How I Learned to Feed My Children With Severe Food Allergies

FEEDING MY CHILDREN WITH FOOD ALLERGIES

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Not long after our second son turned one we realized that something was wrong.  He had always been a very thin little one, and he was shorter in stature than his older brother who always maxed out every growth chart from the day he was born.

I had attributed his trailing growth to genetics, with my husband’s family having men as short at 5’5″ and as tall as 6’5″ along with the men in my family fitting in the middle of his somewhere, we knew we could have kids all over the growth chart.

The other factor was that he was severely tongue tied until he was 10 months old, when the Pediatrician finally agreed to give us the referral for a Frenectomy. He could eat much better after, but he never made the type of gains we were hoping for, even on formula.

His little belly was super distended all the time, and he was beginning to show signs that something in his diet was affecting his digestive system negatively.  This prompted us to quit cloth diapering because we could not keep his bottom from rashes and hoped that disposables would keep him dryer.  They did not.

We even ended up in the emergency room one day because what came out of him was the exact same color and consistency of the milk he had consumed less than 30 minutes earlier.

1st Diagnosis

After he was about 18 months old we began to pursue, in earnest, some sort of diagnosis or help because he was beginning to vomit every single day and still had intestinal issues that were not changing.  His Pediatrician told us to try lactose free products and that eased the symptoms for a few months, but they came back.

We decided to eliminate all dairy, including casein, and see if that brought even further relief, which it did.  We had another child, our first daughter, by this time and she began to show the same symptoms as she grew.

Our whole family went diary free to accommodate two out of our family of five having, what we believed, was an allergy to dairy protein.

2nd Diagnosis

We moved to another state, and finally got our allergy testing, which was negative for both dairy and wheat.  This stumped us because, while being completely dairy free was helping some our son still had a distended belly, intestinal upset, and our daughter was suffering from eczema.

We switched to another Pediatrician in the same town after a traumatic appointment with our oldest, on the spectrum, where we realized that the former one was not equipped to handle children with sensory processing disorder.

The new Pediatrician begrudgingly went with my request for blood work for our son to test him for Celiac Disease.  She called me back two days later, You know that blood work you asked to be done, we actually did find that he has high levels of reactivity to gluten.  I need to refer you to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist.”

This Momma felt the weight of years, four at this time, of uncertainty and struggle being lifted in that very moment. By the end of 2015, 4 years after beginning to ask questions about our son’s symptoms, both diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Now What?

You can’t eat breads.

You still can’t eat dairy.

You can’t eat things made on the same machinery as bread.

You can’t be in a room where someone has baked with gluten containing flours for at least 8-12 hours.

You have to make everything they eat, or bring it with you.

Here’s the number of a dietitian (who did not help us in any way).

How on Earth was I going to feed my kids?

I found Trim Healthy Mama looking at some Mom-blogs that I had been following since my husband was in the military.  As our family grew I was trying to glean as much as I could about how to care for our large family from these ladies.

I began to look at the program, and bought their first book The Trim Healthy Mama Plan, as an e-book, which is no longer in print.  I read the book in just a few hours and I knew that it was what I was looking for to meet my childrens’ needs.

I could combine foods, real foods, simple foods, and do it for weight gain.  I could feed myself during pregnancy, nursing and beyond.  It fit our whole family!

Over the Years we have dabbled in it for weight loss, my husband and I, and at this time we are seeing a lot of success.  You can find our progress over at Life In The Treehouse.

We love it so much that my husband buys me the yearly Trim Healthy Membership for our Anniversary.  He gets a Motor Trend subscription, so fair is fair.

We find our recipes from many places.  Cookbooks, Pinterest (We have tried over 500 THM Compliant recipes at the time this is written), The membership site, and Bloggers who make recipes for the community.

Cookbooks:

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Trim Healthy Table

Our Favorite Trim Healthy Mama Bloggers:

Mamashire – Many of her older recipes are THM, but her newest ones are gluten free/dairy free but mostly crossovers or off plan.

Northern NesterShe is mostly No Special Ingredients

Oil of Joy – Egg free/gluten free/dairy free

Lotsa little Lambs – The best gluten free pancakes, plus lots of other recipes!

Joy Filled Eats – Some dairy free, but lots of gluten free.

Well-Planned Kitchen – Used to be “Working At Homeschool”, and at this time many recipes still say that on the web.

Brianna Thomas – The Ice Cream Queen, including dairy free ones!

My Montana Kitchen – She does a lot of gluten free, and has some great dairy free things too.

Oh Sweet mercy – Real food, with lots of E meal options.

Wonderfully Made and Dearly Loved – Many gluten free/dairy free.

Darcie’s Dishes – She is the tex-mex food Queen.

Mrs. Criddle’s Kitchen – lots of down home cooking

Nana’s Little Kitchen – a little bit of everything

Raye’s Place – gluten and dairy free, with some surprising ingredients that are delicious.

Sweet E’s – Greens heavy, and lots of inventive ways.  She does not cheat on her plan, EVER!

 

Thank you so much for stopping by!

If you want to learn more about my family, Read about Why I believe you are a Gatekeeper, or how to cut down your cooking time you have come to the right place.

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