Sunday, 14 June 2009

Star Solution of Hope #1: Engevita Yeast Flakes

In many ways, the medical diagnosis of a child’s food allergies is not the starting point. The starting point probably came weeks or months earlier, when it was clear that something didn’t agree with your child.


In the case of my daughter, it was eczema and skin infections from 2 months old, and recurrent chest infections. It was noticing that her cheek came up in hives when one of her siblings gave her a buttery kiss. It was her point blank refusal to have yogurt or cheese spooned into her mouth, and most damningly, it was a Doctor’s letter to a Consultant headed,
'9 month old infant girl, failure to thrive’.

It’s almost a relief when the skin prick tests and blood tests show a food allergy. It means you can march up to that sceptical husband/Mother-in-Law/Yummy Mummy, wave dramatic blood test results in their face and say,
'See! I told you my Mother’s instinct was right!’

But, when I received that firm diagnosis, the future looked very bleak indeed. What was I supposed to feed my 9 month old? What was I supposed to feed my breast-feeding self to ensure my milk remained allergen free?

To keep me allergen free, I scrabbled around eating lots of hummus and rice cakes, and on one memorable evening a thick custard made with water, sweetened with golden syrup and enhanced with cocoa powder. Yum. Now 3 years on, I mercifully don’t have to worry about breast-feeding. This is because on the eve of her first birthday, my littlest finally consented to drink a bottle of what we kindly and tactfully call, ‘stinky milk’ (Nutramigen formula milk). As she glugged down her first bottle of stinky milk, I did shed a tear because it was the end of my breast-feeding career. And having wiped away the tear, I poured myself an enormous glass of red wine, because hey, I’m no longer poisoning the baby, right? It was quite a joyful moment.

However, 3 years on, I do still have to worry about providing a balanced vegetarian diet for a child with egg, cows milk, goats milk, brazil nut and mustard allergies. And before you hop around trying to mount your high horse whilst berating me for not feeding her meat or fish in the face of such a restricted diet… I would throttle veal for her if she would eat it, but alas, she’s a bit of a picky one.

Oh, and all you vegans now galloping away on your horrified horse…I wouldn’t really raise veal for her and slaughter it with my own bare hands. That’s just a turn of phrase.

So, a very small pool of ingredients from which I may fish, how on earth am I going to keep this child healthy? By the seat of my pants is how I do it. Whilst my other three hungry children are wolfing down eggs on toast, or cheese, tomato and onion on toast, (a ‘Nanny Toasty’), I am scrabbling around in the cupboard for the last tin of beans for, beans on toast.


When I’ve served Lentil Bolognese (I really must post that recipe), and the other three children are gaily sprinkling the Parmesan, I move her chair carefully out of the cheese zone, and instruct the others not to touch her. And on bad nights, when I’m exhausted and everyone is eating pasta, oil and cheese, I close my eyes to the blanket of ketchup that she has lovingly laid over her meal.

Which is why, I am always so delighted when I find something that might make my life a little easier. And in Engevita Marigold Yeast Flakes I have found a friend. They are described as having a cheesy or nutty taste, and they have…a cheesy or nutty taste. They are also packed full of B vitamins. No I don’t really know what B vitamins are good for either, but I know they are vitamins, ergo, they are good. Vitamins are what my girlie needs. These little flakes melt when they are warmed, so I merrily sprinkle them into soups, beans, Lentil Bolognese, and I mix them with olive oil when I’m doing that trashy meal of pasta and oil that I mentioned earlier. I think Vegetation at The Veggie Patch might have a recipe for a ‘cheesy’ dip for tortilla chips as well, I’ll have to pop over and ask her for it soon.

Of course they are not going to solve the restricted diet problem, but they are a little nugget of hope. Which is why I mentioned them. If you have allergies or cook for someone with allergies, then you know that a little hope goes a long way. As does an enormous glass of red wine.
Cheers!

Yeast flakes are available from Goodness Direct and if your health food store is worth its salt, they should have them too. If they don’t have them, they should order them for you. And if they don’t order them, think evil thoughts about them, and order some online.



Pssst, do you like the new 'Star Solution of Hope' Series?? I've got a whole host of them, some more random than others. Stay tuned...

© Pig in the Kitchen 2009


19 comments:

Vegetation said...

Aww I'm so glad you've found something good for her that she likes!! I totally understand trying to feed children with allergies who don't seem to want to eat anything (despite the fact that mine are older, they're still pickier than anything!)

I have loads of recipes for sauces, mac and cheezes (some of them even approved by my omni fussy kids!). I think most of them are on my old blog still but I'll have a hunt through my favourites folder and see what I can dig up :)

Tara said...

