The Story

Hello there! I am so glad you’re here! This is the story of how Milo & Oats came to be…..

Once upon a time (isn’t that how all good stories start?) in a faraway kingdom (or maybe…Wisconsin). A fair maiden (that’s me!) was working as a preschool teacher. In her class she had the most delightful of subjects. One little blond-headed prince, Sam, had peanut allergies. This was fair maiden’s first encounter with food allergies. She dutifully learned to use an epipen, which was fortunately never needed!  But she remembers the reality of food allergies being new…and of course, something that would never happen to her….

Fast forward — to “real” life:-) I now have five children of my own. Three of whom have multiple food allergies. Ironically, I now have my own Sam with a peanut allergy (among other allergies). Living with food allergies has become normal for our family. Not always easy,  but normal. This wasn’t always the case.

When my first daughter was born I remember feeling shocked that they let us leave the hospital with her. I mean…where was my instruction manual!? But we settled in quickly and we both survived despite some initial nursing trouble and a bout of mastitis (which I now know I get with EVERY single baby!). She was an “easy” baby. Almost always content. I had this motherhood thing licked!

Then, less than two years later, we welcomed baby #2 after a short 4 hour (ouch!) labor. I don’t remember him being cranky immediately, but it didn’t take long. Then, he just never stopped fussing. He was not a happy baby. In the evenings I would walk him for hours in a stroller around the main level of our home. It was the only thing that soothed him. Then, when my legs were too tired to walk any more, my husband would take him out for a drive. Around 3 months, he started getting eczema.

So, like the good mommy I am, I googled “eczema”.

The general consensus seemed to be that dairy was often the culprit. So, because he was breastfed, I eliminated dairy from my diet. Except for maybe a little cheese now and then. And “a little butter on that couldn’t hurt right?”.  Sounds funny to me now, but I knew so little about food allergies.

The eczema got worse. When I say worse, I mean that cashiers at the grocery store would ask me, “what’s wrong with his face?!”. I also had to keep my little guy’s skin completely covered, because once he learned how to scratch, it became his hobby. He would scratch himself bloody if left exposed. At this point we were still treating him topically, following doctors instructions. Finally, desperate for more answers, we had him allergy tested.

The results came back. He was allergic to wheat, dairy, peanuts, and most tree nuts. I was so relieved. I could finally help him! On the heels of relief, came panic. Wait! What would I eat? Samuel was still nursing exclusively. It was my diet that needed to change.

It was a total change in my food paradigm. Until this point, I could eat whatever I wanted. My only thoughts on limiting food had been avoiding something that wasn’t very healthy. And I didn’t do that all that often either!

Now, I couldn’t have milk. Cereal was a food group for me! How could I totally give up milk. And don’t even get me started on wheat. Wheat is in everything! And peanut butter and chocolate just so happen to be the best food combo ever invented! Yup. It was bad. But I wasn’t willing to give up nursing and I knew I needed to figure out how to feed my child.

{Sidenote: all of this sounds a little dramatic to me now. But I remember how it felt then. Scary and overwhelming. Thankfully it gets better!}

I persevered, did lots of research on food allergies, and learned how to avoid the foods that would cause Samuel trouble. We saw significant improvement in his skin. However, a few months down the road, we had him re-tested and found one more food allergy – egg! After I cut eggs out as well, he was like a new kid. We still struggle with eczema and allergy issues off and on but overall he is a healthy, happy 7-year-old boy. Samuel paved the way for his two younger brothers. Identifying their allergies early and easily was a perk of having a mama who had been through food allergy bootcamp! Oddly, our two girls’ are food allergy free. We still haven’t figured that one out.

I’m sharing this story so you will be encouraged. There is life with food allergies!

Which brings us to Milo & Oats. I blogged over at Becky Bakes for several years. Then I took a little break from blogging. Partly because our family was growing and we needed to take some time for that. But also because we just don’t eat that way anymore. Gone are the days of baking with wheat flour, eggs, and for the most part, dairy.

We eat differently than we used to and Milo & Oats is a reflection of that.

My hope for you is that you find encouragement here…and a healthy dose of delicious recipes too! You’ll also find the occasional post on homeschooling (a big part of our life!) as well as whatever else strikes my fancy. Welcome to Milo & Oats!

Oh! P.S.

You might be wondering about the name Milo & Oats. Well, we eat a lot of sorghum. It’s one of our favorite gluten-free grains. Sorghum, also known as Milo, and oats. We love oats too:-) And there you have it…..Milo and Oats!