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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Help me with DD's diet

(55 Posts)
AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 09:40:36

DD is 16mo. She has had a runny nose/full on cold/cough almost ever since she was born-even the midwives in hospital commented that she was very mucusy. The weeks she's NOT ill stand out in my memory! She currently has a really bad cough and cold, has just come off antibiotics for a chest infection, had an ear infection (and more antibiotics) before Christmas and has had a vomiting bug twice.

Does this seem excessive in her short little life? I keep thinking that her immune system must be really bad for her to get all these bugs, but I THINK she has a good diet. A typical day at the moment:

Breakfast of ready brek or sometimes a piece of buttered toast with jam
and a bottle of full fat milk.

Lunch depends if she's at home or nursery-at nursery it's always a full hot meal and at home it's either something simple and hot, like beans on toast with cheese, or something cold like cheese, ham, vegetable sticks (like a salad) and new potatoes.

In the afternoon she sometimes has a snack of a breadstick, rice cake or a bit of fruit if she's hungry.

Tea is always a hot meal-we did BLW so she just eats with us and I cook without salt. Examples-risotto, bolognese, chilli, stew, pasta, omelette etc. She then usually has fruit for pudding, sometimes with yoghurt.

She has another bottle before bed.

We give her Abidec in the mornings with her breakfast. She's never been breastfed as she wouldn't latch on at all, despite the efforts of many midwives and health visitors. I am still hmm about this and upset that her immune system might be rubbish because of it. She was on Aptamil first milk until a year and has had full fat cow's milk since then.

Am I missing something here? Is her diet not as good as I think? She's always eaten pretty much anything she's given and the only thing she doesn't like is green beans! She rarely has junk-she had a tiny bit of chocolate cake on her birthday but on a day to day basis she doesn't eat sweet things except fruit.

I just don't want her to be so ill all the time. GP says it's just life but it honestly seems constant. The last time she didn't have a cold was August.

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 13:51:56

I don't see how homeopathy is 'the other side' in this discussion.

Anyway. I just wanted to make the no-dairy suggestion to the OP. She is now free to research further, try cutting out dairy, and see what happens.

OP, hope your DD gets better and stays better. x

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 13:52:10

Excellent - glad it helped your DS. He must be much more comfortable now.

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 13:57:09

I assumed your earlier follows money comment was in reference to my link. I merely used homeopathy to illustrate that mainstream and alternative views were both biased towards money. It was a poorly thought out choice of example as it is too emotive.

Yes, the OP should research it. But she should properly research it without giving to much wait to anecdotal evidence and using peer reviewed studies to form her opinions. I'm sure she will. I hope your DD gets better OP.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 20-Jan-13 13:58:41

Blue berries! Very high in antioxidants

Turmeric contains circumin (sp) which has cold fighting properties.
And it's tasteless really so u can sprinkle in a soup or curry and she won't notice.

Garlic is good for u too so perhaps double up in her spag bol?

AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 14:03:29

This has given me lots to think about-thanks for all the suggestions. She does eat a lot of fruit and veg, plus has the Abidec on our HV's advice when she moved from formula to cow's milk. I'll definitely read further about milk consumption-I hadn't really realised that what she has is considered a lot to be honest so it's good to know.

dikkertjedap Sun 20-Jan-13 14:04:45

Hello, I don't think I would cut out all dairy before discussing this with GP/paediatrician.

Has she been checked for cystic fibrosis? Have you asked for a referral to a paediatrician?

You could maybe also try to increase her fruit intake. An easy way is getting a juice extractor and you can very quickly and easily make fresh juice from pineapple/banana/apples/pears, whatever you fancy.

redwellybluewelly Sun 20-Jan-13 14:09:05

Dairy isn't bad for you - but if your DD has a slight cows milk protein intolerance then the (quite large) about of dairy she is consuming could be contributing to the excess mucous.

You've posted saying you are concerned about yoru DD number of colds, runny nose and mucosness, that was the first thing that came to my mind that you could attempt even for a short 10-14 days (which is how long it takes) to see if things improve. Cut down if you don;t want to staop but I doubt you would see conclusive results.

Also - does your DD attend daycare of any sort? They're little plague rats at that age wink but its the from birth bit which is really making me wonder.

*disclaimer I am not a doctor but my DD is severely CMPI and other than colic when she gets fed milk accidentley she gets very mucousy and it is a common symptom. We use Oat milk as an alternative and it works well, quite sweet like baby milk, and makes beeeeyoutiful rice puddings

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 14:16:12

Incidentally a fair few of the high calcium foods that are listed above also contain zinc which can help reduce the length of a cold if taken soon enough. It may be worth trying to increase zinc in you DD's diet as well. If the average child gets 10-12 colds a year up to the age of three and the duration is about 10 days each time she would only need to be a bit above average for it to feel permanent! Rereading your OP though, it is not just colds that you are worrying about - the chest and ear infections and two vomiting bugs just sound like a run of bad luck.

Redwellybluewelly makes a good point about CMPI.

tempnameswap Sun 20-Jan-13 14:26:45

Yep I would cut out dairy for a couple of weeks and see if there is an improvement. I always thought dairy was essential but it just isn't if you take care to introduce other calcium rich foods. There is plenty of evidence that rates of osteoperosis are higher in groups who eat large amounts of dairy (exactly the opposite of what was expected).

