Monday, January 18, 2010

Food Allergies/Lactose Intolerance

Lactose Intolerance has been a big thing at our house lately. We've been dealing with diarrhea diapers off and on since October, then the month of December we dealt with nothing but diarrhea. I finally took Lucas to the doctor and he thought he could possibly be lactose intolerant. So, for the past two weeks Lucas hasn't been able to eat any dairy products or anything that contains milk. Luckily, the diarrhea has been basically non-existent since taking Lucas off Dairy products. This has been a very hard thing to do; everything contains milk! I've had to be a little creative with snacks because Lucas loves cheese and yogurt. Everyone I use as a babysitter, and anyone he spends time with, has to be told that he cannot have dairy products. I'm hoping this is a phase and that he will grow out of it.

I know many families have dealt with lactose intolerance or food allergies. This can be a very difficult thing to deal with and spreading the word that your child can't eat certain things can be a daunting task. Schools, daycare, church teacher and activities, family and friends all need to be aware of what a child can and cannot eat. I've got some tips for spreading the word and for lactose intolerant proof snacks!

Spreading the word:

Email! For teachers and schools this is a very good way to let them know what is going on. If you find out your child cannot eat something, email your child's teacher, principle, and anyone else at the school that should be aware of the allergy.

Also, just talking to people you take your child too.


Pretzels; these has been a life saver!
Graham Crackers; every brand that I have looked at has been dairy free.
Fruit and dried fruit
Fruit snacks
Apple sauce
Celery and peanut butter
Carrot sticks and a dipping sauce other than ranch

I don't know a ton about food allergies, but lactose intolerance has certainly made me stretch my grocery budget as soy milk is almost a dollar more per half gallon than regular milk. Hopefully people with children with food allergies will be able to share a couple more tips for helping spread the word and snacks. If you have any tips relating to lactose intolerance or food allergies please share!


Britta said...

I actually have had the same problem- except my daughter is off milk because of constipation issues. It is difficult to find snacks for her to eat and I find I'm making her seperate meals from the rest of the family.

I liked the ideas you've mentioned for letting people know and for snacks. I'm still in the experimental stage so I don't have more ideas than you posted. I'm interested in hearing if others have ideas as well!

Tannie Datwyler said...

My daughter dealt with this same problem right after turning 1 as well. As far as I understand a child normally doesn't manifest lactose intolerance until they are older (around 5 years old give or take a few years). What your son has is most likely a milk allergy (unless your doctor told you other wise, which is very possible). With a milk allergy he is most likely (and hopefully) going to outgrow it by around 2 or 3 (especially if you keep doing what you are doing and keep him away from dairy for a while).

You are right with warning babysitters and other people that watch your son! I had the hardest time with that and often she would have a reaction a few days after she was watched by someone and I knew she'd had dairy and I'd forgotten to warn them. But it isn't a big deal if it does happen occasionally (at least with milk).

Snacks were hard for me, but dinner was worse. There is cheese in so many dinners. So when I made meals I would leave a corner of the meal without cheese (if that makes sense). For example I'd make lasagna and make the layers without cheese in one corner.

With other allergies like peanut (which is so much more dangerous) or things of that nature it is handy to make a little info sheet for teachers or daycare providers and have multiple copies so you don't forget to give it out. I've recieved these from students before and that's helpful!

Laura is lactose intolerant and her daughter has the same issue as your son so she'll probably have some good advice too.

Angel said...

I had this problem with my lactose-intolerant son at preschool, and it drove me insane. How is it that some adults don't understand that cheese is a dairy product? Even though we had a letter from his doctor pinned up on his classroom wall warning that dairy would make my son sick, they still sometimes gave him cheese or other items containing dairy! He would then suffer all night long with cramps and diarrhea. I'm so happy he's old enough to speak up for himself now.

Have you tried the new So Delicious coconut milk beverages and yogurt? Both of my kids love them.

Delia said...

This is a trial I hope we don't have to go through either. I feel for you.

Have you tried giving him raw milk. His reaction could be from a myriad of things so I thought I would just mention this. I have a friend who's son will have a severe allergic reaction to ANYTHING dairy. Even if he touches it. BUT...if he drinks raw milk straight from the cow he is fine. It must be in the pasteurization process or something. Who knows. But that is something to think about. There are hormones put in regular milk. Organic milk does not have those hormones. If you are up to it you could try giving that to him instead as well to see if he just doesn't digest the hormone pumped milk well.

Just some thoughts. I have tasted some really delicious coconut milk ice cream, although straight coconut milk it too thick and sweet for my taste.

Good luck!

Raylynk said...

My daughter breaks out with red sploches whenever she has dairy products. We are actually going to go see an allergist tommorrow so I'll see if he has any good tips!

Erin said...

I took Halle to an allergist today, and she definitely has a milk allergy. ahhh! Now I'm kinda frazzled about what to feed her because there is dairy in practically everything. I have already messed up today and realized that I gave her food with cheese in it. Thanks for the list of snack ideas. Now my problem will be getting her to eat dinner, because she just wants to eat what we eat.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Erin - oh no!!! I worried when you told me that you thought she did. :( Frustrating... but the allergy will go away (most likely). SO you just have to tough it out for a year or two.

I would add one thing - I wasn't a freak about not giving my little girl ANY dairy. I steered clear of everything I could, but if a product had milk in it (like panacakes for example) then I just let it slide and it seemed to work. Does that make sense? Also - I gave my little girl soy milk instead of regular milk because it has more nutrients than rice milk. It is not the most pleasant thing (for diaper changes) but it works.

And following these rules... she outgrew it by 2 years.

Jennifer said...

My family all has milk allergies in different stages. The biggest thing is that if the milk is cooked into things it doesn't seem to bug them.
And you just really need to be creative with your snacks. :)
Another thing is when they get older there are some pills you can take after you have milk to help... some thing about lactose on the pill box...I don't remember for sure!

Megan said...

Lactaid; it is offered in a pill and in a milk. My doctor and I decided to switch my son to this today. Usually, for kids under the age of 2 they suggest you give them the lactaid milk, and over 2 they generally can have the pill.

Erin said...

My doctor was more concerned about it because it showed up as a skin rash. He even gave me an epi pen just in case. :( So I have to be pretty careful... And he told me since I'm still nursing I have to get off dairy too. I hope she likes the soy milk because I just plan on weaning her.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Oh sad Erin!!

Kelly A. said...

I think my little one month old might have a milk allergy too! :( I noticed he had a bad rash on his face and neck which just seemed to be getting worse and worse. My SIL told me that that's what happened to her little boy when he had a reaction to milk so I have eliminated milk from my diet since I am nursing and it looks WAY better and it's only been a few days. So thanks for all the input and keep any and all advice coming! :)

Tannie Datwyler said...

Kelly.... he might have eczema too - often milk allergy and eczema are linked (my little girl had both, but my son only has eczema). So if it keeps popping up again you might want to check with your doctor to find out if that is what it is.

Raylynk said...

Camry and I are in the same boat as you Erin:)

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