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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:24 pm
Posts: 13
I've had a couple of requests for foods that my allergic kid can eat, so I wrote up a great big list last night and posted it on my blog.

This is just the "safe" processed foods list, doesn't include recipes or anything. His major food allergies are to dairy, nuts and peanuts. He doesn't react to "may contain traces" so we've allowed those on the list. (He vomits instantly when he reacts, so it's pretty clear when there's a reaction.)

Link to blog in my signature below.

If you've got more brands to add to the list, I'd love to get them.

Gladys

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My family's website, with stories of my allergic kids: http://mykidsallergies.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
wenat wrote:
(He vomits instantly when he reacts, so it's pretty clear when there's a reaction.)


Keep an eye out for less obvious reactions. Sometimes people are having minor reactions, or illnesses they don't associate with allergies, and don't realize it until they eliminate the trace amounts.

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self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
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wenat wrote:
He doesn't react to "may contain traces" so we've allowed those on the list. (He vomits instantly when he reacts, so it's pretty clear when there's a reaction.)

It could be that your son has not yet reacted to "may contains" because the items he's ingested thus far haven't actually contained traces of his allergen(s). The thing about "may contains" is that it really is a guessing game. It may or may not contain the allergen but there is enough of a risk that the manufacturer is warning those with allergies so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to take the risk of ingesting their product. We don't allow my son to eat anything that has a "may contain" warning for peanuts / nuts because I liken it to playing Russian Roulette with his life and his life just isn't worth the risk. You just never know. There really are so many unknowns with allergies and because allergic reactions themselves are so unpredictable from one to the next, you might not want to count on his vomiting as the sole indicator that he's having a reaction. I hope I haven't offended, I just think that avoiding "may contains" altogether is the safest route for the food allergic.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
We used to allow a few "may contains" that we felt safe with as well, until my son had a full blown anaphylactic reaction last year (not to a "may contain", to something that did contain but we didn't know it). Watching your child lying in a hospital bed struggling for breath is certainly an experience that will make a deep impression on a parent. Now we don't allow any "may contains" at all. No food is worth ever risking that again.
I agree with ethansmom's "Russian roulette" analogy. The food may be safe to eat a thousand times, but if on the 1001th time my child reacts, then it's not worth it.

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1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:24 pm
Posts: 13
Thanks for your comments, and ethansmom, no offense was taken.

We're mostly careful about the "may contains". Most of what he eats is home-cooked, and only a few things are in the "may contains" category. This list is very long, but it's not a true picture of what he eats in any day.

I'm awere that his allergies might develop into asthma, so I'm very senstitive to his breathing -- and it's usually clear except after a reaction. His skin is also usually soft, except when it's been really dry for a week, and then he needs a bit of skin cream to keep it from getting too dry.

He's vomited on trace amounts of undeclared stuff. For example, I gave him a Pims chocolate/orange cookie as a treat just before Christmas. There's nothing on the label that says dairy or nuts -- and it did have an allergy warning for wheat and soy -- but he vomited after two bites, so that's off the list. (It's basically flour, gelatin, and preservatives, not good for him, but it was a special treat.)

Hmm... maybe there's another list I should make, of things that he's reacted to which don't have any declarations. Like the Natural Factors strawberry acidophilus. He'd gone through two bottles safely (and happily -- he called it his strawberry powder, and loved it on milk or juice), then they reformulated it. He vomited on the new formula, and there is no declared dairy on it at all.

He also vomited a calcium supplement which had no declared dairy (I'm assuming it was dairy, since I can't imagine that a calcium supplement would go near nuts). I can't remember the brand of it because it got returned to the store the same day.

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My family's website, with stories of my allergic kids: http://mykidsallergies.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:36 pm 
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Posts: 1054
wenat, why you're seeing so much inconsistency with the labelling for "may contains" is that in Canada, it's not a requirement by law that food manufacturers label for "may contains". It is voluntary. So even though a product does not have a "may contain" statement, it could still be cross contaminated with any of your son's allergens. That's why calling companies about specific products as well as verifying each company's labelling practices for "may contains" is so important. Companies have gotten really good at being able to tell you if specific allergens have been run on the same line as the food you're calling about as well as if they are present in the same facility. Total pain in the butt, but so worth it. Peanuts and nuts have been cross-contaminants in some foods I would never have thought were an issue until I made that call. Calling companies instead of using your son's vomiting as an indicator of whether or not a food has traces of his allergen(s) would save him that scary (and dangerous) experience. There's some really good information under the "Food Labelling" thread on this forum: http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=17


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:24 pm
Posts: 13
Thanks for the advice, ethansmom.

I'm reading over my post and it really does sound worse than it is. He usually goes several months between mystery reactions -- it's not like I'm giving him new foods every day to try them out. Our worst reactions have historically been around Christmas just because there's so much new stuff around.

