Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | May 27, 2010

Food Issues

Alexa has a diary allergy [1. Some of you already know this from past updates about her health].  This means that she can have no milky goodness.  No cheesy deliciousness.  No, well a lot of things.  Have you ever noticed how many random things have some form of milk in them?  Just about everything it seems!

This brings about some issues with feeding her.  She can only have dairy substitutes.  For example:

  • Instead of whole milk, she gets coconut milk.  We were debating over soy [1. Because of the hormonal issues with processed soy] vs. rice milk when a neighbor lady [2. Her son is allergic to almost EVERYTHING] of mine suggested coconut.  It has a higher fat content than the other two options, which is a good thing for our super skinny baby.  I’m not so worried about the other nutrients since she’s still about half breastfed, and eats almost anything we try.
  • Instead of regular yogurt, she gets soy.  Have you ever tried to find soy yogurt at a local grocery store?  We do have a Whole Foods near us, but honestly…the store intimidates me.  I feel like I have to get dressed up to go food shopping, ha!  Our nearest grocery carries a few options, which is great.  What sucks is when we go shopping somewhere else…they almost never have it.

Not only is it a bit harder to find substitute items to flush out her diet, it’s hard to find just random snacks.  Ya know, the ones we all use for a bit of a distraction.  No go on those scrumptious looking Yogurt Melts **sobs**  There are a few “puffs” she can eat, so we tend to stick to cheerios.  I’ve had to toss out so many different snacks because I was too stupid to remember to check the label before I bought it.  Luckily, we have another baby friend who’s pretty close in age that takes all my mistakes and chows down :-)

Alexa’s allergy isn’t too too serious [3. Blood work showed she was in the lowest of the 3 ranges].  She’s not sensitive enough to be bothered by my eating of dairy products, though I don’t down chocolate milk.  I don’t know if it’s my imagination or not, but I think that if I have large quantities of milk she gets a little rashy.  Might as well be safe anyway.  They tell me she’ll grow out of it by the time she’s two.

I asked my friends to respond to a question on FB to be included on this post.  I wanted to know how food issues (their’s or their child’s) had affected their family’s diet.

My friend Lx from My Mr. Lugs told me of the problems she faces with her own dairy allergy.  Can you imagine how hard it would be to feed your baby foods that you cannot test yourself?

I’m continually reading labels on EVEYTHING, even when I know the product because SOMETIMES they change the ingredients (grrrr.. I have been caught out a few times). It all drives me a bit nuts!! So we don’t have a lot of food in the house that is me “Unfriendly” and we always cook non dairy meals for me and Chris! But it does cause a few problems where Max is concerned, as I do make food with dairy products for him but I can’t taste it to see if it’s ok.. I have to get Chris to taste it! Also I can never tell if something has gone off, as it all smells horrible to me! So poor Chris contiually sniffing everything for me!
Max has a tomato allergy (skin contact – hopefully he will grow out of it).  We try to make our meals with no tomato so he can have some too… It’s quite a challenge to come up with creative diners with no dairy or tomato!

Ali from Allison the Meep also shared her struggle with celiac disease.  She has to eat all Gluten Free products, or else she becomes truly painfully sick.  This is a huge restriction for most people.  Some would call in to question their quality of life without bread, wonderfuly carby amazing bread.  Not Ali, what did she do?  She started a Gluten Free [4. meepcakes] Bakery, omg teh awesomeness!

My entire household was GF because of my celiac disease, but I used to let Julian eat gluten outside the house until he started getting rashes. Now he’s strictly GF and it hasn’t been too difficult because I make sure to always have fresh bread and goodies around so he doesn’t feel left out of all the fun stuff everyone else gets to eat.

Even though I don’t HAVE TO alter my diet to keep her safe from reactions, I feel super guilty about eating things she can’t have.  She’s certainly at a grabby age.  If I eat in front of her she wants it!  If I eat at her level, she takes it!  I end up either eating while standing over her so she can’t reach, or waiting till she’s napping to finally feed myself.  This will become an issue once she’s truly down to one nap a day and I can’t wait 4-5 hours after waking to finally have a bowl of cereal, ha :-)

It seems that the time is coming, very very soon, that I will have to eat dairy free the same as Alexa.  At least for the most part.  She’ll eventually start to ask questions, and truth be told, I’m going to feel crazy guilty for eating something she can’t have when she’s fully aware of what I’m doing.

So readers, what food issues have you had to deal with in your families?

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Responses

  1. Don’t be shy with WholeFoods!! Is yours fancy as in fancy girls go there? I never feel the need to get dressed up for ours. I just wish it didn’t cost so much! Sometimes we get in trouble there, so we only go every once in a while. They do have a great selection of foods for people with allergies, at least at ours.

    So far I am not aware of any food issues with Max. Both David and I don’t have any issues except I do with stuff like green onions, some chiles and peppers, sometimes garlic, and mangos. I’m okay with all that because I’ve learned to eat around, and I don’t miss them.

    I do feel your pain about the yogurt melts. They are a staple in my purse, when we are on the go. Max will get sick of puffs or cheerios, but he just LOVES the yogurt melts.

