I am loving the half gallon size coconut milk in the dairy section of Whole Foods. I know that it is loaded with fat, but it's healthy fat. And tasty too. (Bonus: it adds texture to baked goods that is richer, like the 'real thing'.) And it's a great way to rotate through a variety of milk products.
I am finding this more and more important as I learn more about allergies and the theories behind them. One of the theories behind kids with multiple food allergies is that they are genetically predisposed to allergies, which they get. As you remove foods from their diets and become more dependent on the replacement products their little bodies become sensitized to these items as well. Over exposure to any one food could result in the development of additional allergies, intolerance, or sensitivities.
I know I feel like it has worked that way at our house. Every year we go to get allergy tests, and every year Daddy hopes like mad it will be THE year that we have outgrown at least one. So far, we have added new allergies at every testing. Hmmm...that seems to be trending the WRONG WAY!
As such, I have seriously begun to contemplate the introduction of a rotation diet at our house. No, not the 'you can lose weight if you rotate your caloric intake' kind. The 'don't repeat any given food or any foods in the same food family within any given four day period' variety. I have been gearing up for it. I have been researching the food families, and making charts and spreadsheets of how to divide up foods over a four day period. Make sure that key ingredients to favorite dishes fall on the same day. Make sure to include accepted fruits and veggies every day, not just the abnormal ones. Check the nutritional balance of the variety of foods available on a given day.
It is making my head spin. Talk about a lot to take in and to plan. And every ingredient needs to be considered. Including spices. I know that I could take our diet down to very simple foods, like grilled chicken with broccoli and apples. Sure. But. I'm stubborn. I don't want to give up the joys of complex flavors and more diet variety.
I think I'm getting it. And I'll start with baby steps. Rotate allowed meats first, veggies next, then fruits. Work into it. When I have a plan, I'll post it. Just in case your curious about how to make it work in your house.
In the meantime, I am still combining food families like a fiend. Last night instead of milk at dinner, we had Raspberry Smoothies. Mostly because the kids won't drink plain coconut milk yet, so I am trying to help their palettes adjust gradually. Partly because I am trying to loosen up on the "We drink milk with dinner" rule. (No, not cow milk! Any calcium fortified milk that is non-dairy.) Really, if we are going to rotate I'm going to need to adjust. As long as it is a source of calcium, why not broaden our horizons?
So...here is our smoothie, which they slurped right down and asked for more. And my two year old cried when Mommy told her it was all gone. You can sub in any frozen fruit your family likes.
8 oz frozen raspberries (way cheaper than fresh!)
1/2 c apple juice
2 c coconut milk
2 T sugar (raspberries can be tart)
Combine all in blender and process until smooth. If it is too thick to process smoothly, add more liquid. No ice needed, as the fruit was frozen. You can substitute honey or agave if you prefer. Sweeter fruits, like peaches, won't need as much sweetener. Play with it. Your favorite frozen fruit, favorite juice or milk- or both. Sometimes we add non-dairy yogurt. Smoothies are a fun way to drink good for you foods. And the kids will want more.