Chasing Davies: Handling Food Allergies with Little Ones!

March 29, 2016

Handling Food Allergies with Little Ones!


It was super scary, but last summer, Nora and my Mom were having their weekly "Mimi Day" (both of my children's favorite day of the week!) and exploring a local Farmer's Market. My mom gave Nora just one bite of a locally and organically made protein ball - just one bite, and super healthy!  About 20-30 minutes later she started to break out in red blotches all over her face and and body!  Thankfully, there was a CVS near by that my mom walked over to and bought some children's Benadryl, while I called our pediatrician (he's pretty much on speed dial). 

Of course, as parents (and grandparents!), we freak out more than nurses and doctors - and ours quickly calmed us down. They gave us the right dosage of Benadryl to give Nora and let us know what to watch out for - wheezing/breathing problems and/or swelling around the mouth/face primarily since she was awake and talking just fine, which never became an issue.  And the Benadryl did the trick, calming her red blotches down quickly.  You can get ahead of the freakout and learn about the signs/symptoms, and how to prevent food allergies here!

This was a first for us - and we think (though still not 100% sure) it was the organic honey used in the protein ball that cause the reaction.  Honey is one of the only items recommended not to give a child before they turn one (Nora was almost two), and she's had other items with honey in it that hasn't caused issues before. So for us, it is just about monitoring what she is eating, seeing if it has honey included and then keeping an eye on her.  She's only had one other reaction, and it was very minimal.  Mostly, at this point, we just avoid honey!

But, we still eat protein balls - we just make our own and sub out honey for vanilla!
Here's our recipe for non-honey peanut butter protein balls:

1 Cub Raw Oats
3 TBSP of Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter for those w/ penaut allergies)
1 Banana
2 TBSP of Ground Chai Seed (or you can use whole)
3/4 TBSP of Vanilla
1/2 TBSP of Cinnamon
1 TBSP of Cocoa Powder
Optional: Milk (I use Almond Milk to wet-up the mixture)
Optional: Mix-Ins, like Chocolate Chips

I start by mixing everything in a bit bowl - but you could add it all directly to a blender or food processor if you find that easier.

After all the ingredients are added, I transfer the mixture into the food processor and blend.  Depending on how the mixture is sticking together - I'll add a bit (1/4 cup, maybe) of Almond Milk (currently loving this Almond Coconut blend) directly to the food processor and blend more.

Because I like to find any reason to include chocolate, I transfer the mixed up mixture back to the same bowl as before and add in chocolate chips.  You could also add in raisins, nuts, etc.  Mix it up!

After I spoon out and plop onto wax paper, I cool them down in the refrigerator while my kids ask me 1,000 times if they're ready yet. I usually take them out too early (like 2 minutes later) and plop one on a plate for each of them to enjoy.... a puppy?

Food allergies are no joke - so no matter if your kids have them or not, their friends might. “The number of children with food allergies has increased over the last decade and every six minutes one child may have a severe anaphylactic reaction,”  said Chitra Dinakar, MD at Children's Mercy.

How do you handle food allergies, whether it's in your own family or within your circle of friends/daycare?

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This post is in partnership with Children's Mercy Hospital of Kanas City
All opinions are my own!

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