A Horsham mum reveals to Charlotte Harding how her daughter inspired her cooking blog.
Finding out your child has an allergy means you have to be more creative about getting what they need into their diet.
Lisa Week’s daughter Sylvia was diagnosed with a cow protein allergy at six months old, and while many would substitute dairy with soya an allergy to this made things a little bit tricky.
“You have to be really careful as so many dairy substitutes have soya in so from four months old Sylvia was on prescription formula,” explains Lisa.
“She also has a nut and egg allergy so it limits the alternatives even more, now she is two and a half I use oat milk in her food.”
The diagnosis came as from six weeks old Sylvia suffered from eczema and while initially a dermatologist prescribed steroid creams to treat it, Lisa found it relieved the itching but not the rash.
“My husband is allergic to nuts so we are an allergy aware home,” say Lisa.
“I think that is one of the reasons why the doctor listened to us, I knew something was wrong.”
If Sylvia comes into contact with milk she breaks out in hives, and if she ingests it, thankfully she doesn’t go into anaphylactic shock, but does have a reaction.
“We all eat the same thing at dinner time so it doesn’t matter if she takes anything off my plate,” explains Lisa.
“We tend to eat things she can’t have when she is in bed or if we go out, as we have had incidences with milk at breakfast time.”
Due to a long wait to see a dietitian Lisa says they started their weaning journey without a lot of professional guidance.
“I found a lot of support from fellow allergy parents on social media so I started to share our meals on Instagram,” she reveals.
“After requests from other parents to share the recipes I started my blog.
“I love posting different recipes and sharing our meal successes and fails.
“Through the blog I have met some amazing allergy parents both virtually and in person.”
Mummy Bakes Dairy Free provides dairy, nut, soya and egg free baking and cooking ideas for the whole family.
“I initially used a lot of different websites but now I like to take a vegetarian recipe and see how I can make it suitable for the family,” she explains.
“For a creamy pasta recipe I will use an oat milk instead of cream or in a curry I tend to use coconut milk.
“We did Veganuary in January but I don’t like to cut anything out of my daughter’s diet if I can help it.
“The more I do the blog the more fun I have with it.”
Lisa adds that some people find the different milks go well with different things so almond milk in cereal or coconut milk in hot chocolate using fruit based Choc Shot.
Although it seems that Lisa has got it down to a fine art, she does say that she hopes that her daughter will grow out of her allergies.
“The dietician has suggested reintroducing food to her in small amounts,” explains Lisa.
“We have been trying her with egg so she had some in a cake and was fine but we found biscuits caused a reaction.
“We are hoping to try her with soya as well to see if this has changed.”
Lisa’s advice to any parents who think their child may have an allergy is to be persistent and trust your instincts.
“There are so many good groups on Facebook for allergy parents if people go on there is it really useful,” reveals Lisa.
With many supermarkets now catering for all types of free-from dietary requirements there are options out there but for inspiration Mummy Bakes Dairy Free is a great place to start.
For recipes visit mummybakesdairyfree.com
This first appeared in the March edition of etc Magazine which is available now.