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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Thornhill
Hi - me again. My anxiety is gluing me to the computer yet I still have so much reading to catch up on so I apologise if this is a repetitive post (I did try to do a search first)

Ok - here's the situation. This summer I am home on mat leave. I want to use the time to introduce new foods in my daughter's diet (3-1/2 years). When I am at work, we end up really with only Saturday as an introduction day, since I will only do so early in the day (we have had long ER visits, so dinner introduction makes no sense for us). Since we typically have play dates or errands, we have ended up with her diet remaining very restricted. So, carpe diem...

Complicating factors:
1) my anxiety, which includes feeling like a mad-scientist using my daughter as an unknowing guinea pig
2) her food anxiety - can't blame her but she's afraid of new things and I am afraid it may get worse if mommy who tries to be safe and make her feel safe triggers a reaction
3) simply not being sure how to go about it. her first reaction was when she was only 7 or 8 months and was such a minute amount of sesame and one of the scariest nights of my life
4) her level of sensitivity. it's quite... ummm... extreme

So why I am even wanting to try? Obviously there is the desire to be able to give her more variety, to have more "normal" meals, maybe even get to the point when our family dinners can be truly that (we often snack with her and eat our real dinner after she's in bed, a scenario that can't last much longer). She has a sibling now and I don't want him more restricted than need be once his diet expands. The anxiety related motivation is also hope-based. I would like to know, from as safe a starting point as possible that we don't have other "big" ones lurking -- ones that may happen once she's attending school and also becoming increasingly independent.

Thoughts? Advice? Don't worry, I can take it...

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
Hi Renie,
I don't have to look out for sesame so I honestly don't know how restrictive it is but we have found that on our egg, milk and nut free diet that we can eat a good variety of foods. We have given up on processed foods but using fresh ingredients makes it easy to be allergen free. For suppers, we stick to cooking fresh meats and veggies. We are definitely a meat and potato family. It doesn't take all that long to throw things together either. In the summer we do pork chops, steak, chicken, pork tenderloin, burgers, Maple Leaf all beef weiners on the BBQ. We use the slow cooker year round to do beef and pork roasts and other meats. You can get the slow cooker stuff organized at night for the morning. It does get easier hang in there. I always freeze left overs from a big meal for days when I really don't feel like cooking. I cook hams, chickens and turkey breasts to slice and freeze for lunch meat.

My daughter's contact reactions were frequent when she was a toddler but we haven't had many in the last few years at all.
Good luck,
Kate

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13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Hi Renie,

Kate gives you good counsel. Let me give you a couple of thoughts on your first point - about feeling like a mad scientist.

I understand why you say that, but that's being too hard on yourself. Remember a few things:
- children need good nutrients from several sources. By opening your daughter to more and good foods, you are helping her diet, her growth, her health;
- Allergists now think that a lot of later onset allergies are the result of our immune systems not being exposed often enough to certain foods. Again, not the mad scientist but rather promoting tolerance in her immune system with these exposures.
- Sesame is one of the top 10 allergens. Sometimes we hear of nut and seed allergies going together. But it's certainly not always so. In your shoes, I would definitely speak to my child's allergist or pediatrician about when and how to try introducing nut.

Also, Dr. Janice Jonega developed this good chart about the allergencity of different foods: http://www.hallpublications.com/title2_sample1.html

Perhaps if you were to try some of the "safest" foods first, then your daughter came to really like some of those, neither of you would be as frightened about trying new stuff. If, for instance, she hasn't tried a fruit that she turns out to like a lot, then Mom's the hero for giving her something new and yummy. I think with a few successes under your belt, it will get easier.

I'm sure you know this, but allergists to prefer you to try one new food at a time to make sure it's being tolerated.

Renie, I think you ask great questions and are smart to be asking about these things. I hope your specialist can also give you some advice speciific to your daughter.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 58
Hi there,

Our child too is contact reactive and *very* sensitive to allergens (he is ana. to a whole pile of things, including milk, wheat, eggs, soy, peas, peanuts, tree nuts ... and more!). Our allergist gave us a protocol to follow when introducing new foods which I feel comfortable with.

