“I'm a farm wife, mom, and nurse. Ultimately I just love helping people feel better. I've worked in various capacities as a nurse and have learned so much about the food allergy world since my oldest son was diagnosed with several severe food allergies as a baby. I strive daily to see to it that we are happy and healthy. I can't wait to help other moms and families do the same!"
Annie Dick, RN
Annie fell in love with helping other people at a young age. She started helping her grandma with diabetes care once her condition worsened. In 3rd grade, Annie was giving mixed insulin shots to her grandma! She watched her during dialysis and always looked up to the nurses caring for someone she loved so much.
Annie’s grandma ended up in a nursing home and she followed her there. She started volunteering at the home to do anything she could to enrich the lives of others and her sweet grandma.
After her grandma passed, Annie continued doing important work at the nursing home. She worked her way from a volunteer to a certified med tech. After climbing this ladder she decided to pursue her education further by enrolling in nursing school.
Annie graduated from a 4-year nursing program from Central Methodist University in Missouri. She’s worked in many areas of the medical field, from burn units to the NICU.
Shortly after having her second baby with food allergies, she found Dr. Trill!
Annie Is a Food Allergy Mom – Just Like You!
Annie has two children with her husband Jason, named George and Emil. As a nurse, she knew something wasn’t right with George when he was a baby. He was always unsettled, wasn’t thriving, fussy, had hives on and off, and had severe cradle crap.
She tried to cut dairy a few times without a significant change. Because Annie is a nurse, she luckily knew about the dairy ladder and trialed that with George. He did well until the day he tried milk. Poor George instantly turned red. Annie gave him Benadryl and monitored him closely.
Shortly after the dairy incident, they had another scenario with cashews. Luckily, George didn’t have any anaphylactic reactions to either of these foods. They ended up seeing an allergist when George was around 1.
On the day of the appointment, he had some crackers with peanut butter. By the time they got to the doctor his face was red and a little swollen. The allergist walked in and told Annie he likely had a peanut allergy, which took her by surprise.
They decided to do a food allergy panel to test for other allergens. George tested positive for dairy, soy, peanut, cashews, walnuts, egg, corn, and potato. Annie was at a loss at how to continue providing his nutrients from breastmilk. She was determined to produce allergy-free breastmilk and kept exclusively pumping for two years (um, amazing!) while on a restricted diet.
She is currently breastfeeding and pumping with little Emil. They already know he is sensitive to legumes and after years without a slip-up, Annie accidentally ate something with soy and he reacted.
Remember this, anyone can have a slip-up. Even nurses slip up. Even seasoned moms who have been dealing with this for years slip up. It happens and you need to forgive yourself.
Annie’s Advice to Parents Who Just Found Out Their Baby Has Food Allergies
Annie says, “first and foremost, trust yourself and your instincts. Second of all, knowledge is power. For example, dairy – it’s not just milk and cheese, learn the random names like casein. Also, slip-ups happen and it’s okay. You’re not alone even if it feels like you are. There is an entire world of people going through this too. I also recommend a mindset shift from what you can’t have to what you can have.”
Annies Motivation to Continue Breastfeeding Through Infant Food Allergies
Annie states, “I’m personally driven by my love for food. When we talk about food, we try to focus on the educational aspects of food and what it provides for our bodies. We don’t believe in good or bad foods. I also consider myself lucky because I know it can be much worse. Ultimately, I’m motivated by health and wellness for my family.”
What Annie Wishes People Understood About Baby Food Allergies
Annie says, “I wish people knew how stressful and consuming all this is. My son is in daycare and I still worry every day. It can be terrifying when you know what can happen to your baby. We want our kids to be carefree and not have to worry, but we also want them safe.”
“I also wish others knew as allergy parents, we aren’t overreacting. We’ve seen the doctors, allergists, specialists, and are following their directions. But keep including us in the birthday parties and gatherings because that’s important for our kids.”
One of Annie’s Go-To Breakfasts
This mouth-watering breakfast hash is a staple at Annie’s home that she wanted to share with you. We know how hard it is to feel like you’re missing out on delicious food, but this recipe is sure to hit the spot with all the sweet and savory flavors.
This recipe is free from the top 12 infant food allergies.
Sweet Potato Hash
16 oz ground pork (sausage works too)
1 large sweet potato (peeled, diced, and cut into ½ inch pieces)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of greens (Annie’s family loves spinach or kale)
¼ tsp sea salt
Optional: apples, squash, mushrooms, onions, garlic, or sauerkraut. You can get creative here!
Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add ground pork or sausage. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and put meat to the side.
Add sweet potato to the same pan with the sea salt and cook for 6-9 minutes, until they soften, continue to stir.
Add greens and other optional ingredients for about 5 minutes.
Return meat to skillet and stir for an extra 3-4 minutes. You may need to add a little more olive oil.
Garnish with fresh thyme if you’d like and enjoy!
Joining Free to Feed
For someone to join Dr. Trill in consultations with food allergy parents, we knew it had to be someone special and someone that also has lived and breathed having food allergy babies. As Annie is navigating her second child with food allergies, we knew she was the perfect fit for helping other families.
Annie’s empathy can be felt almost immediately. She wants to help you, she wants your journey to be shorter than hers. She wants to find the root cause of your baby’s issues and get on the track to healing.
We know Annie will bring light and hope to families navigating the world of infant food allergies. We’re thrilled she’s part of the Free to Feed team!
If you’re struggling to navigate what to do next with your baby with food allergies, sign up for a one-on-one consult with Annie here.
“I’m crazy excited to have Annie on board. I can’t think of a better person to do the consultations with me. She has this experience as a registered nurse, a food allergy mom herself, and who has the same level of passion and empathy for this space as I do.” ~Dr. Trill