Tag Archives: Barley Allergy

Favorite Finds Friday – Chex Cereal

My favorite find for this week is TJ’s second real cereal, Rice Chex. Like I have posted many times, because of TJ’s multiple food allergies, finding breakfast foods that he can and WILL eat has been the most challenging.  While it continues to be his least favorite meal, Rice Chex has given us another option to offer.

Like usual, before introducing every new food or product, there are steps that we take to try to ensure TJ’s utmost safety. So once again we play detective …


Step 1) We did our own initial research about the ingredients. After reading the label, it appeared that it did not contain anything he was allergic to.


Step 2) Back in May, we checked with both our pediatrician and allergist and asked if it was a safe food for him. Both approved!


Step 3) Spoke to other parents who have kids with multiple food allergies.   Many of their children were able to eat Rice Chex and some of the other gluten-free varieties. Knowing every person is different, like usual, we introduced slowly and cautiously.

Step 4) When my son first turned 13 months, we had him try the cereal.   However, he has always been sensitive to new textures.  After giving him a couple small pieces, he gagged it up.   So we took a break from this, feeling like he wasn’t ready yet.

Over four months later…

Step 5) Since we believed that spitting the Chex up was initially due to a texture sensitivity, we decided to try it again four month later.  So, we introduced slowly, being optimistically cautious. The first day I gave TJ four of the Rice Chex.  Then, watched him.   Then, we continued this introduction for a total of five days.  It was a success!


To conclude, thank you General Mills for your creating  Gluten Free Rice Chex. Because I know God is working within TJ and guiding our steps, we are beyond thankful for this product and continue to smile on…

TIPSy TUESDAYS: Always Read Labels – PART 5 (BARLEY)

From food to non-food products, it is extremely crucial to be on the look out for hidden allergens. Reading food labels and learning about ingredients becomes second nature when living with food allergies.   However, even when you are comfortable with a product, it is important still double check the label especially since companies can change the makeup of their products. In addition, the ingredients in many everyday items will amaze you at times.   I know that I continue to be surprised by many of the components of common foods and non-food products.

Here is some of the information about BARLEY that I have learned throughout the course of this journey so far. (It does NOT include every location of these allergens as we are still learning.)


In the United States, barley is not one of the top 8 most common food allergies. While it is not as common as wheat, it does show up as an ingredient in several foods.

Like any allergy, it is important to once again read all labels, checking for any ingredients that may contain barley.  According to the Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), companies are NOT required to label their products for the presence of barley.

For more information about product labeling, click here.

To read the complete law, click here.


From our experience so far, this is what we have learned about this particular allergy.  Please note, that this is not all of the locations that barely may be found.   READ ALL LABELS ALWAYS AND CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR WHEN NEEDED. Also, it is important to contact companies when you have questions about their ingredients and labels.

Ingredients that can be derived from barely include:

  • malt or malt flavoring (We found this in some cereals when we were on the hunt for one that my son could and would eat.)
  • malt vinegar
  • brown rice syrup
  • caramel color
  • maltose

Food & drinks that may contain barley include:

  • baby food jars
  • beer
  • stews
  • soups
  • coffee substitutes
  • health foods such as breads
  • some cereals

I found the following link to be helpful regarding a barley allergy.   The link includes ingredients derived from barley as well as food made from it. Check it out:

Barley Allergy

Source: http://www.allergy-details.com/

Allergen Cross-reactivity Between Grains (especially Wheat & Barley)

Here is another interesting read about the issue of cross-reactivity.

Cross Reactivity Between Grains

Source: https://www.aaaai.org/home.aspx

Barley in My Bread

In searching for a bread that my son can eat, we noticed that bread contains various different allergens.  In fact, the bread that my husband and I eat contains wheat, soy, and barley. I did not eat this type of bread when on my breastfeeding elimination diet.

Check it out:


Since we want to educate others on the world of food allergies and believe sharing is caring, we continue to smile …barley free for now…

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels –

How Does Epinephrine Turn Off an Allergic Reaction?

