Early into the arrival of our first born, Bryce, I discovered that he possibly had some food allergies. I’m a breastfeeding mom. I nursed both of my children until they were 1 1/2 year old. 2-3 months into nursing Bryce I noticed that he was getting a rash around his mouth. The pediatrician suggested that I stopped eating dairy. His rash calmed down but he still had the rash. I decided to start eliminating the foods that I ate daily. I started with bananas. Every morning with my breakfast I use to eat a banana. Bryce’s rash went away completely within a couple of days. Luckily I decided to start with bananas.
For a year in a half, I didn’t eat dairy or bananas for the sake of my child. Some may be wondering why I didn’t just give him formula. I didn’t want to take on the cost of formula and I ALWAYS said, “When/If I have children, I plan to breastfeed if I can.” Giving up dairy and bananas was no big deal for me. Changing my diet has never been a big thing for me.
I was nervous about starting him on solids because of food allergies. Most moms start solids around 6 months old. Now that I think about it, I see moms starting solids around 2-4 months old. I started a little after 6 months. Close to 7 months. Doctors say wait 2-3 days to see if the child has a reaction before introducing another new food. I waited a week. lol We tried solids here and there. Discovered he was allergic to sweet potato. I was being safe because he wasn’t old enough to tell me his throat was itchy, he couldn’t breathe, etc. I didn’t know what his allergic reaction would be. His reaction always seemed to be a rash around his mouth and on his cheeks. I was glad it wasn’t more severe.
I wanted to get him allergy tested but we had to wait until he was older. Shortly after his third birthday, I was able to get into the office of our pediatric allergist. The allergy skin test and blood test was scheduled. The skin test confirmed his allergy to dairy and eggs. I never gave him peanuts or peanut butter because my husband has a peanut allergy and I wasn’t going to take a risk with Bryce. The skin test showed that he is allergic to peanuts as well. Good call to never try them right? He is allergic to a couple grasses and trees also.
I always talk to Bryce about his allergies and tell him that he can’t have certain things but we can make things that he isn’t allergic to. I have never let him eat sweets because we aren’t a big sweets/desserts family. So when we would attend birthday parties I would tell him he couldn’t have the cake/cupcakes/cookies because they had milk and/or eggs in them and he wouldn’t give me a fuss. He even started telling people, “I can’t have that. I’m allergic.” I’m proud of him for that! He understands and it doesn’t bother him. Also when we attend a birthday party I bring him a special sweet treat to have so he doesn’t feel completely left out.
With him starting VPK this year I wanted him to have something so that the teachers remembered his allergies. Yes, they have his allergies in his file and yes he can tell them but I still wanted something. I found this allergy bracelet on Amazon. He LOVES it. He makes sure that he wears it every day. I bought it over the summer so he could get in the habit of wearing it and talking about his allergies more.
As I said, for birthdays I take a special treat for him and at home, we make dairy and egg free sweets occasionally so that he knows he can have those things just made a little different. Our meals at home are pretty healthy. We’re vegan. When we ate meat I still made things “healthy”. Ground turkey for burgers and spaghetti instead of ground beef. We’ve always eaten lots of vegetables. I don’t make a lot of sweets. We don’t eat out much. We prefer to cook at home.
Bryce also has seasonal allergies. My husband has seasonal allergies so before we had children we already had air purifiers in the house. Bryce sleeps with an air purifier in his room. We have a big one in the main room of the house. When we travel, we take an air purifier with us for him to sleep with. We don’t ride with the car windows down during allergy season. Also, I give him local honey to help with seasonal allergies.
I thought that having a child with food allergies would be hard but we’ve adjusted. We’re educated and we have educated him. I see that other little ones (at his school) deal with food allergies as well. He isn’t alone and he doesn’t have to feel like he is weird just because he is different. God made him special. He is our special little guy.
Do you or your little one have food and/or seasonal allergies? How have you adjusted?