Sunday, January 6, 2013

Allergy Alert: How I became a food allergy mom.

Catherine (Little Brownie) has food allergies. Multiple food allergies. I often feel sad, overwhelmed and confused. How did this happen? Did I do something wrong?

Being a first time mother, I did all of the research and followed my pediatrician's recommendations when it was time to introduce my girl to solid foods. I knew there was a risk for allergies due to a family history (my husbands sister has food allergies) and the fact that Catherine has eczema. During my pregnancy I ate a varied diet and vowed to breastfeed exclusively. I am proud to say that Catherine and I have been breastfeeding exclusively now for fourteen months, however this was not enough to keep the allergies at bay.

On Monday, December 3,2012,  I gave Catherine peanut butter for the first time. Within minutes, Catherine had red hives around her mouth and her lips began to swell.  I gave her 1/4 teaspoon of Children's Benadryl, called the pediatrician, and closely monitored her all day.

Two days later Catherine was tested for allergies. Not only did she test positive for peanuts, but Catherine also tested positive for eggs,milk,soy, and wheat.

I left the doctor's office in tears. Filled with fear. While I worked at the preschool, I remember seeing kids who had food allergies. I saw the struggle their families faced trying to keep them safe. I often felt sorry for them and was thankful no one in my family had to deal with food allergies. Now I had to deal with it. Following the doctors recommendation, I threw out most of the things in our house that contained egg,peanuts,wheat,milk,and soy and gave away the rest to friends. I quickly realized we were going to have to drastically change the way we eat. Traces of wheat, milk, and soy were in everything! Not to mention I could no longer indulge in one of my favorite passions,baking.

In the weeks since Catherin's diagnosis, I have become an expert in reading labels and what to look for if I think Catherine is having a reaction. Slowly but surely, I have began the transition to a gluten-free,dairy-free,egg-free, peanut-free and soy-free lifestyle.

I keep wondering if I did something wrong. Why is it that food allergies are so prevalent these days? Do you have food allergies or a child that does? If so, how do you cope?


  1. You didn't do anything wrong! It happens. We live in a world tainted by sin, and our DNA is not immune. No worries, though. The Lord can work it for good.

    In fact, it's probably for your good! Because your daughter has these allergies, your diet will probably be very healthy! So long as you consume raw fruits and veggies, she (and you) can get all the nutrition you need and never need feel without.

    We probably all have an "allergy" to the bad stuff in our food, it's just some of us can handle it better. That's not necessarily a good thing, know what I mean? My daughter is "lactose intolerant." She can't drink milk without feeling yucky. Did you know this is actually the way it should be?! Most humans who can handle milk actually have the flaw in their DNA! Humans aren't supposed to be able to digest cow milk. A mutation gives us that ability. Then we drink milk thinking it's a good thing for us, when scientifically, it's been proven to be detrimental for us.

    I think the first thing you must do is accept that the diet you'll be on is normal, healthy, and better for you. You must also resolve to set an example for your daughter. In other words, you have to eat the same diet she will be eating, a diet consisting of raw fruit and veggies. I've done this in the past with fruit smoothies and salads. Try to stay away from cooked foods as much as possible, as the cooking destroys some nutritional content of the food.

    Remember, you didn't do anything wrong. Food allergies are probably caused by the degradation of our DNA due to sin. I personally have an allergy to bananas, which I didn't have in my childhood! I cope by simply not eating bananas. (I can't have guacamole, either. I think it's the high potassium content.) I know it will be more difficult for your daughter, because those things she's allergic to are pervasive. But if you avoid those foods, and you teach her to avoid them, I don't see it being a huge problem.

    God bless you and your family!

    1. Thank you CK for your words of encouragement! It has been a month since the diagnosis and I already see God working it for good! My family and I have made great strides in changing our diet and I have dropped a size and my husband feels better than ever. It's a blessing.

  2. I understand completely! We found out last year that Jadon has an allergy to all nuts and seeds, soy, and bananas. Not to mention environmental - allergic to every tree and grass in Texas. We have had a harder time with no soy. Jadon loves tofu! Hang in there! It get's easier.

    1. Jessica,dealing with food can be difficult. In many ways, I'm glad Catherine was diagnosed so young. She hasn't had years to develop favorites. I think the transition has been harder for my husband and I. We are the ones giving up a lifetime of food favorites.

      I am interested in hearing what works from other families. What has been the hardest thing for your family in dealing with Jadon's allergies? Also,since he is school age, did you have to make special arrangements?

    2. I think the hardest thing has been explaining the allergies to my son. He was so upset at first. He couldn't understand why foods that God made for us (example: soy beans) could be bad for him. Not cooking vegetarian dishes without tofu, nuts and seeds has been a struggle. His highest allergy is peanuts and sesame, which rules out oils too.

      School - We had to stop doing hot lunches because they serve lunches with vegetarian products, which all contain soy. I also keep an epi-pen on file at the school as well. The good thing is that his allergist thinks he may outgrow the soy allergy.

    3. Like I said yesterday, I think it has been harder on Tim and I at this time. I know as she grows older, understanding why she can't have certain foods will be difficult for Catherine.

      In our society,food is at the center of our celebrations. I worry about birthday parties,class parties, and holiday celebrations. Most of all,I worry that she won't take her allergies seriously, give into peer pressure and get sick.

      Catherine is safe at home with me now. I cook and prepare all of her meals. However, I know there will come a day when she will have to venture out on her own. How have you prepared Jadon to face peer pressure in regards to food?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...