One of the closest health food stores out here in the suburbs is Choices Community Markets. We went there tonight, and picked up the usual suspects, all of which are safe for Andrew. Their raisin bran muffins contain no dairy and are so yummy. Plus they carry a plain unflavoured quinoa, which we've just discovered and are really enjoying as a new carb. (If you follow the link, you'll find info on its high nutritional value: "quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete foodstuff ... ")
And as we were checking out, the kids got totally interested in the "candy" by the checkout stand. But this time, we were happy to buy it! It was something called Bare Fruit -- bake-dried organic fruit with nothing added but organic coconut oil, for $1.39/bag. Plus it's made in a nut-free facility. So I picked up a bag of bananas & cherries to try it. The kids ate the entire bag on the way home. Okay, so it was a small bag, but they'd had dinner, and shouldn't have been that hungry.
And now that the kids are asleep, I'm just thinking back at the experience of being able to buy something for them at the checkout stand, and feeding it to them in the car, without freaking out about possible allergic reactions. Wow. Is this how other parents of non-allergic kids feel?
I just can't see certain things without wincing any more. We walked through Choices' bulk food aisle, and I grabbed at Andrew when he went too close to the bins of nuts. I went grocery shopping without the kids earlier this week, and almost lost it because of the spilled milk on the checkout conveyor belt -- and I did arrange all of my groceries to not touch any of it. And when we went to Science World last week, I was totally watching all the other parents who were feeding their kids, just to make sure that there were no peanut butter sandwiches.
Yeah, my life is about being paranoid about food.
Tonight was an amazing break from that paranoia. What a nice feeling this is.