Hello? It’s me.
– Gluten & Oats Food Intolerances
Y’all. I think we are on the other side now!
If you’re new here, Morgan began showing an intolerance to wheat/gluten and oats when we introduced solid snacks around 9 months. At the recommendation of the nurse, we avoided these ingredients until we went in for her 12 months appointment to discuss this further. Having had eczema since birth and thus more likely to have food allergies, I was concerned and wanted to have her allergy tested before we tried other things like peanuts, etc. Our pediatrician is great and referred us to an allergist. To get up to speed on that experience, the allergy testing and tips I have when going to an allergist, you can read that here.
After the partial diagnosis was given, we were told to slowly reintroduce wheat/gluten and oats into Morgan’s diet when she turned 16 months old. So we did. To see what baby steps we took and how Morgan reacted, catch up here.
So here we are. On the other side of our follow up allergy appointment and on the other side of these food intolerances!
My last post included how we tested wheat/gluten with goldfish. Seeing that it was tolerated well, I have been giving her something with wheat/gluten in it at lunch every day and sometimes dinner.
Next up was oats. The original plan was to reintroduce this back to Morgan with good old fashioned oatmeal. She took one bite and hated it, so I set out to find something I hoped she would like to eat. During a trip to Sam’s, I found some XX oatmeal breakfast bars. I tried one and they are yummy! Here is how it went incorporating it into her breakfast:
2.25 | 1 small piece of oatmeal bar
2.26 | 1/3 of the oatmeal bar
2.27 | 2/3 of the oatmeal bar
2.28 | 1 whole oatmeal bar
On Friday, February 28 we set out to spend the leap day weekend in Asheville, NC. Feeling a new sense of confidence from the positive results we had been seeing in Morgan’s diet up to this point, I was ready to relax a little more with what we gave her to try. Traveling has always been stressful for me as a mom because some places just aren’t allergy friendly thus only allowing me to give Morgan baby food pouches for her sake and my anxiety’s sake. However, that weekend I was ready to push the limits a little bit. On that first night, we had dinner at Sierra Nevada’s taproom where she had a bunch of green beans, a few of Laney’s macaroni noodles and several pieces of my pizza crust. No issue!
2.29 | 2 oatmeal bars, a few Honey Nut Cheerios, 10 pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, 2 3 Wendy’s chicken nuggets, peanut butter crackers, a bite of a kit-kat
3.1 | 3/4 Cracker Barrel pancake
3.2 | 4 Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets & 1 oatmeal bar
3.3 | Oatmeal bar and goldfish with lunch
3.4 | Handful and a half of fruit loops & oatmeal bar
3.5 | Handful of fruit loops
3.6 | Nutrigrain bar, 4 Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets
3.7 | 2 pancakes, 2 peanut butter crackers, butter peanut sandwich on honey wheat bread, 2 flour tortillas (cheese quesadilla)
3.8 | 1/2 piece of toast, 1/2 peanut butter sandwich, oatmeal bar
3.9 | 6 peanut butter crackers, 2 ritz crackers, blueberry Nutrigrain bar
Eczema has also been a part of our journey since Day 1. Laney didn’t have any skin issues as a newborn so once again, this was something new to learn about. At first I just thought Morgan’s red cheeks were just patches of dry skin. Come to find through our pediatrician’s diagnosis that it was eczema and she would just need consistent applications of lotion to keep it calm. I thought ok, no problem. I had plenty of lotion from when Laney was younger. Most of the lotion was a calming lavender scent that I liked using on Laney after her bedtime baths. I also later found out from my pediatrician that scented lotions can irritate eczema, which judging by Morgan’s skin was exactly what was happening. Oops! I then did some research on the best baby lotions to use for eczema and bought Mustela and Baby Cetaphil. Both have worked great but if I had to pick a favorite, I would have to pick Mustela. I like how it smells and it’s slightly thicker consistency than Cetaphil.
At one point our pediatrician and I discussed removing dairy from my diet to see if that was culprit but because I was consuming it inconsistency and wasn’t seeing a change in the flair ups, we decided not to. Moving forward as time went by, Morgan’s eczema seemed to move down her body: cheeks to shoulders to upper back to the backs of her knees and eventually going away completely just after she turned one.
I also had learned from our pediatrician that eczema can flair up right before sickness sets in and obviously when triggered by foods. We have noticed in the past that when Morgan gets sick she will get the red cheeks that she had as a baby so it’s like we get a warning that something is coming. We last saw this in January when a cold worked its way through our house.
At our initial allergy appointment last year, the doctor said that Morgan’s eczema and skin looked great. At this point she just had one small patch on the back of one of her knees.
I’m happy to report that since trying wheat/gluten and oats again, we have not seen any flair ups!
3.10 | Appointment Day!
Today is the day! The day of our follow up appointment with the allergist. With how our homework has gone up to this point, I’m excited to update the doctor. I’ve also looked forward to asking if we can just dive head first into all the things now or if we need to still slowly continue to increase these previous irritants as we phase out the gluten free and oat free foods. But first, here are a couple of pictures from exactly one year ago today. I didn’t realize it until now, but how ironic is it that one year ago Morgan tried oatmeal for the first time, which opened up this world of potential food allergies.
And here we are one year later. No eczema flair ups and no issues with gluten, wheat and oats. What a difference a year makes!
For those of you who are still in the trenches of food allergies or intolerances, my heart is with you. I know exactly how you are feeling. As moms we already worry about the day to day wellness and safety of our kids but this food stuff just takes it to another level. I’ve found a couple of great resources through Instagram for food suggestions as well as simple encouragement. Give these moms a follow: Lindsay @allergyfriendlymama and Katie @life_with_itchy_. Lindsay actually went to high school with some of my college teammates so when I began to share Morgan’s journey, one of them shared her page with me. And I found Katie through Lindsay. Katie shares her journey as a food allergy and eczema mom. Great follows!
Through this experience, it has been fun to watch Morgan get to try some of these foods. It’s like she is discovering food all over again for the first time. And in some ways she is because her diet has been so limited up to this point. It’s such a great feeling to look at where we were and remember the fears that I had and to now be on the other side with the ability to see a less restricted future for Morgan.