Thursday, October 28, 2010
We'd love to, but....
We used to be social butterflies, flitting from play-dates to birthday parties, from coffee mornings to toddler groups. But no more. We have become recluses, rarely venturing to mingle with the other toddlers and mums of this world. Our days sometimes include others but usually in our own house or at the beach and we are careful to avoid meal and snack times. This is life of a family living with food allergies.
Our little Buttercup is too young yet to realise that she can’t just eat anything that is lying about (or within reach of a very nimble climber). Every birthday party and coffee morning is a minefield: cakes, sandwiches, biscuits, scones, pretty much all processed foods will lead to a week of stomach pains and sleepless nights for my little one. And she has a big sister who needs her mummy’s attention too. So, for now, we’ll have to stay away.
But at least something good has come from all this. We are now eating a lot more mindfully (love, love that word).We are all living soya free and almost totally dairy free (with the exception of Primrose’s daily yoghurt) and are heading towards being sugar free too.We make pretty much everything ourselves, our veg and meat are all organic and local and we even have our own laying hens.
Yup, we now have four chooks in the back garden. Our day starts with myself and the tinies donning jackets and wellies over our pyjamas as we head out to let the chickens out and give them their breakfast. Later we collect eggs and muck out the chicken house and let the winged beasties run amok around the garden for a bit. Primrose and Buttercup spend hours chasing the chooks, and hugging them! Primrose has managed to tame the birds better than I ever could.
The girls bake and cook with me as well. Buttercup is now 16 months so is just big enough to stand on a chair and help her sister and I make the bread, the mess is horrendous and all loaves now have to have bellybuttons but it’s great fun. Primrose’s speciality is the hummus, she will slowly test a spoonful and pronounce if it’s a good batch or if we need to add more olive oil or lemon juice.
So, by baking our own bread, cooking everything ourselves and reading labels carefully we’ve been managing to keep Buttercup from discomfort. But then we fell foul of sabotage. Sorry. BUT THEN WE FELL FOUL OF SABOTAGE. That’s better. Yes, it appears that in recent months at least two manufacturers* have added to soya to products that had previously been soya free without even a whisper to warm the unsuspecting consumer. They just changed the ingredient list and didn’t even bother to update the allergy advice or proclaim that they were using a new recipe. Well, we now have an explanation for our little ones recent tummy troubles and escalating sleeplessness and the entire family’s growing exhaustion. I’ve been in touch with both companies, and I am waiting for them to reply. Needless to say I’m pretty upset.....
*For any of you with Soya issues Whole Earth Cornflakes and Biona sunflower spread now contain soya lecithin .