Allergic to . . . .oatmeal? - Mothering Forums
Allergies > Allergic to . . . .oatmeal?
aphel's Avatar aphel 06:46 PM 03-03-2011

Forgive me my ignorance on this subject ladies, I really know next to nothing about food allergies. I though someone here might have some insight or experiences to share.


After much hemming and hawing, and based on the newest AAP recommendations, I decided to give DD (then a little over 6 months) some oatmeal, of the baby cereal variety (so I could mix with breastmilk and not have to boil it). Within several days, I noticed a prickly rash on her back. I also had given her banana for the first time within the same few days (lesson learned!), so we weren't sure what caused the rash. We stopped all solids for about two weeks, and then yesterday, on the advice of our ped, reintroduced oatmeal to see if it triggered a rash. It did, by the end of the day it was back, but this time less prickly and more red and splotchy, although I didn't see any definitive "hives" per se.


So now I'm pretty sure we are dealing with at least a sensitivity to oatmeal, which as far as I know, doesn't seem to be a common allergen. I had thought that oatmeal was GF? Am I wrong about this?


And for those that have BTDT, what does this mean for the future? Is oatmeal out for good, or do we try again down the line? Are there any other food groups I should now avoid? I will of course discuss this with our ped, but our usual doc is out of town until next week, and I'd like to speak to her about it. . . . .


Anyway, thanks for reading if you've made it this far!

JasmineC's Avatar JasmineC 07:07 PM 03-03-2011

Oats are processed on the same machinery that wheat products are processed on, so they contain high amounts of gluten through contamination. There are oats out that are processed separately, and will be labeled "gluten free." I am not sure about baby cereal though, but if it doesn't say gluten free, than it is not gluten free.

mommy amber's Avatar mommy amber 07:32 PM 03-03-2011

both my kids (2 and 5) are intolerant to oatmeal...they have a lot of trouble digesting it (and have other food sensitivities as well).

I've tried soaking over night.  soaking with acid/fermentation mixed in overnight.  steel cut (vs rolled).  nothing seems to make a difference.  our naturopath didn't find it that odd, so maybe not as uncommon as one would think.  but also consider gluten- as many oats are processed in wheat facilities...

Sandrine's Avatar Sandrine 10:31 PM 03-03-2011

My dd3 is allergy to oats.

deminc's Avatar deminc 09:59 PM 03-04-2011

You can try gluten-free oats, but since she's only 6 months old, you can just avoid it for now and reintroduce it again later, either at 9 months or 1 yr, and see if there is the same reaction. My ds1 was allergic to dairy, reacting with a clear full body rash at 9 months (had avoided it previously because of colic) and you can always tell if he had sneaked a small piece of chocolate or a teaspoon of ice cream because he would get a rash on his face. He outgrew the allergy after the first three years. So yup, take it one step at a time, esp with all the other food introduction. Watch for all symptons, not just the skin rash. I was stupid and introduced the foods really quickly to ds2 because he didn't get a rash then. I didn't know then that his most affected system was his gastro-intestinal system. It was only after his eczema surfaced and we started backtracking, then I realised that his tummy (and growth) had been affected all along. (Side-tracking, but I recently gave him fish again after one year - never quite believing that he was really allergic to fish but removed it as advised by doctor because it is a histamine-inducing food - and the whole lot came through undigested the next day with a clear fishy odour. It was just like decomposed fish in a tank without a tail. I could recognise it as the poo he used to have before we went on an allergen-free diet. I excitedly tried giving him a plate of wheat pasta the next day thinking if I can't have fish, I'm still happy to have wheat. The whole lot came through again the next day though not as foul. So we're now back to our allergen free diet.)  

babygirlie's Avatar babygirlie 12:40 AM 03-05-2011

I have celiac disease and cannot tolerate gluten free oatmeal. the protien is extremely close to gluten so I guess it depends how intolerant you are. I have zero tolerance for it. I don't break out in a rash though I just drop to the floor in screaming pain even with a small bite :(

kjbrown92's Avatar kjbrown92 08:50 AM 03-05-2011

We can't have gluten (not celiac though) and also can not have oats, even gluten-free ones. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic food. Anyone can be sensitive to anything. Your child's reaction could be an intolerance or an allergy, but with the red splotches, that sounds like hives. Unfortunately skin/RAST testing isn't that accurate under 2yo.

aphel's Avatar aphel 10:16 AM 03-05-2011

Thanks for the help ladies! I did look at the packaging, and it does indeed say 'may include traces of wheat'. So we are going to steer clear of gluten for the time being. And thanks for sharing those of you who cannot tolerate even GF oats - I will definitely keep that in mind.


