Thursday, March 24, 2011

A list of vegetables and fruit Cooper can tolerate

Like any four year old Cooper doesn't always want to eat what is good for him. This includes vegetables. Over the years we have arrived at this list. I stick to this as it seems to provide us with the safest results. I use everything in moderation.

I have one great receipe that hides veges but we can't eat home made sausage rolls with hidden vegetables every night for dinner. The link to the recipe is below I modifed it for his FRUCTMAL.

Here is the list of vegetables, fruit and herbs below that Cooper can tolerate:

Carrot: raw and cooked
White Potato
Sweet Potato
Corn (small amount)
Snow peas (cooked)
Bean Sprouts (white)
Chickpeas (small amount)
Bok Choy (he would say Yuk)
Butternut Pumpkin

Mixed Dry herbs

1 banana small
Grapes (only a small handful)
Rockmelon (small amount)
Orange (small amount 3 slices)
Pineapple (small amount)

Modified sausage roll receipe with hidden vegetables.

We only use the following ingrediants:

1 tbs nuttlex (margarine dairy free) Yes we still use it.
1 large carrot, peeled, grated
1 tbs olive oil
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
sprinke of garlic powder (very small amount)
350g beef mince
350g pork mince
sprinkele wild oregano
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (cornflake crumbs)
Frozen puff pasty
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked (only used to brush pastry)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moo Food

Cooper at the zoo and playing pirates with our home grown tomatoes.

We had a visit with the Allergy and Immunology Specialist. He was male and in his 50's very serious with a sparse personality. He didn't really engage with Cooper on any level unlike some great doctors that we have come across. That aside he had some good information and some great advice. Some of the things he had too say were technical even though he drew diagrams for me.

He felt that Cooper may have problems with preservatives such as sulphites including E220 and E228. Cooper can't eat sausages even when they have no soy protein in them. He suspected it's the preservatives in them.

The nurse was particularly good she took Cooper aside and spoke to him about the foods that he eats. She said to Cooper that he has a special tummy and that sometimes he just needs to give his tummy a rest from some foods. Cooper listened intently. Her talk with Cooper worked and he is much better now when I tell him he can't have the same snack as his sister.

They did skin prick testing on him for dairy, soy, fish egg etc. But of course it all came back negative. We then discussed what path we could go down next for Cooper. He said it was time to do a milk challenge test on Cooper and try lactose free. Try 1/8 of cup day one 1/4 cup day two, 1/2 cup day 3 and 1 cup day 4.

He said they could do a follow up in 6 months time if I was concerned. I knew then we wouldn't have to go back. Must be a mothers hunch. We left and went and bought the lactose free milk. The next day I poured my sweet boy the cows milk. He was so excited to try the 'cow in a cup'. He took a couple of small sips and said yuk.
'I don't like it', Cooper said.
I said, 'just try it a bit more'.

Cooper was not happy with the 'cow in a cup' he loves his rice milk. He has been on that since he was probably 12 months old. So it's a big change. He still won't drink plain cow milk or even have it on cereal.

During the last few months we have trialled Yoghurt (baby yoghurt gentle on little tummies). Well it wasn't gentle on Cooper's tummy. I later found out that some people with Fructose malabsorption can't tolerate Yoghurt. I always put it down to Cooper having the dairy protein intolerance. Confusing, I know.

We tried cheese and he devoured it with such enthusiam. No tummy aches. Yipppppeee.
We tried choc custard. He can tolerate it but the sugar intake is too high if he eats a full container (snack pack size).
We have tried ice cream (baby cone from Wendy's rainbow, banana and choc flavour) succcess. Dairy Icecream at home (small serve) . Success
Hot chocolate made weak with no sugar. Success.

Cooper has outgrown his dairy intolerance. Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

The next challenges will be soy and egg. Not for a long while though. We are enjoying the moment.

