His. Mine. Hers. Ours.
Food. Food ticks me off. Oh, let me tell you how much food ticks me off. Food is one of the most irritating things on the planet. If it tastes good, then it’s bad for you. If it tastes good and is healthy, then he doesn’t like it. If it tastes good and is healthy and he likes it, then she doesn’t like it. If it’s all of those things and they both like it, then it’s going to take at least 24 hours to make it correctly.
If it’s easy, quick, liked, and healthy? Oh, right, she’s allergic to it.
In fairness, with a child that’s allergic to milk, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts, cinnamon, and cumin, many foods are off the menu before they even get on it. There is one brand of commercially available bread that doesn’t contain at least one of her allergens, so I make off lightly on that count. We buy almond milk, almond butter, specialty hot-dogs, and I’ve become an expert label reader.
I cook from scratch, too.
I cook without recipes. I alter almost every recipe that I use.
I can make decent chocolate chip cookies without milk, eggs, or butter, but I have to get the right kind of chocolate chips. I can make coffee cake. I can make cupcakes. I can make frosting (though I’m still refining it).
We live off repetition and simple foods. Grilled chicken, steamed veges, homemade chili, burritos, spaghetti (but only one brand of sauce), and a few other staples make up our diet.
As much as home food sucks, and it does because I’m the only one who cooks and I have two picky eaters one of whom has allergies, eating away from home sucks more. I can order that restaurant broccoli steamed, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been lightly tossed in corn-syrup as a preservative, or butter for flavor. I can ask for an ingredient list for every item, but I can’t make sure that the charming chef doesn’t put a cheese smiley face on top of my daughters soup.
I cannot explain the difficulty of planning ahead for a group outing only to a have a helpful mother try to hand out treat bags to all the children. Or the joy that is trying to explain to a two year old why she can’t have one just like everyone else. I cannot express to you how much I hate saying no to things that I want to be able to say yes to.
We have taken her to zero birthday parties. That’s right. NONE. You know why? Because she can’t join in. Not in the food. Not in the drinks. Not in the desert. And I won’t do that to her. Later, when she’s older, she can decide for herself, but now? Heck, no! She doesn’t need the added pain.
She’s still campaigning for preschool, but lately I have an added reason to delay. I just found out about USDA food mandates. In order for her to have food she can eat, I’ll need to pack a daily lunch and I’ll get to hope that no enterprising teacher decides that it’s not nutritionally sufficient, because if they do, under the current guidelines they can replace it with school provided options.
See, food sucks!
Also, I want to try to lose weight. It’s going to be tough, though. The things I can serve my family don’t tend to be weight-loss inducing. They tend to be loaded with calories, because I fight an ongoing battle to get my girl enough. And the things they can eat, that are lean and healthy, aren’t terribly popular with them and usually result in the girl asking for a sandwich.
Food really sucks.
I think I’m going to go have a glass of real milk and throw myself a pity party while she’s sleeping.