The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Holidays to ALL! Here is a picture of my sons, Lennon (AKA Dash Incredible) and Monte (Spiderman) on Christmas morning, post presents.

Lennon is my food allergic child. He was the inspiration for my cookbook. He's still allergic to Dairy, and can't eat Peanuts, Tree-Nuts and Shellfish. This year has been my first year of really experiencing the challenges of having food allergies in the outside world. Up until this year, everything Lennon ate was made or approved by me. But now Lennon is in pre-K. He has lunch in the school cafeteria. All the other kids eat cheese sandwiches, while Lennon eats a turkey sandwich. Well, this has become a bit of a problem, because Lennon doesn't really like turkey sandwiches. Last week I tried making him a sunflower butter and jam sandwich. This upset his teacher, because Lennon had something "different", and she asked me to feed him at home from now on. This too is a problem, because then Lennon will feel like an outsider as all the other kids sit eating lunch, and he sits there eating nothing. Additionally, the teacher organized a party for the last day at school. I bought allergen free candy for the party, but when I arrived to drop Lennon off, I was informed that there would be cupcakes with dairy, and was asked "did I have one without dairy for Lennon?" Of course I didn't, nobody had forewarned me. In fact, I'd been told they'd be making a dairy-free baked good with oil to substitute for the butter.

I have come to suspect a bit of hostility on the part of his teacher. I believe it is because she resents having to alter any of her choices for the food allergic child. The little girl with the apple allergy in their classroom doesn't really disrupt things, but a dairy allergy... well, dairy is a staple in the American diet, and particularly in processed and packaged goods. So I see a parent/teacher conference looming in my near future....

This may seem obvious to some, but in case it's been overlooked, DARK CHOCOLATE IS OFTEN DAIRY FREE. If you or your child has a dairy allergy, go for the DARK!!!!! I have spent this holiday running around replacing milk chocolates with dark.

And in answer to KATE who asked about whether a person with a chocolate allergy could eat soy chocolate -- NO, tho it's made with soy instead of butter, it still contains cocoa which I'm pretty sure is the ingredient that a person with a chocolate allergy is allergic to. White chocolate, however, is not really chocolate, and you might want to look into that (tho not if you have a dairy allergy!)

Can I take one last moment to sing the praises of WYLDE PRETZELS made by Ener G? These are Wheat Free, Gluten Free pretzels (also, free of all top 8 allergens) which are slowly but surely becoming an addiction in my house. They are so... dare i say it... "BUTTERY". Buy them, eat them, you will not be disappointed!

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!



  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger melanie said…

    Dear Cybele,
    I think that your cookbook is fabulous! I have a friend who is allergic to what feels like everything, and it's good to know that there are other people who are going through the same thing. During parties she always has to bring something for herself, or make sure she can eat whats being served. I'm thinking of getting this for her. This is suchh a great idea--kudos!

    p.s your kids are ADORABLE.

  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger Jenny said…

    Cybele & Family,

    I am sorry that the teacher is not being 100% supportive. I'm a teacher and each year we are beginning to get more and more kids with different allergies. Sure, it takes some work but I always have lists for who's allergic to what and I keep the right moms on speed dial for whenever there is a question. We educate the classmates early in the year and a lot of kids don't bring "bad" food because they don't want to make others feel bad. It's cute to see little kids taking care of each other! It's hard with the little ones because they don't always know or think to ask. Your cookbook is a great idea. Good luck with it!

  • At 5:54 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Aww, your boys are adorable! I have a bit of a strange question…do you know if allergies can develop due to side effects with medication? I never had food allergies (to fruit) until I was started on meds for another health condition, and was wondering if they might be connected.

    Thanks, and happy holidays! :-)
    ~ Sarah

  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Dear Sarah:

    I think that an allergic reaction to a medication can set off new allergies. In fact, there seems to be a chain reaction with allergies in general. Like when i have seasonal allergies, my food allergy is much worse, and I also react more intensely to things like pesticides. I would suspect that your immune system is in overdrive. Is your fruit allergy confined to your skin? Does it give you tingling in your mouth? Could it be that you're reacting to the pesticide on say, the outside of the apple or grapes, rather than the fruit? Email me at

    Happy New Year!

  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger LORI said…

    keep up the good work...i myself have a kindergartener who is wheat, egg, peanut and tree nuts, shellfish allergic. it is tough...i am going to buy your book tomorrow! my creative side is empty and my child needs a new set of meals to eat..!!

  • At 8:39 PM, Blogger LORI said…

    ohh yeah i like the enjoy life foods line!! all of it!!! my little girl feels as though she is eating a granola bar and real cookies!! could make me cry to see her soo happy about food!

  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous jennifer said…

    Wow, I am surprised that a teacher would act so negligently. My daughter has a few kids in her class with various allergies (milk, nuts, mangoes, etc.) and all the parents have been warned not to pack these items. One child is allergic to so many things, but as parents, before we make even our kids birthday parties, we keep these risks in mind so that we can ensure that all the kids can be fed the same things at the party. A child should not have to be singled out!

    As a working Mom, my question to you is: Where do you find the time to cook? Is your husband helpful?

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  • At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    I had no idea dark chocolate was dairy free. Wow. Your poor baby. I'm sorry he's allergic to dairy. They're so beautiful. Both your boys. You must be a very proud mom.

    So your cookbook sounds pretty cool. What types of foods are in it? I've got a three year old nephew who has no allergies, but his father tends to give him foods he shouldn't be eating, and if I can get him some decent recipes, maybe he'll change his son's diet.


  • At 11:08 AM, Blogger Lennon said…

    I being another Lennon find myself in similar situations because I am Vegan. It sux y0. I hope your kid gets through this difficult time. Good call on naming him Lennon.

  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Thanks Lennon! Love the name!



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