Menu Planning Tips for Families With Food Allergies

Kid and Food Peanut Allergies

 

Menu Planning Tips for Families With Food Allergies

Feeding a family with children is a challenge in itself, but it gets much more difficult when there are food allergies involved. These menu planning tips will help make it more manageable.

With at least 4 million Americans suffering from some food allergy or another, we all have a friend or family member with this issue. If we’re tasked with planning meals for our family with food allergies, we need to take menu planning seriously. Having our loved ones get sick from the food we eat is a troubling and sad outcome to what should be a fun and relaxing experience of eating together.

Here are 3 tips to try when you’re feeding a family that is dealing with a food allergy or two.

1. Replacements and Alternatives

While it can be limiting to not be able to cook with some of your favorite ingredients, thankfully there are lots of alternative options. Not being able to use peanuts when you love to make peanut butter cookies can be a pain. However, sunflower butter, pumpkin seeds, or even coconut can provide alternatives.

Lactose intolerance is a pretty common issue for people around the globe. Thankfully there are fruits, plant-based and vegan alternatives for just about every milk-based product under the sun.

You’ll find that even picky eaters can be accounted for. A kid that might not like brussels sprouts might like green beans or broccoli more. The same goes for picky adults.

Listen to your family, take some risks, and you’ll find a rhythm that fits.

2. Keep It Rotating

Whatever you do, don’t keep feeding your family the same thing week in and week out. While it might be a lot of work to find the meals that they can all eat and enjoy, you’ll have to keep the menu rotating if you want to keep everyone happy. Even your favorite food can become tiresome if you eat it every day.

Thankfully there are lots of ways to shift around the same ingredients into different combinations. The same basic ingredients could be made into a stir-fry, stew, or a casserole depending on the flavors you add.

3. Try International Cuisine

International cuisine offers lots of options for families that have allergy issues. Some places around the world, you won’t find any of the most common allergy-inducing ingredients in any of the staple dishes.

In many regions, you’ll find that bananas, grains, and other vegan options take the place of ingredients like dairy or gluten. If it’s not a major native element of a certain area, you won’t find that ingredient in the food at all.

Some of the best-tasting dishes around the world are gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.

Menu Planning Can Be Fun For The Whole Family

Rather than seeing menu planning as a challenge and a chore, get the whole family together to enjoy the experience. If you give everyone a role in finding foods that could work for your family, everyone will have something to be excited about at every meal. This will bring your family together and maybe even get them to pitch in with prep.

Check out this personal account of what one family did when meal planning for a typical week.

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