Weaning – A Low Risk Diet

Yeah, it’s another weaning post. I know they’re becoming very regular but I’m hoping as Max is having such a different weaning journey to non-allergy kids that they serve a purpose, either to those who have offspring with allergies or just to interested people too I guess.

Last week, we went to see the paediatric dietician for the first time since Max’s diagnosis. I so wish we’d been able to see her before we started weaning but they’re fully booked months in advance apparently. Essentially, she said we needed to start Max on a diet consisting only of what were considered ‘low risk’ foods for his condition (FPIES). Once we’ve got to the point where we are happy he isn’t reacting to any of those, we’ll then begin introducing ‘medium risk’ foods one by one, with each one trialled daily for a week to see if there’s a reaction. It’s positive in one way because hopefully it’ll enable us to narrow down exactly what he is allergic to and what he’s fine with, and there’s a method rather than just madness.

But in another way it feels like a bit of a step back. The foods he’s allowed are pretty random too – it’s like that bit at the end of Can’t Cook Won’t Cook where they used to produce a carrier bag with some random ingredients grabbed off the shelf of the nearest supermarket and they’d have to put together a tasty meal. What can you make with a lightbulb, some lettuce, a Dan Brown novel and pasta?

For us, it’s a case of what can you make with the rubbish vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, parsnip, turnip and pumpkin), fruits that don’t puree very well (strawberry, blueberry, watermelon, peach, plum), avocado, millet ie bird seed and lamb.

I’m just hoping he takes to the low risk foods really well and then we can start on medium, which includes apple, pear, white potato, squash and beef. It’ll probably be a while before we move on to the really risky stuff like chicken, egg, soya, banana.

The dietician has also asked his GP to prescribe something called Neocate Spoon which is essentially a supplement you add to their purees which is high-energy and adds some calories into what they’re eating. I’m really pleased about that because he’s done so well with his weight that it’d be a shame to see that reversing as we move off milk on to solids.

We talked a little about expressing and she was really keen that I continued to feed him, with a specific mention of calcium and that she thought it’d be better for him to have my milk. So I feel like the decision’s been made for me really that I’ll continue expressing til March if possible – although on the bottom of the sheet where it details the risky foods, it talks about breastfeeding past the first year. I’d always said no matter how long I expressed for, I wouldn’t go past a year. Alexandra had her last bottle a couple of days before her first birthday and I just imagined my second child would do the same. I guess if he hasn’t got enough foods by then to provide a well rounded diet then we’ll have to have that discussion – I really hope not though!

Nothing is ever straightforward is it! I thought second time round, weaning would be a lot easier because we’d done it once and managed to get one kid eating well. But, at least we have a structure now and hopefully we don’t have too many bad trials and lots of positive ones that provide us with some more inspiring foods for Max to eat.

An update two days in:

We were given his new dietary rules on Wednesday morning and I’m writing this on Friday morning. So far it’s going okay: there were a lot of dirty nappies yesterday and he also has the sniffles which can be another symptom so it’s possible he’s had a reaction to something before we cut down to the low risk foods. The big news is we’ve had hardly any sick yesterday and today – he wasn’t vomiting a huge amount other than when he had what we thought were reactions to soya and wheat, but there’s definitely been a reduction. It could just be coincidence but fingers crossed not.

The diet seems so utterly basic and having tasted the millet before I gave it him, I did feel slightly like handing him the Childline number and telling him to feel free to report me for trying to feed it to him. I think what we’ll do with that is mix it in with other, slightly less tasteless, foods just to bulk everything up. Last night I managed to find a stock which doesn’t contain milk, soya or wheat (which is basically akin to finding a specific grain of sand in the Sahara desert) so I can cook some lamb up for him.

An update five days in:

All going well so far. I’ve noticed a huge reduction in how much he vomits. He’s never been ridiculously sicky unless he’s reacting to a food, and having had the Queen or Sick for my first child nothing surprises me. I had assumed his sick was caused by his reflux but there has been a reduction in the last week so that’s fantastic. We’re getting more dirty nappies than usual but they’re not a worrying consistency.

Another change has been how happy he is in the afternoons. We’d had a trying couple of weeks where he’d been howling during the late afternoon and early evening. Having assumed it was tiredness or being hungry, we’ve shifted his lunch and afternoon bottle back a bit (lunch at approx 1 and bottle at 3) then pulled his dinner earlier to 5. So this could be the reason he’s happier or it could be the new foods aren’t irritating his tummy. Who knows? Wouldn’t it be lovely if they learned to talk before we had to wean them so they could tell us!

He’s got the sniffles at the moment which can be a symptom so we’re going to wait until they’re fully gone before even thinking about medium risk foods.

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

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