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Help me figure out how to feed my picky eater with multiple food allergies

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My DS is 2.5 years old.

I am having problems and need help.
1) My DS is a VERY picky eater
2) My DS has multiple severe food allergies
3) Because of #2 I am afraid to try new foods for him
4) I have never been big on cooking but now everything he eats needs to be made from scratch and I am failing, FAILING, at making him foods


So, my DS is a very picky eater. I have read many old threads here about picky eaters and they'll say their child is a picky eater and only eats this and then rattle off like 20-30 foods. My DS will only eat four (four!!). His gluten-free chicken nuggets, pears, bananas, and eggs. He will eat cheese and yogurt but we've pulled those for asthma issues.

So yeah. His diet is not good. HOWEVER, what is saving him right now is the fact that he still nurses A LOT. Like every 2-3 hours during the day and 3-6 times at night. He looks healthy. He's growing. And our Ped says we're okay so far since he is still getting lots of vit and minerals through my breastmilk. We also supplement with Vit D, Magnesium, Vit C and Cod Liver Oil.

BUT I know this cannot go on forever and I assume in the next 6 months he'll have to start ebbing off on the nursing and start eating a more varied diet.

But how do I get him there when he refuses all but his 4 foods?

Adding to all this is the fact that he is gluten-intolerant (probable celiac) and anaphylactic to peanuts and sesame. Sesame is the nightmare one. There are no safe foods out there except for things made from scratch. Okay, some will say I can call companies and make sure stuff is safe. Which is what I did with his chicken nuggets. But I am nervous about them anyway because manufacturing processes can change anytime. Something that I am told is safe today may not be next week and no one has to inform me. So I either call weekly or I just make food from scratch. That is what I have determined. If anyone can convince me otherwise please do. Am I overreacting?

On top of this, I am scared to feed him new foods. What else could he be allergic too? I am even scared everytime I give him eggs. He's never had a reaction to eggs and yet I read all over the place how allergies can start at anytime so I feed him eggs, look at the clock and feel nervous until at least 2 hours have passed. I feel this way every single time. I push through it. But it sucks. Our allergist just tested him for tree nuts and supposedly he is negative to all. She wants us to start feeding him nuts. I am scared. I read so many places that tree nuts are a bad idea for peanut allergic kids because of cross contamination. Also, I have read many stories of kids who tested negative then became positive after eating nuts. Our allergist said, "Well, you have an EpiPen." Really? Okay, THAT does not make me feel any better.

I have started offering him food from my dinner plate but he refuses every time and asks for his chicken nuggets. I have such mixed feelings each time. I am sad he won't try something new and relieved I do not have to wait and see if he has a reaction.

Finally, I am not a fan of cooking. I never have been. I love to eat. Hate to cook. AND my DS is very spirited and a crappy sleeper so I am always sleep deprived and exhausted and cannot imagine how I will even start cooking him food assuming he finally gets interested in it.

This cannot go on. Very soon I know he'll start nursing less and then it is going to be HUGE issue.

So can anyone help me? Advice? Words of wisdom? A slap across the face?
post #2 of 11
I don't have alot for you. My daughter is almost 2.5 and has been through miles of food intolerances, though no food IgE allergies. She has been and is very picky and still nurses most of the time.

I guess my viewpoint is that I can't force her to eat, let alone eat something that she's not interested in. So all I can do is try to get supplements into her, and offer healthy foods and let her take her course.

I believe the body self-protects and knows what is best for it, and I have to trust that.

Fear surrounding food and eating sucks. Flower essences, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, and CST can help you relax, or at least find your center with it.

Good luck. Come over to the chat thread to commiserate.

Lisa
post #3 of 11
His foods are all pretty low in salicylates, and sals can make for a spirited child. I wonder if you could try him on some more low sal foods and see if he'll eat those? And going with the sals idea, maybe if you lowered the sals in your diet, it might reduce the load for him some? Sals can also be a fairly common cause of asthma. Nutritionally, how's your omega 3mega 6 ratio? Are you getting plenty of b6? Do you eat legumes regularly? Do you eat meat?

Also, low zinc can cause picky eating, and possibly low mag as well? If you eat beets, does it turn your pee pink? Do you crave chocolate?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoMe View Post
His foods are all pretty low in salicylates, and sals can make for a spirited child. I wonder if you could try him on some more low sal foods and see if he'll eat those? And going with the sals idea, maybe if you lowered the sals in your diet, it might reduce the load for him some? Sals can also be a fairly common cause of asthma. Nutritionally, how's your omega 3mega 6 ratio? Are you getting plenty of b6? Do you eat legumes regularly? Do you eat meat?