I am so happy to report that Cooper is doing so well. We are all getting lots of sleep. Very few episodes of any tummy aches only if there is a mistake and someone innocently gives him sultanas or some other food he can't eat etc.

It's bliss. Life is swell.

Cooper takes a banana and rockmelon or strawberries mixed with a few grapes to kindy and has no tummy aches.

I never thought this day was going to come. One of the first Gastroenterologists told us that when children are about school age they often improve. Well Cooper is now 4 years and 5 months.

The puzzle is coming together, we have the Fructose Malabsorption under control. We have the Dairy problem under control. We just don't know exactly why Cooper can't eat sausages, commercial rissoles, or heavily processed meats. Hey but it's no great loss.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Today I looked back at video footage of Cooper as a toddler/baby waking up in the middle of the night, restless, wide awake and cramping. I recorded it for the gastroenterologist to prove to him I was not insane. Those days seem so long ago.

To any of you going through this, be strong, hug and kiss your children often, take lots of photos of them, play with them and try not to let food be the biggest focus.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hope. What a wonderful word.

Just a note to say Cooper is seeing another specialist on Monday and will be tested to see what he can tolerate now that he is 4. I HOPE that he can be more informative and helpful and at least give us some direction to move forward with all this. We've waited since May. Will post results when we know more.

We went out to dinner last night and we took some risks this week with Coopers food. So we paid the price for that and we were up for hours last night with me cuddling him, rubbing his back and him working through his stomach cramping. With him starting school late next year experimentation will have to be put on hold until school holiday time. He is such a brave little boy. I told him last night how much I loved him over and over again. I told him about the doctor and he just looked at me with a blank stare and didn't say a word. He was probably very tired.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My baby boy and me

I came across this poem when I first had Cooper thinking that it would be true. It rang true at first, because I thought it would not be long before he would be settled and all the 3am wakings would be finished. Well I have spent every night for the first few years of his life soothing him through his stomach problems. But I still love this poem and with a new baby boy it's very fitting.

My Baby Boy and Me
Its 3 am they're all asleep
And no one's here to see
As we rock slowly back and forth
My Baby Boy and Me.

His little head is feather light
tucked up against my chin
I hold his tiny hand in mine
and stroke his baby skin.

The house about us creaks and groans
the clock hands creep around.
He snuggles closer to me still
and makes his baby sounds.

I love these quiet hours so much
and cherish every one
store memories up inside my heart
for lonely nights to come.

All too soon he'll be grown up
his need for Mama gone
but until then I still have time
for kisses and for song.

Time for quiet hours like this
with him cuddled in my arms
where I wish he'd always stay
protected safe and warm.

And yet I know the day will come
when this tiny little hand
will be much bigger than my own
he'll grow to be a man.

But until then he's mine to love
with no one here to see
as we rock slowly back and forth
my baby boy and me.~ Jane Triplett ~

No Luck with the new sweetner

Well sorry to say but Cooper got tummy aches from the sweetner. I doubt it was the Stevia but they add another compound which from what I know probably didn't agree with his sensitive little tummy. It probably was fine in a small amount e.g. 1 teaspoon in pancakes. I made a cake for his birthday with equal parts to sugar. We all sat down to eat the chocolate cake and it was bitter and almost had a hot aftertaste. My daughter said 'Mummy it tastes funny. I couldn't eat it either but Coops devoured it and so did my husband. Does that say something about males tastebuds? Anyway my darling boy got a tummy ache on the night of his birthday. Not a major one but still not pleasant on your 4th birthday.
Well I have learned that stevia sweetners don't work as a substitute for sugar especially in baking. You live and learn.

So we are back to square one again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stevia - substitute for sugar

I have been using Stevia which is a natural sweetner in cooking off and on over the last few years for Cooper. The Australian Government approved the use of Stevia in Australia in commercial foods and I followed this story with great interest. I was hopeful that new products containing this plant would be launched which I could use as a substitute for sugar.

