Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An introduction, and my hopes for this site...

This is my first blog. I've been experimenting with baking without common food allergens, and I'd like feedback from others, any resources I can get, and the opportunity to record what I'm learning and to share it with others. So here I go!

I'm a stay at home mom. I enjoy baking(thus the play of words "homebaker" for my blogger name). Unfortunately, my two children have food allergies. The oldest, now two years old, is to avoid wheat, dairy, eggs, and nuts, until, and if, she stops developing rashes when she comes across these products. The youngest is breastfeeding, and has eczema, which gets pretty bad frequently. We believe she has food allergies, but she has not been officially tested yet. Children's allergies to food commonly are not permanent; 80% of most food allergies disappear by the age of 5 or 6, as I have heard. The allergist has told me that breastfeeding as long as I can will provide the greatest protection against my child's allergies, so despite frustrations of trying to guess what I ate that made the baby's rash flare up(again), I continue to breastfeed.

Presently, I'm not eating any nuts, eggs, or dairy, and am trying to eat less wheat than I normally do. For awhile, I was going to go completely off wheat, so it gave me motivation to find ways to eat healthy without it! My toddler hasn't done badly without it. She likes several types of boxed cereals that are wheat-free, and she eats potatoes, rice, meats, and fruit. But as she gets older, I want to provide cookies, cakes, etc that she can enjoy as everyone around her does! (Not that she's not content with fruit snacks, they actually substitute happily for most any treat she's missing out on! : ) Though I prepare home cooked meals, I am more of a baker than a cook. And I love whole wheat. The thoughts of "what if she doesn't outgrow her allergies? Or "what if she has celiac disease" were for a long time disheartening. How could she miss out on wonderful baked goods? And would it be better for me to be avoiding wheat, too, each pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding? It seemed that it was an awful thing to have to miss out on wheat goods(especially those made with whole wheat flour) not only for the lack of enjoyment, but for the nutrition. Grains are the foundation of the food guide pyramid, I'd tell my husband. They are our foundation! What would we do without wheat? I worried, as he suggested that our family might completely avoid it if the kids weren't outgrowing it. And what about dairy products? Those are very important in most breastfeeding mother's diets, and in a child's diet. Can we have diets that adequately compensate for avoiding these foods?

Fortunately, my perspective has become more optimistic, as I've been opened to a whole new world of nutritious, satisfying foods! I see that it is possible to go without wheat, eggs, dairy, and nuts, and to have good nutrition and an enjoyable diet, too. Of course there's so much I have to learn, with many questions yet to be answered, and foods to be discovered. This is what this site is dedicated to- discovering how to have a healthy, balanced, enjoyable diet without wheat, dairy, eggs, and nuts that normally make up a large part of our diets. I will share tips and recipes in this blog. Please enjoy using my recipes. However, some of them have been adapted from copyrighted material, and I ask that if you print out, store, or share these recipes, you give the same credit that I cite. I don't want to infringe on any copyrights. My understanding is that the copyrighted portion of a recipe is the author's instructions, so that it's okay to take a recipe and paraphrase in my own words. I will publish my alterations to existing recipes, or if presenting an original recipe that is not adapted by me, I will paraphrase instructions. I think that is legal, please kindly tell me if it is not.

Please share suggestions, knowledge, resources, questions, etc!!!

Thanks, and I hope this helps us to dive deep into endless possibilities!

Note: I really don't support going without wheat(I believe in whole wheat when you can have it), dairy, eggs, nuts if you're not dealing with allergies, I do believe these foods are a large part of the easiest way for Americans to get the nutrition they need! For those who cannot eat these foods, I'm open to the possibility that the right combinations of other foods adequately provides similar nutrition.

Disclaimer: This site is not a substitute for medical advice for allergies or nutrition. I claim no authority to advise for your child's health. I am a mother who is seeking to provide nutritiously for her children, and who wants to share with others recipes, and especially ways to adapt with allergies in mind. Seek your best judgement on what is safe and healthy for you or your child, working closely with a healthcare provider.


Anita said...

I just discovered your blog after a google search. Earlier this week I was diagnosed with food intolerances that include wheat, eggs, yeast and nuts amongst other things and have been struggling to deal with what to eat. So pleased to find you and all your great recipes and suggestions. looking forward to exploring it in more depth. I hope all is going well with your children.

homebaker said...

Thank you Anita! It's good to know when my site helps others. Let me know if you have questions on any of the recipes, or if you would like more ideas.

How kind you sent best wishes for my children! The oldest is 5 now and still has allergies to wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts. We have adapted well, I feel. My 5 year old has learned to eat healthy(not as much junk food as many kids, and she even eats broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, beans...)

I think we are also learning to focus on what we can have, and how to be optimistic and creative to enjoy things similar to those around us, or to enjoy our own menu if it's different.

Of course we have our times where it gets hard. I miss Angel Food cake- how do you get a similar product without using eggs? But it's been exciting as we've discovered how to make and enjoy so many other things.

Best wishes!