Nuts welcome here

My little guy has facial eczema – it oscillates between being mild and chronic. We did the allergy tests when he was a tot and nothing came up as alarming or conclusive. For the last eighteen months we’ve been under the care of the knowledgeable and supportive nurses in the Wellington Hospital Eczema Clinic. Thank goodness for them!

We’re lucky, the condition is largely manageable – yes, with steroid cream (I can hear the tututs being channelled through the cable), emollients and barrier creams. I feel confident that he will outgrow the condition and I also feel that we are on the improve with good management.

If I had a dollar for every piece of advice that’s been given to me over the past three and a half years, I’d be wealthy. And, I’d be very very wealthy if I hadn’t had spent the amount of money I have on all manner of potions and ointments for his skin. I am continually surprised by the number of people who randomly suggest I exclude dairy or wheat from his diet – based on nothing other than opinion. Often without seeing my son.

I don’t think he is allergic to anything and I also don’t think he has any major food intolerances. What I do know is that emerging evidence suggests that excluding foods from the diets of children can create intolerances. In thinking about this, I’ve realised that I have been unwittingly leaving certain foods out of his diet – mainly because environment dictates it. No nuts at kindy, so I don’t tend to bake with nuts. I realised a couple of months ago that, at almost four, the growing lad had barely tried a nut. Surprise surprise, when he did, he liked them.  What I’m not spending in creams, I’m now spending on Pic’s Peanut butter that we both love.

I acknowledge how exhausting, frustrating and difficult it is for kids who have allergies and their parents, and am pleased to see that food labelling is beginning to improve (slowly). And it’s reassuring to read of studies that are showing results for those with egg allergies. May this be the start. In saying this, don’t bring your first world faux allergies my way, I’m less tolerant of those who force what are lifestyle choices on me!

20140924_153745With the issue of nuts in mind, I’ve gone for a recipe from my childhood – peanut bikkies. They won’t make the kindy lunch box, but I expect they will be wolfed down for afternoon tea and I’ll be hiding the tin so Master Four doesn’t grab it and head under his bed with it (as it his habit at the moment – hard to get my big bum under there to prize it out).

What you’ll need

125g butter

60 g brown sugar

60g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

150g (1C) plain flour

1 ½ T cocoa

½ tsp baking powder

100g (2/3C) peanuts

100g white chocolate (less or more ok)

How to make them

Heat the oven to 180C or 160C fan bake. I use fan bake as this recipe needs two trays. Line oven tray/s with baking paper.

20140924_114411 (1)Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and egg and beat in well.

20140924_115653 (1)Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix in – I do all of this in the Kenwood. Mix until combined, then add in the nuts and chocolate.

20140924_115952Drop teaspoonful pieces of mixture onto the prepared trays.

20140924_120919 (1)Leave some room for spreading. Use a fork to make a light indentation on the top of each biscuit.

20140924_125917 (1)Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges slightly change colour. Remove trays from the oven. After a few minutes, remove biscuits to cool on a rack.

Eat! And another one.

20140924_115548 (1)For this recipe I used the gorgeous West Coast Cocoa from Taranaki (New Zealand). It’s a dutched cocoa and comes in equally delicious packaging.  Their core business is drinking chocolate, with some wicked flavours. Try the peppermint, great for dunking these little chocolate beauties into.

2 thoughts on “Nuts welcome here

  1. We started little on peanut and almond butters at just over six months – basically as soon as he started getting toast.
    But because *I* dont eat nuts (dont like the taste, and they give me heartburn), we dont tend to keep them at home. Should definitely do him some nut-inclusive baking at some stage, a treat just for him and his dad.


    • Agreed, it’s automatic that we impose our likes and dislikes on children. I’ve decided to unbundle that a bit and cook the little guy things I don’t eat – otherwise, how can I expect him to have a mind of his own? Good luck with your cooking.


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