My eight year old, Paisley, has started an elimination diet. 😩😩😩 (This is where I try not to blame myself for the genetics that I seem to have passed on 🙄🔫) She has a couple different kinds of rashes, gets sick fairly easy (as in the throw-up kind of sick 😷 🤢) and has been dealing with acid reflux since she was a baby. Her doctor has ran some labs but because her immune system is so hyped up and completely focused on something else going on in her body, her labs came back almost spotless. We already know that she has issues with dairy and we’re pretty positive that she has an egg allergy. So for those things to come back spotless, we knew it wasn’t right. So… Welcome to the wonderful world of an elimination diet. 😭
I knew that we were going to have to do this so around the holidays I tried to start pulling out some of the foods that are on the common allergens list. Those are gluten, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, oranges, and bananas. Basically anything that a kid wants to shove in their mouth has at least one of these ingredients! (I was so surprised by oranges and bananas!! Who knew?!?!) We are choosing to allow her nuts for now. The only exception is peanuts because most children who have an egg allergy are also allergic to peanuts. We’re not 100% sure she has an egg allergy but we are pretty positive. So for precautions, we are avoiding peanuts. We don’t think she has an allergy to any other nuts but more importantly, all the things I want to make her that will help her feel somewhat normal, seem to include almond flour.
When the holidays were here, I knew treats were going to be involved. So I decided to try to make a cookie. I also wanted to make it be a little bit better for you so that I wouldn’t feel so guilty eating it myself or allowing my kids to eat it.
Now keep in mind, I never encourage anyone to eat a bunch of sugary treats. Even though these cookies are a little better, they are still full of sugar so they’re still not something that I would encourage anyone to over eat on.
At Christmas, the peanut butter blossom cookies are one of my absolute favorite. I wanted to make them this year so I decided to experiment. I made a batch following the exact recipe (for those who have no dietary restrictions) and I made a batch that had better ingredients. These are the regular recipe.
But for Paisley’s dietary restrictions, I changed out several ingredients. I swapped out white flour with cassava flour (my new favorite), applesauce for the egg, coconut sugar for granulated, almond butter for peanut, almond milk for milk, and sea salt for salt. Only thing I might try next time is butter for shortening or Nutiva’s shortening made with palm fruit oil and virgin coconut oil. Unfortunately, I did not have either on hand. These turned out pretty amazing and you wouldn’t know the difference by looking at them!
But because Paisley isn’t able to have the Hershey kisses, I substituted those with Enjoy Life chocolate chips. These turned out pretty well too and Paisley approved!
Before I move on, I have to give some props to a particular company, SIMPLE MILLS! I cannot tell you how much easier it’s been to do this diet because of them. I love that there are only a few ingredients in each item they sell, and more importantly, you know what every ingredient is. There’s nothing that you can’t pronounce on the ingredient list and I absolutely love that! They make their foods with none of the common allergens (with the exceptions of almond flour, of course) and that has been huge for us! When you are someone that is used to eating grains, it’s very hard to remove them cold turkey. Simple Mills has made this process so much easier!!
Their company sells things like muffins, pizza dough, cookies, pancake and waffle mix, crackers, etc. All things that typically you would have to give up on an elimination diet. But this brand has been huge in helping me substitute some of the items Paisley was having on a regular basis.
Bob’s Red Mill…another company that I should give props too. We use their almond flour, coconut flour, pizza crust mix, pancake mix, and the best, their egg replacer. There are some recipes that I just can’t find the right substitute for eggs and their egg replacer is my saving grace! Another thing that we’ve experimented with is pancakes. Both of my girls love them so figuring out a way to make them without gluten and eggs was a must. I’ve used both Simple Mills and Bob’s Red Mill and truly have enjoyed them both.
This particular time, I used Bob’s for my pancake mix. I used coconut oil for my oil, added a little vanilla, and for the eggs, I used a combination of things. I used the entire mix so it called for multiple eggs. For half of the eggs, I used applesauce. Because we were out of actual applesauce, I used my kids applesauce pouches and they worked just fine! For the other half of eggs, I used 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per egg.
My girls like chocolate chip pancakes so I opted for the Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels. Enjoy Life also makes their products with none of the common allergens… Which makes this mom super excited! For syrup, I would love it if my girls would use 100% pure maple syrup but, of course, they have to be picky and won’t eat it. So, I use the Log Cabin brand and use their all natural table syrup. It tastes like pancake syrup but does not contain any corn syrup. The pancakes turned out great and we all love them!
I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge of making things that Paisley can eat that aren’t made with any allergens. It’s forced me to be a little more creative than normal and I actually get excited when I make something and it turns out! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 I would prefer that she eat lean meats, nuts, vegetables, and berries and then cooking would not really be required (except for the meat, of course). 😬 However, she is an American kid raised in the American culture and we definitely have not enforced good eating habits. 🤷🏼♀️🤦🏼♀️ I am hoping that we can continue to work on better food choices but in the meantime, finding substitutes for the common allergens, and choosing better ingredients for the treats that she likes, will help us continue to make steps in that direction.
Until next time…