Friday, April 24, 2015

Allergies Have Changed Family Mealtime

Do you remember childhood mealtime? Everybody ate exactly the same thing and you had to eat it (or eat some of it) whether you liked it or not? Oh, boy, I remember having to eat a small amount of beets (makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it) and sauerkraut (I finally uncontrollably gagged when I was in high school and my mom let me off the hook after that) and who knows what else. I didn't have to eat it all, but I had to have at least a couple of bites of everything being served.

My, how things have changed, haven't they? With food allergies and sensitivities becoming so commonplace, it's no longer the same situation.

I've been dairy-free for sometime, but that doesn't mean our meals are always dairy-free. Casseroles, including lasagna? One with cheese and a smaller dairy-free one gets made. Quesedillas? Ditto. Macaroni and cheese? I'll just have the macaroni. Pizza? Have to make a cheeseless or Daiya one for me, or if we're ordering out, it can only be ordered from certain places and I pretty much need my own individual one because they aren't usually very good at keeping half the pizza cheeseless. There's a stir fry recipe my husband makes with cream of chicken soup; I need to get a portion pulled out for me before he puts the sauce in the veggies. Or the tortellini sauce he makes: a mix of Italian sauce and cream of mushroom. Again, I get served first and what's left is all mixed in with the dairy.

Now my daughter is gluten-free. Not celiac, but definitely sensitive to at least wheat, but looking up things online, it's more consistent with gluten sensitivity than just wheat sensitivity. I'm finding I feel better gluten-free, so I'm almost not eating any at all. So, it adds another wrench to the everybody-eats-the-same-supper. Spaghetti? Well, my husband and son aren't prepared to eat gluten-free (and, to be honest, it's much cheaper for them NOT to), so a batch of wheat pasta is made and a smaller batch of gluten-free for her and me. Taco night? Have to make sure to have more hard corn tortilla shells or have wheat flour tortillas and gluten-free tortillas. Casserole? Haven't gotten there yet. Am I really going to make 3 different ones? My daughter isn't dairy-free and isn't at all interested in trying the Daiya (they all say it smells weird). I suppose I'll make a "regular" one and then a gluten-free cheeseless one that we can each add on cheese as desired. Or maybe put a divider in a baking pan with gluten-free on both sides and each our own desired cheese. Bread? Do I dare use up some of our bread flour in delicious bread that my daughter can't eat? Or that will tempt her to eat and then she'll be ill afterwards?

Allergies have definitely changed mealtime from the way it was when I was a kid! What about you?

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