Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nutritionist and EleCare

Because of Rowan's allergies, she is only 15% on the growth chart for height, and 3% for weight. She was always near the 50th percentile, but when I stopped breastfeeding her at 11 months, we couldn't find a formula that she could tolerate. She started drinking rice milk and that's when her growth really slowed down.

We recently met with a nutritionist (Ann Rooney) to make sure we were doing everything we could to help her growth and brain development. Luckily, she has a really healthy diet and eats plenty of fish and vegetables. The nutritionist reviewed what we were doing and told us were doing a phenomenal job (thank goodness!) and she suggested a few new foods, such as cauliflower, beets and papaya.

We also decided that we should try EleCare, a special formula for kids with severe food allergies or GI disorders. It's about $40 a can, but so worth it if it helps Rowan get back on track with growth. I was really discouraged when I read the ingredients, because it contains ascorbic acid, which usually makes Rowan wheeze. Ugh.

I made a call to Dr. Ghory (our allergist) and we decided to go into the office and do a food challenge with it. I was actually pretty nervous because she's such a sensitive kid and we've had quite a few scary reactions this year. They started with small amounts of the formula, and gradually increased it to see if any symptoms came up. We found out that she can tolerate it, and thankfully she chugs it down when its mixed with her rice milk!

We did a food journal for Ann and she's going to calculate the calorie totals for each day. Rowan needs to be getting 960 cal per day to maintain weight, and 1160 per day for catch-up growth.
Hopefully the EleCare will help us get close to these numbers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Allergy Bracelets

I bought a few of these allergy bracelets from Mediband for Rylie to wear to preschool. She has substitute teachers every once in awhile, so it's a good reminder during snack time. They come in small sizes that won't slip off and Rylie really likes wearing them. She also thought it was cool that they were shipped from Australia. When she gets a little older, we'll upgrade to the Medic Alert bracelet, which allows you to display more information.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Researchers Move Closer to Cracking Peanut Allergies

Here's an article about the experimental trials at Duke University. Hopefully this becomes a widely accepted treatment in the next
5 years!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Safe Easter Candy

Finding safe easter candy can be a challenge when your kids have food allergies. Most jelly beans are made in facilities that process peanuts. Thanks to Jennie P. for reminding me that Starburst Jelly Beans are safe for kids with peanut allergies.

Divvies also has a good selection of allergy-free candy. They even have safe chocolate bunny rabbits! All Divvies candy are certified by their manufacturers to be peanut-, tree nut-, milk-, and egg-free. It's a little pricey, but it might be worth the splurge so your kids don't feel left out.

Check out their site for safe cookies and cupcakes, too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Red Cross Class - Food Allergy Basics

The Red Cross is offering a FREE class called Food Allergy Basics.

Parents, childcare providers, teachers, and school nurses will learn how to effectively manage food allergies in a childcare setting, school, office or home. Learn how to recognize symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), how to follow an emergency action plan and physician directives, and implement techniques to reduce food allergen exposure. Funding provided by Food Allergy Awareness, Support and Training (FAAST).

Tuesday, March 17
9 am to 12:30 pm
Red Cross Northeast Office, Blue Ash
(513) 792-4000

Monday, March 2, 2009

Peanut allergy - ingredients to avoid

Here is a list of ingredients to avoid for peanut allergies.