Diary of an Allergy Mumma, part III…Christmas & birthdays

Nathan’s Mumma Says…

Ah Christmas…one of my most favourite times of the year. I love the music, the decorations, choosing a tree, cooking, gathering with family & friends…I absolutely love it. So this year (2014) was a daunting prospect. Would Nathan be able to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner? How could I politely remind people not to buy Nathan presents that he can eat? How would we fair at various Christmas parties we had been invited to? Especially given how ‘interesting’ our last party venture had gone…

First up was how to adapt the traditional baking that we do at Christmas. It relatively easy to substitute egg in baking, you can use an egg replacer like Ener G Egg Replacer 454g or natural substitutes such as apple puree, chia seeds, silken tofu, flax seeds or my personal favourite, mashed banana. I found this poster a great help…

download (17)

*visit www.nomeatathlete.com for more information.

We baked our festive spiced apricot muffins ready for breakfast on Christmas morning but used mashed banana instead of egg. They were delicious as usual but they were far more moist than normal thanks to the banana. Nathan helped me bake them for the first time too, which he really enjoyed and I loved being able to bake with him.

IMG_2726

When it comes to edible presents we’ve always steered clear in our family for various reasons, so not buying Nathan any chocolate selection boxes or biscuit tins wasn’t that challenging. However I did find a box of chocolate covered biscuits in Sainsburys that didn’t contain any egg for his Christmas eve box

When my Aunt and Uncle asked my Dad about treats Nathan liked he politely said, don’t buy him food. As it turns out they had bought him an advent calendar that we can use every year, a fabric pocketed gingerbread man. It’s beautiful, and I was even more touched when I realised that, not only had they filled it, but that it was all Nathan-safe! They had cut out and written red pieces of card for all 24 pockets and either put money in them or it said ‘lucky dip’, and they filled a bag with toys and books and puzzles for him. I am very blessed to have such a considerate family.

IMG_2672

Nathan with one of his ‘lucky dip’ gifts

Our playgroup held a Christmas party but with all the different cakes and goodies on offer it would have been impossible to keep Nathan safe. The women who run it are brilliant when it comes to Nathan and always make every effort to images (16)include him. Sometimes though it’s just isn’t practical to put Nathan in that situation. As he gets older and understands not to pick food up off the floor, and knows more about his allergy we will hopefully be able to incorporate such activities. Large numbers of young children and food allergies are a dangerous combination.

Therefore our first Christmas party of the season was hosted by my good friend Millie’s Mumma. As ever she and the other Mumma’s brought or baked food that was Nathan safe, altering recipes and checking ingredients lists at the supermarket before buying things. We had egg free chicken nuggets, santa hats, crisps, cheese, sandwiches (made with safe ham i.e not breaded), pizza, egg-free bread sticks, the list goes on. He could eat every single thing on the table and we didn’t have to worry about him getting hold of a crumb of something dangerous. Once again, these women are wonderous.

We did however nearly have a disaster on Christmas day, and it just shows you can never be too careful and you never download (18)stop learning as a Mumma. We bought antipasti for starters as we could have these while Nathan opened presents and played with his new toys. As it was he was far more interested in these fancy foods we brought out. Always keen to expand his palate I encouraged him to try the various meats and olives etc. It wasn’t til my Mum asked if it was ok for him to try some manchego cheese that I thought, I’ll double-check the cheese just to be safe…well blow me away if it doesn’t contain egg! I’ve never seen my Mum run so fast to take something away from Nathan! We now also know that parmesan cheese contains egg, as do many italian hard cheeses…and red wine randomly…

New Year passed without incident, and before we knew it we had a 2 year old’s birthday party to contend with. Another of my lovely friends, Ellie’s Mumma, suggested we hold a joint party for Nathan and Ellie as they are only a week apart in age. We hired a local church hall, took all of their big toys down and invited their friends and family to join us. It meant that we could plan and provide snacks that were safe for Nathan to be around but kept with the tradition of party food.

IMG_2921

We made 52 egg free cupcakes, decorated with ducks (Ellie’s favourite), Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly (Nathan’s favourite) IMG_2918rice paper discs. We used water icing to hold them on and discovered that some icing sugars ‘may contain egg’ fortunately we had 2 different brands and one was safe for Nathan. We made the number ‘2’ out of watermelon (idea from pinterest) and we bought snacks that don’t contain egg. We also endeavoured to include milk, soya and nut free foods to support our allergy friends who were coming along.

I confess however that Nathan’s actual birthday cake was made with egg, it was iced and he didn’t touch it. We blew out the candles after singing happy birthday, it was then whisked away to be divided up in the kitchen, wrapped in napkins and placed in party bags for people to take home. None was consumed at the party so he was perfectly safe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So now we run the gauntlet of birthday parties for 2015, some I know Nathan will be well catered for and that our friends and family will keep him safe. His good friend Jack is having a birthday party soon at a play centre that can’t guarantee egg-free food. Jack’s Mumma has insisted on cooking Nathan some chicken for the party tea rather than me taking him something. It makes the world of difference to have people like that in Nathan’s life.

Other situations I’m not so sure about. Unfortunately in 2015 some people are still dismissive about childhood allergies. The notion that they might grow out of it seems to belittle the severity of their condition. To us parents, that makes not a jot of difference, the fear that even the slightest contact or ingestion could prove fatal for our child is all to real. We aren’t being overly sensitive, helicopter parents. All parents are their child’s protectors, their bodyguards. Allergy parents just have something else to fear…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For more on our allergy journey take a look at part 1 and part 2 of my diary about being an allergy mumma.

*We post at least one new article every week so make sure you save our blog to your favourites so we are easy to find. You can also follow us on Twitter @mummasays1 and our founders Nathans_mumma and Leytons_mumma are on instagram too! Our little facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/mummasays if you would like to ‘like’ us there too 😉

Mami 2 Five
Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Diary of an Allergy Mumma, part III…Christmas & birthdays

  1. Thank you for sharing this post. It must be such a minefield to navigate and it is only right that you want to protect Nathan. I think allergies are hard to understand fully unless your child suffers from them. It sounds like you have some great resources in place to keep Nathan’s food egg free. And you are obviously blessed with lovely family and friends who care deeply about you and Nathan. Also, I never knew that red wine, manchego cheese or breaded ham contain egg. The son of one of my closest friends has a severe egg allergy so this information is great (not that I will be giving him red wine)! Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    Like

  2. Pingback: Summertime messy & sensory play | Mumma Says

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: