I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago about how hard it is, as a parent of a kid with food intolerances, to watch your child have to turn food down that other people are eating. It’s hard to watch the sadness in their eyes when they know they’re different. I’ve felt like I can’t win with Emery. It started with no dairy, then we cut anything with gluten, then we cut grains, and now we’re cutting anything with a slight possibility of being cross contaminated, which feels like a nail in the “I can’t eat anything, anywhere, ever” coffin. We’re both struggling.
I’m finally learning to be super prepared. A weekend trip surrounded by junk food broke our hearts for her and opened my eyes to how much better I could be doing to ensure she has special treats when we’re out. It seems like no matter where we go, food is involved and it’s rarely healthy. Sports events, family gatherings, the movies, game nights, play dates, restaurants, small group, etc. Emery is constantly reminded of what she can’t eat. She watches kids eat goldfish, popcorn, chips, fruit snacks, crackers, even dried fruit that can be cross contaminated. Most of the time she outwardly handles it well, but you can see in her eyes that she’s crushed. Every few times she cries and it breaks my heart.
I’ve found a few Certified Gluten Free things we can have on hand as substitutes, but not much that isn’t full of extra crap. There are some things I’m comprising on until we start GAPS, but I’m trying to make as many treats myself as possible to control the ingredients and avoid the processing that damages the nutrients of packaged food. Because I believe Emery is celiac, and I know her body is not properly absorbing nutrients, I try my best to avoid anything that is already nutritionally damaged. Her intestinal villi need all the help they can get – if I’m feeding her nutritionally dead food when her stomach already has trouble absorbing nutrients, how is that helpful to her body? I need everything she eats to be as nutrient dense as possible so she can have the maximum opportunity to absorb the most nutrients.
So, when I received a message a few weeks ago from a company called Little Green Pouch, it’s an understatement to say I was excited. They offered me a 4 pack of their refillable pouches to try out and see what I thought. According to anyone who knows our family, I’m the bad guy when it comes to food. I’m the one that crushes hopes and dreams and stands up for what does and doesn’t go in my kid’s mouths. Andrew’s wanted to buy prefilled food pouches for awhile but I kept saying no. My stomach turned when he brought one home for Emery [literally a week before I got the message from LGP], mostly because of this video – did you ever see it? Where the woman found larva in a baby food pouch and fed it to her baby because she couldn’t see inside the package to know they were there. Yes, it was a rare thing and the company took care of it, but I’ll never see a pouch without my stomach turning now! Also, even when a packaged food item says “organic” and “all natural” and only lists fruit as the ingredient, I still cringe. If you’re mass producing something that is shelf stable for longer than I could make it shelf stable at home [with out traditional food preparation], something’s wrong. If you’ve processed that 1 ingredient to the point that it won’t go bad for months, you’ve stripped it of nutrients. My daughter needs nutrients.
So I’m sure you can guess I told them, heck freaking yes, send me those pouches, please! They had asked if I would interested in recipe testing. Bring. It. On.
I have a huge list of herb/fruit combos I’m dying to try, but we started with this:
Kombucha Blueberry Sage Purée
for 4 Little Green Pouches
- 3 cups frozen blueberries
- 1/2 banana
- Kombucha – as much as needed to get desired consistency. Start small and go from there. [these would also work great with water kefir, coconut water, or plain water]
- Purée all ingredients in blender [Emery helped pull the sage leaves off the stem, tear them, and fill the blender]
- Pour through funnel [Emery filled it with a gravy ladel]
- Seal and label
- Store in fridge or freezer
I try to save things like this only for when we are out. I want to build up the excitement for her healthy special treats so that her joy for finally get to have it over rides her feeling of exclusion. It hasn’t always worked, but it’s helped. I’ll take what I can get. We took these pouches to a minor league baseball game and they were the perfect treat to beat the heat! Also,Little Green Pouch posted a tweaked version of this recipe on their website today – I highly recommend checking out their site for more recipe ideas!