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Food Allergies and picky eater

Covington, WA
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Food Allergies and picky eater

I have a 9 mo old who has an allergy to milk, peanuts, strawberries, & cashews; soaps, lotions, and perfumes; he is also a picky eater and will gag on anything he doesn’t like. If I keep trying to give it to him, he eventually gags to the point of getting sick. To top it off, he has a sensitive gag reflex. I’m still giving him pureed baby food and no table food for these reasons. I practice the give one new food at a time to see if there is an allergy there; however, I have a problem determining whether he has a reaction to the food or if the eczema flare up is due to his formula (Allimentum) or an external cause so it is very difficult to determine a food allergy. How can I get my son to eat table food without worrying about an allergic reaction and get past his gagging?!?

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  1. Have you talked to a pediatrician? I believe there are food sensitivity tests they can do, but I”m not sure if these can be done before 2 years. I’m sure one of the awesome docs on this site can help you!

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    1. Hi Kristen – thought i had replied to your post but i don’t see my response. We have an allergist we take him to that has done a prick test on a food set and environmental set. This is how we found out he is allergic to milk, strawberries, peanuts, cashews and salmon. He is soy intolerant but didn’t come back as allergic to it. We see his allergist approx every 2 to 3 mo to monitor his allergy responses & medication that he takes to help counteract the reactions. There is also a family history of food allergies so I’m extra careful. However, none of my other kids have had these allergies and was not picky eaters to boot so frustration abounds when i know that by now he should be eating a good portion of table food.
      Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Amy, I am familiar with that frustration! My son was diagnosed around 6 mos. with a dairy and soy allergy and it was a long road of finding his triggers and adjusting our diets and routines to accommodate them. There’s only so much you can worry about at one time so try to prioritize the things you are working on. I wouldn’t worry so much about him eating only purees right now. Once he’s a little older and you’ve had time to do allergy trials of more foods you can cross the bridge into table foods. I know lots of babies that aren’t even interested in table food until they’re 1 anyway 🙂 We found that we often had to introduce a “new” food two or three separate times to really get a good answer about whether it was causing a reaction or not. This takes SO MUCH TIME and it gets frustrating fast (especially when you just want to be able to feed your baby!). It’s worth it in the end, though, when you feel like you have a good understanding of your son’s reactions and can move on to other things on the list (like introducing table foods, working on expanding his palate, etc.). We were often in “survival mode” with my son’s eating while we were doing allergy trials and he was still learning to eat solids- we gave him the things we knew he could safely eat and that he liked and if that meant he only ate peaches, sweet potatoes, and bananas for a few days, then that’s what had to happen 🙂 If you can, try to eliminate all other variables for his allergic reactions other than the foods you’re introducing. We kept our son on a complete elimination diet while we found soaps, lotions, etc. that he didn’t react to and only after we knew that we had limited as many external triggers as possible did we start to introduce new foods again. I know it’s hard but you’re doing everything you can! Keep up the good work, mama!

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    1. Hi Laura – thank you for your response. Makes me feel better knowing there are others out there with the same frustration. Just this week i decided to extend the number of days when trying a new foods from 3 to 5 so i get a better assessment. This week has been bananas and so far no major breakout – yay! This is one of his favorite foods. I will be happy when we are able to take him off of formula as that will be a great ellimination of his main did allergy. I think we can than make more headway with more foods. Thanks for your input and encouraging words!

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      1. I just loved Laura W’s response to your concerns! She is right on when she suggests taking your time and not putting too much pressure on either of you to figure this out yesterday. Working closely with your allergist is wonderful and can really guide you in which foods to introduce when. Food allergies can be so frustrating but it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at helping your little boy. If his gagging persists when he is a bit older, you can discuss with your pediatrician whether or not a feeding evaluation done by a speech therapist would be helpful or not. Some children had a rough time with certain textures, gagging and choking and making it difficult to differentiate between allergy, dislike and oral dysfunction.

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