South suburban spotlight
Modifying recipes has become a way of life for Shorewood mom Jodi Limacher. Three-year-old George has wheat allergies and his older brother Andrew, 7, is allergic to nuts and shellfish.
"At first the thought of modifying what your family eats can be overwhelming. But once you start you realize it isn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be," says Limacher. "It just takes trial and error."
Limacher says all you have to do is avoid the culprit and find substitutes. For Andrew, staying away from nuts and shellfish is fairly easy, but with George, so many things contain wheat that it can be difficult to avoid. "It took some experimenting, but we’ve been able to modify many of the recipes we normally use," she says.
Eating at a fast food restaurant is out of the question and Limacher always has to be on the lookout for problems. For Andrew, that means making sure the school sits him at a peanut-free lunch table and that teachers are well aware of what he can and cannot have. It also means checking the menu plans for all birthday parties, sleepovers and play dates.
The key is planning ahead, Limacher says. "When we go out, we pack food. There is no stopping at McDonald’s or eating at concession stands."
For birthday parities, she finds out what will be served. If it is something the boys cannot have, she sends an alternative as close to the original as possible. If the birthday party is serving cupcakes, Limacher sends her wheat-free version of cupcakes. If it is cake she sends a slice of wheat-free cake.
It gets a little more complicated with pizza, but Limacher says she found Aurelio’s Pizza of Frankfort offers a wheat-free pizza. "I’ll order it and go pick it up. It is a little expensive and out of the way, but if they are having pizza at a party it is a way that my son can have pizza, too."
POCHA of Will County (Parents of Children Having Allergies) can be reached at www.pochaofwillcounty.com.