Food Allergies in our Family

Posted by Missy in Uncategorized

Well, friends, we found out yesterday that Avery has significant food allergies. We had her tested due to her scary reaction to egg last week. I was also suspecting cow’s milk, as she’s had some strange reactions in her first week on the stuff after turning 12 mo.

She is allergic to: peanuts (tree nuts), milk, soy, eggs.

That’s a lot! Just think about all the things you eat with those things in them!

My head is spinning. I know we’ll figure it out. But it’s overwhelming.

Here’s what I know: The nut allergy will be lifelong and challenging to manage. She *may* grow out of the others. We have many more questions than we have answers. Our first meeting with an allergist is a week from Monday. In the meantime we need to become a nut/peanut-free house, eliminate all dairy and soy and egg from Avery’s diet AND my diet (still nursing).

Thanks everyone. More info to come.

Edited to add: Many months later, we are managing Avery’s food allergies very well. You can learn more about our journey with food allergies here.

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20 Responses to “Food Allergies in our Family”

  1. Kim says:

    Okay, yes, your life just had a whole new layer added to it. I remember reading a blog about a woman who has a son with food allergies and the challenges of finding safe halloween candy. Not a concern right now as she is young and it is January, but I’ll see if I can go back and find it. There is a chance I have it in my hundreds of bookmarks at work.

    Good luck on your information search, and I keep my eyes out for good stuff.

  2. LutherLiz says:

    Hey! I sent you an email!

  3. Mama Nomad says:

    All I can say is: its good you found out early and also that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. you will just integrate this reality into your life and eventually it’ll be automatic. other people really cannot understand the full magnitude.

    just to have some safe food around ASAP, i recommend the Enjoy Life brand…google them and find out where you can find their products. they have been a huge help to us: trail mix, bagels, cookies, etc, all made in a dedicated nut/dairy/egg/soy-free factory.

    you can do this, mama!

  4. Barbara says:

    Oh Gosh, what a nightmare! I hope yu get some good advice from the allergist. The only plus to all of this is that at least there is widespread (well, somewhat widespread)awareness of children’s food allergies, so hopefully you’ll be able to get a lot of support from other moms dealing with the same issues. 🙁

  5. Rebecca says:

    Ug. I’m sorry. I wish I had resources or a contact for you, but I don’t. I feel like a useless friend right now.

  6. suzi says:

    Wish I had some insightful information to share, but I am not knowledgeable in the allergy arena. So, I’ll just wish you well, say that I think your are a pretty amazing momma, and know you’ll handle this just fine. 🙂

  7. Marketing Mama says:

    Thanks everyone! Mama Nomad – thanks for that brand tip – I hadn’t seen that yet and am thrilled to hear about it!

  8. Jennifer B says:

    Sorry to hear of the food allergies diagnosis. There’s quite a learning curve following diagnosis especially with multiple allergies. I found your post about Food Allergies in our Family by way of my Google Alerts. (I have a 5 y.o. son with a life threatening peanut allergy and have a food allergy related blog, http://www.foodallergybuzz.com.)

    With the resources that are available today, you will get up to speed in a matter of months. There are many excellent websites which offer support and information. For amazing tips from food allergy adults and parents of food allergic kids, I recommend http://www.foodallergysupport.org; it is a very active bulletin board. Any question you run into, most likely there is someone else on that bulletin board who has run into it before and can offer some helpful info. Another source of excellent info is http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org, full of tips and has a great support forum, well worth the small fee to upgrade to a membership that lets you access and participate more fully. Another great website–by Linda Coss, author of food allergy cookbooks, mother of a food allergic child, and more–which lists all sorts of resources: http://www.foodallergybooks.com. There are many more great food allergy websites to suit all sorts of needs–avoiding certain ingredients, emotional support, recipes, baking without eggs, etc–but those are 3 of the best, along with the FAAN at http://www.foodallergy.org.

  9. Holly Tried It says:

    I have more allergies than that, but all of those, so I’m a good resource for allergy stuff! Also, my daughter has a peanut allergy and several food sensitivities. Enjoy Life chocolate chips and candy bars are good, but I don’t really like their cookies. The granola is good. Stay away from Bob’s Red Mill Products as they are processed in the same facility with peanuts. Check my blog under the allergy link and you’ll find info on many allergy-free foods. I’ll write you more later.

    You can do this, and your daughter’s life will be more comfortable and enjoyable because you are taking the appropriate steps.

  10. Roxane B. Salonen says:

    So sorry to hear it and I can imagine it is news that has you upside down, but you’re collecting some great resources already. If I hear or see of anything more, I’ll send it your way. We have tons of allergies in our family, but mostly medicines and things of the outdoor nature. Hang in there…

  11. heather says:

    My son is allergic to soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat and dairy. I started a website http://www.spewdfree.com to help others who suffer from food allergies. SPEWD Free has allergy friendly recipes and an allergy blog. I hope it helps you. 🙂


  12. Food Allergy Assistant says:

    Aaahhh…I remember those first months just after my son was diagnosed with dairy, egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nut and oat allergies. We had to watch every morsel of food, check labels on all soaps, shampoos, etc.- everything felt like poison to us.

