You would have thought that by child number four I should be hardened to that ‘first day’. As today proved I’m clearly not!
It was number four’s first day at nursery and all of those mixed emotions came flooding through just as they had with the others, but with a few more thrown in.
Number four has without doubt been my most challanging child. He is massively strong willed, extremely boisterous and is hugely outgoing.
This has driven me to the edge over the past three years yet I wouldn’t have him any other way. I just worry now how his character is going to go down in a nursery environment. Play areas and toddler groups have always been a challange for us and I would be on guard the whole time. In a large nursery with lots of children I am worried he will realise he has a bit to much free reign as there are plenty more children that need to have an eye kept on them.
There is also the worry that I’m not there to watch what he is eating and as he has not reached a level yet where he understands his allergies I am in a real panic that I am going to be getting ‘that’ phone call!
The upside to him getting some much needed structure to his day is that I get to have a few hours on my own with number five. He is such a placid child that has really been a little pushed into the background being the last in a long line of little ones. It’s his time now and I am going to make the most of trips to the park, toddler sessions and cuddles on the sofa with my little baby for those precious few hours of the day.
With the colder weather and darker nights drawing in a firm family favourite has appeared back on our menu…cottage pie goes down well with all of the children and this recipe makes it safe for number four too.
Allergy Free Cottage Pie
- 1kg Minced Beef
- 2 Chopped Onions
- 3 Sliced Carrots
- 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
- 3 tbsp Wheat Free Flour
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 850ml Wheat Free Beef Stock
- Sprigs Of Thyme
- 1 1/2kg Chopped Potatoes
- 220ml Oat Milk
- 25g Dairy Free Margarine
- Heat a little oil in a large pan and brown the mince. Next add the vegetables and cook for around twenty minutes. Add the puree, flour and garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add the stock and herbs and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes.
- Place the potatoes into a pan of boiling water and cook until soft. Once ready drain and mash together with the milk and margarine.
- Lastly spoon the meat into a large ovenproof dish and spoon the mash potato into the top. Score all over with a fork and cook for 30 minutes in the oven at Gas Mark 7, 220C/200 Fan.
- Once bubbling and golden it will be ready to serve.
There is always a big debate in this house as to how it is served. My favourite is fresh green vegetables and the the others favour baked beans. What is your favourite accompaniment?
As a few of you will know number four has suffered from multiple allergies since he was a few months old. Apart from some recipes I have not yet spoken a lot on my blog about this.
He was formally diagnosed with an allergy to nuts, sesame, soya, dairy, eggs and wheat at around 6 months. And now carries an Epi Pen.
We went through a really rough time of cutting all of this from my diet as I was breastfeeding, trying to keep his servere excezma under control and the long slog of finding a varied diet to introduce to him one he started weaning.
A couple of years on and his excezma is completly under control and the only problem will still have is his overly sensitive tummy that still causes problems.
That was until last night! Whilst preparing dinner he was complaining of itchy eyes, to which I told him he must just be tired and did not pay to much attention to. A few minutes later he was on the floor sobbing. As I looked at him, his eyes were nearly closed over and were massively red and puffy.
I got some Piriton into him and phoned my husband who came home and rushed us to the hospital. He was given some steroids and we were kept under observation for four hours.
It was a real wake up call to how things can change when you have a child with allergies, and you should never take things for granted. We still don’t know what caused last nights attack. He could of got hold of an allergin that he is known to have or it could be something completely new.
Life with my little allergy boy can be hard work and at times very scary. Last nights little shock had definalty been a reminder that we need to be continually aware of him and his surroundings at all times.
As many of you know number four has multiple allergies and because of this I always try to find different things to make for him to make up for all the yummy things he misses out on.
Ice cream is always a no no when we are out and he only has the option of ice lollies.
This summer I have made it my mission to create some different ice cream recipes for him.
Ice cream cones always contain wheat, so as he is a chocolate lover I thought I could make a chocolate bowl covered with sprinkles to put his favourite mango sorbet in.
I greased a small bowl and spread melted chocolate over the inside and covered in sprinkles. Whilst the kids were licking out the bowl I put it into the fridge to set.
I removed the bowl from the fridge with every hope that I was going to be able to easily remove the chocolate shell from the bowl.
How wrong could I be! It was welded in with no hope of moving! I still served the sorbet and fruit and number four was occupied for ages trying to gouge the chocolate out of the bowl.
So my image of this delicate chocolate bowl covered with sprinkles was shattered; but the fact it took so long to remove the chocolate gave me a bit of peace and quiet to tidy up!!
We found out that number four had multiple food allergies when he was six months old. Since then we had a real struggle trying to find foods that he can eat so that he doesn’t feel left out from the rest of the family.
Most of the time we can find alternatives, but naughty foods like pizza and nuggets have been a no no as nothing has come close to the real thing.
Today we found some nuggets and as you can tell by the look on his face, he is completely over the moon!
To most people this may seem like nothing, but for us this was a really big thing and his face says it all.