Seeing the light…

Two weeks ago I took my daughter for another allergy prick test (I don’t know the official name for these). She is still allergic to eggs, as suspected. The coconuts that we had been avoiding did not come back positive.

I was surprised to see another change. The two nuts, cashews and walnuts, did not react. There was a very minor redness around peanuts and pecans. But, the doctor felt it was not enough to consider a reaction.

We were sent for blood work to confirm the prick test. We tested for eggs, a variety of nuts and seeds. I found out this week that the only allergy that she has, according to the blood work, is egg whites. The yolk test came back at a lower level.

The next step is to go for a challenge test at a hospital. The doctor has said that this test will help us to understand the severity of the allergy to egg whites. Fingers crossed that we can cross yolks off the list too!

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When Being Picky is not a Preference…Part One

My son was notoriously picky from the time that he began eating food. Well, even before that. I had a difficult time producing breast milk and ended up having to feed him partially with breast milk and partially with formula. Of course, the moderately priced formula was not to his liking, he needed the reduced lactose formula to reduce his gas.

When we entered the food phase, he enjoyed most fruits but wouldn’t touch the meat or veggies. He liked oatmeal best. He often ate avocados mashed with bananas daily. In the toddler years, it was mostly eggs, cheese, pasta, crackers and fruit. Most meat and vegetables were still tough. I even wrote this article about picky eating for a UK website Mindful Mum:

http://www.mindfulmum.co.uk/food/2012/promoting-healthy-eating-in-picky-toddlers/

Entering school proved to be trying as there were so many foods that he did not want packed on his lunch. Dinnertime remained a battle. I have had so many nights where he has refused his dinner. It is hard not to be frustrated as a working mom when you get home from work, cook dinner and then it is refused.

Eventually, I took my son for food sensitivity testing as a result of a number of issues that I felt could be food related – attention, skin conditions, digestive issues etc. I had recently adjusted his diet to match mine of gluten and dairy free in order to see if that made a difference. It helped, but I felt I was missing something and I was worried that I was potentially pushing foods with him that weren’t in the right direction.

I was also sick of the battles and felt this might provide the hard proof that I needed to soldier on with the diet adjustments. Having a child that is gluten and dairy free means a lot of extra food planning and prep to be successful.

What came back from the blood work was shocking to me. There were over 30 foods that he was highly sensitive to and another 20 that were moderate. Gluten, dairy, rice, oatmeal, almonds, raspberries, oranges, eggs….the list trolled on.

‘How am I going to feed this child?’, I thought. My Naturopath agreed that the list was a little overwhelming and not typical.

Fast forward four months and I believe the list is a blessing of sorts. Now that I know what specific foods to stay away from, I am able to meet the needs of his body. I find that he refuses less foods and has even started eating some healthy foods that he wouldn’t touch before (he eats salmon now!). I bake a lot and am able to provide treats that fit his needs. Though he fights me sometimes, overall I think he understands, feels better and is happier.