The Japanese have been using this plant for years as a sweetener for cooking etc it has no calories. More info on Stevia. I tried to cook with dextrose but that always burns and rots your teeth. So Stevia is a great alternative.

Well my wish has been granted. There are a few products in the market place including, PureVia, CSR Smart (sugar and stevia), Hermesetas Stevia and Natvia.

I have tried Natvia which seemed to have a polyol which was the least offensive to a person with Fructose Malabsorption. So far I have made Cooper pancakes and muffins which he devoured. He was so happy to have muffins that tasted something like a real muffin.
The whole family ate them and now there is only 2 left.

I looked into the ingredients of these Stevia sweeteners and have to be careful because people with Fructose Malabsorption should avoid polyols. They have to combine the Stevia with another ingrediant to reduce the bitterness probably give it bulk and give it that sugar look and feel. So we feel confident using it.

I will continue to experiment with this new sweetener and hope that it has no ill effects on my darling boy. The pack does say something like (overconsumption may cause laxative effect).

Mummy why can't I have that

Well Cooper is nearly 4 years old now. We are still working through diet issues but things have improved over time. He can tolerate more foods now then when he was 3. I have made some major mistakes over the last year but I think I have his diet more under control then ever before. Which basically means less and less night waking with stomach cramps and a happier boy and mum.

Cooper is an extremely patient child given that his sister can eat anything in sight without a single reaction. His sister is now at school and has all sorts of treats and snacks for her lunch box. Rarely does Cooper ever make a fuss when she pulls out a fruit bar, muesli bar or roll up.

Today we went out and big sissy was thirsty and she asked for a drink. So I bought her a fruit juice, Cooper didn't even flinch and didn't ask where his drink was. He just accepts it (most of the time). He mainly drinks water and of course rice milk.

When it comes to big groups or parties that is when things get harder. He then asks 'Mummy can I eat that' pointing to a cream cake. I just tell him it will give you a tummy ache. Sometimes he just wants it so much and because his stomach aches are not instant he doesn't care and pushes it into his mouth.

The hardest part is when we are faced with him wanting to join me or big sissy or others eat cake. Every time he eats commercial or home made cakes he gets pain. I guess because they contain ingredients like dairy, soy flour and loads of sugar. It sometimes gets to the point that I just let him try some cake but then I always regret it because his pain is so great. I ended up saying to him no more cakes mate. Cooper replied with,
'Mummy there is nothing I can eat'. He looked so despondent. I replied with you get to eat lots of great foods and healthy food. He moved on but his comment stuck with me. You just want your kids to be happy. I wonder how he feels at child care when everyone else is eating yoghurt and he is sitting eating diet jelly, or the other kids are eating sticky finger bun and he gets a dry old rice cake. I wonder what goes through his head and hope that it doesn't make him feel alienated.

Accepting the foods you can't have - Apples and Biscuits just to name two
Cooper was desperate to try apple (a food which is high in fructose) his nan gave him some Pink Lady Apple which he seemed to tolerate. So of course I got game and gave him more. He was fine. Then he started having a least 1/2 apple over the course of 2 days. By day 3 I decided have a whole apple. Gee was that a bad move. His little system must have just got a build up of fructose and he had a miserable night. He was in such pain, crying out. During this unending session of cramping I said to Cooper, that's it no more apple. It's bad. He accepted this and has just on the odd occasion said to me, 'when I turn 5 I can eat apples'. My response was yeah! But I was thinking more like when you turn 20.

Sweet Biscuits is another item he does not get. I have tried so many times and without success he ends up with the same symptoms. A lady told me all the great biscuits that don't contain dairy like Oreos, Jam Fancies (by Paradise) and some other brand that I can't recall. I gave Cooper and Oreo on two occasions and both times it's just been awful. So these are off his list I suspect it's the high sugar content, golden syrup or invert syrup they put in these things. I really try to avoid having sweet biscuits in the house.