Tag Archives: Oat Allergy

Favorite Finds Friday – Sippy Cup/Soy

The following post was my very first “Favorite Finds Friday” about a product that we still love. Check it out and smile on with us this Friday…

“From now on, I plan to post a “Favorite Find” on some Fridays.  Like this week, it may not always directly relate to food allergies and eczema.   However, it will always be something that has helped us a lot with TJ’s restricted diet.

To start, after TJ passed his soy food challenge, I started to wean from breastfeeding after a lot of debating about it.   However, for us, at that time, it was the right decision.   This new soy tolerance gave us two new options: soy milk or a soy-based toddler formula.   Because TJ’s iron levels were slightly low and we were looking for ways to bring them up without using a supplement, we, with the guidance of our pediatrician and a nutritionist, decided that the toddler soy formula would be the best option for TJ.   Therefore, around 13.5 months, TJ started to solely drink Similac Go & Grow Toddler Soy Formula as his “milk” source.

I worried that the transition from nursing/breast milk would be difficult; however, the most difficult challenge proved to be getting TJ to stop drinking from a bottle.  He would drink water from a sippy cup since he was like 8 months old.  However, he would not drink milk/formula from one.  I think I bought close to 20 different sippy cups and nothing worked until a friend from my breastfeeding support group suggested the NUK Blue Turtle Silicone Spout Active Cup below. Check it out:

http://www.nuk-usa.com/cups_and_accessories/turtle-ladybug-active-cup/

Not only does TJ loves this product, it has also helped him use several other different kinds of sippy cups.  Therefore, we continue to smile on…”

 

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Makeup & Allergies

When my son’s multiple allergies were first discovered, I also realized that much of my makeup contained these allergens.   One of the common components in some of my products was oat.  Therefore, I looked for alternatives and was extra careful that it did not touch my son’s skin with them.  If I am home with my son, I do not use any makeup as I find it is best for both of us.

The following article by Allergic Living discusses this topic.   Check it out and smile on with us…

Safe Makeup Tips for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

Makeup & Allergies

Favorite Finds Friday: Van’s Waffles

Due to my son’s multiple food allergies, finding breakfast foods that he can and WILL eat has been difficult.   However, this week we took a huge step in the right direction.   After trying to give my son allergen-free waffles several times, last weekend he started to eat them!

WAFFLES

Therefore, this week’s favorite find is Van’s gluten-free waffles.  We are forever grateful for companies like Van’s that create delicious products for people living with food allergies.

WAFFLES 3

WAFFLES 2

With this new favorite find, we smile on and wish everyone an amazing weekend…

tj cartoon

 

 

 

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 …

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.

RICE CHEX 1

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!

THUMBS UP

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!

CELEBRATE

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…

Oats & The Gluten Free Diet

OATS    &      glutenfree

Sometimes the world of food allergies is beyond confusing.   One area that I have found confusing is this very topic: oats and the gluten-free diet.  Because of that, I found the following article helpful so I wanted to share and smile on…

Oats & the Gluten Free Diet

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

 

 

TJ’s Daycare Update – September 26

It has been almost a month since we started back at work and daycare after having off for the summer. Therefore, I wanted to give an update on how everything is going with TJ being back at daycare as an active toddler with his eczema and multiple food allergies. While there have been some challenges, we are blessed because he has been safe. So let me recap week by week the challenges while also counting our blessings.

For more background information on the safety plan we put together for TJ’s utmost safety, check out these two previous posts:

  1. Preparing for Daycare (A Plan in the Works)
  2. TJ’s Daycare Accommodations

Leading up to that first week back, I experienced major anxiety, worrying about all the “what ifs” and horrible possibilities that could happen. I even reached out to different moms through other allergy sites about sending their toddlers with multiple food allergies to daycare. After the first few people responded to my post, I started to get even more upset. They were mostly all suggesting not to send TJ to a daycare at all and offering other options that they themselves took. While I appreciated all the suggestions especially since I had been the one who asked, I grew even more anxious. That’s when I realized that I was not looking for suggestions. Instead I was hunting for confirmation from everyone and anyone that we were making the right decision for TJ. Asking others on other allergy sites for suggestions is one thing and a great resource to have.  However, searching for confirmation all over the place is the same exact reason that complicated and frustrated me last winter when TJ’s allergies were first discovered. I reminded myself that I do NOT need confirmation from everyone and anyone who will listen. Therefore, I stopped reading the other posts and suggestions, and shifted my focus to trusting our detailed plan, my mother’s intuition and most importantly, God. Repeating to myself over and over again every single time a worry comes to mind… “I trust you God.”

Therefore, with the start of the new school year, TJ  started back at the daycare facility that is a block from my work and has been working with us since he started at 6 months.  This staff has been working  more closely with us since his initial allergic reaction in December. (Read more about that experience here.) And even more closely now that he is a very active toddler among many other active toddlers.