My major conflict is the two kinds of advice that I'm now encountering. The first is the safe one: avoid, avoid, avoid.

The second is the "inoculation" theory: expose to trace amounts so that the body "learns" that the food is not an allergen. I'm getting this from the "hygiene hypothesis" of allergies in the western world. Maybe it's better for his body to get a teeny bit of exposure so that it can be inoculated. (Certainly that seems to be what's working in the peanut allergy desensitization trials. Not that I'm going to do that at home :o )

It's so hard to figure out how to do the right thing.

I'm reminded of when I took my son to the dentist, and asked about giving him fluoride drops to my son. The dentist basically said "hell no", then explained. Fluoride drops had been recommended for most kids about half a generation ago, until the kids' adult teeth started showing up with fluorosis (discolouration and spots). And then it turned out that the moms who were most diligent and careful about giving the fluoride supplements had the kids with the worst cases. So the best moms, with the best intentions, did the most damage.

I'm afraid to be one of those moms.

It's great to have this forum for support and discussion.

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My family's website, with stories of my allergic kids: http://mykidsallergies.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
For me, there is only one rule: AVOID at all costs. You never know if the next reaction might be different and more severe.

We only stick to safe foods. You have to err on the side of caution. We also stick to well-known companies who declare their allergens. We avoid any product from companies that are not well known (especially imported products) and don't list possible allergens.

As far as advice about giving trace amounts to try to "inoculate" your child, you won't find it on this forum. That's mostly the non-allergic people who don't understand allergies who give you this sort of advice. This has not been scientifically proven.

True, there is a promising desensitization study being conducted in the States but it's under very strict medical supervision and should not be attempted at home.

I think you should have phoned the Canadian Food Inspection Agency about the calcium supplement.

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15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Quote:
Like the Natural Factors strawberry acidophilus.


FYI, my youngest daughter got all red around her mouth from taking it. Obviously, we stopped.

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DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:26 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Toronto
When we were first learning how to deal with foods with my son's allergy, I used to think that if it did not say "may contain" we were good to go (ie. with a familiar/popular name brand items)...however, on a gut feeling (and those are usually right) I called about a frozen vegetarian lasagna that had no may contain warning. Sure enough, it was made on the same line with products with nuts. Who would of thought a vege lasagna right? That's why you just never know.

Ang

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6 1/2 year old son - anaphylactic to tree nuts, allergic to dust and moulds
5 1/2 year old son - no allergies
15 month old son...allergies unknown


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:34 pm 
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saskmommyof2 wrote:
Quote:
Like the Natural Factors strawberry acidophilus.


FYI, my youngest daughter got all red around her mouth from taking it. Obviously, we stopped.


Should we report that? Or is acidophilus exempt from allergy labelling?

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My family's website, with stories of my allergic kids: http://mykidsallergies.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I did a quick search on the internet and am wondering if this is the product you guys (wenat and saskmommy) are referring to:
http://www.totaldiscountvitamins.com/de ... cID=nextag

If it is the same product, if you look at the link I provided, it states:
Quote:
Other Ingredients
Colostrum natural strawberry flavor, beef powder, ascorbic acid, maltodextrine.
Contains trace amounts of milk.


It would make sense that your children (with allergies to milk) were probably reacting to the "trace amounts of milk".

wenat, I don't believe that "natural health remedies" fall under the CFIA's regulations for food labelling. Someone else please correct me if I'm wrong (Lance??). Unless you know a company's policies on labelling for allergens (on items that aren't covered by the CFIA's regulations -- ingested and non-food items) and their policy for declaring "may contains" you really need to make that call to them to find out.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:24 pm
Posts: 13
That's the product -- thanks for looking it up, ethansmom!

I'm positive that my label didn't have "traces of milk" on it -- i would NOT have given it to him if I'd read that, and I suspect that saskmommyof2 would have done the same thing.

At the time, I did complain to someone at Natural Factors -- they're a Burnaby-based company. Maybe they've changed the label since then?

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My family's website, with stories of my allergic kids: http://mykidsallergies.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
wenat -- don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that you guys would have put your kids at risk knowingly -- my point is that we can't trust that manufacturers are going to label for "may contains" because it is not required of them by law. That's why it's so important that we call for each product that we buy, where we don't know a company's labelling policies.
I can't say for sure if nutritional supplements are governed by the same labelling laws as food -- if they aren't, then the onus is completely on the consumer to call to find out about all ingredients as well as trace amounts. Maybe someone else can shed some more light....?

It could be that they voluntarily changed their label because of your call?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
That is a different package than the one I had...but same company...basically the same product and mine said specifically "does not contain...dairy, etc."

Now I'm wondering if a product can actually say "does not contain dairy" but actually be possibly cross contaminated.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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