In 2004, my kitchen, cooking and life was changed forever when my 3rd child was diagnosed at 18 months old with food allergies. He had been having horrible GI issues for months, and I couldn't figure out why or what was the cause. Finally, the doctor requested blood work to help determine what was going on with my son. I will never forget when the nurse called to share the results with me. I was floored! She told me my son was allergic to Peanut AND Soy! Peanut? That was interesting, since he had not yet been introduced to any peanut products, but I was thankful they discovered that prior to us trying peanut with him. But Soy - WOW! I did not see that one coming. I was speechless and I felt horrible, since I had been giving him soy products to replace the dairy products I knew he couldn’t tolerate. What to feed him now? Since he was still nursing at the time, my diet needed to change too. Not only was his diagnosis life changing for him, but for me as well. For the next several days, I remember feeling like I was in a fog about his diagnosis.
At the time I didn't really know any other moms that had children with food allergies. This was a whole new world for me. After a couple of days, the shock wore off. I dove right into learning everything and anything I could about food allergies, especially the ones my son had. My grocery shopping changed. It took twice as long to shop because I had to read EVERY label to confirm it was soy free, peanut free AND dairy free. My cooking changed. I became a pro at learning what foods could replace the allergy laden ones, and still taste good.
Then in 2007, my 4th child was diagnosed at 16 months old with food allergies. This was discovered because he had a serious reaction to a food item that had cashews in it. Upon eating this item, he broke out with hives all over his body and face and started throwing up. The next day we took him to the doctor and blood tests were done. One week later it was confirmed that he was allergic to peanut, tree nuts, egg, dairy and gluten. WOW! Here we go again, but this time I felt more prepared. Food allergies had been a part of my life for several years at this point, but now I needed to add Gluten and Tree Nuts to the mix. I didn't miss a beat, and started doing for him, what I had already been doing for his older brother.
As a mom, you always want your children to feel included with their friends in social settings. Unfortunately for my boys, due to their food allergies, they had struggled to feel included at birthday parties, school and social events because they usually couldn't eat what the other children were eating. And what was offered to them was usually quite different from what their friends were eating. Experiencing the feeling of exclusion, due to something they couldn't control, was very painful for them and saddened me.
These experiences my boys had, inspired and drove me to do something different for them. It became my mission to make snacks that looked and tasted similar to what their friends were eating, but still safe from all the food allergens they couldn’t eat. I wanted them to feel included. I wanted to make something SAFE AND DELICIOUS.
After many years of making SAFE AND DELICIOUS snacks for my 4 children, I was encouraged by them, family and friends to share with the rest of the world some of my ALLERGY-FRIENDLY snacks I'd been making for years. In November 2015, I started Safely Delicious®.
SAFELY DELICIOUS® snacks are free of the Top 11 Food Allergens (gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nuts, soy, egg, fish, shellfish, sesame, mustard, sulfites) and are made in a licensed dedicated commercial facility containing none of these food allergens.
SAFELY DELICIOUS® snack bites are also vegan, cholesterol free, have no artificial colors, artificial flavors or preservatives, low in sodium and are an excellent source of iron.