lunch. The conversation went like this:

Woman: Wow, is that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
Cake: Yup it is!
Woman: Yummy, I love peanut butter and jelly!
Cake: Yup, me too. I love peanuts!

Cake has never eaten any peanuts before. Ever. And if he ate one, he would likely get the epipen and we would go to a hospital.

I guess my questions and quizzes for him haven’t been as successful as I had thought. We’ll keep working on it, I guess!

Ingredients in ‘dried mango’ apparently contain a lot of allergens!

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I bought some dried mango slices from whole foods. The ingredients? Mango slices, sugar (see picture). Then, in all capital letters ‘may contain: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, and soy.’

Really? They really needed to write that their 2-ingredient item may contain 6 top allergens? They didn’t feel the need to include fish and shellfish in the list, apparently.

I get that there’s no *official* policy on the ‘may contain’ label for foods, and that companies are just trying to cover themselves in case of a reaction, or that the label may mean it’s manufactured in the same factory as those foods, or whatever. But these type of labels make me think twice about buying products for my food allergic toddler. However, with just 2 ingredients in the label it’s doubtful that any of those other ingredients actually exist in the product and I ended up buying it (Cake was totally fine eating it).

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Ice cream

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Before I had kids, one of the traditions I was looking forward to having with them is having movie nights and eating ice cream, preferably with hot fudge or caramel sauce or other yummy toppings on it, while watching the movie.

That image came to a screeching halt when I found out Cake can’t eat ice cream. I tried giving him some So Delicious ice cream when he just turned 2 and he didn’t really like it. I couldn’t find any hot fudge topping for him, and most of the fun toppings like m&ms have milk in them. So even if he liked it, there wouldn’t be a ‘sundae’ or yummy toppings.

Lately, though, Cake has been really into sorbet, mostly because Allergy Dad brings him out for it about once a week. Cake started asking about ice cream so I decided to try it again. We went to a different Whole Foods today which had an ENTIRE plus some freezer door area full of milk-free ice creams. Our normal Whole Foods has about 3 shelves of milk free ice cream, so there were a lot more options for flavors and brands at the one we went to today. Cake picked out So Delicious vanilla ice cream (even though they have that at our regular Whole Foods, and he always says, “no, thanks” when I ask him if he wants any) and I picked out NadaMoo mint chocolate chip. I also found……milk free hot fudge topping! It’s from a local place in Santa Cruz which is nearby.

We ate it after lunch. Cake’s review is,”yeah, sure, it’s good! Let’s have some later!” I agree! We may be traveling an extra 20 minutes to this Whole Foods in the future so we can try all the different flavors.

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Weight gain

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I think Cake is gaining weight. I haven’t really checked the scale, but there are a few signs that he’s gaining weight. The main one being that his face turned chubby. I was looking at photos I took this week and last week, and his face is definitely chubbier this week. My first thought was, ‘huh, look at his chubby face. Maybe a growth spurt?’ Followed by, ‘oh crap what did he eat this week? What if he’s having a food allergy reaction and the symptom is a puffy face?’ But since it’s been about a week now and it hasn’t changed much. The other sign is he’s eating more than normal – he’s eating French fries likes there’s no tomorrow. So I’ll assume he’s gaining weight…..which is a good thing because at his last check up his doctor wanted him to gain 3 pounds (in order to stay on the weight charts, even if it’s only at the first percentile) and he’s only gained about 1.5 pounds so far. This is one area where I feel like I can blame the food allergies – I can’t give him cows milk, or peanuts, or tree nuts, so his diet is pretty low fat and therefore he doesn’t gain weight easily.

Allergic to milk but not butter ????

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No, you can’t be ‘severely allergic to milk’ but not to butter.

I went to the farmers market this weekend. I searched around for a yummy milk free treat. I looked at one of the bakeries that were set up. The conversation at one of them went like this:
Me: My son has a severe milk allergy. Do you have any milk free products?
Him: yeah, it’s all milk free!
Me: ummm….and milk product free? No butter, cheese….
Him: Oh, yeah, it all has butter.
Me: you can’t be severely allergic to milk and not butter
Him: yes, you can! A lot of people tell me they are allergic to milk but not butter. They still buy my products!
Me: ummm….yeah….maybe if they have a sensitivity but I said severe allergy. Like if he eats it we go to the hospital…
Him: yeah, a lot of people are SEVERELY allergic to milk but can eat butter just fine
Me: wow, yeah, I wouldn’t say that your products are milk free to someone
Him: why not?

At this point, I gave up and walked away. I won’t bother buying anything from his bakery, likely ever again, because he seems to have no clue about allergies.

I did find some yummy samosas and eggplant Indian wrap to eat that were both safe!