Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanks, Jolly Green Giant

After I posted my entry yesterday about not knowing what the heck to make for dinner, I reached into the tried-and-true freezer for the magical answer. And out came .... ho, ho, ho, (no, not Santa), Green Giant! (does this reference to a jingle ring a bell?)

There was a bag of Green Giant "Create a Meal Stir Fry - Teriyaki" that I bought a while back. Hurrah! I had two chicken breasts I cooked the night before, so I sliced those up and threw them in the pan with the bounty from my saviour the Giant. I also made a batch of rice.

Overall, it was pretty good. The veggies were a little on the mushy side, but okay. Big Guy really liked it. He kept saying, "Mommy, this dinner you made is really good!"

Definitely not gourmet, or something I'd want to eat every night, but it was something everyone in the fam could eat ... no egg, dairy or nuts in it. And it was easy, which I guess is the whole point of bags of dinner like this.

If anyone has any ideas on how to get more inspired and organized for making dinner, please pass it on!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What's for Dinner?

Seriously, I think this is one of the most irritating questions! I HATE having to figure out what to cook for dinner! Hate. It!

My mom used to complain about this too and I never understood why ... until I became a mom. It doesn't matter if I am home all day or at work, either way I don't know what to make. I am not much of a cook so that doesn't help. And of course (just to show some connection to the theme of this blog) my options are a bit limited because of the boys' food allergies. But really, that is a weak excuse. Even if they didn't have the allergies, I would dread this part of the day.

Seriously (to quote Grey's), I rejoice and feel such sweet relief when I know I don't have to worry about what to make for dinner. I am in such awe (and also a little bit of disgust) at the people who can plan their menus for the whole week.

And if you notice when I write my blog posts, it is often the time I should be cooking dinner. I am such a procrastinator. Bad, bad mommy. June Cleaver I am NOT!!!

Okay, I really have to go and find something for my poor family to eat. More to come on what they get!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Waffles and more ...

First of all ... I know I am slowing down in posting on my blog. I look at other people's blogs and see how often they post ... WOW! They post every day. I give them a lot of credit. I can't keep up with it that often. I enjoy posting, but every day is too much for me. And I have been reading lots of blogs. It is unbelievable how many are out there ... very overwhelming!

Anyway, we had a busy busy weekend so I haven't been able to blog. Of course the weekend revolved around eating ... we ate a lot of turkey, mashed potatoes (with Miracle Margarine and soy milk), etc. etc. We also saw a lot of friends and I thought it would be interesting to see what the boys ate (and what they couldn't) during the holiday weekend. If your kids have food allergies, you know that people are always wondering what they actually can eat ... here is a sampling.

Wednesday -- dinner with friends and we ordered pizza ... Big Guy can tolerate more milk these days (hurrah!) so he got to eat a couple slices. Little Guy can't eat pizza so I brought leftover Meatcakes for him.

Thursday -- breakfast with friends ... homemade waffles!!! I learned something new--you can make Bisquick waffles with just milk, no eggs!!!! I have stayed away from making pancakes and waffles because of the need to include eggs. But my friend pointed out that the package says "egg optional." We made them with soy milk I had brought over and they were delicious. The kids never even missed the egg.

The big dinner ... the boys ate turkey, mashed potatoes, beans. Neither of them could eat the rolls (they had eggs in them), but they were okay with that and they could eat the yummy cran-apple pie. It was from Market Day.

Friday -- post-Thanksgiving casual dinner with my brother and his family. My hubby made hand-ground hamburgers. They were delicious and everyone could eat them up. We also had waffle fries and green beans. The boys could eat it all!!

Saturday -- more leftovers ... nothing too exciting.

Sunday -- Big Guy and I went to see Happy Feet and since he is able to tolerate some dairy, he could have buttered popcorn.

Dinner at friends while watching the Bears game -- most of the kids had chicken nuggets. It can be tricky to find nuggets that don't have any dairy or egg, so I brought dino nuggets from the 3 lb. bag I got at Costco. Turned out Little Guy preferred the Beef Bourguignon (good taste for a two-year old) that the adults ate. (Thanks to hubby for making it!)

So, let's sum it up: Did I have to make allowances for the kids? Yes. Were they able to eat every single thing their friends ate? No. Did they care? No. Did it add a lot of extra stress to my life? No.

