We recently returned from a week in California- filled with sun, fresh produce, Hollywood, the zoo and aquarium. It was a lot packed into a little- 8 days total for our adventure, including a couple days of actually flying to/from Alaska. The main point of the mini-vacation was to get Ry to Dr. Jing at the TCM Healing Center. She is the same Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor we took him to last summer. While we haven't seen the same significant results this time around, he also was in a much worse state last summer, so it was more obvious. His cough has gotten pretty bad this spring & early summer, so we're hoping her treatments help that. He actually hasn't had a coughing fit in the middle of the night the last 5 nights, which is a big deal. She has this tea that she gives her patients with asthma, but it tastes awful. When we do manage to get Ry to take his, you really can tell a difference. It's just that getting him to take it is a battle I rarely win.
While on our trip, I went to Whole Foods (a lot) and New Frontiers. It was a lot of fun! Expensive? YES! but, I must admit, there is something slightly thrilling about going into a grocery store and actually buying 'ready-to-eat' food for my children- this has not been a reality for us. Ry also has corn, potatoes and oats back, as of his last allergy test in February. We have tested all of them, successfully (insert happy dance!!!). These open a whole new world for us...oh yes, he's also eating almonds. Tree nuts have never shown up on his tests, but we wanted to wait until we thought he was healthy before introducing them...on that note, be sure to rotate foods and that your children are healthy when feeding them certain foods, otherwise, I'm convinced they may develop allergies to them. Ry lived off of salmon and sunbutter for about 9 months, without any problems, until we noticed he was getting red around his mouth. Sure enough, his two biggest allergens at his following appointment. We had never heard of food rotation, so the best we can do is to be sure to pass on what we've learned! Sunflower also has significantly decreased in size, with the prick test (going from a giant 4 to a 2), so I kind of feel like it may disappear eventually...maybe too optimistic, but we'll see.
As a result of all these fabulous foods I purchased at the California grocery stores and ordering groceries from Amazon, I thought it'd be good to make a list of foods we've found 'safe.' I always get excited when I find something new- I'm like a kid in a candy store, only the 'candy' I'm finding probably has no sugar in it, or gluten, eggs, dairy, seafood, shellfish, beef (gelatin), peanuts & more! I hope this lists is helpful & please leave any foods you've found & enjoy in the comment section- we can certainly make this a running list for anyone & everyone that would benefit from it!!
Ah!aska Chocolate syrup - their chocolate syrup is dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free & vegan. After all that, it's delicious!! Perfect on top of your coconut ice cream- yum!
Applegate Farms - I love this company for two reasons 1. they make turkey lunch meat that is free from all the weird crap, which means my children can eat it and 2. they make turkey hot dogs, which means summer can feel a little more 'normal'...actually three reasons, their turkey bacon is awesome!!!
Barney Butter - this almond butter rocks! It's made in a peanut-free facility and the chunky stuff is really, really good! I haven't tried the smooth because I'm convinced if I feed that to my children, they'll then refuse the chunky version & I'm not eager for tantrums of "I won't eat it, there's chunks in it!" ;)
Bob's Red Mill - while these guys don't have any 'premade' foods that work for us, I still have to include them because I use their products on a daily basis & love them! They've got all sorts of flours, seeds, gums & more. Definitely worth checking out for your baking needs!
Brother's All-Natural - these are dried fruit crisps, which to be completely honest, my boys don't really like. The strawberry-banana one they usually eat (surprise, it's super sweet!), but the apples and pears are usually rejected. Just in case someone else will enjoy them, here they are ;)
Bubbies - this company makes sauerkraut & pickles the boys can eat & enjoy! They are naturally fermented, which means you are also getting probiotics & enzymes with every bite. Don't forget to drink the juice! I've also read that some people eat a tablespoon of her sauerkraut with every meal for it's enzymes to aid in digestion.
