It sounds simple. If someone has a food allergy, just eliminate that food from his or her diet. When it's chocolate, shrimp or strawberries, it is pretty easy to do. Substitutions are plentiful.
Unfortunately, the most common food allergies are milk, wheat and eggs. It can be done, though, with planning and an attention to reading labels. Every time you go grocery shopping, read the labels. I can't stress this enough. Sometimes, labels change, so if you think,"I have bought this item before and it's o.k.," read the label anyway, to be sure. If you have questions, contact the manufacturer.
When my daughter was four years old, we had her tested for allergies, because sometimes after a meal, she would start coughing until she vomited. Previous to that, the pediatrician had changed her milk formula to soy when she was a baby, because of projectile vomiting. After being tested for allergies, we found that she was allergic to over twelve different foods and environmental items. Some of the foods she was allergic to were milk and dairy products, pork, peanuts and chocolate. She also had to begin allergy shots, which lasted about twenty years of her life.
Planning meals for an allergic child, at first, was very frustrating. When my daughter started school, she had to have a lunch packed, to make sure everything was allergy-free. However, no peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate milk, cheese or dairy products. We learned to substitute almond butter or cashew butter for the peanut butter. You can buy these products at your local health food store at a cheaper price than the grocery store. We substituted carob powder for chocolate and soy cheese for cow's milk cheese. We had to stop cooking bacon, because the smell would cause her to go into a coughing attack.
When the Allergy is Milk
Your doctor will probably suggest foods to overcome the vitamin deficiency. In cooking, fruit and vegetable juices and broths can substitute for soups, main dishes and desserts. You can use tomato juice for meat loaf, fruit juices as the liquid for puddings and cereal. Sometimes goat's milk can be used. Fruit flavored gelatin with bananas can be a substitute for a high calorie dessert.
When the Culprit is Wheat
Ordinary bread, flour and packaged products won't work, if a wheat allergy is found. Beware of breads you think are rye or other grains because some may contain wheat. READ ALL LABELS! You can make your own bread (easy with a bread machine). Corn meal can be useful as a hot cereal or polenta pizza crust.
Rice can be served plain or seasoned with herbs and chicken broth. Rice is good in salads, combined with meat or veggies in a stir fry. Rice pasta is delicious.
For soups or stews, tapioca is a good thickener instead of flour.
Couscous and quinoa are other excellent grains to use. See my hubs, http://hubpages.com/hub/L-is-for-Lentils and http://hubpages.com/hub/3-Wild-Rice-Recipes or http://hubpages.com/hub/Q-is-for-Quinoa-and-other-Grains.
Check your grocery store for gluten-free products.
When Eggs are the Troublemaker
You will have to be more inventive for breakfast, having a variety of cereals and breakfast meats like turkey bacon, ham or sausage.
Always read your labels on packaged foods. A lot of food contains eggs.
Eggless, Butterless, Milkless Cake
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
Combine first 7 ingredients together. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes, stirring. Cool.
Combine remaining ingredients and gradually add to raisin mixture. Beat well. Grease a loaf pan and pour batter into it. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour.