Live Free, Gluten Free

I'm a mom of two wonderful boys, we are all gluten-free and my youngest and I are also dairy-free, along with my youngest being soy-free, as well. I create recipes that are gluten, dairy and soy free and also post weekly menus and other ideas.

Paula is a winner of Top 25 Food Allergy Moms - 2012

What's your best advice for a mom struggling with cooking for children with food allergies?

What helped me was finding moms in the same position as me. I needed the support, someone to talk to that really understood what I was experiencing, and already knew how to cook for food allergies. Also, find blogs that are allergy friendly, someone's already paved the way for you and their recipes are free. Take it one day at a time, or one type of food at a time. Don't expect to make awesome gluten-free bread right off the bat, but know that with practice it can be done. And remember even us experts have had plenty of failed attempts...and you can always talk to one of us blogger moms and we'll help!

What's your favorite allergy friendly product?

It's hard to narrow it down to one. If I have to choose one, or at least one brand, would be the chocolate from Enjoy Life. I use their mini chips in my cookies, muffins, pumpkin bars, and more. And my son loves the fact that he can have milk chocolate candybars (their rice milk chocolate Boom Choco Boom bars) like other kids.

What's the biggest challenge raising a child with food allergies?

Other people not taking it seriously or forgetting. Nothing hurts me more than seeing my sons get left out because of their food allergies and intolerances. I try my hardest to make sure that teachers, parents, etc. know that I can and will bring food that they can eat. So, it aggrevates me when they tell me that I don't need to worry about it or they forget to give my boys the treats I've supplied for them and my little ones go without and come home in tears.

From peach pies and berry cobbler to lemon shortcake and watermelon popsicles, fruity desserts are perfect for summer. Please share your favorite fruit-based dessert, and include a link to the recipe and photo.

Paula Decaria

Fresh Strawberry Pie is our family's favorite...and our's is gluten, dairy, and soy-free, too. We top it off with Coconut Whipped Cream, which makes it absolutely heavenly.
View All Answers