Also, low zinc can cause picky eating, and possibly low mag as well? If you eat beets, does it turn your pee pink? Do you crave chocolate?
Interesting. I have heard of salicylates issues but never really looked into it. I should. I do not know how my Omega 3 to 6 ratio is. I can figure it out I am sure. Just haven't thought about it. I do take a B-complex and also have more B's in my prenatal (which I still take for the nursing). I do not eat legumes very often. Kinda been avoiding them because DS has the peanut allergy and I know sometimes there can be cross-allergies. Waiting until we can test him more. Oh, but I do eat peas a few times a week. We do eat lots of meat. One of the few things we can fairly easily right now for protein. We are off all grains and all pseudo grains because of nut and sesame contamination issues (ETA: okay I was tired last night - we are off baked items grains like flours but we still eat oatmeal, corn and brown rice). I will look into the low zinc. Both DS and I take extra mag. Me for anxiety and him for stool issues (we just got through a 10 month long stool withholding problem - he tends to get constipated very easily). I have not eaten beets in a very long time so I have no idea about what color they may turn my pee. I crave chocolate a lot! I have not had any since about Aug, though. Been trying to stay off sugar.
post #5 of 11
He's over 2, which is the cutoff for allergy tests not being that accurate, so why doesn't the allergist give him a RAST test and see if he's allergic to more things than just the couple they've tested? That would decrease your anxiety, which might be being passed along to your DS. Stool withholding/constipation, along with 6xa night nightwaking in my mind = food intolerances. But that's me looking through the skewed lens of mother with 2 food intolerant kids. I was wondering about Magnesium for you as well, in terms of the anxiety. Because my kids don't have that many foods on their safe list, if I make something new, they have to try it. Then they can (sometimes, if I feel like it) eat their old standby. Like last night, I made a new chickpea fritter for DS. He said he changed his mind, he wasn't hungry. I said, you have to eat two bites, then you can go. And he did. He didn't like it, but at least he tried it. And that way he got 2 bites of zucchini that was in there. I'd focus on less allergenic foods if you are going to try him on things. Like why would the allergist be pushing nuts when they're so allergenic? How about pushing beets or beef or zucchini or something? The Joneja Allergy Chart shows more allergenic/less allergenic foods. I was never really that thrilled with cooking either. I loved to bake. Cook? Not so much. But with my kids not being able to eat most processed foods, I had to learn. And now I kind of like it.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks kjbrown! I think her pushing nuts is crazy too. We have not started them at all. I think we should at least wait until he can talk well (he has apraxia so his speech is very delayed) and tell us how he feels when he is eating.

I worry about food intolerances too but honestly, I have never noticed a bad reaction to food other than his anaphylactic reaction to eating hummus which started the whole food allergy thing. I always thought his frequent waking was because he needs more calories because he doesn't eat enough food so he needs to nurse a lot. But we certainly could look into it more.

I know I just need to start cooking. Maybe I will like it more. I want to like it. I love food. I love cooking shows. Just never much liked cooking myself. But maybe it will get better.


I think when he is 3 they will do more RASTs but my problem is I still don't beliebe the tests. Maybe I am just crazy. I don't know. I read so many stories from allergy parents about tests being wrong or food allergy prone kids developing allergies after being fine with a food for a long time. I think that is where my fear comes in. Through SPT he has tested negative to peas and lentils but I am still afraid to try them because they can cross react with peanuts. Through RAST he's tested negative to tree nuts and chickpeas but I am still afraid to try them because of cross reaction again.

And I am just so tired of all this. Obviously I worry about my DS having a life threatening reaction and how awful this all is for the rest of his life. But I also selfishly just hate the inconveniece of it all. That we can't eat out. That we can't swing by a cafe with mommy friends and grab a scone. That I have to be on him every second whenever we are anywhere with food (because he is so young still). It is exhuasting and it is making me bitter and resentful of everyone else who has it "so easy". My mommy friends and I are all struggling through this difficult toddler period. We all talk about the tantrums and the exhaustion of the go-go-going and then I have this whole other layer of crap to deal with too!

I just wish we could be normal. A normal happy family that could eat food.
post #7 of 11
We'd all like to be normal. But in the foreseeable future, it's just not possible. You can certainly be angry about it but it doesn't change things, so for me, I don't bother with the wishful thinking.

