Food Preparation & Organization Strategies for Food Allergy Cooks
Preparing three meals a day, seven days a week can be overwhelming. Here are some organizational strategies that can help you cope:
- Plan Your Menus. Advance planning can make the difference between getting dinner on the table in a calm and timely manner and making a last minute dash to the grocery store with two whining toddlers in tow. For more information see our separate Menu Planning article.
- Serve Leftovers. There is no law stating that you must serve something different each night! Double your recipe and plan to serve the leftovers the next night. Or cook double batches two days in a row, and serve the leftovers for the next two dinners.
- Buy In Bulk. If your child's diet includes freezable or non-perishable specialty items that are not easily found at your neighborhood grocery store, save yourself a lot of shopping trips by purchasing these items in bulk.
- Shop Online. There are a number of excellent online sources for special-diet items. See KFA's Allergy Buyer's Guide for some Web site links.
- Always Have a Supply of "Safe" Food Available. Keep at least a few days' supply of "safe" food in your house. Remember, even if illness or inclement weather stops you from leaving your house, your food-allergic child still needs to eat!
- Freeze Cooked Foods. Having ready-to-eat hypoallergenic meals in your freezer is like having money in the bank. Any time your menu includes foods that freeze well, consider doubling your recipe and freezing the extras. Another option is to set aside an afternoon or evening to cook in bulk and freeze it all. Don't forget that you can also freeze breakfast foods, such as pancakes and waffles.
- Always Be Prepared for a Party. When your child is young, be sure that your supply of frozen foods includes some safe cupcakes or other appropriate treat that can be thawed out and taken to birthday parties. Regardless of your child's age, you should also plan to have at least one frozen serving of his or her favorite entrée that can be taken to holiday get-togethers and other social gatherings.
Kids With Food Allergies is a nonprofit charity. More than 80% of KFA's financial support comes from donors like you. If KFA has helped you in some way, please make a donation
to support our work.