I am heartened that this doesn't necessarily mean that DD can never have gluten, but we will proceed with caution in the future!


Those mamas who had allergic babes, what first foods would you recommend? So far she has had avocado and some apple slices to suck on. We're steering clear of banana since it might have possibly contributed to her rash.


And really, thanks again for everyone's responses. There is almost no history of food allergies in our family, so this is all uncharted territory for me!

kjbrown92's Avatar kjbrown92 12:41 PM 03-05-2011

Originally Posted by aphel View Post


There is almost no history of food allergies in our family, so this is all uncharted territory for me!

You say "almost no history" so that sounds like a history. Also, do you or your DH/DP have any environmental allergies or asthma or eczema? Because those put your kids at higher risk.


babygirlie's Avatar babygirlie 02:17 PM 03-05-2011

I did plain baby cereal rice... then sweet potatos.. then bananas. Discovered she was allergic to white potatos after exploring real foods... so had to back track again. It's frustrating. I'd rather just have a test that tells me what to do rather than experiment. She's almost 2 so I guess I can order some tests online soon. Between the age of 6-25 I was in such excruciating pain I never left the house. No doctor could figure it out back then. I just don't want her to live like I had to :(

deminc's Avatar deminc 07:38 PM 03-05-2011


Originally Posted by aphel View Post

There is almost no history of food allergies in our family, so this is all uncharted territory for me!

 It may be helpful to talk to the extended family. I thought the same - how could I/ds2 be so unlucky!? I just didn't understand it. Then I had to attend a funeral and the topic came up. WOW! I was amazed at the various allergies/sensitivities that existed through three generations of my extended family - dustmites, seafood, dairy, food colorings, even peanut and kiwi (which I have a sensitivity to as well).  It was an ah-ha moment for me. An elderly aunt who raised 7 children told me to give ds2 only meat broth and rice, and a list of vegetables and fruits to avoid (from her anecdotal experience), and I also removed soy following her advice.

aphel's Avatar aphel 09:10 PM 03-05-2011

I do know that S's great grandma on my side had tree nut allergies, and S's grandma on her father's side has a severe mustard allergy. As for us, I'm not allergic to anything environmental or food related, but DH does have some seasonal allergies. I guess I hadn't considered environmental allergies, thanks for pointing that out. I also have some autoimmune issues (endo), so perhaps that is a factor?


Rice cereal seems to get a lot of flak around these boards, but I think it might be a good fit for us given the new concerns. I've also got some quinoa flakes that claim to be GF, so perhaps we will give that a try at a later date.


Thanks for all the input, everyone. This is definitely not something I was prepared for or expecting to have to deal with, although I guess it usually isn't, is it?

JaneS's Avatar JaneS 07:11 AM 03-06-2011

DS reacted with full body eczema to rice cereal to it's definitely possible to be allergic to any food not necessarily just the top 8.

babygirlie's Avatar babygirlie 02:44 PM 03-06-2011

I'm ok with Quinoa. Well rice is the least allergenic but doesn't mean not to you. I suppose to gets slack from the low carbing and no sugar groups but too bad. When I am really sick my go to is white rice and boiled chicken with no flavorings. It's the safest thing for ME when I've messed up and I don't know where and I have to re-evaluate what I'm eating. There is currently to my knowledge only one doctor who is bad mouth white carbs and has no scientific proof whatsoever. He says it will make the kid diabetic when they're older. But my baby is not a grown adult and I'm not worried about that versus a life of pain.

Sandrine's Avatar Sandrine 02:51 PM 03-06-2011

i always started with veggies and fruits to introduce food to my babies.

lastrid's Avatar lastrid 01:43 PM 03-07-2011

We are allergic to both rice and oats around here.  The foods my kids digested most readily were meats.  Either a really loosely ground sausage patty which will just break up in their mouths or chew it up for them.  That sounds gross, but it's really not a big deal.  They also love sauerkraut.  Most veggies come out looking similar to the way they went in or the poo is very orange because of carrots.