Today, I drove 30 minutes away to go to Whole Foods (R). Now, that doesn't seem that far to some people, but there are at least ten grocery stores within 15 minutes from my house...the luxury of living in a large city. I travel so far to the health store because that is where I can find many products that my children are not allergic to. My daughter has progressed to only having dairy, egg, and red food dye allergies (along with many environmental and outdoor allergies) in food. My son's list keeps growing and is now at: dairy, soy, peanuts, almonds, oats, eggs, & pineapples. Poor guy, 2 weeks ago my husband gave our son pineapples for the second time ever. Since my son is 14 months old, it was okay to at least try the tropical and citrus fruits. Well, he broke out in hives, and his "boy parts" swelled, and skin is just now growing back on his bottom. The skin bled and tore off...ouch! As you may know, you do not have an allergic reaction to a food, medicine, or other allergen when exposed to it the first time, but will on the second time or with repeated exposure. It takes the body time to detect that a food is considered dangerous to the immune system.
Shopping is not always fun, but I have figured out what they can and can't eat. Something as simple as commercial chicken nuggets may have dairy and/or soy within the ingredients. I am constantly reading the ingredients list on boxes to new items, or in my case, potential new items that I may add to foods my kids can eat. I was glad to see that Betty Crocker (R) even has gluten free cake mix now. At the regular grocery store, I can find some items that are fine, but just not as large of a quantity as I do at Whole Foods (R). There is also a small "whole in the wall" store I go to near my house for vitamins, cookies, and a few other small items. Good thing that my children love fruits and vegetables, because for the most part those are safe for them to eat (except pineapples for my son). The grocery bill is usually quite large! I have tried coupons, but it isn't so easy finding coupons for the exact items that my kids eat, but sometimes you can get lucky. Earlier this year I was watching Dr. Phil (rare occasion that I would even watch TV at all!) and he had this lady as a guest that said she can spend only $800 annually on groceries. Of course, I'm saying "What?!?!?!?" because that is about what I spend in just 2 to 2.5 months. God bless her for the ability to find coupons for what she can eat, but I don't think it is possible for my family to do! If it is, I would love some advice on staying within such a budget!