or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › Toddler food/ mild "allergy" question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Toddler food/ mild "allergy" question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

so here goes.  I am pretty happy with how I am raising my 2 year old. But one area where I am wanting to do better is in how I feed him.

I feed him too much sugar, in the form of juice, in baked goods, or in popsicles.

Too much cow milk.

Lots of carbs/ wheat.

not enough fresh cooked veggie foods.


I have a few reasons why. For one I Am currently in a rental house and there is an electric stove/oven here- and I find I am hating cooking on it. I just don't like the way the food feels from being cooked on electric. so that makes me way less inclined to slow cook good meals. ( I am in the process of figuring out how to change the stove situation but in the meantime,).


Secondly, I take the easy way out- giving ds a mild cookie or a granola bar or a muffin too easily.


He does also eat plenty of good food- soups from our local food co op regularly, veggies when I Can get them in him, organic other foods- meat, etcetera.


Okay, so I alreaydfeel guilty about how much wheat sugar and milk he has.

so recently he developed some purple bags under his eyes. I had him with me at an appointment of a health paracticioner I was seeing and asked her about it.

She said the purple bags indicate that his body is not easily processing some of the foods I Am giving him. she said specifically she thinks to give him less cow milk. to get rice and almond milk and switch it up.


so I have been trying that for a few days but the purple bags are still there. we didn't stop the cow milk completely but give him less. But I still give him some wheat and sugar.

so anyway I Am feeling like I really need to chaneg up his eating habits. he eats a lot, but oftne times it is carbs. not only- but I am not sure how to take away the juice/ wheat/ and cow milk- because I am not sure what to replace it with.


I am also not sure if I should take away one of those at a time compeltely for a week to identify which it is? or should I listen to a gut feeling?

I am feeling some giult about how I feed him. I want to be feeding him ( and myslef) home made beans and rice and soups and pies and all things home made but I am not doing that much right now.

so I am looking for advice and how to gently figure out what is not working in his diet and add better things. I Am going to take him in a week with me to my appointment so I will ask the practicioner for more advice but in the meantime- anyone else had those purpl bag under their toddler's eyes and gotten them to go away by changing up the diet?

post #2 of 25

Removing it completely from his diet for a minimum of 2 weeks would give you a better idea. It can take awhile to clear the system. I would do all dairy, not just milk and if you decide to do wheat, do all gluten. You can do one at a time and if it clears up good, or you can do both and then reintoduce one at a time and watch for a reaction.

post #3 of 25

With the juice I'd start watering it down a little bit at a time to wean him from it. 


The cost of gluten free baked goods alone is enough for us not to eat too many of them. You could try replacing with fresh fruits and veggies with some sort of dip. (Not sure on that as we handle dairy fine.) Also a good dark chocoloate makes a nice treat. It is rather expensive but you only need a couple of bites to feel satisfied from it. Nuts are a good snacks if he is okay with them, though at his age you'd want to crush them into smaller pieces so he does not choke.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

so what are some good meal and snack suggestions to give a 2 year old that don't have wheat dairy or sugar?

post #5 of 25

Hi Snap! Haven't seen you in a while.


Dd2 (just turned 2) and still not the greatest eater (just not interested) snacks on:


red pepper strips


peanut/coconut butter blend on rice crackers

frozen peas

frozen grapes

hummus with tortilla chips- I make it with a ton of lemon and lots of olive oil cuz she's tiny

guacamole- loves loves loves guacamole


she loves curried chickpeas and yams over quinoa for dinner, enchiladas (again corn tortillas), polenta with almost any sauce. We get a quinoa/polenta blend and it's yummy.


Oh and steamed broccoli or cauliflower with lemon any time of day. She asks for veggies for breakfast.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Today I fed him sausage, eggs and oranges. That all seemed to go over well.

post #7 of 25

There are some round rice crackers that don't cost too much, with nut butter.

If you have asian stores near you, rice noodles are affordable, also find rice flour, tapioca starch

Trader Joes has corn and rice pasta

make risotto without cheese, it gets a creamy feeling without dairy. I use sushi/japanese rice from the asian store, it is cheaper than the italian arborio

I make 'green noodles' basically pesto with extra green veggies (basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, NO CHEESE, lemon juice, plenty of salt, and a ton of sauteed greens like spinach or kale or even steamed broccoli)

post #8 of 25

My son is really in to dips, and I found that I can really go a little crazy with the seasoning...


