Food: A Love-Hate Relationship

Food has never been the easiest issue for our family....
A huge aspect of autism includes sensitivities. For the longest time it was extremely stressful just trying to figure out what Zach would eat. Breads and cereals and milk products were definitely a staple. Fruits and vegetables were definitely a battle.

The whole gluten and casein free diet brought high anxiety when we attempted to try that with Zach. The gluten and casein free diet is supposedly good for children with autism because they tend to seek them like a drug addict to a drug. How do you eliminate one's diet?

When we finally managed to get rid of Zach's bottle at age four we did see a spike in Zach's speech. Zach just drank milk from his bottle but once he switched to a cup, milk was no longer a staple. That may be a coincidence but I don't think so.

Many of our friend's would sware on the gluten and casein free diet. We managed to eliminate milk products for awhile and drastically cut down on gluten by replacing them but as to eliminating them...that wasn't going to happen.

I figured out that Maddie was allergic to milk when I was breastfeeding. She too was a great baby but had gotten much fussier for some unknown reason. When I went back a couple of weeks I had realized that we had gone grocery shopping and I had bought chocolate milk. It was the milk.

Thankfully a friend mentioned to me that her son radically changed when she had eliminated milk from her diet. She was on the brink of postpartum depression because of a very colicky baby but once she stopped the milk the fussiness stopped like turning a light switch off. Something more breastfeeding mom's need to know.

But it wasn't until Maddie weaned that we found out that she was allergic to soy. We put her on a soy formula and she had diarrhea for a month. The day we switched her to alimentum (a very expensive non-milk, non-soy formula), her diarrhea was gone. Who knew that 50 percent of children who are allergic to milk are also allergic to soy?

Now I thought eliminating milk was bad but look at ingredients for soy. Soy is so much worse to eliminate than milk. Many products say that they may contain soy or another product. Now couldn't they just tell us if it was or wasn't used. Absolutely awful! The things that these food manufacturer's need to know or have inflicted on them or someone they love so they recognize how complicated life can be. Yikes!

Now Zach's food sensitivities and Maddie's allergies seemed like a walk in the park compared to Jack's allergies. This kid screamed like something terrible was ripping his insides apart. Food inflicted absolute terror on me. How were we going to feed this kid?

In the thick of things, discovering Jack's allergies, we found out that David my husband was a diabetic. Not to complicate life and food anymore. Pretty much we had to eat a meat and vegetable diet and that would simplify meals. The rice noodles went over okay and thankfully I found a great breastfeeding recipe book that eliminated a lot of the major allergens. What a godsend!