|Feeding croissants to a child with a milk allergy|
Hands up if you've fed your child something to which you KNOW they are allergic?
Me. I have.
Why? Because since she was diagnosed with multiple food allergies* I've been getting conflicting advice.
She's allergic to milk? Feed her butter!
The day she did her first food challenge in hospital in France - aged 18 months - the doctor handed me an Epipen and told me to go home and feed her 10g of butter a week.
Pardon? I've just watched my toddler break out in hives, cry, have diarrhoea all day and scratch herself all over. And you want me to carry on feeding her milk?
I trawled the internet for hours trying to find evidence that this was a good idea (it was 2007) and I came across a few medical papers in the States that gave it a cautious thumbs up...in controlled tests in a hospital.
So I didn't feed my daughter the butter.
And yet, and yet...
Magic allergy cure or DIY immunotherapy?
Everyone told me that she'd grow out of her allergies. Would that just happen by magic? Or did I need to do some DIY immunotherapy?
I've done the odd test and some have been exciting. On my birthday in April my daughter tried a teeny bit of goat's cheese. Then some more, then some more and I actually cried with happiness.
The next day we tried again and after a teeny bit she instantly started to wheeze. No more goat's cheese then.
Child eats egg and is fine. Child eats egg and has allergic reaction.
She can eat some biscuits that contain milk and she can eat the occasional biscuit that contains egg.
But the day I baked an egg yolk in a cake was the day she broke out in a rash, felt faint and her lip started to swell.
There seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason to allergies.
Go on, have a croissant!
And now it's the summer and we are in France for six weeks. And when in France you drink fiendishly strong black coffee and dunk your buttery croissant with glee.
So I gave my daughter a croissant (I figured the coffee might kill her).
She ate the whole damn buttery thing, including the egg glaze. No reaction.
And the next day she ate another one. And today she's had another.
Bloody marvellous, no?
Butter today, not butter tomorrow
But yesterday she nibbled a shortbread biscuit - full of butter, like the croissant - and instantly got an itchy tongue, lips and face.
I definitely don't understand. But I'm thrilled that she can eat a croissant.
Russian Roulette, allergy style
I can't tell you what to do and maybe you're apoplectic at my cavalier allergy attitude? But if you could see the joy on my daughter's face as she chows down on a croissant, just like her siblings...
It's food for thought, no? I'd love to hear your reactions, don't hold back!
*My daughter was diagnosed - aged 9 months(ish) - with a milk (casein) allergy, egg allergy and Brazil nut allergy. She is also allergic to mustard, kiwi fruit, dust mites and horses. She is now nearly 7 years old.
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