Thanksgiving Meal Planning: Baby's Food Intolerances
Hi, Moms! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just over a week away? Our family is blessed with several family gatherings to attend each year—full of tradition and delicious spreads of our favorite Thanksgiving foods!
This year will be a little different for me; whereas every year before I could eat whatever my heart desired, this year I have to be more careful. Why? My 10-month- old daughter was diagnosed with milk protein allergy at 2 months old.
What is milk protein allergy? This was described to me, by my daughter’s Gastroenterologist, as a blanket term to describe an adverse reaction to cow's milk (and/or other foods) passed to baby through mother’s milk.
Most mothers can eat whatever they want while breastfeeding (as I did with my first daughter). As stated on KellyMom.com, “There is no list of foods that every nursing mom should avoid because most nursing mothers can eat anything they want, and because the babies who are sensitive to certain foods are each unique – what bothers one may not bother another.” An adverse reaction to foods in mother’s milk is not common; however it does happen.
For my daughter, symptoms started very early (even at 1-2 weeks old) and included: extreme colic, fussiness while nursing, frequent interrupted sleep from discomfort, excessive (projectile) spitting up, and mucus and visible blood in stool. She was a miserable little baby, and I was a miserable and helpless mama!
I started with an elimination diet of milk, followed by eggs, with only some improvement. After this, our daughter’s doctor made 2 recommendations for my choosing: 1) Eliminate the top 8 allergens from my diet (milk, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts) or 2) Stop breastfeeding and try a very expensive formula, that wouldn’t necessarily be free of all traces of all of these allergens. Let me repeat: There isn’t a formula out there that is free of all traces of all common allergens!
I went with option one and cut the top 8 allergens out of my diet. The overwhelm of that decision was crushing as I had no idea where to start; however, I knew it was the best chance for my baby to feel better and still get the benefits of my breast milk. I will be honest: this diet hasn’t been easy. But guess what? I did it and it’s been 100% worth it.
According to our Gastroenterologist, the vast majority of children outgrow this condition by their first birthday. At 10 months old, I have been able to slowly add in all of the foods except for milk and eggs. I will attempt milk and eggs closer to my daughter's first birthday, which unfortunately, leaves me limited over the holidays. Again, it’s not fun, but it’s totally worth it to me!
If you are facing food intolerances with your little one, there is hope! Outside of gaining all of the insight that you can from your pediatrician, I would highly recommend using Kellymom.com as a resource in your “tool belt”! Here is a guide to food intolerances in breastfed babies, full of links to reputable information on how to help your little one:
Dairy and Other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies:
I will expand on this topic and our personal experiences in future blog posts. For now, my tip is to always be prepared when eating away from home—whether it’s a restaurant or gathering with family or friends. With that in mind, I’ve done research on some Thanksgiving foods that will be safe for me to eat this year!
If you are dairy and egg free, you can search “Vegan” recipes for easier results (even if you do eat meat!). That will direct you to dairy and egg free recipes!
Here are a few that I am going to try myself! :
Easy Vegan Green bean Casserole:
Garlic Herb Biscuits
Wild Mushroom Gravy
Butternut Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Apple Cranberry Sauce
Healthy Pecan Pie Bars
No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts
Moms, do you have experience with food intolerances through breast milk? Do you have any favorite recipes to share? Please post in the comments!