After months of battling, and endless suffering on Callum's part, we finally had answers, and they made a lot of sense based on his reactions.....
In brief, the main allergies confirmed included:
- All form of nut, including seeds and derivatives of (peanut, cashew, sesame seed, sesame oil, chestnut etc)
- Milk protein (cows, sheep goat etc) - this means NO butter, cream, cheese, ice cream, absolutely no dairy of any form
- Tomato/ Kiwi/ Strawberry/ Orange/ Lemon/ Lime
In addition, we were strongly advised that Callum should have very limited exposure to soya due to the cross-reaction with dairy and nut as I had restricted my diet to soya as opposed to dairy when breastfeeding and it had made no difference. It would require a slow introduction to even just bread containing soya flour, and then a slow continuation once bread was tolerated to other soya products, starting at around 8% soya product.
At the point of diagnosis, it seemed like a very extensive black hole, where almost nothing seemed safe!! What on earth were we going to feed our boy?!
A 10 minute session with the in-house dietician at the hospital clinic revealed that children with milk protein allergy should go on to soya milk (not possible in Callum's case), and if not, to avoid 'rice milk' due to the high levels of arsenic that aren't safe in young children (!!), and maybe to try oat or coconut milk. It was very important to ensure that whatever milk we did attempt to feed Callum contained extra calcium and vitamins to compensate for everything he wouldn't be getting from his diet as it was to be so restricted. Apart from this, we weren't really given much information other than to go to the supermarkets and start trying to find out what things might be ok for him. Gee, that's helpful!!
It was a very scary concept, and hubby summed it up perfectly 'what's the poor kid going to eat then, water and air?!'
I'm not being one to be beaten that easily, in fact quite the opposite, present me with a problem, and it might take me time, but I WILL find a solution, eventually.
I started to do some research, and found out very quickly that there really isn't that much support out there, even though it's a growing problem and one that is becoming increasingly more so every year. And this problem isn't restricted to young children, adults are now also presenting with intolerances/ allergies to the main food groups, and need to find a solution to what they can and can't eat.
The added problem with Callum's diet was that he is allergic to tomato, which really does cancel out so many things!!
At the very beginning, he couldn't even have any foods that contained soya flour. This cancelled out most of the breads on the market, even basic bisto gravy granules were a no go. So, breads, biscuits, sausages, chips, pastas, every day sauces, cakes, cupcakes, flapjacks, hot chocolate, sweets, all the everyday things that we all take for granted, suddenly became totally off limits.
With a 5 year old in the house to feed as well, it quickly became clear that this could turn into a total nightmare, so I had to think smart, get a solution that would keep everyone happy, and ultimately make sure that my poor baby boy wouldn't feel as if he was missing out every time we sat down as a family for a meal!