Food Allergies, Picky Eater and Nutrition

Updated on August 20, 2009
M.W. asks from Vista, CA
20 answers

My son is nearly 14 months old, 19.5 lbs, 28" tall and low on the growth curve. He is anaphylactic allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat, avocado and tomato. We have epi pens everywhere. We are having issues trying to feed him more calories to make him grow (my family are not short at all) and he's a very picky eater. We went to see a dietician but it wasn't much help - they only suggested adding an extra scoop of formula to his bottle (next step soy enfamil). He was exclusively breast fed for one year and feeding him soy makes me nervous too because of it's bad press. He's only eating about three bites every meal right now. Please, does anyone have any ideas for meal planning? (He seems to easily get bored with what he eats). Snacks as well (besides his "staple" of TJ O's and rice cakes)? It's really hard for our family to go for "days out" when we can't get our little guy to eat and I feel as though we're depriving him. I haven't fed him too much sweet things yet. He hates his teeth being cleaned and he purses his lips tightly closed and doesn't let the toothbrush in! Otherwise, he is a very happy and lively toddler, I just wish that we could feed him all the things we grew up on like cheese and yogurt.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would call Cynthia Epps: She is the BEST most amazing pediatric metabolic nutricanist. Her company is called Mother Work ###-###-####

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Does he like fish or chicken? So many great fun things you can make. Can he eat spelt? You could make him chicken nuggets and roll it in rice crispies for the outer coating. How about mashed potatoes with kale? My son loves that one!-www.weelicious.com

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Just wanted to add, that Kiwi fruit is also highly allergenic.
My daughter, when she was about 2 years old, got a reaction to it, and she previously was able to eat Kiwi fruit. It causes pain/tingling in the mouth, swelling of throat and mouth, and a host of other things, which you can find online.

Perhaps, your son has an "oral sensitivity" to textures? Perhaps that is why he eats only certain things? Or, maybe has he ever been suspected of having Dysphagia? Some kids can chew but not swallow for example. Here is an article on it:
http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/oral-sensitivi...

And, for toothbrushes, the 'texture' is not something they look forward to. My son for example, hates brushing teeth, he says its "too pokey..." In lieu of a toothbrush, try just cleaning his teeth with a damp washcloth. That is what our Dentist suggests.

Sorry I don't have a conclusive answer for you, but just some tips of other possible causes.

All the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful
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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

http://www.cookingallergyfree.com/recipes

http://www.healthcentral.com/allergy/c/48542/36495/allerg...

http://www.amazon.com/Allergy-Cooking-Ease-Gluten-Cookboo...

I just Googled 'cooking for allergies' and found these three sites that seemed decent. Just do some research. My son is only lactose intolerant, but when it comes to finding creative ways to make foods the whole family can enjoy you can make it a real adventure and have fun with it.

Look at this an opportunity to get everyone healhty!!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi M.! We have been dealing with the same issues for 3yrs now with our son. He was put on Neocate, an Amino acid based formula at 8mo. It is pretty expensive, but you can sometimes get health insurance to pay for it, or we would buy from ebay at half price. The neocate helped his GI repair from the allergic damage, and thus allowed him to absorb the nutrients he was lacking. I think it is really important to look at vitamins as well, C helps absorb D, and iron, etc. Having the proper vitamins and minerals in the body will give your tot the basis to get everything he can out of the foods he is able to have.
Also, we use alot of hemp products, high in proteins and fatty acids, and all most never a human allergen. You can get a lot of different hemp seed products at whole foods, or sunflower market. They taste great as well!! Also try amazon.com for different snacks, I know erin baker cookies come in an egg free, gluten free version and there are tons of good calories in those!! Good luck to you all, it takes awhile, but you will come up with an effective process for your son!!

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

wow- you have your hands full.
check out this link for all natural nutrition for kids.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pirC-OPaJ2k
www.vemma.com/next
my kids take the regular Vemma supplement because this isn't out yet (coming in sept.), have been on it for 2 months, love the taste and friends and family see a difference. 2 of my 4 are on mental illness medications, 3 have allergies, Irritable bowel, asthama, so finding something they need but also like was amazing.
good luck- let me know what you think!

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S.O.

answers from San Diego on

What sort of foods does he like to eat?

I have several food allergies and so does my 2 yo daughter. She hates eating veggies, but will eat just about everything else.

Because she and I are both allergic to wheat, we eat a mostly gluten free diet. Rice, corn, some soy.

