About a month ago, I was elbow deep in vomit and fecal material with no end in sight, so I took the boys in for testing and found out Maverick has an allergy to wheat. And walnuts. And dogs. And dairy. But he outgrew his egg allergy?

Funny story: By the time I received the results and started caring about foods being wheat free (in addition to dairy free, nut free, and egg free), I had committed to a partnership with Gerber and Linqia for Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™. Why not, right? The kids love Gerber snacks and I wanted to blow some money on a giant, inflatable slice of pizza for my birthday.

I had no idea Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ would become a thing for us.

How to organize an allergy friendly pantry

On the Friday of the phone call, my tiny lover of all things carbs had no idea that the mini bagel he had for breakfast would be the last carb (that was actually worth eating) he would enjoy for a very long time. He had no idea that his favorite food group would soon taste more like cardboard and less like whatever bread actually tastes like.

And I was over here like, “How in the world do I police a 16 month old’s dietary restrictions when his biggest accomplishment to date is finding his belly button?”

Easy snack ideas for your allergy friendly pantry

First, I started coaching Michael on what Maverick wasn’t allowed to eat and what was allergy friendly. No pancakes. No bagels. No bread. No crackers.

Teach a man to fish and he can feed a village, right?

And then, not even 30 minutes after I coached Michael, Maverick starts screeching and Michael is telling his dad NO in his frustrated, hasn’t hit puberty voice.

Maverick and Daddy Michael were squeezing Michael for one of his precious pancakes. The pancakes Michael knew Maverick wasn’t allowed to eat.

Daddy Michael- 0 Michael- 1

Easy ideas to keep your allergy kid's food away from everyone else's

In the first few weeks, he lived on rice cereal and shredded chicken because I HAVE had no idea what I was doing. I knew our grocery bill was growing, but where the food went after I swiped my card was a mystery. Sort of like socks, nobody really knows why 2 socks go in but only 1 comes out.

Use color coded baskets in your refrigerator to keep the allergy friendly foods separated from everything else

Between people (including my husband) not knowing what allergy friendly food to feed Maverick, and never knowing if so and so would have something he can eat when we visit, I was tired. That’s when the big, red fire truck drove by me with the whole nine yards. It practically smacked me square in the jaw and told me there are a few items the family doesn’t want to give up, so I should spend the entire weekend cleaning out and organizing the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator.

Creating an allergy friendly shelf in your refrigerator gives your allergy kid the freedom to pick his own snack from a variety of safe foods.

Which is exactly what I did. Maverick’s allergy friendly food is white, and everything he can’t eat is blue. It took forever, and using baskets reduces the amount of available storage space, but he is free to come and go as he pleases. Even if that means taking the Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ to the family room and polishing them off in one sitting.

The boys have no concept of portion control.

They also have no idea their baked snack is made with beans, contains no genetically engineered ingredients, artificial ingredients, or flavors.

Toddlers snacks from Gerber are easy for kids to munch on during the day

Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ have no artificial flavors or colors, and the kids love them!

And they’re not the best at picking up after themselves unless that includes eating whatever was left behind. At least they don’t waste food, I guess.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about what the kids think of Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™, Michael prefers White Cheddar Broccoli over Original. Which is fine because it’s one less nutritious snack I have to listen to them fight over.

If only everything was that easy.

Shopping at Walmart for Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™

Which means you don’t have to zip down the baby aisle, or trick the kids into looking the other way when you get close to the yellow packages. Now you should be able to find the secret weapon for the next time you are counting down the seconds until all of Walmart knows who you are.

We’ve all starred in a toddler tantrum while trying to find the perfect Gerber snack for their mood. Hold your head high, mama!

And don’t be like me and throw a bunch of stuff you think might work in your cart and then wonder why/how you just spent $300 without even buying meat or wine. Strive to be better by learning more about Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ before you head to the store.


How to create an allergy friendly pantry without giving up your favorite foods

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