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Any advice on weaning (hopefully) non-allergic DS without upsetting allergic DD?

(11 Posts)
TheInvisibleHand Fri 10-Jul-09 11:31:59

Exactly what it says in the title really. DS is just over 6 months and starting to wean. He has no eczema or any of the other signs that started us off on the whole allergy thing with DD, so am hoping to wean him normally (albeit watching him carefully). DD is just over 2 and allergic to milk, eggs, nuts (tree and peanut) as well as sesame and kiwi. Giving him the same as her doesn't really seem an option as she is so limited. BUT DD is at exactly the age where she is noticing that she can't have what everyone else does and isn't too happy about it! I know there are no easy answers here, but does anyone have any tips?

Bilbomum Fri 10-Jul-09 11:54:47

I've just gone through the process with my dd (12m) and ds (nearly 3). Got away with saying it was food 'for babies' which worked for a while but eventually just had to say 'sorry, this would make you poorly' and ds seems to have accepted it. I just make sure I don't give anything too exciting looking (i.e. cakes/biscuits) to dd when ds is around. I make sure puddings are suitable for both, fruit and jelly, so no resentment is caused (well, no more than the usual sibling resentment anyway grin).

My dd was prem and is very tiny which has made the situation a bit more difficult. I just wait until ds is distracted and then shove spoonfuls of high fat yogurt down dd when I can!

TheInvisibleHand Fri 10-Jul-09 13:42:07

Bilbomum - thank you! It does help to know that it can be managed without the allergic DC being in regular meltdown! I was planning on the "its baby food" strategy, which I think will work for a bit, its just that very recently DD has seemed to notice that she isn't always getting what everyone else is and the "it'll make you poorly" line doesn't always cut much ice.

girlsyearapart Fri 10-Jul-09 20:53:09

Have the opposite situation here- dd1 22mo is not allergic to anything but dd2 10mo cannot have dairy, soya, wheat, egg, banana, tomato or plum (have not tried nuts yet will do on the ward after she's 1). Dd1 keeps helpfully sharing her food with dd2 as it is virtually impossible to watch them both constantly. Tonight I was washing up and dd1 had given dd2 some milky way stars. Packet says milk milk and more milk and also traces of peanut and other nuts. It was just before I put dd2 to bed and now I'm panicking. Gave her some Piriton and she has only had one reaction which caused swelling (eye and lips) which the hospital thought was pollen but I wasn't so sure. Main reaction is severe excema and hives. Having one that can eat everything and 1 that can't seems to be harder than both being allergic. Sorry to hijack your post..

AcademicMum Sat 11-Jul-09 12:25:06

I just tell ds1 that "this will make you poorly" and he accepts that. He has however been in nursery since 6 months old and is therefore used to having different food from other children and will need to accept this as a part of his life. Where ever possible I try to modify foods so that they are suitable for everyone in the house e.g. egg and milk free cakes, homemade ice-cream made with oat cream or coconut milk, but this is more of a practical thing as I can't be bothered to make numerous meals to account for everybody's differing needs and both boys have just been fed on whatever everyone else is eating for main meals from the start. The other approach I use is to give food which is close to what the other dc is having e.g. if ds1 is having yoghurt, I give ds2 a soya yoghurt (dairy allergic).

I would also be a bit cautious whilst weaning your ds as my ds1 had no signs of allergies until he reached about a year old when he got a reaction to eggs. Kiwi is quite a common allergy so I'd avoid that anyway (ds1 also has this allergy) and I'd avoid giving nuts of all kinds and sesame for a while yet too.

foxinsocks Sat 11-Jul-09 12:27:10

when was the last time dd had a reaction?

because my dd could always remember what her reactions felt like and would not touch what she was allergic to, even if you put it right under her nose! In fact, even when she had outgrown her dairy allergy, it took her a hell of a long time to have enough trust to be able to eat something that she had spent basically her whole life up to that date avoiding.

PinkTulips Sat 11-Jul-09 12:36:20

my two were the same age and i weaned ds1 only on foods dd could have, in fact his diet was more restricted as i was very strict with the introduction of anything that was in any way and allergy risk.

once dd was going to playschool fulltime at 3 he started getting some normal food while she was gone and now often has normal stuff in front of her, but for the most part i cook the same meal for both of them.

dd has always been very calm about her intoleances, she's very quick to tell people what she can and can't have so i think not being made to feel ds1 was allowed treats she wasn't helped with that

TheInvisibleHand Mon 13-Jul-09 11:43:43

foxinsocks - I think that's probably the problem. DD was diagnosed very young, at 6 months, before she was really even on solids, due to raging eczema. So she has only had 2-3 clear reactions ever and none in the last 8-9 months. I guess this means she doesn't really get why there are things that she should avoid, even though she is used to being around other kids and being told she can't have things that others do. I suppose she'll learn if she has a reaction, but I'd much rather that didn't happen!

pinktulips - you are very wise about making sure ds doesn't get treats dd doesn't - I'm sure that's right. In many ways you and academicmum are right that its easier to feed them the same when you can. I guess part of the issue for me is that having followed the doctor's work on the leap study, I might actually want to (carefully) expose ds to potential allergens like peanuts in order to reduce his risk of developing an allergy. But doing that kind of thing with DD around seems both risky and unfair.

TheInvisibleHand Mon 13-Jul-09 11:45:45

girlsyearapart - I totally understand your situation too - its definitely a bit scary. Bad enough trying to stop my dd trying to feed DS random stuff like grass etc never mind having to worry about the risk of allergic reaction as well.

girlsyearapart Mon 13-Jul-09 11:51:22

Thanks TIH- yeah she was fine just more itchy and woke in the night but no major reaction. We will have the same problem as you as dd2 diagnosed so young she won't remember how truly awful it was before she had restricted diet. ..

PinkTulips Mon 13-Jul-09 12:33:23

TIH, one thing i've found with dd is to make a point of never saying 'you can't have that' or 'you're not allowed that', we've always used the phrase 'wheat/cows milk makes you sick so we give you special biscuits/special bread/goats milk instead'

she's quite happy with that explanation and doesn't get jealous in playschool when all the other kids can have things she can't, in fact she been known to refuse things that the teacher checked were ok for her because snhe doesn't trust anyone but me to tell her food is ok grin (not counting the one memorable incident of her bf's birthday cake. teacher had already realised she couldn't have it and given something else instead but bf told dd 'but it's my cake and i say you can have it!' and gave her half her share without teacher noticing!)

i understand you wanting to test your ds and expose him to allergans, i didd so with ds1 but tried to do so only when i had a close substitute for dd to have or she wasn't there.

now that she's 4 and he's (almost) 3 she's not bothered by him eating things she can't but i never give him stuff she can't have around her unless i have a safe equivalant for her to have as i just don't think it's fair.

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