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Should I Keep Allergens in the House?

August 31, 2011

Soon after I learned of Joseph’s allergies, I decided that I wanted to get rid of all allergens in the house possible. I knew that my husband and daughter would rebel against me if I got rid of all milk and bread, but I liked the idea that other allergy moms expressed about having home be a safe haven for their kids. I also didn’t like the idea of using twice as many dishes to cook two separate meals for dinner – one with allergens, and one without.

So, over the past few months, we’ve been eating up all our regular pasta and all purpose flour. As we were getting to the end, one of my friends had a baby, and I wanted to take her a meal. As I put together a pasta dish, I wondered what I would do if I had only gluten-free pasta in the house? Why use my special ingredients on her family when they wouldn’t appreciate it, and Joseph wouldn’t even benefit?

Then we had a bunch of family in town. As we had meals for 16+ people, I wondered what I would do if I didn’t have these regular staples in the house? It’s not worth the expense to feed 16 people on gluten-free food. Sure, I could do meals heavy on the rice, but what about desserts? There are not very many desserts that can be made with non-specialty food that Joseph can eat.

So, I have settled on a compromise. When it is just our family, I will cook dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free foods. But I will keep a small amount of flour and pasta made from wheat for those times when I will be cooking for people beyond our family.

I am aware of the risk for cross-contamination. I think we’ve handled it pretty well up until now with my giving Joseph his own purees for dinner while we eat gluten and dairy. The bigger risk is not from flour in the air, but from Joseph swiping Rachel’s crackers. She’s so picky, that I knew I wouldn’t be able to take those out of the house. And since I’ve read on various blogs about other mothers choosing to keep some allergens in the house, with obvious labels so kids know what’s safe, I feel good about this decision.

What are your thoughts?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily Woodward permalink
    September 1, 2011 6:51 pm

    I think you made a good decision. Lily is allergic to milk and eggs and it is hard to make 2 different things for every meal, so I totally sympathize with you there. It does seem unrealistic, however, to be totally allergen free all the time, like you said. I’m glad I just discovered your blog, I wonder why it took me so long.

    • September 2, 2011 7:05 am

      I think I remember you mentioning Lily was allergic to milk, but not eggs. I’m so glad i’m still able to bake with eggs. Do you follow any vegan blogs? There’s a few I read, since they’re all dairy free.

      Guess you’ve just not been on Facebook much, for why it’s taken until now to discover my blog. 🙂

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