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Allergies and intolerances

wheat free weaning- why am I doing it?

12 replies

hovely · 29/07/2004 20:57

I have totally confused myself now with what I'm trying to do and why, and would like to be pointed gently in the right direction. Ds is nearly 7 mths and up & running with fruit & veg purees, plus some baby porridge and a few lentils. I suppose my family background would be described as atopic, I had childhood asthma & eczema, and me & my dad have hayfever and allergies to various common things like dust, cats etc, plus some medication. However there's no history of food intolerances or allergies except for mussels. Ds himself has very mild eczema patches here and there, and nothing he's eaten so far has caused more than some temporary irritation round his mouth.
He's had a bottle of formula a day since birth, and is currently demanding more bottles and less bf, so I guess I can take it that there's no problem with dairy products. As such, any reason not to give cheese etc?
Wheat - are there strong enough reasons to avoid it? He has baby oats & rice, and I'm happy enough to cook millet, spelt, etc, but I am longing for the day when he can eat the same as dd who virtually exists on pasta and won't accept the corn/rice versions.
Basically I suppose I am wondering whether I am making life harder than it needs to be, and whether there are enough risk factors to justfy the additional effort of avoiding wheat for the first year, as well as citrus, kiwi fruit and berries. Advice would be much appreciated.

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toddlerbob · 29/07/2004 23:21

I left wheat until a year, but then I left lots of things. A lot of people get confused between avoiding gluten (I only did this until 6 months for the coeliac risk) and avoiding wheat specifically until 1 year to avoid a wheat allergy. I'm not sure of the science, as I say it was just one of a long list of things I avoided.

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mears · 30/07/2004 00:01

I gave anything and everything from 6 months. Not scientific but all 4 kids are OK.

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Ghosty · 30/07/2004 03:11

I gave DS wheat at 5 months ... by 7 months he was on 2 weetabix a day ...
DD (6 months) I have only just started giving her a baby muesli which has wheat in it as I have approached the weaning thing slower with her than I did with DS.
I have been desperate to give her more than baby rice though because I can't find any baby oat cereal in NZ and baby rice is sooooooo boring!
We have no history of allergies in our family so I am not that worried but I understand why toddlerbob waited for a year because young bob is really very allergic to things ...

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alibo · 30/07/2004 09:43

Have read about avoiding wheat if fh of asthma, excema etc, does this also mean avoiding gluten as well, or is gluten ok to give after 6 months?

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hovely · 09/08/2004 22:49

thanks to all who replied, I guess allergies are something where you just don't know what's going to happen and have to decide whether to take a chance.
Alibo, I know much less about this than other MNers such as toddlerbob, but my understanding is that (in line with her posting below) until 6 months there is a risk of triggering coeliac disease by gluten passing through the stomach wall. After 6 months the gut is mature enough for this. Wheat however is one of several specific foods which is known to be fairly allergenic. Therefore after 6 months or so, gluten or similar proteins like those in oats can be given unless there are other reasons not to, but it may be a good idea to stay off wheat for a bit longer. HTH

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alibo · 12/08/2004 12:24

thanks for the reply hovely,; just out of interest when you refer to "baby oats and rice", which do you use. Have not started ds on breakfast yet, but still undecided on what to try first??

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Twinkie · 12/08/2004 12:29

I gave DD everything and she is fine - eats everything that you give her now and has no allergies - in my mind I think (maybe I am wrong but to me its my logic) that if you stop them having stuff they won't get used to it and when they do have it will have some sort of reaction??

I have Asthma and x2b had excema!

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Pidge · 12/08/2004 14:04

Twinkie - I don't think that's quite how it works with food allergies. For instance some babies initially don't tolerate eating dairy or eggs or whatever, but if they're given a few months with the offending foodstuff excluded from their diet you can often successfully re-introduce it later without any problems. Don't ask me why this is though!

It is true that genuine food allergies are pretty rare and it's a question of managing your risk. Hovely you have my sympathy as I've gone through all this with dd (now 2), doing much hand wringing as to whether it was worth it as my contemporaries stuffed the first food that came to hand into their babies!! I have eczema, asthma, rhinitis and nut allergies, and I was keen to give my dd the best chance of avoiding inheriting these. There's no guarantee, but I just took weaning at a sensible pace and generally followed Suzanne Olivier's "What should I feed my baby", though did introduce various things like wheat, potato and citrus rather earlier than she suggests.

I think it's a question of trying it - if your ds has no problem - great he can start sharing pasta with your dd.

One benefit of being a bit fussy over weaning was that I found my dd was actually eating a greater variety of foods than many other babies. It's so easy to give them a wheat-based cereal for breakfast, then pasta for lunch and then more wheat in the form of a sandwich for supper.

But it is more work - I found freezing stuff was a lifesaver. And it actually isn't long till they can start just chomping exactly the same food as you. The only thing in the freezer these days for my dd is dp and my leftovers!

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alibo · 12/08/2004 14:46

hello again pidge!! I did read something on a weaning website regarding allergenic foods, and it did list potatoe (with citrus, berries, tomatoes). I've never heard this before, though it said sweet potatoe was ok??!!

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hovely · 14/08/2004 13:49

hi alibo
the baby rice/oats I have used so far has been in Organix banana porridge & Boots organic potato & leek.
however I found ds has been getting a bit bunged up - ie not pooing much & restless at night with possible tummy ache - saw your thread on the same subject under 'food' - so I am using them much less and he gets millet porridge now (made with millet flakes, simmered until thick in his formula milk in the steamer, quick whizz with the blender).

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hovely · 14/08/2004 13:51

meant to say also thanks pidge, it's reassuring to hear that!

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tinytoes · 14/08/2004 13:56

wheat is hard to digest because of the gluten it contains being a very complex substance(glue like long molecules!) - it is best to avoid it for as long as poss to give a childs digestive system time to mature and develop properly and then it can be digested more easily(when given at a later date)

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