October302012

Birthday Cake

My beautiful baby girl turns one in a few days time (lucky birth date of 11/11/11!!).  I have been wondering what to do for her birthday cake - I didn’t want to just do a boring old gluten free fruit cake, it needs to be birthday-ish after all!

So - here is the recipe for a gluten and dairy free little girls birthday cake - in my opinion, it tastes just as good as the wheat and dairy alternative and hopefully Isabelle will enjoy it as well.

Ingredients

300g Dairy free margarine

300g Caster Sugar

300g Gluten free self raising flour

4 drops Vanilla Extract

4 Eggs

2 Tsp Gluten free baking powder

6 Tbsp Dairy free milk

Jam to spread in the middle

For the icing:

200g Dairy free margarine

400g Icing sugar

Food colouring and sprinkles (if desired)

Directions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190c / 170c (Fan) and line two 8” sandwich tins

2. Beat the margarine and sugar together until pale and fluffy

3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla essence.

4. Fold in the flour and baking powder and beat to combine

5. Add the milk

6. Bake in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes until firm to touch and cooked right through.

7. Turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack then sandwich together with jam.

8. To make the icing, mix the dairy free spread with the icing sugar until it forms a creamy spreadable consistency and cover the cake entirely.

October192012

Tuna Pasta

Ingredients

200g canned tuna in spring water, drained

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 red onion

400g organic chopped tomatoes

handful of fresh basil leaves torn

1 tbsp soya cream cheese

200g gluten free pasta

Directions

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions

Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion until it turns opaque

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes then add the tuna and basil

Just before serving, stir in the soya cream cheese and mix in the cooked pasta

August222012

Eggs on toast

Isabelle had her first taste of egg today.  I disguised it with a few ounces of her formula milk and some mashed carrot in order to get it down and she munched on some gluten free toast soldiers at the same time and, as yet, no adverse reactions!  

1PM

The journey so far

Isabelle’s birth gave my husband and I more joy than we ever thought possible but when this tiny, helpless, beautiful little girl was handed to us the realisation kicked in that she was completely dependent upon me.

As with most first time parents, the first few weeks were a blur of emotion, exhaustion and exhilaration and between the laughter, tears and overwhelming love one thing I really struggled with was feeding.

Isabelle was breast fed from birth and whilst this was beautiful and a wonderful bonding experience, it was never without its challenges. She would squirm, pull away, cry and arch her back at nearly every feed. I used to wonder what the term ‘milk drunk’ meant as my baby never seemed to finish a feed that way! I worried that she wasn’t getting enough milk, that she didn’t like my milk and that I was doing it all wrong.

Doctors, Health Visitors, Breast Feeding Councillors and Cranial Osteopaths all had their conclusions as to what the problem was - reflux, colic, poor latch on and muscular problems following a difficult birth and all seemed to disagree with what I thought the problem was - a dairy allergy - as she wasn’t showing the classic symptoms of eczema .

I persevered and followed my intuition and eliminated all dairy products from my diet. A few days later, my baby was a different child - she fed happily and slept well. To ensure this wasn’t coincidence, I briefly introduced dairy back into my diet, and the screaming, arching and squirming returned. Many people said they could not believe cutting a food group out of my diet would make any difference to a breast feeding baby, but mothers intuition told me otherwise. The allergy was then confirmed when I tried Isabelle on her first bottle of cows milk formula resulting in almost instant projectile vomiting.

At five months old, Isabelle was weaned off my breast onto a prescription formula, Aptamil Pepti (contains lactose but the protein is extensively hydrolysed) and continued to grow beautifully but I soon came across the frightening hurdle of starting her on solids!

I read every weaning book, website and magazine I could get my hands on for ideas and agonized over what I could and couldn’t give her to eat once the basic pureed veg and fruit stage was over and watched with fear each time she tried a new food.

Soon enough, allergy number two showed up - gluten. After a few days of giving her weetabix (with formula milk) for breakfast, the crankiness, crying and sleepless nights returned along with severe, very smelly, very grey diarrhoea. Again, I removed gluten products from her diet, she quickly went back to her happy, healthy self.

And so it continues! My diagnosis has been confirmed by a dietary paediatrician who held my hand for the first few weeks and we have yet to try egg (will keep you posted!) but luckily she is happy on soya, fish, meat and pulses and I have gained in confidence and experience in what I can feed her resulting in an exceptionally happy, healthy, bouncing little baby.

8AM

Easy Breakfast

Ingredients

3 tbsp gluten free porridge oats

4oz milk (dairy free or formula)

2oz pureed fruit

Directions

Add a third of the milk to the porridge oats and microwave for 1 minute.  Take out, stir and add another third of the milk and microwave again for a further 30 seconds

Add the pureed fruit and the remainder of the milk and allow to cool.

August212012

Yummy vegetable pasta

Ingredients

1 x tsp sunflower oil

1 x sweet red pepper 

1 x courgette 

1 x aubergine

1 x red onion

1 x crushed garlic clove

Handful of button mushrooms

200g cherry tomatoes 

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp chopped basil

Gluten free pasta swirls

1 x tsp Dairy free cream ‘cheese’

Directions

Cut up all the vegetables into 1cm cubes.  Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft then add the remaining vegetables and herbs.  Cover and simmer until all vegetables are soft then blend / mash to the desired consistency.

Cook the pasta as directed and add to the vegetable sauce.  Just before serving, stir in the dairy free cream ‘cheese’.

For baby led weaning, leave the pasta swirls whole for a lovely messy meal or blend for a more manageable mouthful.

5PM
My happy little girl

My happy little girl

2PM

Hello world

Hi, my name is Rebecca and I have a 9 month old daughter, Isabelle.

Isabelle has cows milk protein allergy and gluten intolerance and to begin with, I struggled to know how to deal with this in such a dependent, helpless little thing.

Over the past few months, I have found my feet and the knowledge (and confidence) to give Isabelle a healthy, varied diet.  

My hope is for this blog to be a source of information and guidance to other parents who are struggling with the same in their own babies.  I will post meal ideas and hiccups, hurdles and happy times we encounter along the way.

Feel free to comment and ask questions and enjoy reading!

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