Unfortunately, it’s more common than ever to have a food allergy. When we found out our son had a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts it was scary, really, really scary. It was also sad. How was I going to live without peanut butter? It was my favourite thing ever! And I was now “one of those parents” that inconvenienced everyone to make allergy-free lunches.
I have to say, the worry of “putting someone out” because of my son’s food allergy quickly dissolved when I realized he could actually die. I also realized we needed to educate our son, to best protect him. He needed to understand his allergy better than any of us.
It was a big transition to cook allergy-free. If you are cooking for friends or family, you want to make sure everyone feels included, but most importantly you want them to feel safe. As a mom of a child with a life-threatening allergy to peanuts, I can honestly say the kindest thing you can do is simply ask if there are allergies when cooking for others and offering an allergy-friendly option.
May was Food Allergy Awareness Month and Food Allergy Canada has some great recipes that make allergy free cooking easy.
I was invited to take part in a cooking class with Thea Vanderwaarden from MasterChef Canada and Nascar Driver, Alex Tagliani, where they prepared three easy and delicious allergy free recipes.
Thea has a shellfish allergy and Alex has severe peanut and tree nut allergies. He has worked with Pfizer and Food Allergy Canada for years and is passionate in combining his love of racing with his passion to spread awareness about food allergies. I had a chance to chat with both Thea and Alex who are incredible advocates for those living with food allergies.
Watch this video and hear Alex’s story about his near death experience when he was accidentally served an almond paste in a cheesecake at a restaurant. He has a great message about those living with food allergies but also for everyone who doesn’t.
In the kitchen, Thea and Alex cooked up three delicious recipes:
- An Acai bowl
They were all great, and easy! I loved the idea of making a smoothie and putting it in a bowl, it was so simple but I know my kids will love it! I also like that you could have layered it in a mason jar with fruit in between.
The tacos were quick and easy as well and I loved the avocado cream sauce. (It’s always awesome when you can combine healthy with delicious!)
I have to say the recipe I am most excited to try with my kids is the sushi. It is so fun. I couldn’t help but think while Thea was making it that it reminded me of when I used to make english muffin pizzas with my mom as a kid and now my kids have the opportunity to make sushi, it’s pretty awesome.
There are so many alternatives to foods that contain common allergens, it is becoming easier and easier to make those with food allergies feel included and safe. I also know that when I offer recipe ideas for my Mom or other people in our lives, they are grateful for the ideas, because they want to include everyone and of course keep them safe.
Food allergies are very real and we can all do something to help.
To get the full recipes and learn more about Food Allergy Canada click HERE. Also, stay tuned for a #SummerOfTAG Allergy-Friendly Kitchen contest that will be announced in upcoming weeks at foodallergycanada.ca/summeroftag.
Thank you to Food Allergy Canada and Pfizer for sponsoring this post. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.