Welcome to The Modern Lunchbox. I’m Mallory, a Naturopathic Doctor and first time mum to Theo.
In all honesty, growing up I was disastrous in the kitchen. I burned Easy Mac and was banned from the kitchen as a teenager in an attempt to save my parents house from catching fire. Until I was about 21, I had absolutely no interest in being in the kitchen. I used to swear to my husband Jordan that he would have to be in charge of the cooking one day because I was never going to learn how to cook.
Around the age of 22 I began experimenting in the kitchen and became interested in learning how to cook real foods. My naturopathic medical training focused a lot on the importance of nutrition and avoiding processed foods and foods your body reacts poorly to. I’ve seen a lot of patients thrive on food elimination diets whether it is for their own personal health or because they are a breastfeeding mum and their babies don’t tolerate certain foods well. I have noticed that the biggest barrier for success in eliminating common food allergens such as eggs, dairy, and gluten is the fact that avoiding allergens can often mean a whole new style of cooking (how to bake without eggs for example). This encouraged me to experiment with a more allergy friendly style of cooking so that I was better able to offer patients, friends, and even family some examples for easy recipes that the whole family could enjoy.
While there are no foods that my family strictly avoids and there is not one specific diet that we adhere by, we do try to eat a nutrient rich diet and rotate common allergens like gluten, dairy, egg, and soy, so that we aren’t eating the same foods every day. When Theo turned six months old my husband and I chose to introduce solids by giving him whatever foods we were eating and letting him feed himself, following a baby-led feeding approach. He is such a little foodie and I love coming up with new recipes and seeing his reaction to new flavors and meals.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solids between 4-6 months, and introducing common allergens as close to six months as possible to decrease the risk of having an allergy develop. We have followed these recommendations with Theo and you’ll notice that we feed him everything that we eat including things like peanut butter and egg whites. The new food allergy introduction recommendations do vary depending on how at risk your baby is for having food allergies (presence and severity of eczema and family history of food allergies are two of the risks), so be sure to consult with your pediatrician to determine when is the best time to introduce your baby to allergenic foods and how to go about it.
My goal for this blog is to provide recipes that everyone can enjoy and to help encourage parents to introduce nutritious foods and to make eating fun for their babies and children.
**While I am a physician, I’m not YOUR physician and I suggest that you consult with your family doctor or pediatrician before following any advice that you’ve read on the Internet.