The Real Problems with Allergy-Friendly Dinners
Cooking just one meal free of gluten, dairy, and soy isn’t too hard. But week after week, month after month, it gets hard. First, there’s the lack of variety. Since I’ve had to throw out most of the foods I’ve grown up with, I have to find new recipes, or adapt old ones to be Joseph-safe. It takes a lot of creative effort, and sometimes, things end in failure. So I often find myself just wanting to rely on the recipes I have found that work. Unfortunately, since my stock of recipes that work isn’t very big, it means we repeat recipes every couple of weeks. So things get boring fast.
Second, the rest of the family feels deprived when they can’t eat their favorite foods, like chicken nuggets or rice-a-roni. I do try to avoid these foods normally since they aren’t the healthiest, but since Joseph can’t eat them, I resist buying them so they aren’t even there to tempt me on busy nights. This has caused some contention in my family since they don’t want to completely give up something they enjoy just because one person in the family can’t eat it.
It’s hard to find the balance. I’ve wanted to have everyone eat the same meal, to encourage my daughter to stop being so picky, and to save me time in the kitchen. But I am finding that I should allow myself to be more flexible. Making Joseph a sunbutter sandwich on gluten-free bread doesn’t take too long, and I can usually at least include a side dish that Joseph can eat if he can’t eat the main dish. This is something I’ll have to watch as Joseph gets older, to make sure that nobody feels left out at the dinner table.