Ryan Durrell: Dad of All Trades


Eat The Sun

Sometimes a small change is all it takes

My son Mason has food allergies. Just four: eggs, dairy, nuts and fish. Fish is the scariest. The night we found out he was allergic to fish turned into an ambulance ride to the emergency room. Nuts we avoid entirely, but soy butter makes that pretty easy to do. His allergy to dairy is slowly receding; yogurt doesn't contain the same protein that he's allergic to in cow milk and cheese doesn't seem to contain enough to cause any form of reaction any more. Thank goodness for that, because goat's milk mozzarella is about four times more expensive than regular mozzarella. Eggs are a tough one. He's starting to tolerate some cooked egg in baking now, but straight eggs are strictly kept off his menu. Thankfully, I've remastered my Sunday morning pancakes (fantastic recipe I'll share another time).

As a result of his allergies, finding foods Mason can get excited about can been challenging. He’s also a lot pickier than our first child ever was, so he likes to keep things interesting. My wife works hard to keep his diet balanced and his meals interesting. My heart breaks for him some days. No Eggs Benedict? It's a crime! I spent years perfecting my eggs Benedict. I'm thrilled when we can make food fun for Mason. Our latest discovery came from a long-time fam favourite: breakfast pitas. While he had loved them for awhile, recently he’d decided they were old news and stopped eating them altogether.

What's got him back into it the breakfast pita is the presentation. A day or two ago I cut one like a pizza, into eighths, to make it easy for him to eat. When the plate arrived at the table, Alexandria called it a sun. "I eat hun?" he asks with a huge grin. Oh yes, you eat the sun, my boy. What a hit! I've upped the ante with some cheddar, a recent addition to his diet.

Lesson learned: sometimes changing up the presentation can really breathe life into ordinary foods. Drop a comment if you've found a new way to dress up an otherwise humdrum food item—I'd love to hear about it.