In July, when Ansley could ONLY tolerate sweet potatoes and allergen free breastmilk, I woke up in the middle of the night panicking, "What will she smash on her birthday???"
Irrational as it may seem now, it was our, then, very real reality.
As much as Ansley's body chemistry has changed and as many food as she is now able to tolerate (13!!), the severity of her body's exposure to any milk or egg protein is still a part of our every day. Each new food that is introduced to her is done so with cautious trepidation on my part. While we are so thankful for each new food that she enjoys and her body does not reject, it is too easy to push that scary night in Destin to a distant memory. Yet, it is never far from the surface as I am often the sippy cup and goldfish police at play dates.
Now that I am planning for her 1st Birthday party, I am incredibly aware of our limitations.
Like most of my mom friends that I talk to, tis the season for Birthday parties. We've had one and been to 4 in the last month. While Addison has been the intended guest at these parties (and we *think* has outgrown her only remaining food allergy to strawberries), I have taken inventory on all the things that Ansley could NOT partake in:
chicken nuggets (buttermilk in the batter)
ice cream cake
birthday cake (made with eggs and butter cream icing)
While at home we try to focus on the things she CAN eat, I was painfully aware of all of the things that she CANNOT eat at these parties. It was overwhelming. It has definitely made me more intentional about making the things I serve at parties kid-friendly regardless of allergy issues. For the first time at Addison's party, I surveyed the moms for any food allergies, and I had some alternative options: sorbet and chex mix (there is even a gluten-free kind of this!) for starters. As Ansley grows up and attends her friends' parties, I will probably be less shy about initiating the conversation with other moms--offering to bring a dish or an alternative for Ans.
So began my quest for creating an allergy free party for Ansley to enjoy.
As food-centric as our culture--and my family--is, the quest can be quite challenging.
Even though Ansley is only turning 1 and will likely still be eating her own prepared-by-mommy-food, I feel guilty offering guests food that she wouldn't be able to eat.
In addition to planning my lunch menu, I am also still searching for a dairy-free and egg-free cake recipe. I made my trusty pumpkin spice muffins (an old weight watchers recipe that I've posted before: 1 box of spice cake mix [I found a milk/egg free on with Duncan Hines Classic], 1 can of pumpkin, and 1/2 cup of water. I also want to try it with yellow cake mix as I have recently seen pinned on pinterest.
I also plan to attend my Allergy Moms meeting at Whole Foods this month to get more tips, and if any of you who check in here have any ideas to suggest, please let me know!
Thank to everyone who has prayed and checked in on how Ansley is doing. I'll be back soon with an 11-month post and Addison's 3rd Birthday party wrap-up.
P.S. Did you know that glue has milk in it?