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  • Writer's pictureSam Balenzano


Happy Easter Monday! Jesus has risen! He is risen indeed!

Easter looked pretty similar to other kid's Easters, minus the chocolate. Instead of hiding mini eggs and chocolate all over the house, the Easter bunny hid fillable eggs full of jube jubes, skittles, Swedish berries, and other favourite candies of mine. My eggs were always better than everyone else's because they were loaded with candy! Nowadays, there is low protein PKU Easter Chocolate you can get from the hospital, and it is actually so so so good. Would highly recommend looking into that if you're interested, let me know if you have any questions about that special chocolate!

I love the holidays, whether it's Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even family birthdays, my family has never forgotten a holiday or special occasion.

I'm half Italian and half Scottish so I have a very large family.

Every Sunday growing up, there would be 15+ of us that would go to my Nonnas' house for Sunday lunch. I LOVED being around my family every week. Still do. But lunch means food, and food means planning, at least for PKUers like me and their parents.

Like I said, my family is Italian, so there was almost always pasta on the table. My parents didn't want me to feel like I was always eating something different, so bringing my low protein pasta was always a safe bet that I would be eating at least one thing that my family was eating. Also, I LOVE pasta.

As my dad said in his previous posts, I have always been a small eater. I honestly don't know what I would do if I was always hungry all the time. A small bowl of pasta and I was good to go. The only hurdle we had to climb over was that my pasta took longer to cook and so I would always be eating way before my family, or after everyone was done. The timing was so difficult! But that's something important to know about low protein food from the hospital, it may look like the real thing, but it almost never cooks the same way.

Another roadblock was dessert. When it was someones birthday, they would get a birthday cake, and if it was vanilla, or a pie, then that would be fine! However, it was almost always chocolate, ice cream, or something else that had lots of protein. I often found myself eating sugar cubes or spooning cool whip out of the tub for dessert. Protein free, but high sugar content, great for feeling included, not great for cavities and energy levels.

My favourite food my mum would cook on special holidays was mashed potatoes, mashed carrot and turnip, and Brussel sprouts. Even to this day my cousins still love when my mum cooks that because it was something they loved and grew up with because it was something I could eat.

I think routine was the best way to navigate through holidays. I always knew what I was eating and looked forward to getting special treats, or meals for different events. Eating at different times than everyone else was normal for me, so it didn't bother me too much. If your child knows what to expect, then they will know what to look forward to! I know I always looked forward to my Nonna's sauce on a Sunday afternoon.

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