If your family is like mine, eating a restricted diet is just a normal, everyday routine. Keeping kids away from foods that aggravate their eczema while trying to eat well myself means that the number of foods we have to choose from seems to shrink all the time. At this point, I’m pretty confident about the ‘safe foods’ that work for my family – but I’ve noticed something recently. My shopping list is typically made up of the same set items week after week, and that concerned me. Variety is the spice of life – and the body needs variety in order to get the full range of vitamins, minerals, and other good stuff that food offers. So, for those of us that eat a restricted diet, are we getting enough diversity?
I took a hard, honest look at the food on my shopping list and in my kitchen and I found room for improvement. I realized that there are tons more food options at the market than what I’m bringing home – things that are safe and healthy for my family. So, I’m on a mission to introduce new, different, and unique foods to the table this spring to grow the number of food options we have to choose from every day.
I noticed that a few types of foods seem to dominate the ‘good list’ on many allergy websites and on my won shopping list. These foods include:
- Leafy Greens
- Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives
These foods can be found in one form or another on just about every allergy and eczema food list out there – so it’s no wonder that we as parents turn to them over and over again.
If you want to add more variety, adventure, and options to your family table, here are a few things you might want to try out…
- Seasonal fruits from local farms
- Exotic fruits – starfruit is a great one!
- Diversified greens. Don’t rely on spinach and kale too much. Try bok choy, collard greens, Swiss chard, romaine, and cabbage.
- Switch up the types of cereals, granolas, and trail mixes you use – and if you feel adventurous, try making them at home to keep things interesting and novel.
- If you’re a fan of a specific brand, try something new now and again.
- Get inspiration from ethnic recipe websites and work your dietary needs in as needed. Japanese, Polynesian, Indian, and South American dishes are often the easiest to incorporate into an allergy-sensitive diet.
If you see something at the market that looks or smells interesting, take note and research it online later. This is a great way to try new things and to expand just what you can put on the table for your family.
Here’s to a happy, healthy Spring filled with a bounty of new foods!