Happy Spring! I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather as it slowly comes in.
I wanted to talk today about one of the most frequent questions I get as a food allergy dietitian…
How do I get the proper nutrients into my child’s diet with all of their food allergies?
Well, first I’m here to tell you that it IS doable, and you are not alone with your concerns. This crosses every parent’s mind when their child is unable to eat a variety of foods. Even parents whose children do not have food allergies, but may be a picky eater, question whether their child is getting in the recommended amount of nutrients.
After getting this question numerous times, I decided to develop a five step approach that will help you organize your ideas, thoughts and time when it comes to making healthy meals and snacks for your child, while incorporating all the recommended vitamins and minerals.
Five Step Approach
- Make a list of your child’s allergens and what nutrients they contain. For example, if your child is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, hop online and find out what nutrients are in these foods. In this example, you would need to breakdown the tree nuts one by one. This can definitely be time consuming, if they are allergic to all of them, but it is worth the effort in order to be educated on what your child potentially could be missing out on when it comes to their diet.
- Once you have all of the nutrients written down, look up allergy-friendly foods that contain these nutrients. Google will be your best friend once again for this step.
- Now it is time to bring your child into the process. Show them the list of foods that you think would help them nutritionally and ask them which one they would like to try first.
- Look for recipes online that have these specific ingredients in them. Print out a couple of different options and have your child choose a recipe. Getting your child involved in as many ways as you can, will encourage them to try the new foods. You also have the option to purchase my cookbook with 60 healthy recipes that can all be made top nine free! They are also kid-approved by my own children:). The “Allergy-Friendly Cookbook” is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also go to my Author Facebook page for more information.
- Now, get into the kitchen and start cooking! To all the parents out there who may have thought they could get away with not cooking, I’m afraid that will most likely not happen. Of course, you always have the option to buy pre-made foods that contain the ingredients you are looking to incorporate, but as a food allergy family this could cause you more stress than actually getting into the kitchen and making the food yourself. Plus, you can get your child into the kitchen with you! This is a great way to introduce them to cooking with whole foods.
Phew! You may be thinking to yourself… Wow, this is a lot of work. And it is, but it is worth it in the end.
You always have the option to grab my course, “Take Back Control From Food Allergies”, where I go into even more detail about this approach or contact me and we can set up an appointment where we do all of the above together in a matter of one hour. Then you would just have to take the recipes and get to work in the kitchen.
Good luck giving this a try and I am always here if you need me!
If you would like to keep in touch more often, you can join my Food Allergy Forum Facebook page, where I talk about food allergy research, safe food finds, recipes and everything else when it comes to food allergies.