Meal Plan for Allergen Free Eating
During the first 1,000 days it’s important to eat a variety of foods that will encourage taste development as well as provide the gamut of nutrients needed for health. Yet working around your own allergies, or feeding a child with them, can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task. Thankfully, with allergy awareness on the rise, there is heightened education, regulation, and labeling to help you navigate food choices.
The primary goal is to be your own detective, read labels, and make inquiries at restaurants or other events involving food. Allergens can be hidden in coatings, thickeners, spices, natural flavors, and other ingredients found in fresh, frozen, refrigerated, and shelf-stable foods. Preparing meals and snacks at home can help you maintain control over food sources and help prevent cross-contamination.
This meal plan is created for women who are truly allergic, or who are breastfeeding and need to undergo an elimination diet to determine what foods their infant may have an intolerance or allergy to. Taking these foods out during pregnancy or breastfeeding, if not warranted, may actually promote intolerance in your infant as complete avoidance will prevent the immune system from learning that these foods are not actually harmful. If you are breastfeeding and your infant is showing symptoms of allergy or intolerance, and you have discussed the issue with your and/or your infant’s healthcare provider (HCP), this meal plan may be used to eliminate the major allergens.
This diet can be tricky. Make sure to work closely with your HCP as he or she knows what is best for you and your baby. To determine which foods were not tolerated by your baby, your HCP may have you add these foods back into your diet one at a time after they have been eliminated for 2-4 weeks, or until your infant stops having symptoms.
Choosing meals and snacks from the below listed options will help eliminate major allergens (dairy, soy, eggs, gluten, and peanuts) while helping you maintain adequate nutrient intake.
- Option 1: Gluten-free oatmeal made with water, banana, and almond or sunflower seed butter
- Option 2: Coconut yogurt, berries, and chia seeds
- Option 3: Smoothie: Banana, berries, baby spinach, unsweetened rice milk, ground flax seeds
- Option 4: Millet made with water and apple juice, mixed with unsweetened coconut flakes, dried fruit, and pumpkin seeds
- Option 5: Smoothie made with coconut milk, avocado, frozen mixed berries and banana (bonus: toss in a hand full of spinach or kale!)
- Option 1: Dark leafy greens salad with tomatoes, peppers, garbanzo beans, and brown rice
- Option 2: Canned, wild salmon mixed with olive oil, chopped veggies, salt and pepper. Serve on corn tortillas and alongside a spinach salad
- Option 3: Salad with colorful vegetables, sunflower seeds, grilled chicken, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Option 4: Spiced black beans and quinoa in bell pepper cups
- Option 5: Gluten-free pasta with tomato sauce, veggies, and chicken
- Option 1: Baked/sautéed white fish, broccoli, and baked potato
- Option 2: Roasted sweet potato topped with seasoned black beans, cilantro, and avocado
- Option 3: Corn tortillas, seasoned ground beef or ground turkey topped with corn, black beans, and salsa with side salad or asparagus
- Option 4: Wok seared chicken & vegetables with quinoa
- Option 5: Spaghetti Squash topped with pasta sauce made with tomatoes, onions, basil and ground chicken
- Option 1: Corn chips with guacamole
- Option 2: Bell pepper or other veggies with hummus
- Option 3: Oat milk yogurt and fresh fruit
- Option 4: Apple or pear with sunflower seed butter
- Option 5: Gluten-free high-fiber cereal, unsweetened oat milk, berries
For more on this topic, check out the following articles and recipes: