Managing food intolerances are a big part of my life. Not only am I intolerant to milk, eggs, bell peppers and chilli peppers, I have to spend hours in the supermarkets checking each and every packet of everything that I buy to make sure I am able to eat it without being ill afterwards. Most of my life at the moment is spent making each meal and snack from scratch. I am unable to buy a lot of products due to them containing, mainly milk or paprika (which I recently learned is made entirely of bell peppers). When I discovered some Chinese-style sauces I could eat, I found myself getting very excited but recently, the ‘new and improved recipe’ label on the front confirmed what I knew would probably happen one day; it now contains chilli powder for that extra flavour. Gutted.
On a more positive note, everything I eat is made from raw ingredients and I know exactly what I am consuming. I even know how much salt as well as sugar is in each dish. I eat more fruit and vegetables than I have done previously, which leads me to believe that I am possibly eating much more healthily nowadays. Plus, I am not as ill as I used to be.
My concern is that my daughter is now intolerant to milk. I hoped that none of my children would have to suffer in the same way that I have done for the last ten years. Parties and celebrations are difficult for us both. All ‘party food’ seems to consist of is foods with milk and eggs in them. Stopping a two year old from eating these is a hard task, to say the least! When other members of the party start offering chocolates to her and I say that she can’t have them, I am often told that I am depriving her of sweets and one day she will just start eating lots or I am being mean or, “A little bit won’t hurt,” or, “Have some. Mummy’s not looking.”
I have also found that many people I have come across do not know what they are eating. A chef in a fancy restaurant I dined in was unaware that butter contained milk. If a chef doesn’t even know, what chance has everyone else got? Other people just presume we’re intolerant to gluten, as I’ve been told, “That’s the popular diet at the moment.” Aaagghhh!! Is all I can say about that!
Any advice or tips on how to cope with food intolerances would be gratefully received. How does everyone else with these cope with celebrations? How do you manage your child’s milk intolerances? And how can you help people to understand and realise what is in the foods that they are eating every day?