I was more stressed out by the Bears loss, figuring out what to bring as an appetizer Thursday and Little Guy's intense interest in his binky (aka pacifier).

Monday, November 20, 2006


Some days are just better than others. It's a fact of life. It seems like usually you notice it when it is a bad day ..."oh great, it's going to be one of those days," you mutter to yourself. Or "could this day get any worse?" And while you take note of the spectacular days ... vacation days or holidays (although sometimes those are more stressful than fun) ... it's nice to appreciate a regular ol' nice day.

I am lucky. That is the kind of day I had today. And since it is only 3 days before Thanksgiving, I am feeling especially thankful for today. It wasn't a spectacular day, but a lot of little nice things happened today.

I figured out early in the day what to make for dinner (yummy and fun individual muffin-size meatloaves which were deemed "meatcakes" by Big Guy ... think ground beef cupcakes) which was HUGE for me. I love not having that niggling feeling in the back of my head all day wondering what I'll do for dinner that night. And they were delicious! I used one of the flavored Stove Top Stuffings (mushroom and onion) and it was easy and really tasty.

I got a chance to exercise this morning while watching the last half of Oprah on the Grey's Anatomy set. And while I did that Big Guy and Little Guy played well together. They both ate a decent breakfast. These are all good things.

Later in the day we went to the library. I LOVE the library. I love all the books that I can choose from and if I don't really like one, I can return it--no harm, no foul. I don't lose any money. It's great! I filled the canvas bag with so many books I had to put some back. I can just go crazy there ... books seem to fly off the shelf into my hands. And I'm talking about both children's books and adult books. Even the librarian who checked me out commented on the number of books I had (hence, putting some back).

Oh, and the reason I could do all this on a Monday is because I am LUCKY and have a great boss and work for a great company that lets me work 3 days a week. So, Mondays are one of my days with the boys. A day I can slow down and hang out with them ... go to the library and make meatcakes (with ketchup "frosting.")

Enjoy the little things or as they said "long ago" ... Don't Worry, Be Happy.

Friday, November 17, 2006

You're Giving Him That?!?

Earlier this week I saw a great post called The SanctiMommy about how other mothers judge you as a mom. Give it a read ... it might just hit a nerve. I was thinking about this phenomenon in the context of raising the kids with food allergies and it has made for some interesting circumstances.

On the one hand, there is the time I was giving Little Guy potato chips at the grocery store in order to keep him occupied, happy and less likely to pull the displays down. Out of the corner of my eye I see another mom looking at me with that face. The face that so obviously says "how can she give him fatty potato chips? can't she at least give him pretzels?" I so wanted to slap her upside the head and say "NO, I cannot give him pretzels since he is allergic to wheat!" But in order to avoid jail time, I chose to ignore her. I was unfairly hit with the judgement of the SanctiMommy.

On the other hand, one day I was dropping Big Guy off at preschool and, following my usual routine, I checked with the teacher to see what the other parent brought in for snack that day for all the kids. I had to do this to see if Big Guy could eat it ... much of the time he could not, so the teacher would give him one of the snacks I brought in earlier in the year. No one made a big deal about it, he just ate something else.

On this day, I was told that the snack was mini-Twix bars. I quietly told the teacher not to give it to Big Guy and instead give him a bag of Teddy Grahams. Then I overheard the mom who brought the snack tell her husband, "She won't let her son eat our snack! She thinks its not healthy enough." So she thought I was being a SanctiMommy and wouldn't loosen up and let my son eat a candy for snack. Umm, NO! He is allergic to milk and can't eat your candy. I wish he could, but he can't. Of course, I did not go up to her and tell her. Maybe I should have. Instead I was just pissed.

In both situations people judged my actions with my kids based on their assumptions. They didn't know me or my kids. They thought they knew what I should be doing, but they had no clue. For me, it all goes back to the old cliches ... "don't judge a book by its cover" or the one about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. I guess they are cliches because they are so true (and I think even saying that is a cliche!)

In the end, we are all trying to do the best we can with our kids. I wish we could try to be more supportive of each other rather than judgmental.

Okay, I am done with my rant/soapbox diatribe.

Monday, November 13, 2006

He Won't Eat That

Little Guy is driving me crazy!! Other moms probably can think of a thousand reasons why I would say that. And my reason is no different than any other mom's. He is two years old and won't sit still to eat a meal.