    • Oh our’s IS indeed “fancy”. All the super duper yuppie snobs get decked out to the nines to go shopping there. I’m lucky if I’ve showered before I go :P

  2. The only food issues I have are the ones deeply ingrained courtesy of my obsessive Asian mother :-P

    I generally try to avoid a lot of super processed stuff for my family, so I shop at Trader Joe’s and Spouts Farmer’s Markets as well as WF. Do you have either of those near you? Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry any baby-specific stuff like Sprouts or WF, but they do have great snack items and such.

    I have a friend who has one of her two children on a gluten-free diet but restricted it for the whole family. She said it was too hard to forbid something for one, but not the other.
    .-= Formerly Gracie´s last blog ..Tuesdays with Avery (and Ansley, too) =-.

    • HAHA I wasn’t talking about those sorts of food issues :P Though, I too have my own weird as relationship with food. Another post for another time for sure!

      We don’t have either of those stores near us. There are Trader Joe’s in NJ, but nowhere near my house. We do, however, have a TON of farmer’s markets in the area in the summer…and then just local farms that have actual stores running all year!

      I’m thinking that if Alexa doesn’t grow out of this allergy…I’ll have to make a switch to all non-dairy myself. It’s not a huge deal, but will make life easier once she’s old enough to know that she’s not allowed to have something, but too young to really understand why.

  3. No issues over here yet but we have some friends whose little boy has the same dairy sensitivity. Eventually they had to switch the whole family over to rice milk/no dairy because it was getting too complicated and they couldn’t keep the meals separate enough. Seems like it would be a big adjustment (for me!) but once you get used to it probably not a big deal.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..hurry hurry hurry =-.

    • Did your friend’s son grow out of the allergy at 2, or is he still too young to tell? I don’t mine rice milk, and will use it in my cereal if we run out of regular :-) Luckily I’m not a big milk fan to begin with, so it’s not really something I’ll miss too much if it’s gone. I will miss ice-cream though!

      • He’s right around 2 now so they still don’t know if it’s going to go away or not.

        I am such a crazy milk nut, that would destroy me. Chocolate milk, organic milk, yogurt and cheese and nom nom nom nom…
        .-= Jamie´s last blog ..got’s me some of these new-fangled bamboobies… =-.

        • Well I hope his allergy clears up. Alexa’s too! Even though I don’t care much for dairy, it will make our lives easier if she can have a wider variety of food, specially when we’re on the go!

  4. My 2 year old is of the underweight variety. What sucks is that my 4 year old is 90th percentile and the pediatrician has told me to limit his surplus calorie intake. Yeah, I know. He’s fucking four. Anyway, I offer things like ice cream and other high calorie treats to my baby that I can’t offer to my older one. It’s totally not fair. Luckily, I guess, my baby really digs high calorie good foods like hummus, avocado, sweet potatoes, stuff like that that my four year old is just not into. Small favors, right?

    • I hate it when doctors tell you to put your kids on diets. Obviously you care enough to feed him well, maybe he just needs a growth spurt! Though, if he’s still on the charts she’s still normal, nice how doctors seem to forget that? As for your little guy, it’s not like you can cram food down is throat. Alexa could be seen as underweight as well, luckily her pedi just looks for trends in her growth, rather than raw numbers.

  5. I really really hope Alexa grows out of her milk allergy!!! It is hard work inspecting every labels and interegating every food item! But there does seems to be a lot more awareness out in the world about food allergies now, not like 15 years ago when I discovered my milk allergy! I find majority of people are pretty understanding and helpful these days, so it’s not so bad :) Though I REALLY miss eating cheddar cheese :(
    .-= Lx @ my mr lugs´s last blog ..Nose, mouth, ears and shoes… =-.

    • I can’t imagine how hard it was back when you found out about yours. At least now most things have labels with highly allergic ingredients listed if they’re in the food.

  6. We don’t have any food allergies, although Josh does have asthma so I was careful introducing dairy/eggs as it’s a risk factor. Luckily no one has any problems in that area. But I am vegetarian, and the rest of the family is not. I figured it would be a lot easier for Riley in the long run if she ate meat.

    Problem: I cook the vast majority of meals and for obvious reasons am not skilled at cooking meat (I’ve never eaten meat so I can’t rely on past experiences) which means that in reality Riley probably only eats meat once a week.

    I’m going to have to get some fool proof recipes happening – because I’d like it if she ate more chicken/fish.

    I tend not to eat chocolate/junk food in front of Riley unless I’m planning on giving her some. Sometimes it means I eat it on the sly ;o) But saying no to her when I’m eating it just seems mean-spirited. Although I get that it’s different if you’re just eating normal food and Alexa can’t have it because of her allergy.
    .-= Zoey @ Good Goog´s last blog ..Parenting Choices are Not Mistakes =-.

    • So does Josh test the meals you make since you can’t eat meat, and wouldn’t know if it was good if you did taste it?

      Alexa has totally started eying my brownies, ha! I have to admit, I’ve given her a few crumbs of them. Guess I’ve went back on my word of no sweets for baby :-)


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