Have Skin Allergies? Like “Natural” Products? You MUST Try This!

You or your little one have skin allergies?  Sensitive skin? Scalp psoriasis or eczema?  Well, we have all of the above problems in our household and I have FINALLY found a soap/shampoo that is great for all of our issues, so I had to share this!

I do not participate in promoting products, especially not for any sort of profit–would be nice, but that is not what this article is about. I am, however, VERY excited about this gem in the ruff that I have recently found!  And being a parent of a child with multiple allergies, I know how absolutely frustrating it can be to try and find things for our little ones, so I am hoping others with the same problem will find this information helpful.

My daughter has skin allergies to coconut, fragrance, and a few highly used preservatives that happen to be in EVERYTHING that is labeled “baby”.  The “all-naturals” and “natural fragrance” make no difference. Fragrance is fragrance and most of the “natural” shampoos, soaps, lotion, etc. have the same preservative(s) as about 99% of the rest of them out there.  So, finding a body wash/shampoo for my daughter has been extremely frustrating!!

In a desperate attempt to find SOMETHING that I could bathe my daughter with that cause a rash (some rashes are mild, but it is still obviously irritating her skin), I thought maybe I would have to resort to making my own.

Now let’s get one thing out of the way: I am NOT one of those, buy all natural, eat organic, blah blah people. I like my synthetic things, thank you very much.  And I gladly buy regular produce because I would rather the unlikely stated risks associated with those than to have the risk of salmonella from eating cow poop left over on organically fertilized veggies and fruits.  Call me crazy, that’s fine. We all have our opinions, and ultimately, we all live, we all die, we all end up with health problems. Medical claims, science, and pretty much knowledge in general is always changing, so I personally choose not to rely solely on any one thought or mindset.

That being said, I do have very sensitive skin, and I get a VERY itchy scalp with many different shampoos. My husband and I both occasionally get eczema rashes–could it be from synthetic product use?  Maybe. Or maybe it’s genetics. Or maybe I’m just not nourishing my gut bacteria and calling them by name, so they got mad and took it out on my body. Who knows. I digress.  BUT, as I was searching the myriad of crazy opinions and directions out there on how to make a shampoo and getting lost in the Google abyss of useless knowledge, I stumbled across Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve.  

Now, I will say, if you ARE into all the “all-natural”, “back to nature” stuff, you are seriously missing out if you have not found this store!  I have read a lot of labels because my daughter’s allergies warrant it, and seriously, most of the so-called natural stuff really is not what they claim it is because the very preservative that my daughter is allergic to is still in many of them. If it isn’t that, they have coconut, fragrance, or a combination thereof, so they just don’t work for us.

However, I was highly surprised and utterly fascinated by what I found at Chagrin Soap and Salve.  They seriously just use simple ingredients that anyone can identify, no preservatives, and they have a fragrance free and coconut free selection.  Seriously, I couldn’t ask for more!  Did I mention I am utterly fascinated at how simple their ingredients list is? I had no idea that making shampoo and soap could be limited to so few things that are just so.. normal. Fascinating.

So, I ordered a shampoo bar and soap for my daughter.  The samples are very inexpensive, nice sized, and surprisingly easy to lather up, so they should last a good little while for my 2 year old.

After trialing this with my daughter, I must say, I couldn’t believe how great it works! Having a shampoo bar is a little weird if you are not accustomed to it, but I really do not care as long as it works well for my daughter!  And so far, we have had great results with this soap and shampoo!

Here are the ones we ordered:

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And the ingredients list:

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So, this store already became a life saver for me since the soap and shampoo are inexpensive AND work great for my daughter–and seriously, anyone who has a child with lots of allergies knows how frustrating and time consuming it can be just to get by–but to take this a step further; it also works great for the rest of us!

Now, I won’t lie, I tried this shampoo bar as a skeptic. I only used it because I like to try out whatever my daughter is using on myself as well.  But I had a pretty bad flare up on my scalp the day (and for a few days before) I tried out this shampoo bar from Chagrin Valley, and to my unexpected surprise, my scalp LITERALLY stopped itching after I used it.  Not to mention, it works really great on my hair.  And I am not exaggerating. My scalp is fine. Fine. That NEVER happens during a flare up.  I will be ordering more for myself now.

Bottom line: I am not a crazy believer in these products (or any for that matter) as a cure all for whatever issue anyone may have, but for our families issues, I was very pleasantly surprised and I did not expect to like using their products myself. I only bought them originally for my daughter.

So, if you are looking for allergy-friendly soap and shampoo, or if you like the more natural approach and are looking for the simplest ingredients you can find in a product that works really well, you HAVE TO check out this store!  I am highly surprised that they are not more popular than they currently are.