Not sure where you live, but in Escondido, there is a Gluten Free Bakery called the GNI Bakery (Gluten Not Included). They also have a website. There menu is kind of small right now, but they have the best tasting GF bread. They do use eggs, but I have asked if they could make certain products with the egg substitute and they said no problem, although the texture might come out different.

Have you had your son tested for an allergy to nuts and seeds? If he isn't allergic, those are good forms of fat and nutrients. My kids LOVE to eat Sunbutter and jam sandwiches. Or sunbutter and veggies (carrots or celery). They also really like eating Hummus (chickpeas) on sandwiches or veggies or just by itself. You can get individual snack size servings at Costco.

Here are some brands that we like to eat in our home:

Ian's GF frozen foods
Amy's GF frozen foods
Clif Kid Z-bars- not GF but wheat free
EnerG- GF pretzels and rice pastas
Enjoy- GF breakfast bars and cookies
Nana's- GF and wheat free baked goods
Pamela's-baked goods/mixes

I give my kids Yummi Bear Vitamins and 3-6-9 Bears to fill in the gaps of their diet. They are made by Hero Nutritionals and are gluten/wheat and allergen free, but check the label just in case. I also give them AcidophiKidz by Nature's Plus. Also GF and allergen free.

There are also several websites for allergy friendly recipes and restaurants.

www.glutenfreeinsd.com I check this one before heading out to a restaurant with my DD.
www.celiac.com

Does he like eating fruits? My kids love grapes, berries, peaches, kiwi, cherries..there are a ton of fruits that are easy for them to eat and easy to pack and take along.

Also check out some of the vegetarian/vegan stuff. Lots of protein and nutrients in them. There is a good magazine called Vegetarian Times that I get and it always has some good recipes in it.

The stores that we primarily shop at are:

Henry's Marketplace...also called Sprouts or Wild Oats Marketplace depending on where you live.

Amazon.com usually has the best prices for GF stuff through their Subscribe and Save Program. You get 15% off the Amazon price plus free shipping. I get all my rice pastas, clif bars, pretzels, and snacks through this program.

Then there is Trader Joes and WholeFoods, but I rarely shop at these two places just because Henry's has such a good variety and the prices are better at Henry's.

Feel free to PM me with any questions.

S.

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I wish my kids could eat cheese and yogurt too but they can't. We do a lot of rice pasta(they have the swirl kind that little kids can probably chew if you boil it long enough to make it softer than normal) I toss organic pasta sauce in it. My kids love it. I find that I have to constantly change the menu around or try to find new items to introduce and keep them interested. Also letting him feed himself even if it means a mess might be fun for him. I found gluten free ice cream cones and give it to them with soy ice cream. Chocolate is much better than vanilla. You can't stop trying. Don't get weary. My kids are now 5 and 6 and I still struggle with making my five year old eat. It's a daily struggle but unfortunately I have to do it.
Good Luck!

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B.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

At this age children can eat what the parents do if it is mashed up. What about Trader Joe's soy dessert. Our family like better that ice cream. (I avoid dairy). Mash potatoes with a bit of butter tasting spread might be good to.

B. v. O.

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S.B.

answers from San Diego on

My son can't eat dairy or soy so I know the frustration. Have you seen the website here? It's all about food allergies and kids with a lot of recipes and information. Personally, my son lives on peanut butter and jelly. You can try adding peanut butter or other nut butter on the rice cakes. It has a good mix of protein and fat. At 14 months I would start with creamy but my son switched to crunchy before he was 2 years old. Good luck. http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/

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Z.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

my daughter is allergic to cow's milk, soy, egg, peanut, wheat, and melons. i've been giving her goat's milk yogurt and she seems to be tolerating that. i would check with your doctor before trying it since your son has had anaphylactic reactions. i've also struggled with finding variety in her meals with all of the limitations.

for breakfast i like to give her oatmeal (health food stores sell instant oatmeal that is low in sugar) or waffles (tj's banana waffles are allergen free and pretty yummy). wholesomebabyfoods.com has some yummy recipes. my daughter likes their chicken w/sweet potatoes and apples w/brown rice. i also make dishes with quinoa, which is a grain that is gluten free. they also sell this at tj's and there's a recipe on the box that's pretty good. you can also try beef & barley soup or chicken soup w/rice pasta. for snacks, i give her rice cakes and o's as well as snap pea crisps (from tj's) and apple or pear sauce. she also eat lots of fruits and veggies of course. she likes her green veggies boiled in chicken stock for a little extra flavor.

i also add nutritional enhancers to things like her oatmeal or applesauce to make up for healthy fats she should be getting from dairy as well as missing vitamins and minerals. these include probiotics, flaxseed/oil, and vitamin drops.

hope that helps!

