20 answers

My Almost 3 Year Old Boy Has Horrible Reaction to Rice & Sweet Potatoes.

My almost 3 year old has a severe vomiting reaction to rice and sweet potatoes. When my son was about a year old, I realized that every time I fed him Rice Cereal he would get horribly ill. He would start to vomit 1-3 hours after eating it, and he would continue to vomit for a good 3 hours. I realized that he had the same reaction with table served, and baby food Sweet Potatoes. When he was just under two years old my hubby accidentally slipped up and gave him some Rice while they were out for lunch. Same reaction. Within' an hour sweet boy was horribly ill. I asked his Doctor about this, since his only reaction is to Rice and Sweet Potatoes (he eats regular potatoes just fine, mashed, or fried) The Doctor told me his stomach just may not be able to handle those 2 foods at this young of an age. I've lived with that thought for over a year now. But the Dr. could not tell me why sweet potatoes and not regular potatoes. I just find it odd.
I don't serve Rice (at all) or sweet potatoes to anyone in the family anymore. Because he of course wants to eat what everyone else does. He does not have a reaction to food with rice in them. Food with Rice flour, etc. Only actual rice.
Has anyone had this problem with their little one? He'll be 3 in July. I'm scared to death to have him try these foods again to see if he can handle them. I would feel horrible if he got sick, because of me trying to see if he could tolerate it. Any advice, information or input would be helpful! Thank You!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Celiac disease is what it could be or just an allergies take him to the doctor. They can do a simple skin test.

Just refrain from feeding him rice and sweet potatoes. It appears as though he has developed an allergic reaction to these foods so why risks giving it to him again when you have seen the results/reaction to the foods? It shouldn't matter Why he is-- just know that he is allergic and refrain from those two food items. There is so much more food to enjoy. Take care.

More Answers

If he can tolerate foods with rice in them, perhaps it is the texture that he doesn't like and not an allergy. Some kids can make themselves vomit at will. Is there a problem if you mash the sweet potatoes and serve them that way instead of whole?


My 18 month old is intolerant to dairy and allergic to soy. If your baby doesn't tolerate rice or sweet potatoes, just avoid them. You can have a full diet without those type of foods.

Why sweet potatoes and not regular potatoes? They are two entirely different things. It is like yellow squash and zucchini. They are related but not the same thing.

As far as why rice but not rice flour? That is a tough one. Other than that food intolerance can be dose related. Some babies who are dairy intolerant can handle little bits here and there or eat yogurt or cheese but not drink milk. My son can't handle even the slightest bit of dairy, not even hidden in baked goods.

So I say, if it makes him sick, just avoid it. At some point he will likely outgrow it but in the meantime, it sounds like an easy enough thing to avoid. Do you need to test it out everyone once in a while to see if he still reacts? Only if you want to. My pediatric GI doctor said I should give my son dairy and soy every couple of months to see if he's still intolerant. I did it twice and have quit. My GI doctor isn't the one who has to stay up with a screaming kid all night. The only time we test it out anymore is by accident (sometimes he gets something he shouldn't at daycare).


Why do you feel the need to serve those two foods? There are plenty of other foods out there. My guess with the Sweet Potatoes is that they are a heartier spud and contain enzymes that the white potatoes lack.
As far as the rice, is it ALL rices... most families, unfortunately, serve processed white rice that has no nutrients in it... have you tried (previously) brown rice? If you have tried both kinds then just leave it alone. There are many other sources of complex carbs that you could try like whole wheat couscous, which is a pasta, bulgar wheat, orzo (which looks like rice, but is a pasta) and quinoa (a great source of fiber and protein).
Why not find someone who does the Elisa Act Allergy test? It's done through blood instead of scratching or pricking the skin in several places.

I have no idea why your child would have those particular allergies. However, my son was very allergic to milk when he was a baby. He seemed to outgrow it at around 3, but then he developed severe allergies to pollen and pet dander, later he developed asthma. When he was 11 I had a doctor tell me they never really outgrow their allergies. It may seem that way, but it puts stress on the body in other areas. I took him back off of dairy and after 3 months (it takes awhile to get it out of your system) his other allergies and asthma disappeared!
You know your son has a problem with these foods, don't give them to him---ever! As he is older, he will understand not to have them and if you don't give them to him now, he won't develop a taste for them and won't miss them.
Try contacting Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Ut. they deal with all of the strange and unusual. They may have heard of this and be able to tell you more about it.
Good luck.

I would strongly suggest taking your little one to see a pediatric allergist. You can get a referal from your pediatrician and she/he can order a blood test to check for all food allergies. And then avoid those foods that cause reactions- the longer you avoid - the better chance your sweet child has of out growing them. It's a pain now -but if in a year or two he out grows them it will all be worth it.

You are very wise to not want to risk exposing him to the allergens again - because food allergies are not like environmental allergies. If he continues to be exposed the reaction could become worse & escalate into hives & difficulty breathing. (You may want to ask your doctor for an epi pen.)

Stick with it - you are doing a good job!

My little one had many food allergies and has outgrown most of them. I helped her by removing all allergens from my diet and breastfeeding her longer.


At this point in his age, I wouldn't think it has anything to do with his tummy not being able to handle it any longer. When he was young, okay. But not anymore. I would have him allergy tested - it sounds more like a food allergy to me. Unlike a traditional reaction of not being able to breathe etc...he get violently ill. This is what happens to me when I take codeine. Call it a reaction or an allergy - it is all the same to me. I take it, I get ill - everytime. As far as sweet potatoes vs regular potatoes, they are a different food. They might grow similarly etc., but are not part of the same vegetable to begin with. They aren't all that great for us anyway (potatoes, pastas, etc..turn into sugar when our body processes them). I would steer away from them until an allergist can look at & test your son. My SD has an allergy to peanuts & pet dander. Until she was about 9, they tested her annually to see the severity. Now they only test if there is a reason (she's 14). One of life's quirks. Good luck & God bless!

Celiac disease is what it could be or just an allergies take him to the doctor. They can do a simple skin test.

Food intolerance is really common in my little family. I joined Wildtree herbs b/c I was sick of scouring store shelves , which I am sure you are going to be doing now.

Just avoid the foods for the time being and get an appointment with an allergist to see what exactly your DS is allergic/intolerant to .

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