So, this allergy thing is super fun.
After the initial shock of finding out about Eva’s allergies, there was a flurry of activity as we rid the house of nut products, adopted out the cats, steamed and vacuumed everything we own, and set about giving Epi trainings to everyone we know. Then, we just got exhausted about the whole thing and then we got lazy and then I poisoned the baby.
This all happened because I found this app called Fooducate. Fooducate is an app that lets you scan foods and then tells you if they have allergy warnings (as well as all of the other health warnings you can think of). Although the app is far from comprehensive, I was surprised how many foods came up as having a nut problem despite not having nuts listed in the ingredients. It turns out that the cross-contamination thing is pretty rampant and after our first round of pantry-emptying, we ended up doing a whole second round that wiped out the majority of our processed food. There’s not a ton of things the kid can eat, outside of “whole foods” and dairy (which we are now buying in bulk).
I’ll admit that it was really frustrating. We started to hate the app because everything we scanned came up with a warning and it was beginning to look like Eva was just going to eat carrots and peas for the rest of her life (hand cut and steamed by me, of course). I’ve been cooking a lot of food at home for a while now, so it isn’t like we were starving without the commercial stuff, but it’s amazing how many condiments and snack foods we had become accustomed to. We also were disappointed to learn that all pizza delivery services in our area are off-limits, as well as every traditional burger or burrito joint. Again – I don’t think we were necessarily making that a huge part of our diet, but as soon as it was off the table we began to miss it something terrible.
Fast forward to this weekend. We’ve been making more of an effort to vary Eva’s diet because after a week of eating a lot of fruit and homemade soup, her pants started to get a little bit loose and I realized that she was turning into the Weight Watchers toddler of the year. So, we tried to work in some more starch this weekend, including a loaf of homemade bread, some banana snickerdoodles, and chicken teriyaki over brown rice.
I should tell you, by the way, that I’ve been really stressed out with work. To say that I’ve overextended right now is an understatement and I spent most of the weekend glued to my computer while Kyle took care of Eva. So I don’t think I was paying as much attention as I usually would. Which, you know, sucks.
Anyway, I did scan the teriyaki sauce before I cooked it and was delighted when it came up with no allergies on the Fooducate app. Luckily, when Eva actually sat down to eat, I was sitting with her to sneak in a little quality time, so I had the opportunity to watch the allergy welts bloom across her cheeks within a few minutes. After some confusion, we determined that the teriyaki sauce was indeed nut free, but that I had forgotten to check the actual label for ingredients. If I had, I would have seen that it was made with sunflower oil, which is another one of Eva’s severe triggers. It was the very last ingredient and Eva only had a couple of bites, but it was enough to flare up a bad reaction.
It could have been worse. After a dose of Benadryl her reaction cleared up pretty quickly and even though I watched her breathing for most of the night, she never had a full attack. I, of course, have been marinating in guilt ever since, especially when I went through other recently purchased items that had passed the app test only to find more sunflower oil, as well as some large nut warnings printed right on the labels. Apparently app blindness had gotten the best of me. Oh well…the food bank is really loving us lately.