I totally get where you are coming from, and you shouldn't feel guilty - it's counterproductive! Just start with small changes and work from there.  I watched a friend's daughter for a few weeks, and she came with food - a lot of carbs, and my son, who previously wasn't eating much at all, devoured those foods! I did find, as I said, that he liked to eat foods as dips, and I ended up switching out the "healthy" chips with zucchini.  He can't really chew too many raw veggie sticks, but the squash is just soft enough to work and still scoop.  He loves guacamole, and curried lentils, and hummus, and he actually likes it a little spicy, which surprised me.  I mix different veggies into the dips as much as possible. 


Some people have luck with green smoothie type drinks, or you could try a soup version too.  I also make kale chips.  Or you could try granola balls...i crush up almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, and whatever else I have around, mix with some dried fruit pieces (a great way to sneak in prunes), coconut flakes, some cinnamon (you could do a ton of different spice combinations), local honey (to help with allergies), and some tahini or nut butter to hold it all together.  You can also make protein squares pretty easily by mixing nutbutter and honey and oatmeal.  Another thing my son likes that surprised me was home made sauerkraut (I haven't tried other fermented veggies yet), but that will help out with digestion.  I make double batches of things and store or freeze them so that they are easier to just grab. 


The so called "allergy eyes" plague us as well.  I have heard that they can be caused by anything from food, to environment, to skin care products, etc.  It's really hard to weed out.  But I would definitely say that you should cut out suspects for at least a couple of weeks to make sure that they have cleared out of his system (longer if you are nursing?).  Keep a food diary and see if there are other symptoms that you pick up on, it will make things easier :)


I would start watering down his juices for sure to help cut down on sugar there.  I have found good success in using opaque cups while making changes. Maybe try putting some lemon or cucumber in the water to give it a little kick.


Oh, and try making some home made pops with coconut milk and fruit...or puree frozen banana with peanut butter instead of ice cream....


Getting him on a probiotic can help his digestion too, which may alleviate they symptoms.  And another thing - when there are bread, chips, or other processed type foods around, my son will eat whatever is around.  He eats a lot less when it's more nutrient dense, so I wouldn't be totally shocked if your DS eats less as you make the switch. (sugar can affect hunger cues). 


Good Luck!

post #9 of 25

Purple circles under the eyes is a big indicator of gluten sensitivity specifically.  I'd do a 30 day gluten challenge and see how it goes.


We eat clean/paleo, so no grains and very little dairy.  One thing I've found is that since DS (18mo) eats a lot of fat and protein, he really doesn't snack.  If I give him food (besides breastmilk) between meals it's because I'm trying to distract him or make him happy in the car.  So he eats some bites of eggs with lots of butter and avocado in the morning, half a strip of bacon, then is good until 4pm or so.


Snacks we like to have around -



Coconut flakes (the big flakes, not shredded coconut)

Grapes (he loves to have the whole bunch and walk around picking them off)

Leftover meat

Boiled eggs

Beef Jerky (look for GF, most beef jerky has soy sauce which contains wheat)


And I have a stash of Rice Chex cereal if I *really* need to distract him.  We also make popsicles out of coconut milk (Native Forest brand is BPA free), banana and avocado blended together.  I'll also do a similar blend with ice, maybe throw in an egg yolk and some berries and we drink it as a smoothie.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

luckiest- that is interesting to know that purple under the eyes is gluten- specifically. how do you know that?

he has eatena lot of wheat products in his life so far. SInce noticing this thing I have been way more conscious of not giving him wheat- but I dont want to cut out all grains.

we were trying to limit cows milk for a while but it seemed wrong- he only has about a cup a day anyway at most. I try to still feed him breastmilk- I pump but we don't nurse anymore- but I can only pump a few ounces a day so it is really a supplement.

anyway- I guess I am aware of various gluten free ways to go about it- I am stil unsure about how long to hve to withhold something to see a difference. I Am more inclined to take it as a sign that the high am't of wheat/dairy /sugar has to be changed but not sure if I want to go totally gluten free.


I Am going to take him to a natropathic-type practicioner soon to get more help on how to proceed. the purple looks a little better today but I did give him a muffin earlier-! sigh, parenting is rough sometimes. wanting to do right but also not driving oneself nuts with too much perfection.