    I have a website and blog I think you’ll find helpful:
    You can access the blog from the site. Feel free to e-mail me (foodallergyassistant@gmail.com) if you have any questions. There’s lots of support in this community. You are not alone.

  13. Kristin says:

    Some friends with significant allergies are involved in this group and highly recommend it. http://www.foodallergysupportmn.org
    Note this is a MN-based organization, and they have a group on Facebook so that should be a good resource, too!

  14. Marketing Mama says:

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the great resources people are leaving here and in my e-mail box. We had an interesting weekend scouring the ingredients lists of all our food at home and in the natural food store.

    I continue to go back and forth between being overwhelmed, hopeful, sad, empowered, depressed, scared and exhausted with all this information.

    But I’m confident we’ll get it figured out…

  15. Scribbit says:

    Wow–that’s something we’ve never had to deal with so I’m at a loss but if it sounds hopeful I’d heard something on the news recently that says kids often grow out of their alergies. But then again I haven’t had experience so it’s just a rumor.

  16. Roxy says:

    welcome to my world. I am the BEST lable reader in town. Well, my cousin may have that honor. I am emailing you – we will chat.

    I’m a celiac – no wheat/barley/rye/oats. My goddaughter is allergic to all you listed and then some – her best friend is the epi pen. boo.

    I’m here for you!!!

  17. eblair21 says:

    I am allergic to shellfish and tree nuts, but not peanuts (legumes). I didn’t find out until I was 11 (now 27), but it explains why I never liked the foods growing up and would try to “scratch” my throat after eating them. While I was a bit older when diagnosed, my best friend’s son has peanut allergies and since he was about 20 months old they have drilled into him to ask before receiving food from people other than his parents. Even though he knows me well, it’s great to know that when I’m babysitting him and offer him something to eat, he first asks “does it have peanuts”. Avery has a bit of a longer list, but if you teach her right away she’ll catch on and it will always be her “normal”.

    My only other tip is to carry children’s dissolvable Benadryl stips, along with your Epi-pen. My allergist told me to carry the children’s strips (too bad they don’t make them in adult dosage), as they are the fastest way to get the medicine into your body if you know (or even think) you’ve encountered an allergen and if the encoutner was small enough, you may be able to avoid the epi-pen.

    Feel free to email me if you have questions or would like to talk/vent! I found your blog through another website so I’m a stranger, but a welcome one!

  18. barb says:

    You are not alone dealing with food allergies. I found the following statistics on various websites –

    AUSTRALIA: Australia has one of the highest allergic incidence rates in the developed world.
    CANADA: Between 3% and 4% of Canadian adults, and nearly 6 % of children suffer from food allergies
    GERMANY: The prevalence in children is 3 percent to 6 percent, but can be up to 30 percent in high-risk groups, such as children with eczema.
    ITALY: An estimated 6 to 8% of the Italian population has food allergies.
    JAPAN: about 7% of population had some form of food allergy.
    MALAYSIA: about 30% of young children are likely to develop allergic disorders in the first five years of life.
    SWEDEN: one out of 15 children with reported adverse reactions to food.
    US: One in every 17 children under the age of 3 has food allergy.

    And really serious food reactions are not all that rare – “A study in Arch Intern Med 2001 Jan 8;161(1):15-2, Anaphylaxis in the United States: an investigation into its epidemiology, concluded with “The occurrence of anaphylaxis in the US is not as rare as is generally believed. On the basis of our figures, the problem of anaphylaxis may, in fact, affect 1.21% (1.9 million) to 15.04% (40.9 million) of the US population.” PMID 11146694″

    So is this epidemic of food allergies mostly among young children caused by being too clean (hygiene theory – food allergies are unknown in undeveloped countries) in the last 5 years or something else?

    1960 – children received on average one or two vaccines
    1980 – children received 8-9 vaccines
    1990 – children were routinely given 10 vaccines
    2000 – Children now receive 33 vaccinations before they enter school
    2007 – Children are now to receive 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age six and 53-56 doses of 15 or 16 vaccines by age 12.

    Vaccines contain an adjuvant that increases the body’s immune response to the protein in the vaccine. Something that the public and most physicians don’t realize is that the adjuvant can also contain a mixture of vegetable and animal oils that have a trace of food protein in them. This is a protected trade secret and does not have to appear on the package insert. The ingredients of many adjuvants can only be found by reading patents. What are these oils? Soy, sesame, peanut, wheat germ, corn, shellfish, fish, etc.

    Can a trace amount of food protein in a vaccine cause food allergy? Yes. This has been known since 1839, when the French physiologist Francois Magendie injected animals to create a food allergy to egg whites.

    The food industry has to label food that may contain trace amounts of peanuts or nuts but the pharmaceutical industry is exempt. Shouldn’t your doctor know if he is injecting a peanut-allergic patient with peanut oil?

  19. […] many of you know, Avery was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies last month. Her allergist recommended we purchase the Safety Sack bag to keep her EpiPens safe, […]

  20. […] been a year since Avery was diagnosed with food allergies to eggs, milk, soy and peanuts/nuts and it feels like an update is in order. For the full history […]



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