Edward & Sons - their Rice Snax's are tasty! You can order them on Amazon & enjoy them anywhere. It's cute because they're different shapes, which the boys love. They're convinced the broken diamond is actually a boat :)
Enjoy Life Foods - this company is awesome! While most of their cookies & cereals contain sunflower seeds or oil (which Ry can't have), they do have mini chocolate chips & chocolate mega chunks. There's just something about chocolate that makes your life a little sweeter! Their chocolate bars are also delicious- but note, there's a stamp on the backside, under the flap, stating that cornstarch is in the bar. They do make note of it on their website, but I overlooked it a couple years ago in my excitement of finding Ry a chocolate bar. When I received my case & then noticed the stamp, well, you could say I wasn't too happy ;)
Erewhon Cereal - their gluten-free Brown Rice Cereal is just like rice krispies, only it's not, which means the boys can eat it. We all eat it. Another one of our fabulous finds on Amazon, for $3.50/box, that's less than what we pay for cereal at our grocery store, so it's a good deal all the way around! They also have a gluten-free chocolate cereal, which we haven't bought or tried yet, but the natural flavors ingredient is a corn-derivative.
Ezekiel Gluten-free Bread & English Muffins - We've been getting their Almond-Brown Rice loaf at our local health food store, but when in California, we found they have about 5 different types of gluten-free loaves. We tried the Bhutanese Rice Loaf, we really liked it! I also just found their english muffins (gluten-free) at our local health food store, but we haven't tried them yet. I'm looking forward to it!
Fritos - say what?! Yes, Fritos are okay. They're just a bunch of corn (probably not non-GMO, but that's a whole other post in itself), but Frito-Lay does produce them separately from their peanut-containing products. The boys actually don't enjoy them all that much, their first bag was exciting, but that was about it. They must be too healthy for junk food ;)
Good Health Natural Foods - they have two types of potato chips, one made with olive oil and the other made with avocado oil. Both are delicious. We probably eat too much of them, everyone loves them and they're a really nice price on Amazon (I'm pretty sure they work out to be cheaper than all other 'regular' potato chips)
Lara Bars - These are delicious; there are two the boys can have, but only one they like- the Banana Bread bar. I personally love the Cherry Pie bar, but they don't. There's also lots of other kinds, but I'm only giving them almonds right now & cashews, walnuts & pecans are in the other flavors. If you tolerate these nuts, be sure to check them out because the ingredients are very minimal & straight-forward!
Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss - for whatever reason, some days Ry refuses coconut, some days not. I can't decide if he's intolerant to it or just doesn't like it. The other day was hot & I made a banana split with one banana, two scoops of their naked coconut ice cream, Ah!laska chocolate syrup & enjoy's life's chocolate chunks. It was soooo good!!! When looking at their site, I just noticed they've got 5 new flavors that look absolutely delicious!!!
Oskri Coconut Bars - another awesome Amazon find, these coconut bars are delicious! I've only tried the coconut-mango, but I loved it. They are made in a facility with tree nuts and sesame, but if that's not an issue for you, they have just three ingredients- coconut, brown rice syrup and mango (or whichever flavor you order)
Que Pasa corn chips - their organic corn chips are made with non-GMO corn & have a minimal ingredient list. Most importantly, they taste really good!
St. Dalfour jam - This jam tastes great, it's corn-free & you can reuse the large jars into a sippy cup. Check out how at the Spunky Coconut. I also ordered the 1-ounce jars from Amazon awhile ago & we've been making rattles with them, with rice inside & glueing the lids on. They're actually pretty fun & I think would make a great, green birthday party favor.
Stretch Island Fruit Leather - these have been a staple of ours for a long time, but people still get excited when I share them. They are just fruit. They taste great. Just about everyone enjoys (loves) them! However, my boys do not like apricot. We buy them in bulk from our local Costco-type store (small, family-run, but more expensive than Costco) and it's a variety pack. I was just noticing yesterday I have about 20 apricots sitting in my pantry, but nothing else....even if I open them, without them seeing the wrapper, they still refuse that flavor. I think it's because it's a bit tart (I don't really like it either...)
Tree Top Apple Juice - Not all of it is plain apple juice, but their gallon jugs and some of their small bottles (in 6-packs) are plain ol' juice, nothing more, nothing less.
That is going to do it for now, I am probably forgetting something, but hopefully this at least makes your day/week/grocery shopping adventure just a bit easier. Let me know if you have any questions or feel free to add 'safe' foods you've found in the comment section below! Thanks & happy Sunday & Summer!!