There are still lots of foods that are NOT in the same food family has peanuts and sesame seeds, that are also not top-8 foods that he CAN have, so maybe you should focus on those and that way you don't feel like you're giving up so much. And offer those foods to him.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmommy View Post
Interesting. I have heard of salicylates issues but never really looked into it. I should. I do not know how my Omega 3 to 6 ratio is. I can figure it out I am sure. Just haven't thought about it. I do take a B-complex and also have more B's in my prenatal (which I still take for the nursing). I do not eat legumes very often. Kinda been avoiding them because DS has the peanut allergy and I know sometimes there can be cross-allergies. Waiting until we can test him more. Oh, but I do eat peas a few times a week. We do eat lots of meat. One of the few things we can fairly easily right now for protein. We are off all grains and all pseudo grains because of nut and sesame contamination issues (ETA: okay I was tired last night - we are off baked items grains like flours but we still eat oatmeal, corn and brown rice). I will look into the low zinc. Both DS and I take extra mag. Me for anxiety and him for stool issues (we just got through a 10 month long stool withholding problem - he tends to get constipated very easily). I have not eaten beets in a very long time so I have no idea about what color they may turn my pee. I crave chocolate a lot! I have not had any since about Aug, though. Been trying to stay off sugar.
Check your B complex - folic acid isn't used that efficiently, and the cyano-form of b12 isn't used well either.

If you're not eating lots of legumes, you may be deficient in molybdenum, and molybdenum is used to convert sulfur into sulfate. Sulfate is used to detox salicylates.

Increasing B6 may help increase mag utilization, and if you wanted to look into toxicities, antimony is one that's used in flame retardants (think kids pajamas, mattresses, carpet, new upholstered furniture...) that impairs the ability to use mag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmommy View Post
And I am just so tired of all this. Obviously I worry about my DS having a life threatening reaction and how awful this all is for the rest of his life. But I also selfishly just hate the inconveniece of it all. That we can't eat out. That we can't swing by a cafe with mommy friends and grab a scone. That I have to be on him every second whenever we are anywhere with food (because he is so young still). It is exhuasting and it is making me bitter and resentful of everyone else who has it "so easy". My mommy friends and I are all struggling through this difficult toddler period. We all talk about the tantrums and the exhaustion of the go-go-going and then I have this whole other layer of crap to deal with too!

I just wish we could be normal. A normal happy family that could eat food.
You're really not alone it's tough!
post #9 of 11
Have you considered that the apraxia, the allergies and the picky eating are all related? If you haven't already, you may want to read Kenneth Bock's book, Healing the New Childhood Epidemics.

I've read of pickiness/low appetite being related to low zinc.

Thorne has multivits and such with actual folate (related to whoMe's comments on folic acid).

on how hard all this is.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrown92 View Post
There are still lots of foods that are NOT in the same food family has peanuts and sesame seeds, that are also not top-8 foods that he CAN have, so maybe you should focus on those and that way you don't feel like you're giving up so much. And offer those foods to him.
I am trying to focus on this. It's just hard since sesame can cross contaminate anything. Even rice. I can't even find any safe spices! We've been just using salt and butter for 6 months now. Gets a little boring but oh well. I guess we just need to focus on plain meats, fruits and veg. I need to let go of finding a baking alternative. Just not going to happen.

It's also just so hard attending mommy groups now because there is always food and I have to be so ontop of DS. He may be a picky eater but that doesn't stop him from grabbing things out of other kids hands if he thinks it looks interesting. A month ago I was at a LLL meeting and a mom broke out peanut butter sandwiches. The smell was overwhelming and my DS started signing "bread" at me and following these little girls who wound up with peanut butter all over their hands, as they ate and picked up toys, smearing them with peanut butter. At that point I felt the only alternative was to leave. And we've been at Barnes and Noble before and seen peanuts on the floor and on the train table set up for kids to play with (my DS loves it). It's such a nightmare. I can never relax when we are out.

Whome, thanks for the info. I will look into better vit sources and toxicities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
Have you considered that the apraxia, the allergies and the picky eating are all related? If you haven't already, you may want to read Kenneth Bock's book, Healing the New Childhood Epidemics.
I HAVE thought of this, more and more too. My DS also has a midline defect (tongue tie) and really terrible teeth (weak enamel from the moment they came in - he's got 5 cavities already despite our top notch cleaning, his top front teeth are just crumbling away) so I do feel it is all related. It makes me so sad! Why did he have to get saddled with all this crap! He's such a sweet little guy. Intense and spirited but so soft hearted. It's just not fair that he'll have to be so vigilant every second or risk his life. How does this happen? It is just so perplexing.
post #11 of 11

Take the test and try herbal medicine

Firts of all, get a test done to find out is he suffering from wheat allergy. To cure allergies, you can try natural herbal medicines. they don't have any side effects and are safe for children.
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