(Photo Credit: Dan Terpstra)
Welcome to Kalecuties. My name is Allison and my husband’s name is Todd. We have two kale cuties: Emma and Landen. Between my husband and I we have 7 allergies/sensitivities: gluten, dairy, egg, almond, cranberries, sesame seeds and coffee.
If you think this list sounds overwhelming than you know exactly how I felt 4 years ago. When my husband got his allergy test results back – I cried. I didn’t know how or what I was going to feed him.
It didn’t take me long to feel frustrated by the food choices offered at the grocery stores. Going out to eat didn’t even cross my mind. Forced to read food labels for the first time, I quickly found hidden and often dirty ingredients that didn’t belong in my food. I was also alarmed at the amount of hidden sugar and was determined to find a better way.
Even though I have always felt comfortable in the kitchen, I really had to spend a lot of time researching how to make some of our favorite foods a different healthier way.
My goal is simply to provide rich flavored allergy-friendly foods to my family without them feeling deprived. Thankfully, at this point neither one of my children has any food allergies but we continue to monitor or limit all together some of the allergy-foods my husband and I have.
I decided to start Kale Cuties because I believe there are other parents out there who want the same thing for their children who are plagued with allergies. I understand the frustration of wandering down grocery aisles, feeling socially awkward when you can not eat certain foods and the need to eat a slice of chocolate cake without getting sick. I have experienced that food can be either debilitating or nourishing.
My mission is to set my cuties on a nourishing food journey much different from my own. My desire is to raise children who love eating healthy food so much that anything else is not appealing.
I do this two ways. First, I expand their palate for food. It’s so easy to get stuck into food ruts but food is extremely versatile. It is my desire to bring them delicious food options that feed and fuel their bodies and is STILL appealing to them. We all know the phrase, “You are what you eat! Food is powerful and can greatly determine the quality of life. Our grocery stores are lined with chemically altered, sugar overloaded and nutrient depleting “food” and the effects it’s having on those who are consuming it, is hard to hide. I want to crave healthy food that when they leave they choose healthy food for themselves.
Secondly, it’s important that the foods I fix are allergy friendly. But let’s be honest, allergy friendly foods are expensive. I love being able to order a gluten-free pizza from my local pizza place but I HATE the cost. Plus, even allergy-friendly foods can be highly processed, overloaded with sugar and contain artificial colors and sweeteners.
When it was just my husband and I we skipped a lot of the allergy friendly foods but now that we have kids, I see how important it is for them to have a healthy allergy friendly option at the neighborhood picnic and family birthday party. Although, I am a self taught baker I am determined that kids will have an equally if not more appealing allergy-friendly option to enjoy.