Here is a link to their site: Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve

Thanks for reading! And as always, if you enjoyed this article, please like, share, or comment and then check out my recipes and more!

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Dinner Ideas

Need help finding dinner for a child (or an adult) on a limited diet?  Here are some dinner ideas and links to recipes that are all wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, nuts (and coconut) free.

 

DINNER 1:

Meatlover’s Potato Soup

Veggie crisps to dip in the soup (see examples of chips/veggie crisps that are safe here)

 

DINNER 2:

(Dinner in a hurry)

Gerber Chicken and veggies soup with quinoa noodles (see pictures here), with steamed carrots and chopped black olives mixed in (I keep a batch of steamed carrots in the freezer so I can add them to things like this).

Sweet potato chips (peel sweet potato, slice into 1/4-1/2 inch slices, toss with avocado oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder and bake for about 10 minutes on 425. Turn over, bake for a few more minutes, until crispy. Regrigerate and pop in a toaster oven for quick reheated)

 

DINNER 3:

Tangy Salmon Tacos (if your child does not care for these, you can jazz it up a bit by wrapping it like a burrito and frying in avocado oil until browned and crispy. My daughter will eat pretty much anything if I wrap it and fry it!

Peas & corn (I take out some frozen sweet peas and corn and microwave them in rice milk. My daughter loves them this way!)

 

DINNER 4:

Indian Fry Bread topped with pinto beans & ground pork sausage, chopped lettuce, black olives, and allergy friendly ranch (My version of these recipes for Navajo tacos)

 

DINNER 5:

Fried shrimp  (use gluten free all-puprose flour mixed with a 1-4 ratio of cornmeal, salt, pepper, and lots of Old Bay

Fried okra

Sliced cucumber, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes mixed with ranch dressing

 

DINNER 6:

Winter Comfort Soup served with brown rice

 

DINNER 7:

Moroccan Lamb (see my link to this recipe and how I slightly modified it here)

Honey roasted carrots (There is a recipe somewhere on Google for these; basically toss baby carrots in honey and bake)

 

DINNER 8:

Spaghetti w/ Elk Veggie Meatballs

Quinoa/corn noodles

 

DINNER 9:

Bacon broccoli stir fry

Fun-shaped quinoa noodles

Sweet potato chips

 

These are dinners that I make for my daughter fairly often. Stir fry meals are super easy. I use the same basics for the bacon broccoli stir fry (rice milk and chicken broth, or sometimes just rice milk and I add about a tablespoon of GF flour at the end to make a thicker sauce), and I change it up with different veggies and different meats, like shrimp, or even crawfish tails.

I do try to make sure that okra, shrimp, salmon, and a gamy meat (elk or lamb) are a regular part of my daughter’s diet. The first three are for calcium and vitamin D, which are not found in very many sources when a child cannot have dairy (I also add lots of spinach during the day, either in a wrap, or in a smoothie).  And the gamy meats have more zinc and iron than your average red meats, which is also important for a child on a limited diet.

 

If this post is helpful for you, please like, share, and comment!

Bacon Broccoli Stir-fry (SF, DF, NF, EF, GF)

This recipe is a quick easy dinner with plenty of fat that a growing child needs and nutrient rich veggies! My daughter likes it best with a side of potatoes dipped in her ranch dressing (french fries cooked in avocado oil, hash browns, etc).

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 small head of broccoli

An overflowing 1/2 cup chopped carrots (I used orange and purple)

1/2 a medium size Gala apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup avocado

1 TBS avocado oil

4 half slices of uncured bacon

1 slice of allergy-friendly ground pork sausage

Just a sprinkle of the following seasonings:

  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

To soften the broccoli and carrots:

  • Place the broccoli in a bowl with about 2 TBS of water, cover with a plate, and microwave for 2 minutes (or steam some other way, but not until it is mushy).
  • Do the same with the carrots, but only add 1 TBS of water.

 

Now, in a large skillet (I use a Wok style skillet), cook the bacon slices and sausage together.

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Break up the sausage and remove from the skillet when cooked, continue cooking the bacon until it is brown and semi-crispy.  Slice or break up the bacon and set aside.  Keep the skillet on medium heat.

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Add the broccoli, carrots, avocado, apple, avocado oil, and seasonings to the skillet and mix well into the bacon grease. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.

Add the sausage and bacon back into the skillet and continue to stir-fry for at least 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and flavored from the bacon.

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Serve to your toddler with a side of french fries, hasbrowns, or a grain or higher calorie side dish.

If you like this recipe, please let me know and please share! Also, please check out my other recipes here.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Ideas

Here are some breakfast ideas for a toddler that cannot have wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, or nuts. This list is based off of experiences with my daughter coupled with recommendations from her dietitian.