By now, most of us know that EpiPens and Auvi-Qs are both used to used to treat anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergic reactions.  However, who really knows how these life-saving injectors really work? I know that I did not so I found this article extremely informative.  Starting the weekend off a little smarter, we smile on.

Check it out ….

How Does Epinephrine Turn Off an Allergic Reaction

Source: http://allergicliving.com/


Tbt – How Do You Like Them Apples?

Aside from learning how to handle and about TJ’s multiple food allergies, last winter was a challenging one also filled with daycare sicknesses, stomach bugs, eczema flare ups, and the infamous teething. Therefore, we greeted Spring with open arms and full of hope. What we didn’t know was that this new season would also bring new challenges of its own. One of these new challenges would be pollen season.

While both my husband and I have or have had seasonal allergies ourselves, I did suspect that TJ would too. I did not consider how it would complicate matters a bit though.


It was also around April that we started to gradually add baby food jars, by our trusted brands, back into TJ’s diet. From January through March, we made all of TJ’s food as we found that was the best way to control his allergies. He had experienced some skin reactions (not anaphylactic) to a couple jars so we decided that a break may be in his best interest. This had also been suggested by our doctor. Therefore, Saturdays involved many hours of making, storing and prepping all his food for the week. It was exhausting and time-consuming, but we knew it was the best option for him then. Since he had been doing so well, it was around the start of spring we decided with the guidance of our doctor that adding back some of the organic baby food jars was the next step.

So right around the start of a brutal pollen season, we gradually added back jars of carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, and apples. We continue to make his other foods. For the first few weeks, everything was going so well. I felt a sense of relief. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and still love making TJ his meals. However, it was definitely a load off of our shoulders knowing that his body could tolerate some store bought products too.

Thank you Earth’s Best


& Beech-nut.


TJ’s breakfast involved apples and bananas with buck wheat baby cereal mixed in. Everything seemed to be going so well. That was until one early spring morning when after a couple spoonfuls of this mixture, TJ’s lip and mouth became irritated, red and itchy. Thus, he became fussy and refused to eat. We became confused, frustrated, and scared.  Apples were one of TJ’s few safe foods at the time and even in the puffs he was starting to love had apple in them.

How could this be affecting him?

He wasn’t allergic to apples or was he?

Or wait, was it the bananas?

Or buck wheat?


The next day we only gave apples and sure enough, it happened again. We contacted both allergists and even our pediatrician, asking for guidance.

  1. One allergist told us that she had seen this with another child recently too. Since TJ did have a slight cold as well, she suspected it was his body reacting to the virus. She suggested continuing to give him the apples.
  2. The other allergist, our main one, suggested we take a break from apples for a week and then gradually reintroduce them again after. Both stated they did not think he had grown allergic. The world of food allergies is beyond confusing…


We decided to take the conservative approach, like we usually do. After a week and a half break from apples, we were able to reintroduce them back. For the most part, his skin and mouth no longer reacting to them. ( minus a couple days here and there ) Strange! Or so we thought until learning some additional information about allergies …

From this experience, here’s what we’ve learned as it relates to TJ.

  1. Cross reactivity with pollen is real. TJ just experienced this again. Here are two articles that discuss this.  Pollen & Food &   Does Your Mouth Itch When You Eat Apples or Other Fruits?
  2. Teething wreaks havoc on these little sensitive guys like TJ.  We have noticed a pattern: When TJ is about to cut a tooth or two, berries cause him a minor mouth and lip reaction.   For TJ, berries and teething don’t mix.  Check out this article explaining more about teething and eczema flare ups. http://www.livestrong.com/article/323625-eczema-teething/#page=1
  3. Everyone’s body with or without food allergies is different. Therefore, figuring out what works best for TJ is a complicated process of doctors’ guidance, trial and error, mother’s intuition, and most importantly, trust that God is guiding our steps on this staircase of smiles…

