Sunday, January 23, 2011

Maybe some room for hope and a future PBJ?

Well, we are just over a week into the peanut butter trial (we opted to extend it due to general weirdness as mentioned in prior posts). Things might be (*might*) turning around! The amount of blowouts each day has gone down--- only two yesterday and only one so far today--- and no more black, coffee like stuff in the diapers. So that makes Mama happy! However, yesterday and the day before we saw increases in reflux flares. More reflux today but mostly in the form of the good ol' reflux cough (haven't heard that one in awhile! She had it CONSTANTLY as an infant. . .). Maybe things are settling down, maybe, just maybe, she will actually ADJUST to this food. If that is the case, I have a lot more hope than I have had lately. I feel that if her body can adjust to some foods, then maybe we are starting to grow out of at least SOME of this.

Here is hoping for adjustment, a turnaround and a happy future of PBJ sandwiches (which of course means I need to get on the stick and learn to make some pear jam. . . darned pectin. . . .)!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Woes and Wants

Today we are taking another day off from our peanut butter trial, in hopes that alternating days might help. No blow outs today, no clumpy black flecks in the diapers (they look like B ate sand from the beach in Zushi!!!), no reflux and a much happier girl (other than the tantrum she threw today in Joanns because she wanted to look at the "patter-ens." Crazy girl. . . ).

So we are waiting to hear back from the allergist for ideas about these mystery diaper invaders and trying to gear up for another peanut butter day tomorrow.

I hate to push it too hard but we kind of need this food. With no passes in the animal protein dept (other than fish-- hooray for fish!!!) and since we can't feed her fish everyday, we need some serious protein coming our way. The Neocate is kind of a bomb at this point-- she is hardly taking more than a sip a day. I even caught her "fake drinking!!!" Sigh. But happily, her rash looks much much better today (crazy diapers=crazy rash. She cried so hard during her bath!!! Poor girl). That is what happened the last day we took off of peanut butter-- everything resolved. We just need to figure out how much to push or if we are going to continue to push at all. . .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Again with the Tom Petty music. . .

He was right. The waiting IS the hardest part!!!

Getting ready to embark on day 3 of peanut butter and still not budging from our 1 tsp "dose." Today, as happened yesterday, at almost EXACTLY the two hour mark, the reflux flares began. Nothing huge, but lots of hiccups, wet burps (the kind that make you do a double take?), and a couple of explosive FULL diapers with the acid ring. But no major diaper rash, though seeing the red ring of doom (thank you other FPIES moms for such lingo!). She was kind of droopy acting today and yesterday for about 50% of the time, and kind of fussy for the rest of the time. But she is a toddler, and a high maintenance one, so she is kind of typically fussy. She did seem to come unglued a lot more easily that usual, but still. . . Still, not enough stuff going on to stop the trial, even to take a day or two off. So tomorrow we push ahead, hoping for an adjustment, hoping the oiliness of peanut butter is causing the diapers, hoping for a pass. The neocate is not going so hot, so we really need to beef up the foods around here! This trial may end up extending past a week. I really want to do anything possible to make this a pass and if going slower than molasses helps, I will do just that!! If I can get her to have at least a day of improved symptoms or no symptoms, then we will increase the amount. If not, then we will stay at 1 tsp. Keep your fingers crossed for a pass! This waiting game is getting OLD!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

On the Eve of Peanut Butter

And so we seek to, yet again, enter the world of legumes. But since we have always been booted swiftly from this lovely world, I am a little nervous about the peanut butter!!! I am in no way concerned about an IgE reaction. But an FPIES reaction. . . .well, let's just say I will be double sure to have our ER bag in order. But on the plus side, IF it is a pass. . . WOW. What a pass it will be! In my mind, it is even bigger than fish (and fish was big!) because (A) She can have it every day (B) It will be a great way for her to work on some of her texture issues (issues with creamy stuff) and (C) We will finally break into the inner circle of legumes!

I am excited despite the anxiety. As a vegetarian and a mama with a big sweet tooth, I consume quite a bit of peanut butter, especially since giving up soy in my diet because of it bothering B through my milk. I am fantasizing about peanut butter cookies, peanut butter smoothies, peanut butter sorbet, FROSTING, fudge, cake. . . . the list goes on and on! Plus, if peanut butter goes well, we will try and squeeze in a chocolate trial before Valentine's Day and she can finally taste the beauty of chocolate peanut butter!