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

a couple of you mentioned dips as something to help get them to eat veggies- I think?

what kid of dips? sour cream based? ds doesn't like hummus. he loves ketchup! but I don't think he would eat raw veggies with it.

thankfully he eats soup so I do get veggies in him there, he will also sometimes eat brocolli or peas, and also jarred baby food peas and rice. I also give him green smoothies- fruit with veggies. anyway- just trying to figure it out.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

his purple under the eye marks are bck as strong as ever- they seemed better this morning but bad again. Plus he has been super fussy today :( anyway- I am happy to have a natropath type person to bring him back to. one thing she did mention in our brief session was offering raw milk rather than pasturized. And today I ctually found  a place that sells it so I think I will try that. I am gonna bring him soon back for a more thorough evaluation to try to figure this out, but since she already suggested raw milk I may try that as soon as tomorrow. I just feel bd for him and a little bit guilty when I see him looking like that- and feeling badly. I was talking about to to MIL today and she said it may not be a gluten thing as gluten allergies usually have distinct and strong stomach/digestive issues- which he doesn't have. anyway- just processing but it does feel bad to have him looking and feeling bad, my little baby who I care for so closely- just feels bad to have him have somehting bothering him that I can't quite figure outyet! I think I will figure it out though.

post #13 of 25

Dark circles under the eyes can be from anemia.  Have you checked his iron?

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

hmm, I don't think it is anemia but that is a possibilty I will consider for sure. I really thankfully trust this practicioner I am taking him to so I think she will be able to help me sort it out. He has a regular doctor too but this kind of thing is more subtle so I think I will stick with her for now- actally his next check up is in a few weeks anyway with his doctor so if it hasn't gone away by then I will have the doc look into it too. thanks for the suggestions

post #15 of 25

Gluten intolerances most definitely do NOT always have digestive symptoms.  Skin issues are very commonly linked to gluten (like eczema, rashes, dry skin), and so is arthritis/joint pain.  I have a friend who has celiac disease and her main symptoms were canker sores and joint pain.  Gluten/lectins played a huge part in my rheumatoid arthritis.  The link to circles under the eyes is something I've heard from my chiropractor and also a friend of mine was told by her naturopath. 


I really don't think grains (or legumes) are good for anyone, but it's such a different way of eating than most of us are used to that it's a hard concept to grasp. 


Raw milk is great if he needs liquid calories still.  A lot of people who are lactose intolerant can have raw milk because it still has its own lactase intact, which is killed during pasteurization.  Even then though, if milk isn't *totally* necessary as far as getting enough fat and calories in him, I'd avoid it.  It's made for baby cows, after all. 


Hopefully your naturopath can get y'all on the right track!  A friend of mine who is a wellness doctor/chiropractor always suggests a 30 day elimination diet to pinpoint food allergies.  It's a strict paleo/GAPS type diet with no grains, legumes, dairy, or sugar.  Just meat, veggies, sweet potatoes, a little fruit, lots of bone broth. 

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

thanks for the suggestions. I see the natropath tomorrow so I am hoping she can help me with a clear stategy of food dos and don't specific to my son. I have always felt since he started solids that perhaps I feed him too many baked goods/milk etcetera, but I had a hard time getting some of the things I would ideally get into him into him. So anyway he is a pretty decent eater but his dark circles are even worse today so I know I have to change something. I am really hoping I can make moderate changes and have a good approach to it, with this natropath's help. She has some ways of figuring things out and more experience than I o with his, so I hope it will be better than having to eliminate everything which would be really hard with a 27 month old.

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

And the verdict is: cow milk products. The natropath said he is not doing well with all cow milk products- specifically the cassein not the lactose- and that we should take him off all cow milk and yogurt for 2 months to see how he does.

So it is good to know a plan at least. He eats a TON of yogurt- so I am gonna have to come up with some other go to foods. The natropath suggested trying beans and rice mixed together as a go to- even canned beans. SO hopefully he will take to that. I guess we can do a little soy or goat yogurt in there.  But he is not to have any cow milk products for two months. I hope this workds out well. I am actually glad it is not gluten as milk feels easier to eliminate than gluten.

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

just had to share a little update- I tried the refried beans mixed w- brown rice for lunch and he loved it- yay! a new good food for him. he has tried rice and beans before and it is hit or miss- but I think the combo of them mixed together is more appealing to him. In a way the dairy intolerance is good as I had been feeling like I need to do better on the food thing. HE also ate some fish cake (not made by me - brought in) but said no to the broccoli, sweet potato and plain brown rice on his plate. and he loved the organic cherries. so all in all I think I feel progress in moving away from so much yogurt and milk.

post #19 of 25

Both my kids love beans and rice. Have you tried individual beans, like straight of a can? Most kids love them. And brown rice is a good "mix in" if they don't like it straight. (But if you are using a lot canned beans, make sure you use BPA-free which at the moment is only Eden and Trader Joes.)

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

before having a kid I used to make beans and rice from scratch a few times a wk. NOw I don't do it much so I am glad to know he likes the canned ones okay- but I am surely gonna start doing the from scratch ones more again.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life with a Toddler
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › Toddler food/ mild "allergy" question