by Rose Elder
As moms we want the best for our children. We do our best to keep them alive and happy during their first years of life, before they become a little more independent. I have managed to keep Alexander alive despite his active self, but when Nicholas came along new challenges came to the mix. Having a child with any condition makes things as a parent just a bit more challenging. Nicholas, my second boy, has a serious number of food and environmental allergies. Feeding him solid foods has been a work in progress, I have been getting more and more creative as we go along.
Facing Nicholas’ challenges made me realize that he is not alone. Many of my friend’s children have allergies as well. I haven’t yet met another child that struggles with as many allergies as Nicholas does, but I am sure there are many out there.
I realized Nicholas had allergies because he exhibited bad eczema days after he was born. My mother’s sixth sense told me his eczema was linked to allergies. He would get a mild rash before his eczema worsened. I convinced my pediatrician to send me to an allergist and he had him blood tested to check his IgE levels and also his reaction to certain foods. He came positive for all of it!
The first thing Dr. O’Connor asked me was to stop eating those foods to avoid passing them through my milk. Nicholas immediately started showing less eczema symptoms. Then we added a skin regime the pediatric dermatologist prescribed him and is pretty much eczema free. Forward a year later, and his eczema decreased exponentially. I don’t use the skin treatment as much any more. Nicholas is 18 months now.
This blog post is for all of those parents that struggle on what to feed their children that suffer from allergies, and for my family and friends that wonder what I feed Nicholas with his restrictive diet.
Here are the foods that Nicholas CAN’T have:
Fish (all of them)
Breakfasts are specially challenging. Not being able to eat eggs, oats, wheat or bananas makes it hard to come up with healthy solutions. Here are the few I have come up with so far.
1. Coconut milk yougurt with diced strawberries and rice cereal (just the plain puffed rice grains)
2. Whole pinto beans (I always have beans at home. Nicholas tends to have very low iron levels and beans have a lot of it) I just warm them up in the bean broth and feed them to him as bean soup. You can add sliced turkey or chicken to the beans. Papaya cubes on the side.
3. Vegan gluten free toast with a thin coat or real maple syrup or home made strawberry jelly. Watermelon cubes on the side
4. Mango-coconut milk shake. 1 mango blended with coconut milk. Then strained.
5. Rice cereal and diced papaya in coconut milk.
1. Lentil-carrot soup with rice noodles. Cantaloupe cubes for dessert.
2. Avocado sandwich (vegan gluten free toast) with grape tomatoes cut in quarters on the side. Grapes for dessert.
3. Grilled portobello mushrooms and brown rice. Sliced strawberries for dessert in a tablespoon of coconut milk yogurt.
4. Cubed turkey, cubed avocado, cubed cherry tomatos, cubed grapes and mix it all. He loves to nibble on different flavors.
5. Grilled chicken served with organic corn kernels mixed with brown rice.
1. Sliced turkey, cubed avocado and organic corn.
2. Baked eggplant with ground turkey in a tomato sauce with Italian spices.
3. Grilled Pork Ribs with corn as garnish and sliced apples for dessert.
4. Ground Turkey burger patties with ketchup. Cantaloupe for dessert.
5. Jicama or cucumber sticks with humus. Sliced grapes for dessert.
At this point, as a mom, I finally feel in control. I have a happy healthy baby. We do have a million restrictions that we have to deal with; Like traveling or eating out much at all. We really can only feed him at home or he will react to food cross contamination. It is super frustrating at times, but I am just thankful allergies are his only hurdle. I keep reminding myself it could be so much worse.