Wow, I nodded in agreement through the majority of this entry. My son is almost 15 months old and is allergic to cows milk, soy, gluten, banana and acidy foods. It's so overwhelming and difficult finding foods he can eat and enjoy, so much so when I actually do find that fantastic dish he (and we!) love it's a fantastic moment.

Iota said...

Hey Pig, I'm so glad you're back blogging, because I'm eating dairy-free at the moment. I have crossed the line from "who ARE these people and why don't they just get on with normal life like the rest of us?" to "how can you live a decent life when you can't eat cheese or have tea with milk in it?"

Flo'bear said...

My, this post really resonates. My son is thankfully free from dairy allergy, but has just about everything else, wheat and rye being the hardest. Thank you, PITK, for making me feel less alone! Irrational as it may be, just knowing there are some pals out there in the same boat makes me feel a whole lotta hopeful.

(Although, yes, I know I know apart from his allergies and all the eczemas and asthmas that go with, I am more than blessed to have a thriving, healthy son who will have a thriving, healthy life.)

I made your chocolate Birthday Cake for the second time last week, and may I say - delicious. Seriously. No cake left. Devoured in seconds. Everyone amazed that no wheat or egg. The second time I made it I, in my haste, forgot the corn flour, and it was still a triumph - sort of fudgier and denser and amazing with a scoop of clotted cream or Swedish Glace dairy free vanilla, depending!

x

Flo'bear said...

ps please please post the lentil bolognese recipe, PLEASE

Potty Mummy said...

Nutramigen? Those were the days. I remember a holiday when Boy #2 was 6 months old and we had to take a carry-on suitcase with us FULL of 8 tins of the stinky stuff (couldn't risk losing it in the hold). What a relief when at a year he was finally able to take milk...

Mimi said...

I love the star solution of hope series already!
I've a 17 year old vegan here who is also very picky- doesn't like cooked food,soup,potatoes (the first ever Irish person to dislike potatoes!) and I too worry about her B vitamins, so I'll be off tomorrow to The Hopsack, Rathmines,Dublin- they are my star solution in times of despair. I'm sure they'll have those flakes, and they will indeed order them if not.
She practically lives these days on cartons of Alpro chocolate soya milk and Cheezly "cheese" grated over pasta. I love the idea of being able to make a dip with tortillas for her, might make a welcome change from the tedium.
Finally, I really enjoyed your train travel tales post mentioned on previous blog; never did that myself, and still regret it. I will do some train travel when I retire!

MrsW said...

I look forward to more of this series. As I scoop the coke splatterings from my keyboard after envisioning horrified horses galloping off with the vegans. Must remember not to mix reading you with drinking :) Or at least exercise more care when doing so. Maybe a straw...

glutenfree4goofs said...

Am intrigued. I've been feeding my 9mo old baby "stinky milk" of a different sort after she quit nursing because of "a failure to thrive", candida yeast infection, RSV (resperatory illness).... Still, she can't tolerate the goat milk well but needs something to fatten her up. Avacado helps a lot but I'd like to find a good formula alternative. Hmmm, thanks for the post.
Jessie at Blog Schmog

Michele said...

Your posts are simply delightful. I'm so glad you have found something she likes! Also, I'm very very glad you've decided to keep blogging =)

Around My Kitchen Table said...

As a cheese addict, I feel very sorry for your daughter - but it doesn't seem she's that bothered about missing a nice gooey brie or a pungent stilton. Now I'm hungry!

Potty Mummy said...

Pig, I know you have enough to do and feel free to ignore, but I've tagged you...

fordfocusmom said...

Thanks for keeping on with the blogging! Whatever you wrote about would be interesting but the food/children thing is perennial.

My son is severely allergic to all nuts but has outgrown his baby/toddler allergies to milk and eggs. From soya, he now has normal cows' milk daily but won't touch eggs. Hates them. Any tips? (Apart from cover them with tomato ketchup!?) He's eight.

Ladybird said...

hi, I have been an occasional reader of your blog, though I havent yet tried any of the recipes. I have a son with eczema and severe food allergies, so I think I will use these recipes sometime :D Thank you

lowood6 said...

Hi PITK, so glad you're back. And thanks for the info re: yeast flakes - I always wondered if there was something that can be used instead of cheese.
Welcome back, and thank you.

Koekkener said...

Excellent!!!! This is a very excellent article. I hope you will post more and thank you for sharing

Amber said...

My gluten free, dairy free child is also vegetarian minded. Some days I go into the kitchen and just stare at the cupboards, waiting for inspiration to strike!

Herina said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea

alpapito said...

Hello, I love that star. I really don't know what it's called in the English but I always use it when I'm cooking grilled foods.

That is one of my favorite herbs and spice that you can find in my spice rack.