Most of my posts on this blog so far have been about my childrens’ food sensitivities while breastfeeding.
How do I know my they are allergic to what they’re allergic to?
My son broke out in hives, had bloody stool and reflux if I had any dairy products. He screamed for four entire hours after I’d had a soy milk latte from Starbucks. Anything slightly gaseous would send him into a fit as he tried to pass gas with a rigid stomach. We would feed him tea of fennel and catnip to soothe him – and it did, at the cost of our breastfeeding relationship. He weaned himself at 7 months, when my milk changed in my 4th month of pregnancy with his sister.
My daughter has a greater range in her sensitivities. She’s fine with soy milk (praise the Lord), but still sensitive to dairy, like her brother (though not as hyper-sensitive, she lets me have a bite of yogurt now and then). She’s allergic to corn syrup (it makes her scream with a rigid stomach) and eggs give her symptoms of reflux (vinegar-smell, some spit-up, excessive drool, etc, and of course, crying). She’s been better since taken to the craniosacral doctor, who helped her latch much better, but still sensitive to much of what I’d like to eat. After going to this doctor, though, she smiled for the first time the next day AND began sleeping a thorough 6 hours/night (until recently, that is). So my diet plus the therapy WORKED, and it is amazing. Now we’re approaching the 15-week sleep regression, which is all kinds of a different story.
So far the list of what I can have is dwarfed by the list of things I can’t. On the list of what I’m allowed is:
- Tea. Yerba matte to replace my coffee habit (jury’s still out on decaf coffee), Earl Grey in the morning. Otherwise, all herbal, all the time. I’m playing with matcha right now, too, just for variety.
- Soy. All forms. She’s good with soy.
- Coffee, in the morning. Too much seems to constipate her.
- Fruit. Bananas, stone fruit, apples, pears, melons. Pretty much any fruit she’s fine with (the longun and rambutan from our Asian grocery store has thankfully been incredible this season!).
- Vegetables. Peas, carrots, yellow squash (per Dr. Sear’s TED), avocados, potatoes (sweet and regular varieties), green lettuce, green onions.
- Grains. Rice, quinoa, ancient grains.
- Most bread products (organic do not contain corn syrup – regular does).
- Snacks. Plain rice cakes, sun butter and seeds (these things are fabulous – I found a whole bunch for less than a dollar per box at our local grocery clearance mart, but I would buy them at full price if need be, it’s that wonderful to be able to open something and be able to safely eat every last bite).
- Meat. Turkey, chicken and small amounts of beef (children who are allergic to milk can also be allergic to beef. Who knew?). I limit pork because it’s gaseous, but I do eat it (and I love bacon).
- Seafood. Tuna once a week, because of the mercury content. Most other fish, though no shellfish. I eat lots of canned salmon, unfortunately.
- Oils. olive, safflower, canola. We try for olive more than anything because of the surfacing danger of vegetable oils, but it’s expensive and so we do defect to canola. I also use Earth Balance spread, for variety. No coconut, as she’s sensitive, though I used plenty of coconut products with my son.
This is pretty much my diet. It’s doesn’t look hard until you’ve eaten everything on there for four weeks straight, and you’ve relied on dairy for a good amount of fats and protein while pregnant and now can’t touch them. Finding guidance with the TED has really helped this time around, too.
The popularity of paleo has really helped. Even a lot of vegan cooking relies on onion (and garlic, though she doesn’t seem to mind it much) for flavor, which is a no-no (and have you tasted cooking without onions? it’s sad man, so sad), but paleo is a little more adventurous with their flavor profiles (and you don’t have to worry about soy, if that’s a concern). It’s harder with my daughter, though, because of her aversion of coconut. I did come across this article, though, on Fox News, and it has some great breakfast (and, for me, lunch) foods that I can eat (imagine that!) or tweak.
Two things that you get from regular dairy consumption that are incredibly hard to replicate in your diet are fats and calcium (especially when your vegetable intake is so limited). So avocados are super important to make sure you’re getting enough fats, and I have to take a pretty high calcium supplement, too (this is extremely important unless you want your teeth to fall out. Seriously).
I wish I could say that as she gets older, it gets better. It should, in theory. Her sensitivities will lessen as she gets older, and eventually go away around the 6th-9th month (as happened with my son and the rest of mom’s children and siblings’ kids). Adding back foods is terrifying, though. The dread I feel eating anything, despite how benign and small amount could be (like coconut, or almond) is paralyzing. I hate being up all night with a screaming baby, and I hate how I react to the situation (hint: it’s not good), so I tend to continue to avoid everything. Not smart. If I keep off these foods, I’ll just keep missing out on nutrition that I, let’s face it, desperately need (my brain power has been nominal since we cut my diet, it’s actually quite sad).