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Having always been passionate about cooking good, hearty and scrummy food for the family, I was determined to make sure that Callum was able to eat the same as us as much as possible. My goal was to try to work around everything he couldn't have, to find a solution that he could have. It was important to me that we could still have a family dinner, so I've spent close to 18 months working through a large number of the regular recipes I make, tweaking, changing and learning how to recreate them with ingredients that were safe for Callum. I've also come up with a whole host of new recipes specifically created to cater for Callum's needs, that the whole family can enjoy.

I have to be honest, there was a lot of trial and error, well, many many trials were errors to start off with that ended up in the bin! It was quite comical in the early days, trying to get new recipes to work. It was also incredibly frustrating, but I was determined it would work. I hate being beaten, and it's just not in my nature to admit defeat!

Callum prefers 'Oatly' milk compared to any of the others that are suitable for him, but it doesn't have a very good tolerance when being boiled and splits very easily - not great when you are trying to make an alternative bechamel sauce or custard. Equally, 'vitalite' or 'sunflower spread' isn't as strong as butter when trying to bake cakes (it curdles easily!). Add the fact that you can't use eggs, and you pretty much have a recipe for disaster!!

Along with his dairy and egg allergies, Callum also has a strong allergy to tomato, and 'nomato sauce' is a great substitute, but I had to learn the correct balance of seasoning, and additional ingredients required to counteract the strong flavour of beetroot used in it.

It could have been so easy to give up, but it just wasn't an option!

After many tears of frustration, and finally elation at getting something to taste more than just half decent, eventually reaching triumph, I am now the proud owner of a large collection of recipes. They incorporate as many of the key food groups as possible, or at least ensuring that any alternatives used were full of added vitamins and calcium.

And the most important thing about this part of our never-ending journey, Callum isn't being left out. If he's happy, then I'm happy, it's as simple as that!


0 # Guest 2014-02-06 04:01
I feel like I am reading a blog I wrote! I feel your pain and will be following you through this journey. Allergies are the worst!
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0 # The Intolerant Gourmand 2014-02-09 16:34
Oh you poor thing having to live through this as well! I totally agree, allergies are the worst, and I really feel for anyone else dealing with this too! I hope that things are a bit better for you now! x
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0 # Guest 2014-03-17 12:08
Nat has it ever occurred to you to take those recipes to a publisher? There are a lot of children who have similar problems and it might help them and make you a little extra money. My nephew Peter, who is now a tall, grown man, went thru the same thing. Allergies to every thing! The epi-pen, special foods, even failure to thrive in his early months because all he could drink with out reaction was a few juices! I don't know if you could "Americanize" the recipes but I do believe you might have a big market for this. Just a thought! Love, grandma and Papa. And tell Callum that the old people across the pond wish him well and are sorry his thumb was bad haha
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