Saturday, June 29, 2013

Surviving a Broken Refrigerator with Food Allergies

Bubs is on a pretty strict elimination/rotation diet (you can read more about it here and here), and we don't stray away from this much.  So when our fridge/freezer died last week, I was in a bit of a pickle!

About 2 weeks ago we noticed our freezer wasn't keeping things as cold.  The items were still frozen, just not rock solid.  We kept an eye on it over the next few days and decided to move all of our freezer items to our basement freezer until we could fix the problem.  But the refrigerator seemed to be still working.  So the hubby fiddled with the freezer a bit, trying to find the problem.  However, nothing he did seemed to work.  Around this time I noticed the fridge items were also not as cold as they should be.  It seemed to be cold enough, just not what I was accustomed to.  After a few more days, there was a noticeable change in fridge temperature, and I hauled what I thought to be still salvageable over to my in-laws' spare mini-fridge.  So we didn't lose many food items, but how would I prep food for my kids' meals?

Bubs has a (gluten- and nitrate-free) deli meat sandwich three out of the four days on his rotation (ham, roast beef, and turkey), and his gluten-free bread needs to be refrigerated as well.  He also occasionally likes vegan mayo or milk-free cheese on  his sandwich.  Fruits and veggies weren't a problem, since they don't really need to be refrigerated. 

We have plenty of rice milk singles on hand, so offering milk wasn't a problem (to drink, for cereal, etc).  And really dinner prep wasn't much of a problem either since we usually cook grains or pasta and meat that has been frozen along with a fruit and vegetable.  So lunch was my biggest dilemma.  I like to make the kids' lunches the night before and stick them in the fridge to reduce morning chaos.  But this was now out of the question.  So my solution:  Simple, really!  The hubby bought a loaf of bread and each kind of lunch meat and kept it in his refrigerator at work!  He goes to work before I leave to drop off kids each day, so we just swung by his office to pick up Bubs' sandwich on our way to summer camp. 

As soon as we knew our refrigerator was beyond repair, we ran to the store to buy a new one.  However, a large appliance is not something you can just walk out of the store with.  So we had to wait several days for it to be delivered (and they hauled off the old one which was nice).  But our system, though inconvenient, worked well for us.  The kids kept asking of for our usual refrigerated items, but with a little reminder (every time), they didn't complain once! 

Our new fridge is now installed and cold!  I've never been so happy to have this modern convenience.  It's one of those things we take for granted.  Most people in this situation would probably just eat out or have at peanut butter and jelly for most meals.  But since we don't have this luxury, this is how we got by!

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