I am so tired of cajoling and negotiating with him to eat his meal ... breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just. eat. your. food! I know this is standard for a two-year old, but that doesn't make it less tiring.

Today, I discovered a new mommy blog "A Readable Feast" from a mom who writes about cooking and children's books. I found her when I was looking for a recipe for eggless meatloaf. Most recipes for meatloaf use egg to hold it together and since both my boys are allergic to eggs, I had to search the internet for a recipe. Thank goodness for the internet! She also writes another blog (who has the time to write this many blogs?!?) that looks interesting called "This Mama Cooks." It's fun to find new blogs.

Anyway, back to Little Guy and the lack of interest in eating. This is one issue that really doesn't have much to do with the food allergies ... only that it is extra frustrating when I try to cook something he can eat and then he refuses. But I'm sure all moms can relate and if you have any suggestions ... fire away!

Well, I guess this is just one more example of why they call it the Terrible Twos.

By the way, I ended up making a "hamburger stew" with ground beef and potatoes--a recipe I found on It was pretty good ... perfect comfort food for a cold, wet day ... at least for those of us who would eat it!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Creatures of Habit

Thanks to the blog, many of my friends have been asking me how Little Guy likes wheat since we got the go-ahead to add that to his diet from our allergist (see he CAN eat that!!!)

I think everyone (including myself) imagined that we would be stuffing him with wheat products all day long. But, in reality, old habits die hard and I haven't changed his diet too much.

PLUS, I have all those expensive non-wheat items to finish up. (No way am I throwing them out ... he WILL eat them.) For example, we found the Ener-G pretzels pretty good ... although my husband thinks they taste like stale pretzels, Little Guy LOVED them. And we have to finish off all the wheat-free pasta and cookies and the Nature's Choice breakfast bars, etc. etc.

I will say those breakfast bars must have been pretty darn good because when Little Guy was learning to talk, "Co-Co" was one of his first words (which actually says a lot about me as a mom). Co-Co meant cookie and he would stand under the cabinet where we kept them and point to cabinet shouting "Co-Co, Co-Co, Co-Co!" until we got him one.

Another reason I haven't given him a lot of wheat products is because most of the bread we currently have in the 'frig has a small amount of whey, casein or milk in it (whey and casein are products of milk). Big Guy can now tolerate that small amount in his bread, but I've got to get new bread for Little Guy .... I really have to do that.

It would probably also be good to get a few other grocery items since our refrigerator looks barren ... one sad yogurt, three sips of milk that are about to go bad, a bruised apple and some wilting broccoli. I'm a GREAT mom.

Anyway, I'll let you know what bread I find that has wheat but none of the other "taboo" ingredients.

P.S. Thanks to my loyal readers, Alma and Lynn, who encourage me to keep up this blog. :-)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Pseudo Vegetarian

Okay, today I got an email from Big Guy's day care center (where he goes two days a week) with tips on what peanut-free snacks parents can bring in. The center is peanut-free so they are trying to help people out with some ideas because (apparently) some people can't exist without those pesky legumes.

Before I share the list (which by the way, about 50 percent of the things on it my kids can't eat because of all their other allergies ... sigh), I want to share a funny story about what recently happened to him at his day care as a result of his allergies.

At this day care they feed him lunch and a snack. I usually ask Big Guy what he ate for lunch and he was often telling me "I had beans and a tortilla, mommy. But everyone else had chicken." Oooo-kay, I thought. I guessed the chicken was breaded and had egg in it so they didn't give it to him.

After a couple weeks of this, the teacher asked me, "Can he eat chicken? I'm just wondering because the kitchen doesn't give it to him, but I gave him some because I thought he could eat it." I asked her if it was breaded. "Nope, just grilled chicken," she answered.

Well, we figured out that the kitchen misread his card about his food restrictions and thought he was a VEGETARIAN! And so all he got were beans!!!! Jeez! Poor kid already can't eat a lot of the things the other kids eat and now he can't eat meat either AND he is loaded up with the toot food!

So, a big thanks to the teacher who caught it and helped fix the mistaken identity Big Guy had with the day care kitchen.

Anyway, back to the list of peanut-free snacks for those who are lucky enough to only have ONE food allergy ....


