As a mom, all if want is for my family to enjoy the food that I make for them. To me, it is a creation that comes from the heart.
As I finished making homemade, chocolate chip, gluten/dairy and egg free waffles this morning, I felt frustrated. My daughter would not eat them. My son loved them (as did I!) and my husband won’t touch most of the allergen-free items that I make (beyond the chocolate chip cookies and pasta).
However, due to my daughter’s allergies, I refuse to coax her to eat foods. She has a very distinct way of knowing when a food has something in it that it shouldn’t, so I let her use her instincts.
Similar to my son, she was picky when we started to introduce foods, but in a totally different way. As a toddler, she loved, fruit, chicken, salmon, meatballs, pasta. I called her my ‘healthy eater’ because she refused most carbs (e.g. some bread, crackers and baked goods like muffins, cookies, banana bread). Then she started to find some cookies that she liked, particularly Oreos, and she loved chips so I knew she wasn’t completely into healthy food!
I couldn’t figure out why some foods were such a hit (Mr. Christie’s Chewy Chips Ahoy) and some were such a miss (my homemade version). And what kid refused to eat cake of any kind?!? She would spit out any foods that she didn’t ‘like’ and ask for something else.
One evening I came home with a gluten free treat for myself, French Macaroons from a local cupcakery. She always asked for some of my treats (and loved marshmallows) so I gave her some. She started screaming. She spit it out and told me that her mouth was burning. She had some milk and seemed to calm down. It wasn’t until later that I realized her lips were slightly swollen and it occurred to me that it was an allergic reaction.
I researched French Macaroons to find out typical ingredients and there it was….egg whites. All of a sudden what I have perceived as pickiness made complete sense – she was allergic to eggs.
I had tried to feed her eggs several times, but she would spit them out or refuse them. I had chalked it up to the consistency. My son often refused foods due to the consistency. I had heard of some children with egg allergies, but the reaction had been so severe that the child went straight to the emergency. My daughter’s reaction was different and she often just wouldn’t eat the foods with eggs so it took me so long to figure it out. The French Macaroons must have tricked her senses in some way and so she ate more of them instead of spitting it out right away. Damn Macaroons! My god, she’s a genius. My 18 month old knew about her allergy way before I could ever figure it out.
I took her off of eggs right away. As I checked food labels, I came to found all of the foods she liked did not contain eggs (Goldfish Crackers, Oreo’s, Mr. Christie’s Chewy Chips Ahoy) and the foods she refused did contain eggs (my home baking, gluten free bread, cake).
We got an Epipen from our doctor and prick allergy testing eventually confirmed an allergy to eggs, cashews (which she also spit out at one point) and walnuts.
So, back to this morning’s waffles – I don’t know whether there is a true allergy issue with them or whether she was having a picky morning or just didn’t like them. But, I have to respect that for her something wasn’t right. Afterall, she is a genius. I can freeze the waffles.