Posts Tagged ‘elimination diet’

Signs of Food Intolerance

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

signs of food intoleranceI could tell something wasn’t right when my baby spent most of the evening hours screaming if she was not sleeping in my arms.  If I put her down, she would wake up and scream.  I couldn’t figure it out, so I did what many moms might do, I did a search online for something like “newborns who scream all night long.”  One search result that caught my interest was the possibility of a food intolerance for my baby.

So, I hopped to it and cut out my dinnertime glass of milk that I had each night since dairy was one of the top intolerances for many babies.  I figured it was easy enough.  At my daughter’s 2-week check up, I informed our pediatrician that I thought that my daughter was intolerant of dairy.  When she asked me to tell her why I thought this, these are the symptoms that I told her about:

  • My baby screamed in pain and did not want to be put down.

  • Tons of spit up!  I used receiving blankets as burp cloths.  At least 4 per day.  She went through many sleepers and swaddles each and every day.

  • She had projectile diarrhea numerous times per day.  It flew out of her during diaper changes.  A diaper change sometimes required 2 people and 5 diapers.

  • She went through triple the amount of diapers in a day as my first baby.  I never felt like I had enough diapers on hand unless I had a box of diapers from Costco.

  • She had a constant diaper rash.  It was so sad.  Nothing would clear the rash up.

  • Her breathing was affected at times.  She would have high pitched hiccups that didn’t sound right.

Our pediatrician agreed that something wasn’t right, but warned me that cutting out dairy was going to be much more involved than eliminating a glass of milk each day.  She offered me the option to try dairy-free formulas, but I was determined to try to make it work with breastfeeding.

It took a ton of research, self-education, and commitment, but I was able to eliminate dairy and soy from my diet for over 14 months.  My daughter’s negative symptoms disappeared as soon as dairy and soy were out of my system.  By the age of 16 months, she outgrew her intolerances and we were thrilled to introduce her to our favorite food, pizza!

Sarah Cole is a freelance write and stay at home mom to two busy toddlers. She eliminated dairy and soy out of her diet for over 14 months so she could continue to breastfeed her baby even though her favorite food is melted cheese.  

 

 

Going Dairy Free While Nursing

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Going dairy free while nursingWhen my daughter was 8 weeks old, after 2 months of trying everything to comfort a screaming, spitting, unhappy baby, I went dairy free. I’d talked to her pediatrician about the possibility of her issues being reflux, and while he agreed that she had some of the symptoms, he was reluctant to jump straight to medication, as was I. Instead, we decided to try diet modification to see if that might be what was behind what was vexing my sweet girl.

After hours spent reading Kelly Mom about nursing, reflux, and food sensitivities, I decided to try eliminating dairy from my diet first, as it appeared to be the most common food that could transfer through mother’s milk and cause issues in baby. Thankfully, in our case, dairy did seem to be the culprit and I didn’t have to experiment more with my diet. Within a week she seemed happier, with fewer crying jags and less spit up. To confirm this diagnosis, the few times I slipped up were quickly followed with a long day of screaming.

If you’re considering going dairy free as well, here’s what I learned that I can pass on.

  • Babies with dairy sensitivity are not usually lactose intolerant, although that term is often used. Instead, it’s the cow’s milk protein that they can’t digest. So don’t bother switching to lactose free milk, because it more than likely won’t help. Instead, switch to a dairy-free option such as almond, soy, rice, or even hemp milk. I preferred almond milk myself, but try a few and find what suits you.
  • Read your labels. There’s dairy in more items than you may think. Some babies may not have problems with processed (cooked) dairy, but you may want to skip it all just to be safe.
  • At restaurants, don’t go by the menu alone. Talk to the waiter, or see if they can check with the kitchen if you’re unsure if a dish contains dairy. They don’t always spell out all ingredients on the menu. Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate.
  • Stick with your prenatal vitamin. Dairy may have previously been a large source of your calcium, Vitamin D, and protein. But sure to continue taking your prenatal vitamins to offset this drop. Also seek out non-dairy options that contain these vitamins. Citrus and dark greens are great for calcium, mushrooms contain vitamin D, and nuts and eggs are a great source of protein.
  • Don’t think all of your treats are gone! To my relief and delight, I found that most of my local coffee shops carried at least one, if not multiple, milk alternative options, so my chai teas and coffees were not off limits! I also found delicious dairy-free sorbet and ice cream options at my local grocery stores. I even found out that you can order a cheese-free pizza! No, for a dairy lover, it’s not nearly as satisfying as the real deal, but it beats watching your husband scarf down slices while you nibble on veggies.

