869. Food Allergies Turned Her Kitchen into a Science Experiment
“Along the way, we had to figure out what it is that (our three children) could and couldn’t eat. And it was trial and error because each of my children was different. They had a lot of similar food allergies, but they also had a lot of different food allergies. It was very challenging, very scary. And I just look back now and go, ‘We made it. We’re here.’”
Born and raised in Australia, Frances Castelli always desired to work with children and travel, while dreaming of being a teacher, an artist and an author. While traveling, she met her husband and they eventually became parents of three beautiful children. She fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher by homeschooling her children. Cooking became her art form, and she gained confidence and creativity as she prepared multiple safe and flavorful meals for her three children with anaphylactic food allergies. She taught them how to manage their food allergies, live life to the fullest, and thrive in every sense–and they have.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“Back then─we’re talking about two decades─food allergies were such an unfamiliar, unknown health issue. We ended up finding a pediatrician who felt that our son was experiencing food allergies, and he put us onto an allergist. That doctor just changed our world because he ran some food allergy tests, and we discovered my son was reacting to food his body wasn’t tolerating.” Although the diagnosis was scary and challenging, at least they knew they had to begin to ascertain what food allergies he had. When his sister and brother were born two and four years later, also with food allergies, it was like a huge science experiment to figure out what each child could safely eat.
The Most Powerful Lessons and Experiences?
1) Family and Mentors: “The people who impacted my life in more ways than one were my parents, my husband, my children, and my mentors. My husband taught me to laugh at myself. My children reminded me about courage. My parents taught me responsibility and you know, my mom taught me how to cook. My neighbor Luanne introduced me to home schooling and I had many mentors who taught me how to stretch and be curious and follow what was exciting for me.”
2) Travel: I traveled 18 months and lived in several countries before I got married. It was a great adventure. I think everyone should try it. Do be prepared to finance your travels, without running out of money, so you don’t have to start all over afterwards.
3) Food: Regardless of your dietary requirements or anything like that, you can still make any meal fun, delicious, and beautiful.
4) Raising Children: She taught them how to manage their food allergies, live life to the fullest, and thrive in every sense─and they have! “We have instilled in our children to do what they want to do. They can earn money and be successful without having to go to college, without having to do what someone else tells them to do, but to follow their heart. And I think because both my husband and I have always done what we felt in our hearts was good for us as far as jobs, taking positions which made us feel good and followed our passions, we taught our kids to do that. My three children are now all entrepreneurs and doing things they love.”
On Her Bookshelf
The Kitchen Alchemist, by Frances Castelli
Connecting With Frances Castelli
Free E-book on her website, with 5 of her favorite, easy recipes
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Careers: Author, Teaching/Teacher
Topics: Food Allergies, Travel