How Do You Like Them Apples_

Weekly Smiles (Events)

Here is a list of Smiling Away Allergies’ weekly events:

TIPSy Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, I plan to post tips that we have found helpful or something that we have learned during this journey so far. I call it “TIPS”y TUESDAYS not only because I must admit to being a bit corny at times, but mainly because I want to help others be prepared.  Therefore, once a week we will CHEERS to being prepared so we can smile on…

Worry-Free Wednesdays

Each Wednesday I will try to post a quote or lyrics to a song that I find inspirational.  Words that help me see past fear and worry, enabling us to continue to smile on…

Tbt (Throw Back Thursdays)

On some Thursdays, we will throw it back to some of the earlier signs and experiences with food allergies/eczema as well as what we have learned through it. Regardless of what should have or could have happened, we smile on together in trying to educate others about the world of allergies…

Favorite Finds Fridays

I plan to post a “favorite find” on Fridays.  It may not always be directly relate to food allergies and eczema.   However, it will always be something that has helped us a lot with TJ’s experience, allowing us all to smile on in faith…


(Source: http://www.firstcovers.com/userquotes/39076/let+your+smile.html)


Because of TJ’s multiple food allergies, finding breakfast foods that he will and can eat has been the most challenging. This weekend we were able to safely and successfully introduce the first real cereal to his diet. So far, he seems to really enjoy it and his body is doing wonderfully with it. Although this may not seem like much, to us this is amazing news! Because I know God is working within TJ and guiding our steps, we are beyond thankful and continue to smile on…


Source: http://www.ibelieve.com/

Favorite Finds Friday – Sam Mills Corn Pasta

When we met with a nutritionist about TJ’s restricted diet and low iron levels in May, there were several areas of nutrition that TJ was lacking in. We were instructed that between the ages of 1-3, toddlers like TJ should try to follow the tentative plan below for a balanced diet.






TJ was never lacking in the milk area, drinking breast milk for 13.5 months then switching to a toddler soy formula. Both of which he has always loved.

Milk or Milk Substitute Group   √

For the most part, his safe fruits and veggies that he was tested for have also never been a problem.  For now, we have taken more of a conservative approach to introducing foods, only giving TJ foods he has tested negative for through blood work. While blood work is not a 100% accurate way of determining whether or not someone is allergic to a specific food, so far with TJ it has been the safest way to go.

Fruit & Vegetable Group    √

Over the course of the summer, we were able to increase his meat intake, adding fat to that by using refined organic canola oil in his meatball mixture.  He also gets added fat through eating avocado almost every day which I have also heard helps to restore good bacteria in one’s gut.

Meat & Fat Group   √

This leaves us the group of grains. Having allergies to wheat, oats, barley, rye, eggs, dairy, sesame, nuts, peanuts, and coconut makes this extremely difficult.  TJ will also not eat the allergen free waffles and pancakes we have made for him nor will he eat regular rice. To add to that, TJ spit up the Rice Chex cereal we gave him months ago. (We will try again soon since he was younger then and had some issues with textures so it may have been more of a gag reflex.)

The only source of grains he would eat for months was Happy Baby puffs. Therefore, we would sneak grains into his jars of baby food from months 10- 16, adding organic buckwheat baby cereal or Earth’s Best infant rice cereal. But what I have already learned about babies and toddlers is that what works one month, week, day, or moment does not mean it will work the next. Nothing is set in stone. They like to keep us on our toes.

Now,  TJ is refusing those foods with ” hidden” grains, but I can’t blame him for that at all. He will still snack on puffs all day long; however, he needs more. Thankfully, Sam Mills’ Corn Pasta for Kids came to our rescue a couple months ago. Over the past couple of weeks, TJ has begun to really enjoy this product made by Sam Mills which definitely helps his lunches and dinners become more balanced. Heck, maybe we should try some for breakfast?!?

Grain Group   √(for now)


While I know tomorrow this may change, right now I am grateful to have yet another safe product and great company for TJ so we eat and smile on…