Tag Archives: labels

Oops I Did It Again

22 Aug

I am really bad at planning ahead and asking food vendors about their menus and if there are ingredients that I could avoid. Today I had a craving for horchata. In my mind horchata is a drink made of three ingredients – rice, sugar, and cinnamon. I was pretty sure I was safe- who puts egg, wheat, dairy, or grapes in their horchata? It didn’t occur to me that in some recipes there is ground almond in the mix!  I didn’t even think about almonds. Based on my tastebuds though, I do not think my horchata had almonds in it, but I should have asked ahead of time before ordering the drink.

I’m not the only one that gets these forgetful moments. My husband recently had his own realization. First of all, yes, my husband has decided to join me on my new allergy-free diet. He does not nurse a baby, of course, so this new food choice is really his own choosing. I think that it’s a charming thing for him to do for his family. (When I think about it though, he actually did something similar like this before – he stopped being a vegetarian after he met me.) Anyway, last week on our vacation to Lake Tahoe, we decided to stop to rest our legs and let Mantou run around a bit. We got some drinks at McDonald’s. My husband ordered an iced latte. Right away I figured he was also “on vacation” from the allergy-free diet. But as soon as he finished it, a light bulb went off and he realized that he just had a drink with milk. He hadn’t intended to have a diet vacation after all.

By the way, did you know that some deli meats contain dairy? Here’s an article, Allergy-free alternatives to kids’ favorite foods, that I initially saw on msn regarding foods with hidden allergens. So it’s always a good thing to read labels or ask the chef!

Where’s the Wheat in BuckWHEAT

26 Jul

Mantou’s pediatrician read off the results from his 1st blood allergy test (RAST -Allergen-specific IgE antibody test). Class IV for egg whites. Class IV for walnuts. Class II for peanuts. Class II for wheat. The class levels range from a spectrum of 0, where the allergen is absent, to VI, where there is an extremely high level of allergen specific IgE. Class IV is considered Very High, and Class II is considered moderate.  Then he explained what foods I would have to avoid. “Try avoiding the whole egg, even the yolk since you can’t really separate the egg white protein from the yolk”. Ok, can do that. “Even though we only tested for walnuts, since it is a tree-nut, I would avoid eating all tree-nuts”. Oh wow, I just ate a bag of trail mix before I got here. “Peanuts – peanut butter, peanut oil”. Hmm, no more Reese’s peanut butter cups! “Wheat – this one is hard so you can try to avoid it if you can”. Oh that’s easy. Husband then intercedes, “That means no bread – it’s made from flour which is from wheat” WHAT?! I didn’t think I needed the breakdown but that was a very enlightening conversation.

I’m thankful that the ingredients have the allergen label included on the product packaging. In the first couple of months I spent a good deal of time in those grocery aisles looking over the ingredient lists. I concluded it was not worth shopping down the fresh bread aisle and I didn’t think I would ever eat pasta again. There are however special breads in the freezer section like Food for Life‘s Millet or Brown Rice bread. And there’s all kinds of wheat-free pasta – made from corn, brown rice, or quinoa! At first, it was disappointing to find wheat in everything I ate. Cheerios the cereal, the little cute O’s that little kids are always snacking on? Well that has both oats and wheat flour. I ended up giving Mantou Kix as tasty portable cereal snacks. Love my gummies but these ones vary, not all gummies have wheat listed in their ingredients – I prefer the Haribo brand. Well now did you know that buckwheat is not a wheat, they aren’t even related! We’ve had a couple of meals with buckwheat and that stuff is good. I just simmer some in a saucepan with onions and carrots, add some spice like cumin and chili pepper. Then add some pork chops or sausage to the mix. Simple, easy, and Mantou approved.

Whey(t) A Minute

21 Jul

I should read ingredient labels more carefully. I just saw “rice crackers” and assumed it was good to eat. I bought the Lundberg Rice Chips in Sesame Seaweed yesterday and started snacking on them. It didn’t sound to me to be harmful. Big mistake, I re-read the ingredients after collecting some of the “munchies” and found that the label clearly listed Milk as an allergen. Argh!

Then today I knew I was going out for dinner with friends and I had seen that our restaurant had a gluten-free menu. BJ’s has a “food & allergen sensitivities and gluten-free selections” menu that lists the menu items and indicates if it is free of particular allergens. It was amusing to me that anything that was gluten-free contained milk.  I ended up choosing something that was “new” and wasn’t listed on their special diet menu – The Maui Glazed Porkchop. Does this description sound bad? – “One center cut pork chop, lightly seasoned and glazed in a sweet and tangy sauce, grilled and served with oven roasted red potatoes, steamed green beans and topped with grilled sweet red onions”. I’m guessing they might have some soy sauce (not wheat-free) but no other allergens. Double Argh! Eating out is quite difficult with multi-allergies.

It doesn’t sound like I’m doing too well with my diet 3- 0 in the past 2 days is not very good stats. It just tells me I need to cook at home more often.