How do I cook for you people?! I’m not a great cook. I’ve got a few go-to recipes and a list of meals that I enjoy. But, now, I have four other opinionated eaters to take into account. Add that to my additional problem of managing multiple family food intolerances, I don’t know what to cook for dinner!
Marrying my amazing husband introduced me to the world of food intolerances via his lactose intolerance. Managing this is mainly his job, as he simply adds a pill to his meal when dairy is involved. But, the other food intolerances he and my daughters have developed are cramping my style. To add a new special twist, the only thing that cured my eczema was completely eliminating dairy and sugar from my diet.
Fine, ok, so sugar isn’t healthy, and my husband shouldn’t have dairy in his diet anyway. Therefore, my diet should only positively affect my family’s diet, right? Wrong. I end up making separate meals. Don’t get me wrong. I am vehemently opposed to cooking separate meals for any given nightly meal. But, I’ve developed a crazily complex system of deciding what meal I want to cook for myself one night while carefully calculating whether or not leftovers from previous meals will feed those in my family who will not touch the healthy food I’m cooking for myself. Then, I eat my leftovers on the nights when I cook a new meal with dairy and/or sugar. Grrr.
We’re still in the process of identifying all of the individual foods that bother my husband, and my little one, who has endured the most intense food intolerances since she was a tiny baby (another blog post to come!). While she still has unexpected and sudden bad reactions from certain foods, she has outgrown the worst of her problems.
Food journaling is such a challenge. I know how to do it for myself. I’ve become stronger than I ever thought I could be with maintaining a very challenging and restricted diet for myself and my baby. Helping my husband and daughters maintain food journals is an entirely different ballgame. Almost immediately, is it forgotten in place of a more important or pressing matter such as a sick baby, an unexpected trip, or eating out.
So where do I go from here?
I’m not giving up. I’m not even saying I won’t work harder to complete a full month or two of food journaling for the health benefits of my family. I’m just saying this is tough. There is no one all-inclusive cook book or guide for my family’s multiple food intolerances. But, I am so blessed to have been connected with my daughter’s incredible pediatrician, Dr. Khosla. She directed me to the website that she co-founded, http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org. This website provides free access to hundreds of recipes that can be filtered based on specific allergies or food intolerances. Although, these recipes still have to be tweaked due to my no-sugar diet, it’s a great starting point.