So wish us luck and I will keep updating the blog about our trial! Also, be sure to look for posts on FPIES freezer foods. . . hoping to make a little less stress for all of us mamas cooking multiple meals at dinner time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Zofran Studies

A lot of talk has been going around about the use of medications during FPIES reactions, particularly Zofran. Here are a few links to articles researching the use of Zofran with little ones (infants, toddlers, preschool age). Just bear in mind that the article is not related to FPIES or allergies, but merely to cases of acute gastroenteritis being seen in the ER (like bacterial or viral stomach bugs). We are quite opposed to use Zofran for B's reactions (after a pretty horrible experience) and I think if you read between the lines and think carefully about the nature of an FPIES reaction for your LO, you may find it might not be the best choice to medicate with Zofran during a reaction. Enjoy the "light" reading!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Really, FPIES? Really?!

So it probably is in no way FPIES related but I blame FPIES for all allergy related issues in this house (FPIES started it!). And this is such a completely non big deal-- more of an annoyance really. Apparently, my B might be allergic to cold. COLD?! Apparently, her ped thinks she has cold urticaria. Whenever she drinks anything cold or eats anything cold, she develops these flat, very defined red spots all over her cheeks (they look like someone dipped a pencil eraser in pink paint and dotted her face). As soon as she swallows, they appear before our eyes. But they usually go away right after a meal, she doesn't seem bothered by them at all. . . And then there was tonight. Her lower lip swelled up about halfway through dinner, not huge by any means, but noticeable. It took about an hour to go away. I will contact the allergist in the AM, just to be on the safe side. I am not concerned but I do suppose it is noteworthy at least. The only new food is beets and she has no "symptomatic" response to them, so I am sticking with the cold theory. There can't be anything in the Splash that would cause this either, so we shall see what the doc says. I suppose my B got too accustomed to the warm breezes of Zushi? :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beets and Feets

Today was day 1 of our beet trial! And it was so great!!! I pureed golden and red (or purple!) beets awhile back and froze them for this trial. To prepare them, I just boiled them, like you boil potatoes for mashing, and then pureed them in the blender with a little bit of water. And a great tip about cooking beets-- both red and yellow-- the water from boiling the beets makes a beautiful dye (the red ones makes a reddish purple dye and the golden ones make a yellowish orange dye) that you can use in foods or in fabric. So save your beet water!!!

Anyways, we did a whole tablespoon today and she loved it. She ate it plain and tried a bite with a little bit of cereal (quinoa flakes and ground millet). It was similar to preserves in texture. So tomorrow we do a tablespoon again, and then increase after that if we stay symptom free. For those who don't know, beets (beet root) are in the same family as quinoa and spinach (two of our safe foods!) and you can eat the root or the greens. We won't be doing the greens since, like spinach, they are supposed to be a little hard on one's GI tract, but the roots are still awesome sources of vitamins and minerals, such as folate, fiber, manganese and potassium to name a few. They also are a great source of lutein, which can be helpful in eye health! Some of what I have read also talks about the health benefits of beets in terms of anti-inflammatory properties, specifically for colon health, which made my ears perk up. All around, if this is a pass, I think this will be an excellent addition to B's diet. I hope beets continue to like her as much as she likes them!

For fun. . . I titled this "beets and feet" mainly because I wanted a title that rhymed (music therapist in me) but also to celebrate B's feet FINALLY growing again! She will be in a size 6 soon! I just got her new snow boots in the mail and they fit well enough to stomp around in, though they are still a little big. Now if she could just grow taller. . . :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

And then there was Neocate. . . flying off of the high chair. . .

Ahh, elemental formula. We have been so blessed to have gone so long avoiding it--- hooray for breastfeeding with a very doable elimination diet! But this week, here we are-- trialling Neocate Jr with Prebiotics. Rational? No, I am not weaning her. :) Everyone keeps asking or assuming!!!! We are not using it to even replace a feeding-- just wanted to intro the formula now, in case something were to happen to my milk supply. I would hate for the transition to be forced and sudden, if something were to happen.