General Mills
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Kix, Berry Berry Kix
  • Lucky Charms
  • Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex
  • Trix
  • Kellogg’s

Cereals: Corn Pops, Crispix, Fruit Loops, Post Alpha Bits, Quaker Cap ‘N Crunch

Nutri-Grain: Apple, Blueberry, Raspberry
Nutri-Grain Twist: Banana & Strawberry, Strawberries & Cream

Honey Combs


Mootown Snacks- Cheeze & Pretzels, Cheeze & Crackers, Cheeze & Sticks

Go-Gurt, Drinkables

Other Cheeses -- Sliced, cubed, shredded, string cheese, cream cheese, spreads, dips

  • Austin
  • Zoo Animal Crackers
  • Betty Crocker
  • Cinnamon Graham Cookies
  • Dunk Aroos
  • Sprinkled Vanilla Frosting

Frito Lay
  • Cheetos- Crunch, Zigzag, Puffs
  • Rold Gold Pretzels
  • Sun Chips- Original, Sour Cream, Cheddar, Classic, Flavored

General Mills
  • Bugles- Original
  • Keebler
  • Bite Size Snackin Grahams- Cinnamon, Chocolate
  • Elf Grahams- Honey, Cinnamon
  • Fudge Stripes Shortbread Cookies
  • Golden Vanilla Wafers
  • Grasshopper Mint Cookies
  • New Rainbow Vanilla Wafers
  • Munch’ems- Sour Cream & Onion, Original, Ranch, Cheddar
  • Snack Stix
  • Sugar Wafers
  • Toasteds- Wheat, Buttercrisp
  • Town House Classic Crackers
  • Wheatables- Original, Honey Wheat, Seven Grain

  • Handi-Snacks- Cheez ‘N Crackers, Apple Dippers, Cheez ‘N Pretzels
  • Handi-Snacks Teddy Grahams- Honey, Chocolate

  • Air Crisps
  • Potato- Sour Cream & Onion, Ranch, Barbeque, Cheddar
  • Pretzel- Original
  • Ritz- Original
  • Wheat Thins- Original, Ranch
  • Barnum Animal Crackers
  • Cheddar Sportz
  • Cheese Nips
  • Dizzy Grizzlies- Vanilla Frosted, Chocolate Frosted
  • Graham Crackers- Honey Maid, Cinnamon, Chocolate
  • Newtons- Fig, Cobblers, Raspberry, Apple
  • Ritz Crackers- Original
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Teddy Cheddy
  • Teddy Grahams- Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate, Honey
  • Triscuits, Triscuit Thin Crisps
  • Wheat Thins
  • Old Dutch
  • Baked Cheez Curls

  • Crunchy Curls
  • Pretzels
  • Pepperidge Farm
  • Butter Thins
  • Goldfish- any flavor
  • Goldfish Graham Snacks- Honey, Cinnamon, Golden
  • Pringles - Any Flavor
  • Sunshine
  • Big Cheez-It
  • Cheez It- Regular, Reduced Fat
  • Hi Ho Crackers- Regular, Reduced Fat


  • Fresh-Apples, Bananas, Oranges
  • Packaged Fruit- Apple Sauce, Apple Sauce Mix, Diced Pears, Peaches, Raisins, Mandarin Oranges
  • Fruit Snacks- Fruit Roll Ups, Fruit by the Foot, Fun Fruit

Jell-O and Pudding Snacks:

  • Barrel O’Fun
  • Corn Pops (No Kernels)
  • Frito Lay
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Chester’s Popcorn Butter
  • Old Dutch Popcorn
  • Carmel PuffCorns, Cheddar, White, White Cheddar

Fresh Carrot Sticks, Celery Sticks

Special Treats:

Cub Foods Bakery, Kowalski’s Bakery, Sam’s Club Bakery White, Chocolate, Marble Cakes

Air Heads
Dum Dum Pops
Gum Drops
Shock Tarts
Hershey Kisses-Milk Chocolate, Extra Creamy
Jolly Ranchers
Junior Mints
Life Savers
Mike & Ikes
Sugar Babies
Milk Duds
Sweet Tarts
Tootsie Pops
Tootsie Rolls
Ring Pops


  • Cub Foods Bakery
  • Donuts/Donut Holes- Glazed, Powdered Sugar, Sugar
  • Sugar Cookies
  • Kowalski’s Bakery
  • Iced Sugar Cookies
  • Donut Holes- Plain, Glazed

