Total Elimination Diet

A few weeks after my second child was born, we noticed he was a generally unhappy baby. He was almost always crying, spiting up constantly, extremely gassy, nasal congestion, unable to sleep well, and the worse part was his poops. Almost every time he pooped it was all over him and everything under him at that time, mostly me. I was washing way too much clothing 3-5 outfit per day for both of us. He would also cry during his poop. They were very loud explosive and completely liquid and full of mucus.

Then I heard about The Total Elimination Diet by Dr. Sears. It is basically the only way to figure out what foods your child is sensitive or possibly allergic to. Even if your child has a severe reaction to something they cannot do allergy testing until your child is older due to the immune system still developing or they can but won’t because they are not accurate. It is suppose to be only a temporary diet just to figure out the foods that are bothering them and then return to regular eating without the foods you discovered were harmful.

You begin by cutting out almost everything. I mean everything. The foods I started with included: turkey, rice, potatoes, squash, pears, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper. You have to try and stay with these base foods for 2-3 weeks until baby’s symptoms resolve. Alexander started to get better at 3 weeks but not all symptoms resolved. Then I would challenge a food. First I challenged an apple. So you eat the challenge food 2-3 times in a day and wait 3 days to see if any changes occur. It takes up to 3 days due to I am breast feeding and takes time to process through my body first. Once your little one is eating independently the food challenge could be done directly to them and any symptoms should be noticeable almost immediately. During those 3 days after you consumed your challenge food you resume eating the base diet. If no symptoms detected then then your challenge or in my case apples could be incorporated into the diet. Let’s just say I didn’t get too far with the diet I did almost 2 months, before I finally just gave up. In the process I discovered dairy, soy, gluten, and canola oil are things he is sensitive to. When picking foods to challenge it is best to select the food in it’s purest form. An example for dairy would be milk and soy could be soy sauce or edename or soybeans.

Now he is 6 months old and I try to be careful with what I eat but occasionally we like to eat out and it is next to impossible to make sure they aren’t using soy. Soy in particular is in everything, especial soy lecithin. At least I have learned to be careful and do my best to avoid certain foods and we will be extremely cautious when introducing foods to him. I did loose 10 pounds of baby weight and started to feel better in the second week of the diet. With that being said if you feel your child might have issues, please speak up to your child’s pediatrician, trust your mommy gut, and don’t be afraid to ask for a referral to an gastroenterologist or an allergist. Please do not try any extreme diet without your MD’s medical guidance.

Sample Meals
Breakfast:
hot rice cereal with maple syrup and pears
Lunch:
turkey patty cooked with salt and pepper and baked potato with olive oil
Dinner:
Roasted turkey with squash and rice

Tips:
Post it notes with the first 21 days. Pull off one a day for motivation. Then write the names of major food allergens or foods you would like to challenge. I placed them on my bathroom mirror.

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