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A few months ago, this is what happened to our son, who is allergic to dairy. This is after feeding him 3 Cheetos. 

Scary, right? 

When we first discovered his allergy, at 9 months old, I thought, “Oh great, we’re gonna have to be one of those families who has to make sure our food is always safe and allergen free, and shop at the health food store, and put a lot more work into cooking at home.” I was not excited at first, but my only choice was to embrace the situation. So I researched online, talked with people who had similar issues, and started cooking things that were safe to eat. Trips to the health food store resulted in purchases like soy milk, almond milk, tofu cheese, soy yogurt, sometimes even soy ice cream (even though that stuff is crazy expensive). We refrained from purchasing things like ah-hem, cheetos, cheese crackers, cheesy chips, etc. I fed him a lot of peanut butter, bread, fruit, veggies, and meat. In a lot of ways, we all started eating healthier, and I learned that I didn’t mind having to work around his allergy. I started making homemade baby food. I started making almost everything we ate from scratch. And I was surprised at how many options there were in the stores, and how many things I could actually make at home. No longer was I using cream-of-this-and-that in casseroles. I haven’t bought a jar of cheese whiz or pasta sauce or anything of the sort in a very long time. I now know how to make my own white sauces, cheese sauces, marinara sauces and gravies, and I personally think its just as easy, and tastier too.The blessings that have come from his allergy have far outweighed the sacrifices that have gone into it.
The doctor said there was a good chance he would grow out of his allergy to dairy. He said to experiment every 6 weeks. We started with cooked dairy. I was elated when we discovered he could in fact eat dairy if it had been cooked (my husband explained to me that when the proteins have been denatured, it has a different effect). All of a sudden, he could eat waffles, scrambled eggs, lasagna, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, grilled cheese, ya know, the regular kid stuff.
Fast forward a few weeks later, we experimented with real yogurt. Lo and behold, he did not react and break out in hives! We tried this a few times, then started adding other dairy items. We’ve been careful, because I think it still affects his stomach, which is evident in his diapers, but now he is able to eat ice cream, have regular milk in his cereal, and eat cold cheese. We’re confident that he is growing out of his dairy allergy!
One of the main benefits of all this, is that it really opened my eyes and raised my awareness about the things that we actually put into our bodies. Like I mentioned, I cook from scratch pretty much all the time. We shop local when we can. We started our own garden. I want to purchase organic and natural food as much as possible. We’ve looked in to crop co-ops and purchasing meat from local farmers. I watched the movie Food, Inc. on Netlfix, and read this book. (and while I don’t agree with every single thing they preach, at least I was educated on certain things).
 (We wanted real tomatoes, not just the idea of a tomato).
I’ve learned a lot, but still feel like there’s a long way to go.
Someday we hope to be able to eat exclusively natural, local, hormone, and cage free meat, but until we can afford it, we save our money and buy what we can, even if its just a little at a time. 
I’d like to improve our food storage, adding healthy shelf items, and learning how to can the made-from-scratch sauces I talked about. 
My kids are the pickiest eaters I have ever met, and I need to work with them a lot
But I’m thankful that now I’m aware of things I want to do to improve our diet and health.
I do not think the food industry is evil. I think its a business, and its up to us to make smart choices.
I’m not talking about putting my family on a crazy diet that includes no junk-food. (I’m not willing to part with my sour cream and onion Pringles or dark chocolate Dove squares). But I do want to teach my children about making healthy food choices, and providing those opportunities to them.
How about you? Do you have special dietary needs in your home? 
What do you do to ensure safety and health?
How to you incorporate health food into your family’s diet on a budget?
How do you get your picky kids to eat healthy?

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Once upon a time…

I started a blog. This is a tale of my projects, goals, and dreams. Thank you for taking a moment to stop by. I hope you have a beautiful day.

xoxo, Rach H.