My daughter was 9 months old when she had her first allergic reaction to food—scrambled eggs. Almost immediately, she began rubbing her lips and face uncontrollably. Helplessly, I watched as tiny pink hives began to appear all over her face. As a new mom, it was a terrifying experience. In hindsight, though, it was a relatively minor reaction compared to when she ate cashews and we had to rush her to the ER. And we would relive it again when some noodles at a restaurant made her lips swell. And then again when her little brother tried eggs for the first time.
Any parent who raises children with food allergies knows: it can be scary, stressful, hard on relationships—and it's expensive. But there are positives too: we make more food from scratch. We've bonded with other families that have food allergies. And we've taught our kids to be advocates for their health and for what they put in their mouth.
We're always looking for new "safe" recipe ideas, especially when company is coming to dinner. So here's an allergy-friendly dinner menu in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week
that's free of the top eight allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, soy and wheat. (It's also vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free, so basically great for just about every guest.) Enjoy!
Allergy-Friendly Dinner Menu:
Crunchy jicama and apple plus oranges and avocado combine in this crisp and refreshing dairy-free slaw.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas:
Filled with bell peppers, pinto beans, mushrooms and onions, these colorful enchiladas can be mostly made ahead—perfect for entertaining. Pass some chopped fresh cilantro and diced avocado at the table.
Dairy-Free Banana Rice Pudding:
This rice pudding is dairy-free, but the bananas and rice milk make it so creamy and rich-tasting, no one will know the difference.
Make-Ahead Menu Planner:
•Up to 2 DAYS ahead: Prepare sauce (Steps 2-4) and filling (Step 5) for enchiladas.
•Up to 1 DAY ahead: Prepare pudding through Step 3.
•About 45 MINUTES before serving dinner: Assemble enchiladas and bake; keep warm in a turned-off oven until ready to serve.
•Just before serving dessert: Top pudding with sliced bananas and cinnamon.