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M. - You have no idea who I am, but from one mom to another just trying to do the best for our children's health, I ask that you trust me on this. Getting Juice Plus into your child will help get him on a healthier path so life is easier for him and for you. It will give you the peace of mind that regardless what he eats he's getting plenty of fruit and vegetable nutrition to sustain him and help his body function properly. There's enough natural sweetness in the Juice Plus gummies to make him consider them a treat, and they are made from 17 fruits, vegetables and grains with their nutrients in their natural combination (not man made concoctions like most vitamins). You could also open the adult capsules and mix the fruit and veggie powder for an even higher concentration into smoothies. It really is the next best thing to eating fruits and vegetables. I've got three boys who have been eating them for four years and they rarely get sick, and haven't taken anti-biotics. My boys (and myself) also like the Juice Plus Complete nutritional powder that we make our smoothies with, or just mix with water for a "healthy" chocolate milk (this would be awesome for your son!). It's chock full of additional plant based nutrients and soy protein (despite the rumors about dangers of soy, there is more bonified research confirming that it's one of the healthiest things you can feed your children - much healthier than cow's milk). For more info, listen to Dr. Sears talk about the research proving Juice Plus strengthens immune system and helps keep people healthy - 1-800-942-1260. Or check out all the science and what the doctors say at www.WeThriveOnJuicePlus.com. Feel free to ask me questions. I'd be happy to send you samples - just call me at ###-###-####. Even people with allergies can typically eat Juice Plus because it's "pre-digested" food. Check out our Children's Research website with study results: http://www.childrenshealthstudy.com/main.shtml
I wish you all the best!

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E.G.

answers from San Diego on

M., my neighbor and I both live in Vista too. She has a daughter that has had allergies to peanuts and also household chemicals. Her health has improved when she detoxed her home. If you would like to see how it is done, just contact us at http://www.evelyn1.fourpointwellness.com

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Has your son had eczema, hives or anaphylactic episodes? My youngest, now 3, had these issues and I eliminated all of the top allergy-producing foods from our diet (I nurse him); soy, wheat, dairy, nuts, fish and dairy. Luckily we have a practitioner and old friend that is actually helping us to ELININATE his allergies with NAET (google this and you can read up on it). Dr. david Karaba is at East West Medical in Fullerton and is so worth it to see, to get an evaluation on your son and to help heal his body so he is able to introduce those foods into his diet again. I can tell you from direct experience, that his treatments (non-invasive, no meds and no needles!) has absolutely worked!! We are able to have eggs, some more grains, fish and nuts after not having them in our diet for almost 2 years!

I have a natural parenting store in Fullerton, Belly Sprout, and I see these problems on a daily basis in regards to food allergies. I send ALL of my families to him and he has been able to help them: ###-###-#### or ###-###-####.

As far as the pickiness goes...It takes up to 15 attempts to get a little one to take a food, so don't give up! My youngest is so much more pickier than my first and we have had to work with him. Both my husband and I are adamant that he eats his food. We eat whole, fresh and organic and offer a variety of choices. I would avoid SOy at all costs, so your concerns are valid. It is the most genetically modified food on the market and the benefits of soy were based on traditional cultures eating fermented soy, not the processed stuff we get! Do you give him hummus? Make his plates look fun and exciting with goat milk yogurt dips for his carrots, tomatoes, cucumber or rice crackers. Make him mashed potatoes and blend in spinach. We make wheat-free panckaes for the lids from scratch and add loads of flax seeds. Just don't give up. He will take it, just try to find what he likes and expose him to a variety of foods.

We also offer a lot of classes, workshops and events for natural living so check out our website, www.bellysprout.com, join me on Face Book, C. Funk or email me at [email protected]____.com if you need ANY help! A week from Saturday I will be doing a lecture, The First 7 Years and we will be discussing how to feed kids healthy for a happier future!

Good luck,
C. Funk
www.bellsyprout.com

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V.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

homeopathy can help. use this link to find homeopath close to where you are:
http://www.homeopathy.org/directory.html
Good Luck
V.

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

M.,

My son is allergic to dairy and soy proteins. He's almost 3. We give him Similac Alimentum hypoallergenic formula for his "milk." It really helps get calories, fat, protein and calcium into him. I get mine online by the case from i-medica (on line pharmacy) and it is quite a bit cheaper that way.

