Whether you or your child has a food allergy, cooking for a family member with a food allergy does not just mean cooking for that one person. It means cooking for the entire family.
It can be difficult explaining food allergies to your child, especially if your child is young, but these tips can make it easier.
- You will need to explain food allergies in a way that is easy for them to grasp. PAL, or Protect A Life, is a great organization that can help you in this situation.
- You should pay extra attention to the ingredients in the food you have in your home. Be careful with the way you prepare the food, and stay away from using the same utensils while cooking different foods. If you are not the one preparing the food, then make sure that person knows about your child or family member’s food allergies.
- Go grocery shopping with your child. Make sure that they know exactly what their allergy ingredient is and how to select the correct foods. It is important to look a food labels to determine if your allergen is present.
Have a plan in place
Unfortunately, there are scary moments where something does not go according to plan. Having an emergency allergy plan like a food allergy treatment plan in place will help.
Talk to your child’s allergist about developing an emergency allergy plan and have extra copies for your babysitter, family members, or friends to have around the house if your child comes to visit.
Educate yourself in allergy foods
When it comes to the most common food allergies, around 90 percent of all food allergies will stem from one of these eight foods called “The Big Eight”:
- cow’s milk
- shellfish and fish
- tree nuts
Our favorite recipes
Here are a few recipes that can help bring healthy, delicious, and allergy-safe foods from your kitchen onto your dinner table.
Chef Luca’s Spring Rolls
This recipe is free of milk, peanut, egg, soy, tree nut, gluten, wheat, fish, shellfish, and sesame
1 lb of ground pork, wild boar, beef or chicken
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
2 cups of thinly cut green cabbage
1 cup of julienned carrots
3-4 minced garlic cloves
1 cup of chopped scallions
1 piece of quarter-sized and grated ginger
1 tbsp of coconut aminos
1 tbsp of sesame oil or olive oil
1 tbsp of unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp of coriander
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of pepper
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp of butter substitute or coconut oil
Add the butter or coconut oil in your pan. Once it heats up, start to sauté the mushrooms and red pepper flakes. Once finished, set aside.
Toss together the meat, cabbage, carrots, coconut aminos, sesame or olive oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, scallions, coriander, salt, and pepper. Once mixed together, add the mix to the pan mixture.
Place about 2-4 tbsp of the meat mixture in the center of the wrap, fold, and roll. Place the rolled roll on a clean plate, ready to be cooked. Rice paper wraps will take 12 minutes over medium heat or in a steamer for 10 minutes. Coconut paper wraps will take 4 minutes over medium heat and then in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Minted Lamb with Smashed Potatoes, Peas and Olives
This recipe is free of “The Big Eight”
8 lamb chops
8 cups of water
4 cups of baby potatoes
1/2 cup of fresh mint
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 cups of fresh peas
1 cup of pitted black olives (optional)
1/4 tsp of salt and of pepper
Boil the potatoes in the water in a medium saucepan. Total time should be around 12 minutes. Use the same water to cook the peas. Toss together the mint, mint, olive oil, salt, and pepper to season the lamb. Season and grill the lamb, cooking it 4-6 minutes per side. Mash the potatoes (not completely) and then mix with peas and optional olives.
Apple Butter Muffins
This recipe is free of gluten and “The Big Eight”
2 tbsp of flaxseed meal
6 tbsp of warm water
2 cups of gluten-free flour blend
1 1/2 tsp of gluten-free baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of light agave nectar
2 tbsp of canola oil
1/3 cup of rice milk
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
1 cup of apple butter
2 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 375° F and prepare muffin tin. Whisk together flaxseed meal and water. Let it set. Sift together gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. After, add the salt and set aside. Grab the flaxseed mixture and whisk with pumpkin puree, agave nectar, canola oil, rice milk, and vanilla extract.
Grate the apple until ½ cup is filled. Add the apple to wet mixture. Fold the two mixtures together, and then fill into the muffin tin. Go back and fill each well 2 teaspoons of apple butter. Bake approximately 25-30 minutes until done. Wait until cool to add the glaze. The glaze should just be confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice combined.
Milk-Free Slow Cooker Italian Chicken
This milk-free recipe is safe for dairy sensitive stomachs and can be modified to fit the desires of your family— it is just as delicious without the Bella mushrooms!
2 green bell peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
10 oz baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (any boneless chicken will work)
2 (28 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
splash or two of wine (optional. I like red)
Pinch salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker, stir, and continue to cook on low for eight hours. By eight hours the chicken will be tender enough to shred or leave as is based on eating preference. This dish is delicious served with or over pasta, rice, or even spaghetti squash!
Gluten-Free Oat and Buckwheat Pancakes
For those breakfast lovers who may or may not be sensitive to gluten, these oat and buckwheat pancakes are just the right amount of sweet and healthy to become addicting!
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pure maple syrup or sugar-free depending on preference
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Stirring often, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the butter starts to foam and turns a brown shade. Once brown let cool slightly. While cooling puree the buttermilk and oats in a blender until smooth. Add buckwheat flour, flaxseeds, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt next. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
Combine butter and blend.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Coat very lightly with butter. Working in batches, scoop about 3 tablespoonfuls of batter per pancake into skillet and cook until bottoms are golden brown and tops are evenly covered with bubbles, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until cooked through and undersides are golden— about 2 minutes, or so.
We hope that these recipes can help bring delicious food into your kitchen and home that are allergy-safe. For any other allergy needs that you and your family may have, contact us at Arkansas Allergy and Asthma.