IceCream/Frozen Treats:
  • Edy’s
  • Whole Fruit Bars
  • FlaVorice- Freezies
  • Good Humor Popsicles
  • Sherbet Cyclone
  • Icee- Squeeze up tubes
  • Italian Ice

  • Fudge Bars- Regular and Junior Size
  • Ice Cream Bars
  • Ice Cream Cups
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches- Regular, Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Twin Pops- Any Flavor
  • What’s Up Orange Sherbet Treats
  • Klondike
  • Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches
Minute Maid
  • Soft Frozen Lemonade
  • Polar Express
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches

Monday, November 06, 2006


Yesterday, my family and I had Faux-giving ... Fake Thanksgiving ... because my parents will be out of the country on the real Thanksgiving. The family event consisted of myself, hubby and the two boys; my brother and his wife and their two young'ins; and my sister and her boyfriend.

One of the things that really struck me about this year's family gathering (other than the fact that all four kids were actually old enough to play on their own for longer than 5 minutes before they started wreaking havoc) was how easy it was to feed the kids. All the food allergies, pretty much a non-issue.

I attribute this phenomenon to the fact that my family know "the products." My mom doesn't even give it a second thought when she makes the mashed potatoes ... she uses the Miracle Margarine (along with soy milk). And she uses it in the carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes.
On a related note, Little Guy LOVED the sweet potatoes (probably because they are soaked in margarine and brown sugar). But jeez, he could not get enough of those. I was seriously afraid to give him too many, I mean, would he turn orange??? He could be the orange version of Violet Beauregarde.

Anyway, my mom also bought soy ice cream for the boys to eat while the rest of us pig out on French Vanilla. And Big Guy can eat the apple pie. Both boys could eat just about everything on the table. This is probably not a big deal to other moms, but it is pretty cool to me.

It wasn't that long ago (2 or 3 years) that I was quizzing my mom about what was in all the food so I could figure out what Big Guy could eat .... answer: not much. With all the hullabaloo with the holidays, my mom forgot to use miracle margarine and used regular butter. I felt bad Big Guy couldn't eat much, she felt bad she forgot. Overall, not a great scene.

But, you can see that with time we don't even think about it. What used to be a stessful big deal, has turned into a nonevent. A regular happy dysfunctional Faux-giving.

I have a LOT to be thankful for in my life and what I am blogging about today just represents one small thing on that list.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

he CAN eat that!!!!!!!!!!

Hurrah!!! Yippee!!!! Zipedeedoodah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Little guy can eat wheat!!!!!! At least we can give it a try. We just got back from the allergist's office and she said that based on his blood test and his skin test it looks like he has grown out of the wheat allergy. WOW! Only one year after he first showed that he had the allergy to it.

My mind is reeling at the possibilities! Of course, we still have to avoid eggs, dairy and nuts. But this is a start. And I'm used to avoiding those things since Big Guy has had those allergies for the past 4 years.

So, for dessert tonight he got his first taste of a classic -- animal crackers. He was very excited to eat elephant. But when he saw the bag he said "that makes me sick." We told him the doctor said he could eat it now. He told me they were yummy. Now, let's hope he doesn't hurl!

Happy to share such good news!!!!

Wheat a Minute!

We are off to the allergist this afternoon. Our regular 6 month visit to see how the boys are doing and if I need to change up our allergy/asthma routine. I am pretty excited about this visit ... strange, I know!

But my two-year old was diagnosed with an allergy to wheat a little over a year ago and since I had gotten used to my older son's dairy, egg and nuts allergy I pretty much freaked out when my little one had wheat added to the mix.

Aghhhhhhhhh! How do you not feed your kids wheat!?? I mean they can't possibly live without Teddy Grahams, spaghetti and breadsticks, right? Wrong!

It was just a matter of first, having a good cry and then once that was out of my system and I lost the "woe is me" outlook, I scoured the speciality stores and found wheat-free pasta, cookies and breakfast bars (to name a few).

But a few weeks ago, we volunteered to be part of a study at Children's Memorial Hospital on kids with food allergies and the boys had to get skin and blood tests and lo and behold!!!!!! my little guy tested negative to wheat!!

So, today we show the results to the allergist and see if it was a freaky test or if he can start eating stuff with wheat in it. It is pretty exciting to think he could eat that stuff.

Stay tuned!!!