Baking with baby

Having a child with food allergies is no fun.

That may be an understatement.

Food allergies are VERY serious, and in some cases life threatening.

Luckily, Hunter has never had a serious or anaphylactic reaction to his allergies, but that doesn't mean he won't- reactions can get more severe with every introduction to the allergen.

So, every time we are out of the house, I have to be on high alert- as Hunter has a propensity to find discarded food on the floor and put it in his mouth.  Gross, I know.  

We first discovered his allergies when he was just over 6 months old when he tried scrambled eggs and yogurt. He got full-body hives and vomited.  Neither were fun, but treatable with Benedryl.

Nearly a year later (a few weeks ago), we headed to the allergist to get some tests done to determine the severity of his allergies and develop a plan to deal with, and hopefully diminish, them.

Hunter's allergies are to dairy and eggs, both of which he has a high percentage chance of growing out of.

So, we are now on a 6 month plan to reintroduce dairy and eggs through baked goods.

Basically, 4 times each week we need to give him a baked product with the allergen(s) in them. We continue with that for 6 months and then check back in with the allergist for some re-testing.

The theory is that the allergen properties of some items become lessened when baked at 350 degrees or higher for at least 30 minutes.

With continued exposure, there is a chance his body will start to be able to process the allergens better. We will have to closely monitor him and check for signs of reaction- everything from hives, itching, blue lips/fingers, changes to his mouth/tongue, swelling or him verbally telling us his mouth hurts.

With all the potential problems, we now are the proud owners of multiple Epi-pens.  Luckily the new Epi-pens are completely idiot proof and literally talk you through the process. 

Modern medicine is amazing.

With any luck we will never have to use the Epi-pens and over time his allergies will become less and less.

All of this boils down to the fact that I need to start baking more in order to help Hunter's allergies.

No one in this house is sad about the prospect of more baked goods laying around.

So, Hunter and I decided to kick off the baking together.

This kid is a natural (finally... he takes after me with something).
I decided to make my mom's Banana Bread for him (recipe below).

He was really great at stirring, and then when I explained to him that he got to lick the spatula at the end, he turned out to be an expert at that part too.
Technically, it wasn't really the end.  I hadn't added the eggs yet, so there were no raw allergens- but I couldn't let him miss the best part (licking the spoon).

So, while I added the eggs, he tested out the bread pans with his matchbox cars. They were sufficiently slippery.
Then, we popped them in the oven together.  And by together, I mean that I put them in the oven, while Hunter ran around the kitchen with his oven mitt on yelling "Hot" "No-no" "Hot"!
Needless to say, we take possible burn hazards VERY seriously around here.

So, the oven is off limits from touching even when it is off.  He has his own oven mitt and he must wear it if he is anywhere close to the oven- not that we let him near it- basically it's for when he is in the kitchen.

Anyway, after the bread was baked, we ate it all up (I may have eaten 1/2 the loaf myself) and he didn't have any reaction.

That is a good sign.

He ended up polishing off the rest of the loaf throughout the week and we've already made a second batch.

I think every Sunday we will bake something new for the week.  He seems to like it, and I love teaching him how to bake like my Mom and Grandma taught me.

Now, in case all you care about is a yummy banana bread recipie- here you go.

Grandma Linda's Banana Bread

1/3 C. Vegetable oil
2/3 C. White sugar
2 Eggs well beaten
1 C. Bananas  mashed (I use about 4 bananas)
1 3/4 C. All purpose flour
2 Tsp. Baking powder
1/4 Tsp. Baking soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine the 1st four ingredients, then add in the last 4
-Pour into well greased & floured bread pans
-Bake for 60-70 minutes