Food Allergy & New Traditions

Baking a new recipe - family tradition!
Baking a new recipe - family tradition!

Often, the center of many family gatherings and traditions is food - our family was no exception. From sharing new recipes at large gatherings to exploring cultural cuisines while dining out - it was always an event! In 2015, all of that shifted when my 9-month old son had an anaphylactic reaction to eating eggs and was subsequently diagnosed with multiple, severe, food allergies. Much of our experiences suddenly shifted as we navigated a world where food now seemed dangerous rather than exciting. However, this also made us reevaluate our relationship with food. Food is medicine for our bodies and where each ingredient comes from is so important to present and future generations. Now our food gatherings have given way to new traditions — experimenting with raw ingredients and getting creative with recipe substitutions — like our favorite chocolate frosting that uses avocados. Or turning to vintage recipes especially during times of economic depressions and rationing, like our favorite “wacky cake" recipe. Although our food choices have changed, food’s ability bring us together — to nourish our body and spirit — is still central to our family traditions.

Place(s): Illinois, Nebraska

– Jessica Strube

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more