When my eldest daughter, Amelia, was diagnosed with severe food allergies to both egg and dairy, I remember feeling totally terrified. These foods are in everything! I figured I’d have to cook all her meals from scratch and that we would never ever be able to take her out to eat. As soon as I got home, I threw out my cookbooks because there was nothing in them that would be safe for her to eat. I essentially had to relearn how to cook.
Checking Every Label
My trips to the grocery store would take hours because I needed to read every ingredient list on every box, tube, and bottle. It was all so overwhelming. After a time, I began finding things at the store that were safe. This provided me with helpful shortcuts when it came to cooking healthy and safe meals for my growing little one, because let’s face it, when you’re a mom you need the occasional shortcut!
For all of the parents out there whose children suffer from sensitivities or allergies to food, you have my heart. It’s a daily struggle. Just because something was safe yesterday doesn’t mean it’s safe today. Ingredients are always changing, so keep checking.
Safe Foods for Kids with Dairy and Egg Allergies
Below is a list of things I’ve found that do not contain dairy or egg; some are also gluten-free, but not all, and most do contain soy. Also, it’s important to note that there is vague allergy alert information on some of these things, for example “produced on the same machinery as…,” which we have found Amelia does not react to and “may contain traces of,”, which sometimes she will react to and sometimes she’s fine with. The best advice when trying something new is to start slowly and keep observing your little one. But don’t forget that food is supposed to be fun, I’m always reminding myself to stay upbeat and positive and not allow my mommy anxiety to ruin a new, fun snack.
Dairy-Free and Egg-Free Products
- Pillsbury original crescent rolls
- Unfrosted strawberry pop tarts
- Quaker instant oatmeal flavors: maple & brown sugar, Cinnamon & Spice, Apples & Cinnamon
- Sara Lee Soft and Smooth Whole grain White bread
- Thomas Plain bagels
- Ritz Crackers
- Honey Maid graham crackers
- Nabisco Original premium saltine crackers
- Mission flour tortillas
- Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws Sea Salt
- Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta
- Bertolli Tomato and Basil pasta sauce
- Original Fritos
- Original Lays potato chips and Original Baked Lays
- Vans Simply Delicious Gluten-Free frozen waffles
- Yummy Dino buddies Chicken nuggets
- Most breakfast cereals are safe
Dining Out When Your Kid Has Dairy and Egg Allergies
But what do you do when you’re traveling? Or simply need a night off from cooking? What restaurants are going to have a safe option? Have you ever noticed that the majority—if not all—of the foods on a kids’ menu are covered in cheese? And rightly so, who doesn’t love cheese? I think I lived off cheese as a child. I get it, I do, I just wish that it would become more common practice for places to offer other things too. Kids like more than just cheese! If you’re at all like me, whenever we try out a new restaurant I bring a sandwich for Amelia just in case we get there and there is nothing on the menu that’s safe for her to eat. After all this time she’s gotten used to eating her sandwich while we chow down on our burgers or pizza, but there are a few places that she can order something off the menu and those are her favorite places! Admittedly, it’s almost always grilled chicken! But the sides are different and best of all – it’s on a restaurant plate like everyone else’s dinner.
Always tell your waiter about your child’s allergy when ordering them anything off the menu. We have found that most places take it very seriously and will do whatever they can to make sure she has a wonderful meal. I should note that we have found that thankfully Amelia does not react to foods that have been cooked in the same oil as any dairy or egg products. Some places cannot accommodate you if your food must be cooked entirely separate from the rest of their foods; the server will be able to let you know once you inform them of the allergy.
Restaurants That Have Safe Options for Kids with Dairy and Egg Allergies
- Red Robin – Grilled Chicken Stickens with a choice of side: fries (no sauce, ketchup is fine!) carrots, apples, freckled fruit salad or mandarin oranges
- Chilis – Pepper Pals Grilled Chicken platter with choice of side: homestyle fries, celery sticks, fresh pineapple
- Applebee’s – chicken grillers with choice of side: apple sauce, baby carrots (no ranch), fries
- McDonald’s – Happy Meal with chicken nuggets are safe but cooked in the same batter as the buttermilk crispy chicken, fries and apples, and ask for water or juice instead of milk
- Kentucky Fried Chicken – the only safe food are the potato wedges (which, of course, are delicious!)
- Chick-Fil-A – grilled nuggets kids meal with fruit cup, cinnamon applesauce and apple juice
- Wendy’s – chicken nuggets kids meal with apple slices and juice or water
- Burger King – chicken nuggets kids meal with apple sauce and juice
Yup, all chicken. Still, it beats cooking at home every once in a while. I’m still discovering more places and will continue to share tips to making a life with food allergies a full and happy one.
Her eldest daughter has severe food allergies and Coryn looks forward to sharing some of the things she has learned along the way. She hopes to help others with food allergies find safe and wonderful ways to enjoy food!
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