There were some questions about child allergies in Sheena's post this week so we put together another post that has some more details.
She started showing some signs of allergies pretty much right after she was born. She vomited almost every time we fed her and then developed really bad eczema on her face. At the time we didn't know that it was allergies or there is so much we would differently had we known. I was breast feeding so I wish I could go back and remove dairy from my diet to see if that would help. When she was six months old we had our very first known allergic reaction. I gave her a few bites of baby yogurt and she immediately started crying, her eyes started watering, nose started running, face turned red, and the hives appeared (and I was by myself!!). I've never been so scared in my life! I called the clinic right away and was lucky enough that hives were the worst of it and Benedryl was the solution. However, when she got hives from my breast milk, I knew we had to switch her to formula and thankfully there's a soy option that she could consume. So right from the start, we knew she had a dairy allergy. Introducing new foods was not an enjoyable time in our household. Every time we tried something new I would hold my breath until I saw she was ok.
In a way, the dairy allergy was a blessing because we needed to get her tested for other allergies. When we had our daughter tested, we discovered she also had a peanut allergy. I think in the back of mind I always knew she had the peanut allergy so I never gave her anything associated with nuts. It turned out that the peanut allergy was more severe than the dairy one so if we would have never had her tested, who knows what would have happened if we had tried to give her something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! It's too scary to think about.
We are pretty limited on what we can feed her. We stick to whole foods such as fruits and vegetables and continue to be diligent label readers. She can have crackers as long as they weren't made in a facility also used for any products with nuts. There are some peanut butter substitutes such as sunflower butter that we could try but we have not done that yet.
If your child has allergies, they probably have shown symptoms as you've introduced food to them. It's good to be cautious when introducing foods to children and again, it's a great reminder not to give children food unless you are familiar with their eating habits or have asked their parents for permission.