We are honored to introduce a guest blog writer for this incredibly helpful piece! Jennifer Stelmakh from CozeeCoo™ shares her family's elimination diet easy food swap tips. Here, she is going to share her own journey with food allergies and the tricks they learned along the way.
The content is NOT intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your pediatrician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
About the Stelmakhs!
A little bit about myself to start: I’m a mother of two, a custom dress maker, the CEO and Inventor of CozeeCoo™. At 2 months old my baby was suffering from severe eczema and food allergies -only at the time no one (including our medical teams) knew this. He could not stop scratching for a single moment, which caused terrible injuries to his skin. So I helped him the best way I knew how -with a garment that held his hands away from his face yet still allowed for movement in the arms and legs. This stopped my baby’s severe scratching, improved sleep (everyone’s!) and our day to day routines. It also worked through diaper changes and car seat rides. While CozeeCoo™ drastically improved my family’s lives, we still needed to pinpoint the underlying causes of my baby’s skin reactions. This is where I spent a year conquering our elimination diet.
My son is allergic to tree nuts, seeds and eggs. Then he has eczema triggers to dairy, soy, gluten, corn and oats. We chose to eliminate these ingredients from our diets and build his tolerance through controlled introductions (little amounts of the foods periodically). It was really hard figuring out what foods worked in baking and cooking recipes and what didn’t. I was constantly experimenting (and still am). But we did it! And now we love the foods our family shares together! We have all adopted the diet since plainly, it’s healthier (plus I don’t have time to make everyone their own meal). The dinner parties we throw for others are always an exciting conversation about the food. The dishes disappear and I’m asked for the recipes (with reminder texts not to forget to forward the details)!
If you’re already needing to drastically change your diet because of allergies, eczema or some other condition, I realize this road is difficult. I personally felt very isolated and yes, scared on ours. I discovered a lot of answers and can’t imagine keeping them to myself when I know what it feels like firsthand to not have them. I truly hope you benefit from and enjoy my tricks and tips for swapping foods in cooking and baking recipes. I also shared some of my delicious recipes (my family’s favorites) at the end. I hope they become your favorites too!
Below are a few allergy-friendly brands that I found. I am in no way endorsed by these brands. I’m just a mother who found these products to be helpful in my own household. Please be sure to always check the ingredient list including the “May contain” list or “Manufactured on equipment that processes (allergen lists)…”.
Free to Feed is here to help!
One of the most common questions we are asked is "what CAN I eat?!" We get it, elimination diets are hard, especially in a society centered on food. That is why we've created the first-ever top infant food allergy friendly Cookbook as well as product idea boards you can find on our website and Amazon Store List.