The Nut-Free Mom

It's a nutty world out there, so join me as I navigate the ups and downs of parenting a child with life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergies. You'll find lots of practical tips, positive encouragement, strategies, product info and recipes!

Jennifer 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?

I talk about this in my e-book--it's a big topic! While every child has different tastes, I like to cook simple, tasty meals using as many unprocessed foods as possible. Veggies and fruits in season are great to use. I cook a lot and freeze foods so that I have something to offer on those busy nights when everyone seems to have a different extracurricular activity. Moms should develop a go-to guide and outline menus to make it easier on themselves. This is extra important when dealing with food restrictions. The other suggestion I have is to involve kids in the cooking process! They will need to learn this skill and it gives them a good attitude toward food when they see that they are able to create yummy meals at home. The other thing is to never be afraid to check with a company and find out how a food is made. Labels don't always tell the whole story. You will find your favorite "safe" brands but you need to do some research.

What's your favorite allergy friendly product?

Too many to count. But we love SunButter sunflower seed spread as a nut-free and more healthful alternative to peanut butter. We love Enjoy Life Foods nut-free granola and nut-free trail mix, too, especially since these items usually contain nuts. Look at my blog to see the great array of nut-free bakeries and candy makers out there now, too!

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

Striking the balance between living a regular life and keeping your child safe from an allergic reaction. We strive for our daughter to do as much as she possibly can, while not taking unnecessary risks with food. It's not always easy, but we feel we have managed to make a great life for our daughter and our family. For everything we've had to give up (certain restaurants, certain activities), we've created something new and sometimes, better, for our family. Creating this balanced life and helping families cope, have a happy life and manage a life-threatening nut allergy is really what my blog and e-book, "The New Nut-Free Mom," is all about.