I have one child who is anaphylactic to dairy (so absolutely has to avoid it) and one who definitely gets more colds (and sleeps less well) if she has dairy. It seems as if she has an intolerance and her immune system is 'diverted' if you like, attacking the dairy rather than the virus.

It takes a leap of faith to reduce dairy but it can't be nice for anyone to bill ill so much.

PS I am a medic and most would be against cutting out a whole food group. I reckon time will show us that no one needed as much dairy as we thought...

tempnameswap Sun 20-Jan-13 14:27:31

be ill obviously...

MulledWineandScully Sun 20-Jan-13 14:31:37

Hi Antoinette, my DD is 15mo and I could've written your OP. the only difference is that I did bf to 9mo, so stop beating yourself up (or letting your DM beat you up!) that it's because you didn't bf!

My DD has a very similar diet to your DD's although we mix and match between follow on milk and full fat cows milk (just because we bought the tins on offer and seem to have heaps of it to get rid of!). She has had what seems a constant cold or cough since she was 9mo which coincidentally is when I went back to work and she started mixing with other children smile She seems to have a cold when the rest of them are fine though, but she is the littlest. I tell myself it's building her immune system ready for school. I totally sympathise as its really wearing especially when you work and aren't getting a proper night's sleep.

A relative of mine ff her baby (same age) from birth, and she has a terrible diet but is rarely ever ill. She doesn't mix with other children though so its swings and roundabouts.

I get the opposite reaction from my MIL who takes pleasure that my fancy notions of bf'ing have all come to nought, or some such (she never liked it that i bf) Erm, that wasn't why I did it!

I have a dairy intolerance myself which manifests like hay fever but is not enough to put me off the white stuff. I'm not cutting it out of my DD's diet any time soon.

AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 14:32:25

I've googled CMPI and cystic fibrosis and am pretty sure they don't apply-thank goodness!

Am going to read about dairy.

redwellybluewelly Sun 20-Jan-13 14:33:28

Oh and I BF to 27months so I'm pretty sure that isn't a factor, was she a colicky/refluxy baby?

AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 14:33:39

MulledWine what is it with DMs and their 'helpful' comments?!

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 14:34:53

Just as an aside, a child I know had the same thing (constant runny noses, colds, ear infections) had his tonsils and adenoids out and was immediately fine!

AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 14:36:58

She didn't have reflux. At the time we thought she had colic but looking back I don't think it was-she settled pretty quickly compared to things I've heard about other babies with real colic. She's always grown well and is quite big for her age.

The more I think about it the more I think it's got considerably worse since she started nursery, so I think it probably is other children's germs coming into play...(don't they know to stay away from my PFB?!) The dairy/mucous link is interesting though. She's quite recently dropped from 3 to 2 bottles a day and that doesn't seem to have made a difference, but then I guess 2 a day (so approx 360ml, plus what goes into her breakfast) is still quite a lot.

hugoagogo Sun 20-Jan-13 14:38:09

It is quite normal for babies to catch everything going. It does seem constant at this age, especially as she goes to nursery.

Please do not remove dairy without medical advice, some people are quite evangelical about encouraging people to cut milk from their diets, I would take their advice with a pinch of salt.

AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 14:38:37

<just had to google adenoids, feeling dumb!>

AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 14:39:11

I'm would never cut anything without research and medical advice, don't worry smile

AntoinetteCosway Sun 20-Jan-13 14:39:21

I, not I'm.

hugoagogo Sun 20-Jan-13 14:44:33

Good to hear. smile

She sounds like she's doing fine, try not to worry.

tempnameswap Sun 20-Jan-13 15:08:15

The thing is, OP you will not get medical advice to cut out dairy because this is one area where I believe medical science lags behind. But cutting it down/out for a couple of weeks will do no harm and you may see an improvement.

Yes it is normal to be ill quite a bit for the first 5 years of life whilst the immune system is developing, but i think up to about 8 colds/viruses a year is normally quoted. Your situation sounds considerably worse than this so something does sound as if it might be up.

I would do your dairy reduction and if there is no improvement then go back to the GP, or see another, and stress just how much of the time she is ill. Some tests might be needed.

Good luck OP (and btw it often isn't until you have major issues that you question the role of dairy so the 'pinch of salt' advice is IMHO misguided. Those who have questioned dairy may just have more experience/ researched it a bit more and not just accepted the received wisdom that dairy is essential).

tempnameswap Sun 20-Jan-13 15:10:18

And btw runny noses can be a symptom of a food intolerance so while those who reject the dairy = mucus have a point, this isn't the full story.

tempnameswap Sun 20-Jan-13 15:13:25

Just one other medic who doesn't think dairy is essential....

TeaMakesItAllPossible Sun 20-Jan-13 15:28:22

My sympathies OP.

I've really noticed with my DSs that starting nursery is the start of two years hard slog with every ailment going. Mine tended to be ok in their last year, I just assumed they'd exhausted all the bugs, but then going into reception starts it off again - with nits to add to the fun!

Oldest just started secondary. Same again <sigh>

Freshers' Flu next wink

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