Grocery Budget Makeover – Kid Food Allergies

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 9, 2010

Marisa writes…

We are a family of 7 on one income and I spend about $200/week on food, not including diapers from Costco.

We have 5 kids..

  • 1 with dairy, egg and peanut allergies
  • 1 with HFA (high functioning autism) with severe tactile issues so he only eats about 5 foods
  • 1 more with peanut allergies.

I am a big time short order cook and I think that is why our bill is high too. Our 17 year old has the food allergies so he just eats frozen meals or corndogs most of the time. He has a massive appetite!

The other ages are 9, 6, 4 and 2 1/2. I make a weekly dinner menu and can stick to it but our problem is the in between snacking. The kids are tired of the same 7 meals too! I do clip coupons and try to make cheaper meals.

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear!

A few suggestions…

1. Ask your family what else they would like to try for dinner. Make a list of allergy free recipes that you can try and add 1 or 2 into your meal plan each week. (My gluten free recipes, my dairy free recipes, my GFCFSF recipes.)

2. Continue to short order cook for your HFA kiddo. Keep introducing new foods that the rest of the family is eating and if he doesn’t bite, that’s OK. An idea would be to have him do some oral motor exercises before trying a new food, in hopes that he would both try the new food, and like it!

3. Plan your snacks. Write down 2 options for each snack time and give the kids a choice.

4. Find support on food allergy forums and websites.  These can be wonderful resources!

Are you dealing with food allergies?!?  What are some of your favorite food allergy resources?  What advice or encouragement do you have for Marisa?

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