What to Feed My Child with Food Allergies??

Updated on February 05, 2008
H.C. asks from Magnolia, TX
12 answers

My daughter has suffered with extreme exzema since she was 6 months old. She is currently on zyrtec and occasional steroid creams. The dermatologist said my daughter did not have food allergies, that it was childhood (heritary) exzema. For months I wondered how he could be so certain. Well to sum this all up we had a blood test for allergens and I decided to take the lab results with me to an Allergist at texas Childrens Hospital. There we were told she was allergice to Wheat, eggs, milk, peanut and tree nuts and pet dander. The list is shocking. I have totally removed these foods from her diet. I was hoping to clear up her exzema and make her life more enjoyable. She is constantly whining and as her mother I feel as though she is miserable. I told the Allergist this and she simply recommended an immediate diet change. We have done this for almost 1 month, I see some improvement on her skin. But she is still extremely whiny and almost impossible to make happy. She is also rejecting this new change. I need advice please. I need help with some food options too. She is very picky and not too thrilled that she can no longer have goldfish, yogurt, ceral and fruit bars. She was once a very good eater and I am concerned about her nutrition. I am also concerned the Food Allergies are masking something else that could be going on. I'm just not sure....

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answers from Dallas on

My DD suffered with food allergies since she was two weeks old. She was allergic to wheat, eggs, corn, dairy, all nuts, soy, and at some points grew allergic rice, apples, and other foods that we feed her too often. When that happened we would need to stay away from that food for 6-12 months.

We fed her things made from Quinoa, Millet, and other such grains. Though she was allergic to wheat, she could eat cake/cup-cakes I made from Spelt and there is bread that is sold at Whole Foods and sprouts that is made from Spelt.

Btw, the allergist I went to is Dr. Rao and he sells an (non-rx) enzyme that helps digest foods so that she can eat stuff that she is still midly allergic to. Since she has/had so many allergies, we had to eat some of the items so the enzyme helped there.

Good luck and PM me with any questions if you want. Btw, my DD has out-grown many of her allergies.

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answers from Houston on

I am so sorry- I know how stressful food allegies are. My 2 year old is allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts. At 1 she was also allergic to wheat but by her two 20 month allergy testing (the actual skin test, not just the blood test), she had outgrown her wheat allergy. The websites people gave you are really helpful. Dive in and learn as much as you can. Especially the information about the hidden ingredients, ex: casein is a milk product. Read labels carefully, I was still giving my daughter cheerios and one day she had a reaction. I looked more carefully at all ingredients and it had a wheat starch. Same with chicken nuggets. Most lunch meat/hot dogs have a milk derivative in it. Hormel's natural does not. Jennie O's turkey dogs are ok. We found that Tinkyada rice pasta was the best and there are a ton of gross, mushy ones out there. I found Tings at Amazon.com that look just like cheetos but have no cheese on them. We buy tofuti soy cheese and icecream. I hope that she likes fruit because you will find that is the easiest snack. If she'll eat oatmeal, that would be a great breakfast. There is a powdered egg substitute that I use when baking or cooking. Healthfood stores or even HEB and Krogers have specialty sections. HEB actually has some wheat, egg, milk free cookies called snickerdoodles that were great for me to send with her when her class was having any kind of sweets. Silk has a soy yogurt but watch other brands. Some actually say that they may contain traces of milk. We use Almond milk- expensive but easier on my daughter's tummy. She tolerated the soy icecream and yogurt ok but with as much milk as they drink, it was just harder on her digestion. Also make sure she is on a good children't vitamin. This is all that mine has known so she is used to hearing - you can't have that because it will hurt your tummy. I try to eat the same as her most of the time so that she has someone in the family to share with but it is really hard. (Sorry if I have rambled, I just remember wanting someone to tell me what to buy!) If you have any other questions, you are more than welcome to message me and ask. It is all really overwhelming at first and we have tried a bunch of things during that first year!

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answers from Dallas on

Sites to check out:
kidshealth is a great site. Here is egg allergy and a list of words that mean egg: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/medical/allergies/egg_al...
Here is their info on milk allergy including something to print out to look on lables for (cut & carry) http://www.kidshealth.org/Search01.jsp

There are a few guides out there Super Baby Food is a book I would recommend, written by Ruth Yaron, her children had allergies... however, she is a little HARD CORE... lol you can read tons about it at Amazon.com
Um, also my son is allergy/excema baby.
There is an organic soy yogurt (o'soy) you can find at Whole Foods, Central Market and some times Tom Thumb and Kroger. Look into Gluten Free diets. Stores like Whole Foods sell Gluten Free Snacks, also Target has some.
There are gluten free cereals too. There are even gluten free cake mixes.
I'm sorry you are feeling bad about it. But you pursued and found out. You knew... it's OK.
Get tests for celiac and other things. Push harder if you need to.
In the meantime, I'm going looking for you and will come back and revise this when I find great stuff...

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answers from Dallas on

You have to check out this book "Dealing with Food Allergies in Babies and Children" by Janice Vickerstaff Joneja, PhD, RD. The author is an expert in food allergy management and a dietician. It was published in 2007 so is extremely current. There are chapters devoted to specific food allergies, exactly the ones your daughter has. There is also a chapter about eczema and food allergies. The book presents several helpful substitutes for common foods with these allergens and so much more. I highly recommend taking a look at it. I'm sure you don't have oodles of time to read (I know I don't with my two kids) but it could be very worth it.