Other than that, he eats meat, potatoes, rice, veggies and fruits. He has a petty good, pretty varied diet. We just don't give him much processed stuff. The further it is from nature, the higher the chance there is something in it he can't eat. He's really healthy. We've been doing this for quite a while so if you need some specifics or just some sympathy, email me teralee999 at hotmail dot com

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L.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,

You have some good suggestions as to products to try and still avoid your child's allergens. However, why do you not like soy? Our son has fairly severe food allergies too (one visit to the ER at 6 weeks old) to dairy, wheat, eggs, & nuts. We were discouraged from giving Nutramigen formula (with broken down milk proteins) and to give him soy. We gave him Good Start soy until he was 24 months old as recommended by his MD to ensure complete nutrition. It did the trick in that he moved up from the 5th percentile to the 25/30th percentile in weight.

I have heard the stories to avoid soy but there is no concrete evidence to support what is said. Think about it too all of the people who routinely eat soy products daily and the fact that soy is in pretty much everything. It just doesn't add up. Your child is pretty young yet for the recipes in "The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook" by Cybele Pascal, but I would highly recommend picking that up. It is less than $20 and you can get it on Amazon.com. It is well worth it and will add some very delicious recipes to what might seem a very boring menu due to your child's restrictions.

I would stay away from goat's milk as the proteins are the same as those in cow's milk. It is the proteins that cause the allergic reaction. Since your child has so many food allergies too, it is best to stay away from all nuts and shellfish too just in case until the age of 5 or 6. Those two products do result in the most severe reactions and can also change for no reason. They are very unpredictable. Bottom line is that no one fully or completely understands food allergies in humans period. Any reputable MD will tell you so. You just have to be prepared and aware of what your child eats and you all will be good to go.

I have a really good blueberry muffin recipe and a cinnamon ginger cookie recipe if you would like it when it comes time. You might want to try the muffins now. My son eats them everyday at breakfast. Like others have said, fruit is a great snack and I actually give fruit at every meal. Rice/corn chex are a good snack too as are those Teddy crackers (plain and apple cinnamon). You can get those at Henry's or Whole Foods (Henry's is much cheaper!).

Good luck and think again about the soy formula. Your child will gain much nutrition from it.

Best,

L.

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI M.,

Yep, you've got your hands full! I suggest you take a look at a copy of "Child of Mine" by Ellyn Satter. She's a nutritionist, and has all kinds of great info about feeding issues and suggestions for meals/snacks. You'll need to modify it, of course, but I find that her suggestions help. When my son was off of wheat, we ate lots of corn tortillas and polenta (you can make it or get it pre-cooked at Trader Joe's).

The book also has a section that addresses feeding kids with allergies, and dealing with the fact that he has a restricted diet.

Best of luck!
C.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi

You may want to consider looking into eliminating your child's allergies via NAET. You could visit NAET.com for information, and/or to find an NAET certified doctor. I go to Dr. David Karaba in Fullerton and absolutely love him. My 11 month old grand daughter and 10 year old grand daughter also go to him. His phone number is ###-###-####. One of the wonderful things about NAET is that for children or the infirm, they can be treated through a surrogate, i.e., you. Here is the description paragraph from the book information.

"Say Good-bye to Children’s Allergies
By - Devi S. Nambudripad, M.D., D.C., L.Ac., R.N., Ph.D.
In Say Good-bye to Children’s Allergies, Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad, the developer of NAET®, will help you understand your child’s illness and will assist you in finding the right help to achieve better health for your child. This book will show you how certain commonly used products in your foods and environment can cause health problems in your child; how you can test your child in your privacy of your own home using the Nambudripad’s Testing Techniques described in the book. This book will educate you how your child’s health problems can relate to allergy, a traditionally under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed condition; and, how allergies can manifest into myriad symptoms that might seem unrelated. The author also provides remedies for mild conditions of common childhood ailments arising from allergies and how to find help in assisting your child find the right help for serious problems such as, asthma, hay-fever, common colds, sinus problems, milk allergy, peanut allergy, sugar allergy, hives, gastritis, vomiting, colic for newborns, ear infections, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, bronchitis, drug reactions, and many other conditions. Dr. Nambudripad explains how allergies are often the underlying causes to pediatric problems and how NAET® testing procedures and NAET® treatments can offer relief from these allergies. The book is supported by NAET® practitioners’ testimonials and patients’ success stories."

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I've seen AMAZING allergy elimination with NAET. Not all practitionaers are as effective ad others, just like any profession. Dr. Shu in Orang County has a pretty high success rate among the people I know. I have no idea how ti works, but I swear it does.

http://www.naet.com/subscribers/drnamerica.html

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