Monday, August 13, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Allergy-Friendly Food for Families

Do you know Kiwi Magazine? It's a magazine dedicated to "help [parents] raise their children and enjoy their lives in the healthiest way possible." They publish articles about green living, healthy eating, and organic lifestyle. All good things!

If you just can't get enough Kiwi Magazine, the good news is: they just published this great cookbook! 

(From Amazon)
"Allergy-Friendly Food for Families is the most trustworthy, comprehensive, practical, and kid-friendly collection of recipes that exists for the important and growing audience of allergy-aware families. Unlike other allergy cookbooks, this book covers not one or two allergens, but the five most common allergens in kids: wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy. Each of the 120 recipes is free of at least three of these allergens; most are free of all five."

More than half of the 120 recipes in Allergy-Friendly Food for Families are free of all five allergens and for families who don't eat nuts, 113 of the 120 recipes are nut-free! How awesome is that?

I do not have any food allergies, and as far as I know now, Phoenix doesn't either. However, that's not to say that we didn't have to eliminate a lot of foods in the past 10 months. Although this book is aimed at making these meals kid-friendly, which I appreciate, there is another big population that has to eliminate certain foods: nursing women. 

Yes, sadly it's true. I say sadly because after being pregnant and eating every delicious thing under the sun for nearly 10 months, I had to cut out almost everything containing wheat, soy, dairy, nuts, and eggs, among other things like vinegar and spicy foods. Sound familiar? Yes, I was also living allergen free, albeit for a temporary amount of time.

The point is, I was bummed out. Being that I knew which foods to eat and what (nutritionally) was most essential for both baby and myself, it was still a challenge to conceive of interesting meals with these limited ingredients. Also, since I was an exhausted zombie and 24 hour baby feeding machine, I had no time or brain power to even bother trying to think of anything interesting. 

You may be confused as to why I had to do all this. The reason: Gas. Yes, everyone's favorite topic. Especially when it has to do with babies. It doesn't seem like a big deal, right? You're probably thinking that I am some horrible mother who can't be bothered with smelling her kid's mini toots. Wrong. Since newborn babies have such delicate digestive tracts, they are sensitive to most every food. Phoenix, in particular, had terrible gas pains every time I ate one of these offending foods. By terrible I mean: he was screaming, I was crying, Scott and I were trying to squeeze his tiny legs around in every possible direction to help him, massage his tummy, sing him songs and say the least. 

Anyway, with the tiny man in so much pain, I decided to cut out all soy, dairy, wheat, nuts, and eggs along with several other foods. I then reintroduced them one by one as he got a little older and his digestive tract became more mature and able to handle them. (Side note: This was all done under the guidance of his pediatrician as well as my naturopath.)

In time, P was able to handle these foods much better and I returned to eating them as regularly as I wanted and also have begun feeding them to him directly, now that he is eating solids.

But I digress. This is, after all, a review of this wonderful book. So what is the point I am trying to make? I wish I had this book 10 months ago!! Even though I am not among the growing population of adults and children living with allergies, I experienced a period of time on an elimination diet and I would have loved to been able to flip through this book, in my half awake/starving state, and find a recipe for Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies. 

Also, it's a good idea to have an arsenal of allergy free food, as most parents tend to be extra cautious these days. I'm sure I'll be getting a lot of use out of this book when it comes to time host play dates and birthday parties for P and his friends. You can never be to careful.

To celebrate the publishing of Allergy-Friendly Food for Families, Kiwi is generously giving away a copy on Paper Hearts & Cranes! For a chance to win: Comment on this post. I will announce a winner next week. 

As a preview, I have chosen my favorite recipe from the book to share with you here.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies
Makes 10 cookies

  • 1/3  cup canola oil, plus more for coating the baking sheets
  • 1 1/2  cups whole-wheat pastry flour (You can also replace this with your favorite gluten-free flour)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  teaspoon ground ginger
  •  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2  cup raw sugar
  •  tablespoon ground flaxseed whisked with 2 T warm water
  •  very ripe banana, mashed
  •  cup coarsely grated carrots
  •  cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2  cup pumpkin seeds

  • Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat two baking sheets with canola oil.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the canola oil and sugar and mix well. Add the flaxseed mixture, banana, and carrots and mix again.
4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Fold in the oats and pumpkin seeds.
5. Use a1/3-cup measure to scoop five cookies onto each baking sheet, for a total of 10. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden-brown on the edges.
6. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve, or store in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.


  1. This sounds great, as we're trying to shift to a gluten-free diet for our son. Kind of scary and intimidating, but hopefully worth it.

  2. I had no idea that eating while nursing could be so difficult. I only have a month or so to go until Aurora arrives and I'm glad I came across your post -- I should make some great freezer meals that are allergy free.

  3. Oh my goodness...this would be terrific! My friend's son was just diagnosed with a bunch of food allergies!

  4. I would love this. My son and I have numerous food allergies between us and sadly for our kitchen they are not shared allergies so we have to cut out all sorts of things.

  5. This is an awesome book...even if we don't have allergy!
    And thank you for the kiwi magazine link. It looks like the magazine I was looking for :)

  6. This would be a great gift for my brother and his allergic little boy!