I am the mother of two children, Sophia and Zac. Sophia is 5 and Zac is 3. From around the time of weaning it was clear that neither could stomach too much dairy – both were violently sick the first few times I took them off formula and introduced full fat cows milk to their diet. That was an easy fix. Keep them on ‘growing up’ milk for as long as possible and then switch to soya milk after the age of one. Easy. Or so I thought.
With Zac it was a little more tricky than just swapping out the cows milk for soya in the mornings. Poor little Zac contracted swine flu around the time of his first birthday. He was very ill and had an extremely upset tummy for over two weeks. Once he started to feel better, he got his appetite back and started off with his yoghurts and breakfast cereal. That first evening his little tummy blew up like a balloon and an hour after going to bed he was very sick. He was sick all night long but during the course of the next day bounced back and seemed hungry again. That evening the pattern was repeated. At one point I thought the buttons on his little pyjama jacket would fly off like something in a cartoon. He was sick all night and once the vomiting stopped his little tummy had gone back to normal. I worked out the culprit for myself.
The next day I made an appointment with my GP who agreed it was likely. He told me that after a prolonged stomach upset much of the natural defences and enzymes will have been flushed out with everything else. So he suggested we remove all dairy from Zac’s diet for a few months and see how he got on……..
That was December 2009. Since then we have been on quite a journey. Since then he has also suffered with very unpleasant reactions to many foods and ingredients . And when he is not made ill by food, he is simply ‘intolerant’ or ‘intolerable’ (I can’t decide!!) and just won’t eat what I put in front of him!
He suffers with hay fever, is allergic to cat hair, has recently been given an inhaler for his ‘asthma-like’ night time cough and seems to be developing eczema type rashes on the back of his legs
For the last two years I have been working out how to feed him without making him ill and I am happy to say I have now made enough progress for him to lead a normal life. He is regularly assessed by the dietician and a consultant paediatrician. Both are satisfied that he is not just growing well but absolutely thriving and they have no concerns over his diet or general health. He is simply ‘atopic’ and is mostly likely to grow out of it – just not for a good few years yet!
We still have many years of intolerance ahead of us I fear, and I feel I have to do all I can to try and make this easier for him, for me and for anyone else out there with similar issues. So this blog is my way of sharing our experiences and hints and tips on how to live with and ‘feed an intolerant child’.