Round Peg in a Square Hole-recipes

Thursday, August 17, 2006


This blog contains recipes that are safe to feed my galactosemic daughter, Samantha. Some are others' recipes that work fine w/out adulteration; some I've had to tweak a little; and some I've had to make up from scratch.


In general, you must avoid the following ingredients: any dairy (including margarines (unless the ingredients are listed and allowable), whey, butter, buttermilk, yogurt, any cheese,......); soy beans, soy sauce (except La Choy), soy flour, soy milk (though soy oil is O.K.) and all other legumes except peanuts, which are (thank the Goddess!) allowable; tomatoes (though catsup and tomato soup made with rice milk or water are fine); organ meats (e.g., liver); and figs.

In fruits, cantaloupe is allowed, honeydew and watermelon are not; bananas are just barely allowed (1/day); same for apples. Strawberries and cherries are allowed; blueberries are not. Oranges are allowed, but not orange juice, unless diluted 2:1 with water; apple juice must be diluted 1:1 with water.

For veggies, the favorites are corn, green beans, green baby peas, and broccoli, and all these are allowable. Avocado and asparagas are allowed; sometimes she likes avocado, sometimes she doesn't. She has not yet had asparagas. Sweet potato and regular potatoes are allowed; remember to use rice milk and Fleishmans, if you make them mashed. Butternut squash and zuccini are allowed.

There are three Gerber baby foods she eats on a regular basis: bananas, country garden mixed veggies, and butternut squash.


In general, substituting rice milk for milk, and Fleishman's unsalted margarine for butter will make many recipes accessible. (For example, most cakes, cookies and breads can be made this way.) This does not work, however, in cases where the fat content is important; you must then compensate for the much lower fat content of rice milk vs cow's milk (see Custard Pie and Pumpkin Pie recipes).

In bread machine recipes, I will often replace margarine or butter with vegetable oil.


I have found the following brands to be safe, though it is always best to double-check the ingredients, and be on the lookout for "New!" on the label:

Teddy Grahams: Honey and Cinnamon are fine, not sure about the Chocolate, have not been able to examine the Chocolate Chip (doubtful)

Fleishman's unsalted margarine (their regular margarine is NOT safe; look for whey in the ingredients)

Smart Balance Lite (a violation of the general rule that "lite" things are usually bad; the regular Smart Balance is not allowable)

Nucoa margarine

Bumble Bee Albacore in water

Hebrew National hot dogs

Campbell's Double Noodle Soup

Best Food's Mayo and Miracle Whip (not light versions of either)

La Choy soy sauce


Many medications have dairy as a filler, and even this small amount can be harmfull. The Robitussin brand cough syrups are generally allowable, as are (TBD) vitamins.

Random facts:

You will not see any reaction if Samantha eats something which is not allowable; it acts more like lead poisoning, building up in her brain, eyes, and liver.

This is a genetically-based, therefore life-long, condition; she will not grow out of it.

The reason she cannot take medication for this is that the enzyme is missing from her blood, not from her stomach, as with lactose intolerance. The galactose is properly processed in the stomach, but once in the bloodstream, it cannot be metabolized, and thus builds up in the tissues. Some research is going on to find a mechanism to deliver the necessary enzyme to the blood, as there is a suite of diseases which arise from various blood enzyme deficiencies, but, as far as I know, there is nothing yet even in the early testing stage.

Galactose levels: If you are consulting the link for the galactose level of specific foods, look for foods with levels 10 mg/100g or below. Interestingly, in Europe, the recommended cut-off level is 25 mg/100g, and many of the parents on the Parents of Galactosemic Children list say that they allow tomatoes, which are 25. We try very hard to keep Samatha's food under 10, as instructed by our geneticist.

A general rule of thumb is that if it says "light", "lite" or any variation on that, there's a good chance it has forbidden ingredients, usually soy.


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