One thing to note, per the dietitian: adding in bacon and sausage to a toddler’s are great ways to increase zinc, iron, and fat. Unlike adults, high cholesterol from red meat is no cause for concern for children (if it is at all.. that is all being re-thought according to her. Who knows on that front.). All the fat and cholesterol children eat goes to their brain development; so do not be afraid to add lots of red meat to your little one’s limited diet. We were advised to do that–to “pull out all the stops” as the dietitian put it.

I am always experimenting and changing things up, meaning I will continue to add to this list, so don’t forget to check back later.

Compliment these breakfast ideas with a cup of 1/2 rice milk, 1/2 hemp milk (has more calories than just rice milk), 1 cup of enriched rice milk, or a cup of enriched orange juice.

 

BREAKFAST 1:

1 large Pancake (here is an example recipe)

4 small slices of uncured, allergy friendly bacon (Natural Choice is what we use),

A few small apple slices and some grapes

 

BREAKFAST 2:

Homemade hash browns (peel and grate a red potato, soak in ice water and a little salt for about 5 minutes, drain, dry off with paper towels, sprinkle with salt & pepper and fry in avocado or canola oil until crispy)

1-2 links of pork sausage (check the ingredients to make sure it is GF, DF, etc. We use Walmart’s Great Value pork links. See pictures here)

A few slices of pear & some blueberries

 

BREAKFAST 3:

1 Grape Muffin (or more, but at least one)

1 big piece of turkey sausage (again, Walmart has an allergy friendly one, see picture here)

1/2 banana & some pieces of avocado

 

BREAKFAST 4:

1 thick slice zucchini bread topped with this mixture: 1/4 a banana, about 1/4 a small avocado, a couple tablespoons or so of cooked pumpkin. Mash them all together and spread on the zucchini bread & drop your child’s favorite fruit on top (my daughter loves blueberries)

1 large piece of turkey sausage

 

BREAKFAST 5:

1 Savory Veggie Waffle (I do Belgian waffles, so 1 is plenty, but more is okay too. My daughter sometimes eats 1 & 1/2 to 2 of them)

3 slices of bacon (you could even break it up and serve on top of the waffle)

A few orange slices & some papaya

 

BREAKFAST 6:

1 Chocolate chip muffin broken into pieces, topped with applesauce, strawberry slices, and orange slices

2 pork sausage links

 

BREAKFAST 7:

1 Cinnamon waffle topped with honey syrup (1 tablespoon honey, 4 frozen blueberries, 1 slice of frozen peach: microwave in a small bowl for 3- seconds, mix, slice fruits into small pieces)

4 slices of bacon, dipped in honey syrup

Fresh sliced peach & some grapes

 

These are examples of breakfasts that I feed my daughter fairly regularly. Obviously, balance out their snacks with what breakfast you feed them. For example: give a chickpea cake slice for snack with Breakfast 3, fruits and grains with Breakfast 5 (the waffles are half veggie), etc. And get creative!

The MOST IMPORTANT tip I can give you is FREEZE the food you make! Muffins, zucchini bread, waffles, bacon.. I freeze everything and just take out one serving at a time and microwave or cook it. That way I have plenty of food options that I don’t have to worry about going bad if we don’t eat them fast enough.

I hope this list is helpful! If it is, please let me know about it, and please check out my other Food Ideas on the menu to your right, and my recipes!  For more food ideas or nutritional guidelines, check out my resources tab or Recommended Resources. Thanks for visiting!

Recommended Resources

I do not have many resources to offer, since I had a hard time finding any information myself (which is why I created this blog), but here is a great resource to add to your library for help with food allergies.  It was recommended by our dietitian.

This website (www.CHOC.org/eoe) is for kids that are on a 6 food elimination diet for a completely different diagnosis than my daughter’s (not the same as a developmental allergy diet), but the nutrition guidelines and food ideas are fantastic!

Here is a sample nutrition guideline for a 1200 calorie diet that is SUPER helpful: Sample Nutrition Guideline, 1200 calorie diet

And another nutritional guideline for children 1-3: Nutritional Guideline Ages 1-3

Information on wheat-free grains and carbs: Wheat-free Alternatives

(Above are the sheets my daughter’s dietitian recommended specifically from the CHOC’s website–to roughly follow)

 

Also, if your child is having issues like mine (see Leaky Gut? Food Allergies? Why Does my Baby (and Toddler) KEEP Having Diarrhea?? for more info), please see your local pediatric GI doctor!  Ours has been a great resource, and the dietitian we have worked with is in his office, so again, a great resource!

When I find more resources, I will add them to this list. Thanks!