So, let’s get back to the actual update:

WEEK 1
Challenge: The Food Strike

In addition to the screaming that happened and broke my heart every morning when I dropped him off, TJ would not eat much at daycare that first week, and even had two days of total refusal. Thankfully, he would drink his soy toddler formula. However, we were panicked since he was losing weight in only 4 days being at daycare. He would, however, eat his dinner at home on those days.

Was it just the transition back to daycare?

Was it our fault for allowing and using Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and music videos (ha) during mealtimes at home to get him to eat? (At the start of the summer since TJ’s iron levels were slightly low, we were following our pediatrician’s advice to not give a supplement yet and try different iron-rich foods. Therefore, we gave into the television and it worked! ) However, was it causing a problem now?

Was teething not helping the situation?

Or, a thought that crossed my mind which several others Including my hubby may think I’m crazy for …

Even though TJ was only 16 months, did he somehow already understand that only food from Mommy and Daddy was safe? Was God protecting him with this strike?

Counting our blessings: The hunger strike then continued over that weekend at home. All of the sudden, TJ wanted to feed himself the specific foods that he wanted. So, after emailing our pediatrician, we followed TJ’s lead and also avoided watching Mickey. By the end of that weekend, he was eating and much more independent with it. And, two new teeth had cut through … the upper canines. Ouch!

TEETHINGIf you ask me, these new teeth and independent phase ( hunger strike and all) could not have come at a better time. Now that TJ was eating more on his own, he did not need as much assistance from anyone and there would less of a chance of cross contamination during mealtimes. Every day when I pick TJ up from daycare, I thank God for keeping him safe that day. Despite the hunger strike,  I count my blessings… TJ was protected and safe.

WEEK 2
Challenge: No More High Chair?

To start the week off, TJ and I had a “talk” in the car about eating at daycare and that all of the food is safe and sent by Mommy and Daddy. (Ha I know this is a bit silly but hey, they understand more than we think they do, right?) As we went to get out of the car that morning, TJ held on tightly to one of his favorite stuffed animals, Buddy. Since I did not want to upset him, I let him bring it with him. He did not cry that morning and actually ate half of his food! Thank you Buddy and the rest of his stuffed buddies who take turns going to school with TJ each day now.  Our mornings are no longer filled with tears.

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With the eating improving week 2, another challenge presented itself though. That Friday when I picked TJ up for the day, he was not drinking his afternoon sippy cup in the high chair we had provided.  Instead, he was seated at one of the main tables where four other toddlers eat.  He was seated in a seat labeled “Hunter.” While there had been conversation about TJ eventually being transitioned from the safe, allergen-free high chair to the “food allergy safe table,” we did not think that this would happen without us knowing and on the 8th day of school!!! Plus, he wasn’t even at the table designated for allergies.  He sat at one of the main tables.

NO MORE HIGH CHAIR

As soon as TJ saw me, he threw his sippy cup down onto the table and ran to me.  While I know that the staff cleans the tables and it is a peanut and tree nut free classroom, I was not comfortable with the entire scenario and how it went down without us knowing.   I told his teacher that I was not comfortable with this and explained my reasons why.  However, it was Friday, I was exhausted, wanted to beat traffic, and discuss this with my husband before deciding what to do next.

SURPRISE

One of my biggest fears before the school year started was that everyone would be super cautious and careful with TJ to begin with.  Then, as the weeks and months went by, they would become “comfortable” and more relaxed with everything. I did not expect that comfort to already present itself on day 8 though!

CONFUSED 2

Counting our blessings: We emailed the directors that weekend very nicely explaining our concerns with this change.  They responded right away with a very supportive email, indirectly letting us know that they had no idea about the change.   After speaking with them, it was clarified to everyone that for now TJ is to sit in his high chair for all meals.  At the end of October, we will all discuss switching him to his allergen-free table. They also assured us that before any change occurs with TJ we would be contacted and asked our thoughts on it.   TJ also now participates in art activities at the main tables.   However, food is not involved.

We count our blessings…Not only is a daycare facility going above and beyond for TJ’s safety, he has been protected and safe.


WEEK 3

Challenge: First Cold of the School Year

Counting our blessings: Although colds and sicknesses stink and I hate to see my Cutes not feeling well, I know that they are inevitable especially when you attend a daycare. Because I know that TJ has been kept safe for almost a month now and a facility is working so closely with us even though they don’t have to, this first cold doesn’t even seem like a challenge at all. Therefore, we are extremely blessed and thankful.  With all of that being said and some extra cuddles and rest, we know that we will kick this cold in the butt so we smile on…

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/

LOVE

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.

POLLEN

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

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& Beech-nut.

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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?

Ugh!!!!!!!!


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…

CONFUSED


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…


SMILING ON...

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


Thankful

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…

HOW GREAT

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