Well, my little gourmand is not impressed. The first few days were ok. Two ounces, slightly more diluted than the recommendations, and served in a special purple sippy. (We are all about purple around here). The first day, I ended up having to syringe the entire 2 oz for her. She wouldn't open her mouth even when I held the sippy to her lips. SOme gagging, nothing major. Lots of "Why are you doing this to me?!" faces. Hehe. Day two, she did drink a little from the sippy when I held it to her mouth, just not by herself. Syringed a little over an ounce. Gagging, faces. Day three, one ounce with sippy "assistance" (still won't hold the sippy herself, despite the fact she has been successful with a sippy since five months old!) and one ounce with the syringe. Again, gagging and faces. Day four, became agitated when given the formula, was a little bit more of a struggle, but she accepted the same amount as day three. gagging, etc. Today was a struggle. I did find a way to get the whole two ounces in her, but the sippy took flight a few times and was quite familiar with the floor by the end of the meal.

No really weird symptoms, but I wasn't anticipating any. It did cause her to have the most normal looking poo of her little life so far-- which I found funny, since I kept getting warnings of weird poo. I am not expecting to NOT see any, but so far so good. It did seem to "slow her down" if you will in the lower GI, which I think is part of the reason for her increasing refusal of it (I think it upset her tummy-- yesterday she was straining with no poopy diapers and then today she had several huge ones). But hopefully in time, she will adjust. We did up her pear amount and I started giving her pear juice in the AM, which she actually drank!!!!!

The verdict? We have to stick with the Neocate for our back up. I am confident that she is ok with it-- no reaction obviously-- but getting her to take it and working up to a full serving is going to take a while I think. I am going to trial the splash with her and see how that goes. I am hoping the novelty of the drink box (haven't found any other safe ones so this will be her first!) and the flavoring with help. If it goes better, then we will request the Rx for the Splash rather than the formula powder.

No decrease in nursings and no decrease in solids. Sunday, we move on to beets! They have been pureed, frozen and waiting in the freezer for almost a month!!! I mixed golden and red beets so the flavor will be interesting I am sure! Wish us luck! Happy trialling to all of you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

101th post! And a lovely toddler recipe! Fish Sticks!

Hi everyone! Wow! I missed the fact that my last post was the 100th so I will celebrate the 101th!! Tonight we had GREAT success with a new recipe and I would love to share it with all of you! It is another in my quest to create "normal" toddler food, as well as a dinner the whole family can enjoy! Here we go:

Fancy Fish Sticks (3 4oz servings)
3 fish fillets, fresh or frozen (we used cod)
1 cup quinoa flakes (could use potato flakes, millet flakes or rolled oats)
2 Tbsp corn starch (could use potato starch or arrowroot)
1 cup safe milk (we used coconut)
1 Tbsp arrowroot
coconut flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If frozen, defrost fish. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Cut fish into 1inch wide strips or into "nugget" sized bites. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together milk and 1 Tbsp arrowroot. Set aside.

In a second bowl, mix cornstarch and quinoa flakes until well blended. Set aside.

Prepare large cookie sheet by covering with parchment paper, or grease sheet with canola and sprinkle on corn meal (if corn isn't safe, you could use ground up millet seeds in a pinch). I did try one batch without the corn meal and just the canola. The fish sticks did stick to the pan a little (with only the canola) but I was able to get them off of it without leaving much of the breading behind.

Dip each piece of fish into the milk mixture and then roll in the flake mixture until completely covered with "breading." Place finished fish sticks on cookie sheet. If using coconut flakes, sprinkle over the top of the fish sticks.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until breading is nicely browned. If lemon is safe, squirt a little lemon over top of fish sticks.

We didn't have a dipping sauce for B, but she loved the fish sticks plain, so that was fine. For N and I, I made a dipping sauce out of the following:

Dipping sauce
4 Tbsp mayonaise (here is a recipe for vegan mayonaise-- you can use a safe milk in place of the soy milk the recipe calls for)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3/4 tsp Herbs de Provence
Dash of garlic pepper

Whisk together and refrigerate. Not sure if this will EVER be safe for B, but it was tasty for N and I.

