Join Date: May 2009
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IMO the only way to find out if it's normal behavior due to growing/normal toddler frustrations/molars/etc or if it's a food allergy would be to try elimination. I think that a lot of things are considered normal and are actually reactions to food.
For example, frequent ear infections are often considered normal (to a certain extent, anyway) in kids under 5. So doctors treat the symptoms and talk about ear tubes, but how often do they test for food allergies? I know I had to bring it up with my Ped (who thankfully was receptive). So how many kids do you think with frequent ear infections actually have a food allergy? I'm guessing quite a few.
So the same probably goes with cranky and defiant behavior. If you've done what you can to prevent the situation (been consistent, made sure they're getting frequent meals and consistent rest, etc) and especially if her behavior has changed without other explaination, it really won't hurt to try. I'm probably the least informed on what to eliminate and in what order, but I'm sure that artificial coloring, sugar, and gluten will be at the top of the list. I know that my daughter's behavior improved immensely when we eliminated artificial color and refined sugar.