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<p><span>Working through DD's test results (Gluten, Peanuts, Chicken, Yeast, Sesame, & more) and trying to get my head around all of it! </span></p>
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<p><span>We are still on elimination with our DS (1.5yrs corn, wheat, etc..) and now it looks like we'll need to do the same with DD (5.5).  What a different ballgame with a five year old, though!  She's like a teenage sometimes and I am dreading telling her and have waited until I have a firm plan.</span></p>
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<p><span>Here's my challenges and questions as to when/how to go about starting the elimination diet:</span></p>
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<p><span>1. The Holidays--travel, etc.. speaks for itself!</span></p>
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<p><span>2. Scheduled trip away (away from DD, that is).  DD will be in the care of friends, a family member and her dad.  I'll be with DS for a week visiting my sister & her new baby.  If it was anything else I would cancel the trip.</span></p>
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<p><span>3. School.  We are expats living outside of the U.S. and there are no "peanut free" areas at her school, nor rules about food-sharing.  She receives candy as a reward for good work (don't even get me started on this one!).  I really like her school (it is private, BTW so I have some leverage in that I am paying for her schooling) but these aspects drive me up the wall.  Previous to the lab results, I spoke with the principal and her teacher about what I perceived as DD's sugar sensitivity (a nice way of packaging "please don't give her candy").  For a while it worked but it's like after a week or so everyone "forgot".  So I am nervous about how it will work with DD's elimination diet.  I've even thought of taking her out of school but dismissed it b/c she loves it and I don't want to traumatize her but I also want my baby girl to feel good and right now she doesn't.</span></p>
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<p><span>With this in mind, what would you do?  Please share your stories b/c I think it will help me feel better about our situation (I know it could be worse) in terms of how to navigate, what to expect, etc.  People are very forgiving when it comes to a "baby" and since I am still BF DS it's more "my domain".  But I'm not so sure it will be this way with DD.  </span></p>
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<p><span>Also, in this culture, giving sweets to children is customary not just during holidays but <span style="text-decoration:underline;">all of the time</span>.  Not just sweets, but food.  For instance, we were at a parade and one of the cowboys just rode over and gave DD a big stick of cotton candy.  (I told her it was a decoration for her room!)  Anyway, I don't want to go on but anyone who is an expat out there dealing with not only allergies but a different cultural perspective on food in general? </span></p>
 

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<p>It's not so different, bank tellers hand kids lollipops here, lots of stuff like that.  Sigh.  Your DD is old enough to learn that she can't eat anything you haven't given her or approved.  That may sound harsh, but it's the only way to keep her safe.  Provide safe candy to the school, etc.  The transition is hardest, I think - once you've figured out what she can eat, and she gets used to not being able to eat everything, it will get easier.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks, mamafish!  I've been combing the allergy threads to learn what I can about the allergens themselves and also how to help a school-age child.  Thanks for the encouragement. :)</p>
 

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<p>For my DD2 (5yo) I bought a bag of Yummy Earth lollipops and told the teacher if she absolutely had to give a treat to her for some reason, she could have one of those. I also sent in a bag of Utz potato chip (a safe brand for her) and said if she needed some sort of snack, she could have those as well. For DS, I do the same thing. I also mention that stickers and pencils are good as "rewards" as well (so that they wouldn't have to think about it for other allergy kids as well).</p>
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<p>I have also emailed and/or met with a teacher and said, I am trying to figure out what foods are causing reactions for my children. You could help me out a lot by not letting him/her have any food that I haven't sent in, and if you notice any odd behaviors, please let me know. So that way she knows that the child could be acting out because of the foods so she could see it as affecting his learning. I also let the nurse know in case the child goes to the nurse for stomachaches and such (my DS would do that and lay down for a little while until he felt better). If you want them to help with the record keeping, then you could do things like smiley faces that have sad, happy, etc. and where you're keeping your food journal, then you could say that at breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and bedtime for example she could put the faces that matched how her stomach was feeling and that would give her a little ownership on letting you know when she's not feeling well .</p>
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<p>I make treats for my kids so that they don't feel like they're missing out on too much. I freeze cupcakes individually so that I can just defrost one and frost it if they need it for a party at school.  My kids (age 10yo and 5yo) take their own medicine and our rotation for the diet is listed on the big dry erase calendar so they know what foods they can have each day.</p>
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<p>Those are just some of the tools I use to make it easier on them (and me).</p>
 
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