You touch the food with a (clean) finger and then touch your child's leg (i.e. back of the calf). If no hives occur after about 10 minutes, you move up to the thigh. You keep moving up, so long as no hives occur. We usually do the following: calf, thigh, forearm, upper arm, cheek, outer lip, inside of lip, and then tongue. If there are no hives/other symptoms, I introduce a very small bit of food to eat. If nothing happens, I wait and do the same thing the next day. If all goes well, I consider the food safe, and offer a bit to eat for a few days. Once a few days of eating a bit go by without incident, I consider the food safe. (Having said that, I take little for granted and have now become an expert at doing the hives-watch!). A less 'scientific' method is the 'kiss test' ... where you eat the food and then kiss your little one (leg first etc.). You'd have to make sure you haven't eaten any known allergens or other unknown foods earlier in the day (including unsafe toothpaste etc.).

We have tried this method with several foods and I'm happy to say that unsafe foods have shown warning signs by way of hives almost immediately. By the way, I also give the testing areas a little wipe after I'm done - hives or not (this might just be me being Type A).:oops:

Your doctor may have other suggestions, but this method (though time consuming) is the safest and most non-invasive one I've found. Others on the forum may also have suggestions (I'm always open to learning ways to manage multiple ana. food allergies and contact reactivity!).

Good luck!:)

PS Gwen - thanks for the chart!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Thornhill
katec thanks! we have a bit of a different challenge which is a blessing since we are vegan. A challenge as at times I think that meats would be convenient and a blessing since my daughter is egg and dairy allergic. I do need to get in to a much better routine for freezing though so that is an excellent reminder! It is also encouraging to hear about contact reactions becoming less frequent. Do you think that your child learned to avoid possible sources of contamination (and if yes, tips please!) or do you think sensitivity decreased?

gwentheeditor I actually cried when I read your post. I felt some of my sense of guilt lift and feel reaffirmed that I do need to take this time to do introductions.
Quote:
Also, Dr. Janice Jonega developed this good chart about the allergencity of different foods: http://www.hallpublications.com/title2_sample1.html
WOW! Great - especially as I have a 6 month old and we are *just* starting cereal. I found some of this surprising and it is going to be in our allergen information cupboard in our kitchen as a reference! (for my daughter and son)

Panacea Our allergist didn't give us this idea at all and I LOVE it! He had suggested starting with minute traces (tip of pencil lead size). So, this leads me to a new question that I would love to hear people's thoughts on...

Given that our daughter has anxiety about new foods, I was uncomfortable introducing things orally which may trigger a reaction but also uncomfortable saying "oh come here, mommy is just going to touch this on your tongue to see if your body likes it" - it will scare her. I am afraid if I involve her too much in knowing it is new/potentially an allergen, she may give me some false feedback out of fear (my tummy hurts...). The "mad-scientist" fear also makes me feel that I can't keep her in the dark. I think the regime from Panacea will allow me to do it discreetly until we reach oral exposure. Long winded introduction to the new question.... what do parents and caregivers out there do and say when introducing something new to you little ones? Or do you not say it is new, and just give small, small amounts?

I don't think I have said so yet but thank you everyone for your patience as I try to find my comfort zone...

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Renie, we're all just glad to be of any help to you. (Group hug!)

Keep us posted on how things go with the introducing.

fingers crossed for you.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Thornhill
Sad but true... I have resorted to sugar-foods to help alleviate my DD's anxiety to try new foods (but also as birthday parties are coming up and our friends always ask what store-bought goodies they can put out - can I rationalise or what?!)

Quote:
If, for instance, she hasn't tried a fruit that she turns out to like a lot, then Mom's the hero for giving her something new and yummy. I think with a few successes under your belt, it will get easier.


Perhaps it is because she has a sweet tooth but her anxiety seems to be missing entirely after trying a cookie and a real fruit gummy candy. Both were a huge hit. The candy is dinosaur shaped and she's in a BIG dinosaur phase right now.

I may even try walnuts this weekend. Exciting but taking it very S-L-O-W-L-Y

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Thornhill
We're now up: Oreos, Cheerios, Rice Crispies, Eggplant and Almond. Thanks for all the confidence building everyone :) Cracking almonds takes a long time but I am so paranoid, I want to know that they haven't encountered any errant sesame seeds on their travels. She'd had almond before but then we couldn't find a safe almond butter anymore and it had lapsed for so long I was worried that perhaps she'd developed an allergy to it...

Summer of new foods it is! The junk alleviated her anxiety enough that she is now asking to try foods :) I love it though, she won't until she asks "Did you call the company?" and then ask me about each of her specific allergens. I could have cried when she shared Oreos with my DH - she brought him one and said "It's for you daddy. They are SO YUMMY to me"

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
That is great that you guys are making such good progress. I could have cried myself when I first saw that Oreos no longer had milk in them (they changed their ingredients about 2 years ago I think).

Keep up the good work! :)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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