The fish sticks looked like "real" fish sticks and it made me so happy to see B mowing down on them. I am willing to bet that you can follow this recipe and use other meats and even veggies in place of the fish. Make a sweet potato nugget, a chicken nugget, etc etc etc. Experiment and Enjoy!

Happy 101th post to all! Thanks for visiting Baby B's FPIES test kitchen and keeping us company!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Quick Recipe Note!

For any and all of you able to make the flatbread and spinach cake recipes, I have a minor alteration to add. Instead of adding water for the liquid in the recipe, if you have a safe milk, use that. We tried the spinach cake recipe with hemp milk instead of water tonight and it was a big success. Plus, extra calories and fats! Woohoo!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Missing Japan and Experiments with Vegan Gelatin

I knew it was a great country when we lived there and I still know it now! I think we will see the wonderful Kuzu Root starch making a return to B's diet soon, as everytime I read about it, it is always noted to improve digestive health and to strengthen intestines. She tolerated it very well when we used it with her baking (I couldn't get arrowroot and it was an excellent arrowroot substitute-- in fact, it is referred to in some places as Japanese Arrowroot, even though it is a different plant).

The other ingredient we will be trying soon that I once more can thank Japan for is agar agar. This is actually a sea vegetable found off of the coast of Japan and is used for making desserts such as custards and gels. I will be attempting to test its validity as an egg replacer. Should be interesting. . . Even if it doesn't work in that capacity, I made a beautiful coconut milk custard and a lovely mango gel (consistency somewhere between jello, jelly and custard.. . .) very VERY easily with the help of the lovely agar agar today. It set up very quickly and for each dish only required two ingredients-- the liquid (juice or coconut milk) and the agar agar. Definitely got points for a short ingredient list, quick cook time and an easy cooking experience! All things we all love, am I right? So here is the deal with agar agar. . .

You can get the vegetable itself, the flakes (I have these) and the powder. In the recipe below, if using powder, use 1 tsp instead of 1 Tbsp (you need the 1 Tbsp if using flakes). It is a little pricey, but I have read that you can often get the dried vegetable at asian food stores for very very cheap and then grind it into a powder on your own, making a large batch for very very little money. I will be testing this theory. In the meantime, if you go online to eden foods or swing by the asian food section at whole foods, you can pick up the flakes and test out this recipe:

Vegan Jello/Custard
1 cup of juice or alternative milk
1 Tbsp agar agar flakes
flavoring as desired (optional)

Pour liquid into small saucepan and blend in flakes. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Then, bring the mixture to a boil. Once a nice rolling boil has been established, reduce to a simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until most flakes have dissolved. Pour mixture into small bowls (I used two ramekins for one recipe, filled about 2/3 full). Refrigerate until mixture sets up, about 1-2 hours. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

You can also mix in some diced fruit to the mixture before it sets up to add a little something to your dessert.

I was so happy with the results that I feel the need to really test the waters with this ingredient and see what it can do! I will keep all of you posted! (I even got a new silicone shape pan for this occasion!)

A New Year's Eve Treat! ~ Baked caramelized pears recipe

Our New Year's treat!!! For New Year's Eve, I made a special dessert that we all could share. Baked caramelized pears with coconut ice cream. Here is the easy peasy recipe (can substitute out any safe fruit for the pears that caramelizes well. I think peaches and apples would work especially well here, but bananas could be tasty too).

Baked Caramelized Pears
2 large pears, pealed, cored and halved
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1 Tbsp honey
Unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Coconut ice cream-- Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Peel, halve and core the pears. Place each pear half in its own baking dish (ramekins worked very well). In a small bowl, whisk together oil, sugar and honey. If not in a hurry (which I was!!), you can do this in a small saucepan on low heat and the ingredients will blend very nicely. Drizzle mixture over pears. Place ramekins in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check occasionally to be sure the pears are not drying out-- if they appear to be drying, simply drizzle the "caramel sauce" over them again and place back in the oven. When done baking, pears will be very soft and very delicious. Place on pretty plate, top with two small ice cream scoops and drizzle sauce left in ramekin over the dessert. Serve warm. You can sprinkle shredded coconut over top of the dish if desired. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!