Pork is SAFE!!!

Pork is Safe CradleRockingMama

Earlier this week I’d said that Darrel and I were planning on “calling” pork on Friday. Well, I looked at the calendar, and subtracting the days where pork was on a break during the trial, Wednesday was the 18th day Zac had pork.

He is showing absolutely NO signs of a reaction.

So yesterday, we decided 18 days was close enough to the 3 week rule we’ve been operating under and determined that our son, after many long months and lots of fits and starts, FINALLY HAS A SECOND SAFE FOOD!!!


I’m so high right now I can hardly stand it!

The only thing I’ve noticed about the pork is that he wants  to eat it, but seems to have a little bit of a hard time with actually eating it on occasion. I don’t know if it is simply a lack of oral development, but I figured I’d try to make it easy on him.

Now that pork is SAFE (sorry, but I do a little happy dance in my seat whenever I say those words), I whipped out Zac’s food processor, added 2 cups of quinoa and 1/2 c. of cooked pork roast and made him some quinoa-pork nuggets!

He LOVES them! Yesterday he ate 38 of them – and would have eaten more if I could have kept up with his demands.

I’m not exaggerating, either. He ate all that I’d made for breakfast. I hadn’t made many because I didn’t know if he would like them. So I made more…but they weren’t done baking and he was screaming for more!

Since the pork is fully cooked and the quinoa is fully cooked, they aren’t exactly raw…so I scooped some of the “pate” into a bowl and he ate it with a spoon while the nuggets crisped up in the oven.

Then I froze a couple trays worth to use tomorrow and the next day – and realized he’d eaten all the ones I had just cooked up and wanted more! When I grabbed some frozen ones to put on the cookie sheet, he grabbed a frozen nugget and ate it, too!

Seriously, the kiddo can not get enough pork nuggets! 

Y’all, I’m so happy I could explode. This is HUGE for us. H U G E.

We’re so excited, in fact, that we wanted to just jump right in to our next trial: sunbutter.

Originally we planned to trial sunflower seed oil, but a friend pointed out that there’s not a lot of proteins in the oil, so he might seem like he’s okay with the oil but not be safe with the sunbutter.

I’d really like for him to be okay with both, and don’t want to risk putting us in a very slow-burn reaction to an oil, so it seemed like a good idea to go ahead and trial the sunbutter. If he’s safe with that, he’ll be safe with the oil (theoretically, as long as there is no cross-contamination from the manufacturer).

One problem: finding a sunbutter that is corn and soy free. 

Not so easy, y’all!

In fact, I couldn’t find one. (Doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there, just that I haven’t found it yet.) That’s part of the reason I planned to grow sunflowers this summer – to have a source of sunflower seeds to make my own from scratch.

Because trying to even find sunflower seeds that are free from corn and soy?

Also not so easy.

Every single bag of sunflower seeds I’ve found at the three different shops I’ve visited in my area has an ingredients list that reads “sunflower seeds roasted with salt, soybean oil and/or canola oil and/or corn oil”. UGH!

I managed to find a farmer (also in Minnesota, funnily enough) that had plain, non-jacked with sunflower seeds he could sell me, and immediately placed an order for 4 pounds of unshelled sunflower seeds.

Last night I was so excited that pork was a done deal, I immediately set about trying to make sunbutter for Zac. The hope was to give him a single teaspoon of sunbutter at dinner to start the trial.


So here’s a little interesting tidbit about me: I’ve never actually eaten sunflower seeds in my life (I know, right?). Consequently, I never really noticed sunflower seeds before.


Oh. My. Word. I spent ten minutes trying to de-shell sunflower seeds, and after only netting about 8 actual seeds threw up my hands and went to the internet.

There I found a tutorial that said to put 1/2 c. of sunflower seeds (in the shell) in a plastic bag, roll them over with a rolling pin, and dump it all into a bowl of water and stir. The shells will rise to the top, and the seeds will sink to the bottom.

Easy, right?

Yeah. Didn’t work at all!

As I sat there, staring at the bowl hoping a miracle would occur and those seeds would just magically slip out of the shells and sink to the bottom, Darrel wandered into the kitchen and asked me what I was doing.

“Getting really frustrated.” I answered.

Good man that he is, he replied that he would shell the sunflower seeds.

Twenty minutes later, he came out to me with a look of incredulousness on his face. “This isn’t going to work.”

In the whopping 30 minutes we worked on de-shelling sunflower seeds, this is what we netted:

Seriously? 30 minutes for this?

Seriously? 30 minutes for this?

For a side view:



I have FOUR POUNDS of sunflower seeds sitting on my counter that I am dying to feed my son. Based on the time-to-yield ratio we’ve experienced so far, it’ll take me about a month to de-shell them all. 

Frustrated, I went back to the corn boards to ask if anyone had found a sunbutter that was safe (since the last time I asked a couple months ago) and so far, no one has.

I think I really have no choice but to send Darrel to work with 4 pounds of sunflower seeds as a snack, and call that farmer in Minnesota back and order some shelled sunflower seeds.

I’ll rinse them as well as I can before turning them into sunbutter, and that is probably as good as I can do for now.

And I’m seriously re-thinking growing sunflowers this summer. How would I de-shell them all?

So here’s where we need your help:

  • Does anyone have any brilliant suggestions for how to de-shell a ton of sunflower seeds?
  • How would I trial sunflower seed oil? (Other than using it for frying, obviously.)

Frustration aside, today is an excellent day for us. ZAC HAS TWO FOODS TO EAT NOW!

(Happy Dancing is not only permitted – it is encouraged!)

Thank you to everyone for your support during these long food trial days. Your encouragement helped keep me afloat!

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9 Responses to Pork is SAFE!!!

  1. Lori says:

    Did you roast the sunflower seeds first? They are usually easier to crack when the shells are dried out. We grow our own sunflowers too. The gigantic ones get about 6-8 feet tall with salad/dinner plate sized flower heads. The kids love them ans so do the squirrels and the birds. Good luck. So excited about another safe food. Now your diet can change a bit too. Yay.

  2. Cathy says:

    I’m sorry I can’t help with the sunflower seeds, but I was wondering about your 3 week rule. I’ve been really conflicted about how long a trial should last. My allergist seems to think 7 days is good but another allergist we saw in the hospital said 12 days. I’ve scoured the literature and can’t find anything about how long it should be. I thought we were being conservative with 12 days. Why do you do 21? Thanks!

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Cathy! Well, the 21 day thing is just our beginning preference. When Zac was first diagnosed, he was on elemental formula while I started my TED to clean up my breast milk. Eating nothing but the formula 24/7 and it took 3 weeks exactly for him to have a reaction to both the infant elementals. So Darrel and I just have 3 weeks as our “outside” number for now, just to be on the safe side.

      As we go further into food trials and have more passes, I’m fairly confident we will shave that down as we learn to read Zac’s signs better.

      Does that help?

      • Cathy says:

        Thanks! That does help. E’s reaction history is so messy that we never had a great baseline -it’s great that you do! I guess we’ll stick with 12 for now. I just wish there was more guidance. Good Luck!

  3. Amy in SC says:


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