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answers from Houston on

We have a similar list of allergens to avoid. First we found that unless we all (yes, the entire family - even dad and sibs.)exclude the allergens it is simply not going to work. We eliminated all of the allergens (and every product containing even one)from our home. All meals and snacks are safe for our whole family. Every label must be read with care in the store.

We found that to avoid wheat we look for product that says gluten free. Also-Rem that Mayo is eggs and with kids gets all over everything so does peanut and its oil, and butter too.

The following are cook books that you should check out:
"Cooking Free" by Carol Fenster, Ph.D.
"The Whole Foods Allergy Cook Book" by Cybele Pascal (This one has a section in the beginning that you really should read. It is worth the time.)

The following are web sites, that we feel, are very helpful and useful (all are www. unless noted):

Also celiac ans allergy non-invasive testing-

P.S.I made ALL of my own baby food - it isnt hard.

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answers from Dallas on

Was she tested for celiac disease, which is far more than just an allergy to wheat? Celiac causes damage to the intestines that often leads to all these other food allergies. If she has celiac, then removing just wheat won't remove all the gluten (which is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and most oats) and that could be the culprit. I will note that most allergist are not familiar with celiac, since it's traditional considered a severe GI disorder. However, recent research shows it's far more common than many doctors were ever taught.

On the practical side, you can find gluten-free snacks at Sprouts and Whole Foods. And, there are many gluten-free cereals. Many Kroger stores also carry the gluten-free food items. So she can have cereal, crackers and fruit bars again. The first few months are tough for anyone. It took my two boys about 6 months to fully be on track with the dietary change (including the removal of dairy, which is really harder because the non-dairy cheeses just aren't the same). But, they were feeling significantly better within two months, so you need to allow a little bit more time - it is tough, but well worth it in the end. Since she is also allergic to eggs, you will likely have to make any cookies or other treats for her, but you can do that with the gluten-free mixes and egg replacers.

Let me know if you have any other questions - we've been dealing with this issue in our family going on five years now, so it is now second nature for us.


answers from Dallas on

Healthy Approach in Bedford has a lot of great products that are wheat/casen free and a lot of great soy products (like yogurt) and a lot of vegatarian foods. It is an organic market, and they even have little classes, books and information there that you can get for people with food allergies.

If she doesn't like the taste of soy yogurt, mash up real fruit (fresh or frozen) and mix it in.

Here is the website, you can shop online and get resources online, or you can go to the store, or call and someone can probably give you some good resources.




answers from Odessa on

There are many alternative foods at the healthfood stores. Go in and ask questions til you find what you need. Good luck!!



answers from San Antonio on

check out kidswithfoodallergies.org



answers from Houston on

When I got the excema and food allergy diagnosis about my son 5 years ago I was a wreck! But we got through it and so can you. You have to adjust your whole family's eating sot aht your daughter feels she isnt being excluded. Im not much help about wheat (though my aunt suffers from this and didnt know until her 60's!) milk, eggs and nuts are pretyt easy to avoid. There is an egg replacer called Energy its a powder and you can bake with it, so you can still make cakes, there is also a brand of allergy free mixes (cookies, pancake, brownies, cakes) called Cherrybrook kitchen check outn their site, www.cherybrookkitchen.com I get it at kroger but you might be able to get your grocery store to carry it.
It is very hard to get others to understand the seriousness of food allergies, its up to you to be your daughter's biggest advocate. Good luck and feel free to keep in touch, theres not very many of us out here, I have yet to meet someone with all that we deal with.



answers from Dallas on

My son, 19 months, has had eczema since a newborn also. At 9 months, he was put on zyrtec and been on since. At 1 yr, we had the allergy test done. Found he is allergic to milk, eggs, nuts, and slight wheat and soy; as well as pet dander, and the obvious environmental allergies. I have found some great stuff at Whole Foods, and some stuff at Kroger. Hayden loves veggy burgers and white-meat turkey dogs. Cherrybrook Kitchen (www.cherrybrookkitchen.com)has some really yummy foods; cookies, cakes, brownies, pancakes. You really need to be careful about buying those things at bakeries and even boxed stuff. Soy yogurt is great; I usually put some oatmeal or fresh fruit in it to add some calories.
If you have any more questions, feel free to message me back! I feel as tho i have dealt with this forever!!!
Good luck, i know its stressful!



answers from Dallas on

My son was diagnosed with Peanut Allergy when he was 11 months. His allergist put him on Zyrtec but I do not believe it helps. Nasonex helps much more... Our pediatrician told us to use Aquaphor AND a prescribed topical steroid cream as well as Dove bar soap. I have also tried Hydrocortisone 1% and it worked much better than the RX.

A year past and I just felt it that if my son was to get rid of all the red from his eczema, I would constantly have to put this RX cream and Aquaphor... which these topical steroid creams have the tendency to "thin out the skin" leading to stretch marks and other scars.

Finally, we went to a pediatric dermatologist -- the only one in the North Texas area from what I was told. Took us a month to get in, but I am so happy that I did. He prescribed a slightly stronger eczema cream called Fluticasone .05%. They also gave me a sample bar of Cetaphil soap -- although the doctor said the Dove soap is fine as well.

Recently, tired of the Aquaphor thickness, I went and purchased some Cetaphil CREAM (not lotion) -- since they recommend the soap, the cream should be good too, right?? Now, I use Fluticason to RID of the eczema and put the Cetaphil CREAM on top of it... then the next day, I just lather him up with the cream and again at night. His skin is so supple and nice... it's amazing... you wouldn't even know he had eczema!!! I seriously recommend the Cetaphil Cream and Soap (or Dove), as well as the Fluticason .05% cream.

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