It has been awhile since I wrote about our "Foodie Baby", so I thought it was long overdue to update you on what all Noah is eating these days. Noah currently does not eat gluten or dairy, and several people have asked why we made this decision, so I thought I would explain.
Noah developed a rash on his legs when he was about 9 months old and still has it. The rash does not bother him, but it has spread to the tops of his arms, his bum and a little bit on his jaw bone. A few months ago, I began to wonder if it was food related (motherly instincts). I had two pediatricians look at it, and both did not think it was food related. Instead, they felt it was a condition in which his hair follicles were irritated. However, they thought eliminating some things from his diet might be worth a try to see if it helped the rash. I first eliminated all dairy products from his diet. My reasoning for this was as soon as I introduced cow's milk into his diet, he started having very loose stool. His loose stool continued for the entire 2 weeks that he consumed cow's milk, so it seemed like cow's milk was not the right fit for him. A few days after removing dairy from his diet, his stool went back to normal. I then decided to also eliminate gluten from his diet because I was noticing that he seemed quite irritated/agitated after eating foods containing gluten. I started to notice a difference in his temperament a few weeks after removing gluten. He was not nearly as agitated, hyperactive and his teething pain was much more manageable. His rash was also starting to improve!
His rash was improving but still pretty prominent on his thighs and upper arms, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a pediatric dermatologist take a look and hopefully give us a diagnosis. It turns out he does has Keratosis Pilaris. Basically, it is a skin rash that a good amount of the population has and it is an irritation of his hair follicles. His skin does not flake off like the average person, so his hair follicles get a bit irritated and create the rash. He will most likely have it all of his life, but it could get better over time. It is usually a genetic trait, and Cole does have some on his legs and tops of his arms too. Our job now is to see what Noah's triggers are that make his rash worse. So, far we know that fragrance, polyester and gluten and/or dairy make it worse. The pediatric dermatologist said that everyone has different triggers, so you just have to learn what his are. She agreed that his main triggers might be diet related since his rash has gotten so much better since we took him off gluten and diary. Now after being off gluten and dairy for about 4 months, his rash is almost completely gone on his calves, his stool is usually always normal and his toddler temperament is mostly happy-go-lucky!
I do plan to reintroduce some dairy products and gluten eventually back into his diet at some point, but for now we feel it is best to keep him off both. His little belly seems to be feeling so much better these days, and we want to try to keep it that way!:)
So, you might be wondering what we feed Noah for meals and snacks with these dietary restrictions. I was a bit overwhelmed at fist since we were going to need to make some big changes in our family diet since Noah loves to eat what we are eating. However, after talking to several other people who have dietary restrictions and reading several food-related blogs, I felt like we would be able to tackle this. Our current food industry has made being gluten and dairy-free pretty easy these days. There are lots of gluten-free products available as well as dairy free. Cole and I have also reduced our gluten and dairy intake, and we feel so much healthier. Not to mention that Noah loves meat, fruit and vegetables, so this diet really suits him well!;) All in all, it has been a beautiful transition for all of us!
Here are some of the things that Noah likes to eat these days. He eats three meals a day and 2-3 snacks.
Milk: He still nurses 4 times a day so that is his main source of milk. I bake and make his oatmeal with either Hemp milk or Almond milk. He loves both of them!
Yogurt: Coconut Milk Yogurt
Cheese: No cheese these days (This will probably be the first dairy food I reintroduce though.)
Breakfast: Oatmeal made using gluten-free oats and hemp milk, eggs, bacon, sausage, gluten free toast, gluten free waffles, homemade gluten free muffins, homemade gluten free pancakes (we have them every Sunday!), fruit, coconut milk yogurt
Lunch: fruit, vegetables (he is really liking organic frozen veggies these days), sun butter or almond butter sandwiches using gluten free bread, fruit/veggie pouches, quinoa noodles with Earth Balance, beans of all sorts, hummus, lunch meat, hot dogs
Dinner: He usually eats whatever Cole and I ate for dinner the night before (usually a protein, gluten free grain and vegetable), spaghetti using quinoa noodles, homemade chili and soups, eggs
Snacks: fruit, vegetables, hummus, applesauce, homemade gluten free muffins, dried fruit, popcorn, gluten free puffs, gluten free crackers, Mum Mums, Larabars, kale chips, green smoothies (in Spring/Summer)
Supplements: Probiotic (daily), Cod Liver Oil (2-3 times a week), Vit C (as needed), Elderberry Syrup (as needed)
Enjoy some photos of our Foodie Baby's recent eats!
Sunday GF pancakes with pumpkin butter
Zucchini GF fritters
Snack time at his table (dried fruit)
Lunch (GF toast with sun butter and jelly, turkey, veggies)
Breakfast (eggs and GF waffles)
Dinner (Chicken tortilla soup)
3 ingredient cookies (bananas, GF oats, walnuts)
GF blueberry oat muffins
Please feel free to share any of your gluten or dairy-free recipes with me!