Valerie is a certified professional coach and founder of The Unlimited Mom dedicated to helping Moms enjoy life while being an awesome Mom. Today she shares a little bit of her journey with food sensitive babies. Get to know her more below.
Tell us a little about yourself and family.
I live in Chicago, IL, USA. I love connecting with thoughtful people, sewing, reading, and good food. I’ve been married for 11 1/2 years and have two little boys – almost 6 and 2 1/2.
What food sensitivities did your kid(s) have as infants?
Definitely dairy and soy while breastfeeding.
What symptoms or reactions made you suspect a food sensitivity?
Very fussy and green poop that showed blood cells when the Dr. checked it under the microscope – ie: irritated digestive tract.
How did you change your diet or the family’s diet?
I cut out all dairy and soy because I didn’t want to stop breastfeeding.
Did you notice any health changes within yourself on the new diet?
Nothing dramatic per se but I’m sure there were (having eliminated them through cleanses before and noticed the difference), I was just too preoccupied to notice.
What was (or is) the hardest thing about having food sensitivities in your family and how are you managing that challenge?
With my first it was eating out – They put soy in EVERYTHING! With my second it was feeding my first and myself because, while my husband was amenable, my first was about 3 and very attached to cheese. It took some extra effort on my and my husband’s part to accommodate both as well as challenge my first’s pallet a bit more.
Food sensitivities or allergies can be stressful or even scary for a family. How have you chosen to move forward in faith, not fear?
I grew up familiar with allergies – My Mom is allergic to dairy and eggs, my Grandma to onions and garlic, so it wasn’t so much scary as requiring of extra effort. That was hard at times because I was already tired but I cared so much more about being able to breastfeed my kids that I was willing to do the work, especially knowing that it was likely temporary in this case.
What’s the most helpful thing people could do to help you during that season of breastfeeding a food sensitive baby?
Offer to cook meals without those things. When it’s a first experience, it can be overwhelming to have to figure out what to make that would be yummy while doing all the other new things. (Deserts would be nice too because all the vegan options often have soy) On a broader scale, for more restaurants to have options for oil other than vegetable oil (which is soy) and to be very mindful of allergies.
What advice would you give a mom who’s struggling now with a food sensitive baby?
Find both practical support and support to keep you encouraged. It will get easier. Stay connected to why it’s important to you to make the diet changes do your best and know that you are an awesome Mom for trying. (That’s especially important when a “mistake” has your baby screaming bloody murder.)
What’s one of your favorite food sensitive recipes?
I have many but, because I’ve found deserts so hard to come by, here’s one of my favs from my Mom.
Cocoa Crazy Cake
Mix together: 3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa (or carob powder), 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp soda
Mix together gently: 2/3 cup oil, 2 cups water, 2 tbsp vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla
Pour into a 9/13″ pan or two 8″ round pans, greased and floured. Bake for 30 mins. at 350 or until toothpick comes out clean.
Wondering if your own baby has a food sensitivity?
- 5 Signs of a Sensitivity,
- 5 Action Steps
- Symptom quiz
- Food & Symptom Journal