A number of sources I’d read mentioned the tendency for most babies to grow out of this intolerance, and many women who’d walked the same path had seen improvement after baby reached 6 months old, so that’s when I slowly began to reintroduce dairy. I started with processed dairy in small quantities, moving on to hard cheese, then yogurt, and I eventually brought back straight milk last. With each reintroduction, I waited a few days to watch for side effects in my daughter but thankfully never saw any. By the time we began baby led weaning a month later, she never had any issue with any food we offered.

Diet changes are hard, especially with something like dairy, an ingredient that many of us have counted as part of our daily diet for our entire lives. The change it brought to our baby and our household, though, was worth it 10 fold. A few months of inconvenience for me were nothing compared to seeing my baby girl grow healthy and happy.

Have you had to make any dietary changes while nursing? What tips would you give to other moms?

Kate is a mostly stay-at-home mom in the Pacific NW who is glad to have half and half back in her coffee and whose daughter now eats anything and everything.

An Elimination Diet can Help Colic Symptoms

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
An Elimination Diet can Help Colic Symptoms

Many colicky babies like the “football” hold.

The cries of a colicky baby are enough to bring any new mother to tears, but what exactly is colic, and what can you do about it? A baby is said to have colic if he or she cries vigorously and cannot be consoled around the same time each day or night–usually after feedings–for at least three weeks. You may notice signs of abdominal discomfort or gas such as pulling their knees to their chest, an arched back, or clenched fists.

There are many different explanations for colic, but most believe that the baby’s digestive system isn’t mature enough to function properly and certain foods may be causing irritation. While colic usually resolves by about sixteen weeks, making some dietary changes may make a difference in your baby’s pain. An elimination diet can help you pinpoint if there is a particular food or foods that may be the cause.

First, eliminate foods that are known to be common culprits of colic, including: caffeine, onion, garlic, pasteurized dairy, chocolate, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. It can take as long as two weeks to get these foods out of your and your baby’s systems, so be very strict on avoiding these foods. Always read labels carefully since these ingredients may be lurking in places you don’t expect them, such as wheat in soy sauce and corn syrup in ketchup.

After two weeks you should notice a difference in colic symptoms. If there is no difference you may need to eliminate more foods, take a close look at your diet and look for less common allergens such as coffee, carrots, beets, oats and peaches. As soon as there’s an improvement in symptoms you can start adding foods back in one at a time.

The easiest way to make an association with what could be causing colic is to keep a detailed journal. When you begin adding foods back, only add one at a time and wait at least four days before between re-introducing foods. Keep a food/mood journal in where you record everything you eat and any behavior changes you notice. Having a record to look back at can help you pinpoint the culprit and you’ll know which foods to stay away from. Always discuss any concerns with your pediatrician and get their approval to begin a colic elimination diet so they can rule out any other health problems that may be causing your baby’s discomfort.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.

Tasty Tuesday: Banana Chips

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

I have a friend going through a pretty strict elimination diet right now as she is trying to heal her body from some on-going health issues she has struggled with for a long time. It’s been hard on her but I commend her commitment to it; plus in a very short time she has had some incredible results!

I kept trying to come up with something I could make for her to 1) help expand her limited food choices a little bit and 2) help her discover new, exciting foods. However a vast majority of what I eat was on her no-no list. Bummer! I definitely like a challenge when it comes to alternative diets, conscious eating, and healthy ingredient substitution. After much thought I came up with something. Eureka!! Banana Chips to the rescue!

Banana chips are super easy to make. If you have a food dehydrator you could make them in there. I however don’t have one (crazy, I know…although I do like to keep things simple in the kitchen appliance department…well actually in life in general :) ) You can easily make banana chips (and many other recipes that typically use a dehydrator) in your oven at a very low temp. I once borrowed a food dehydrator from a friend to experiment with to see if I wanted to invest in one; turns out I actually prefer the low temp oven method for most things.

Oh and if you plan to make a batch to give to a friend, you will probably need to hide them from your kids…just saying. I have learned that if I make something into “chips” (kale, sweet potatoes, apples, etc) my kids will automatically think it is an amazing and delicious snack…and devour it shortly after it comes out of the oven. This particular snack takes 3 hours to bake in the oven, so it is not exactly easy to whip out another batch if your kids happen to eat the first batch. In other words, you might consider doubling the recipe. :)

Ingredients:

4 bananas, peeled

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

sprinkle of cinnamon to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Slice bananas into 1/4 inch thick discs. Sprinkle or brush banana slices with lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional).

Place banana slices onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 3 hours.

Remove banana slices and allow to cool. They will crisp/harden as they cool.

Viola! Homemade banana chips. Enjoy!!

-Sarah

 

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