Friday, April 1, 2011

Masa, Molasses and Muddy Waters

No, I am not referring to the Father of Modern Chicago Blues. . .

What a week! Never is boring in a household with a kid who is, well, somewhat food challenged! Let's start with the positive. Homemade tortillas and homemade graham crackers (well, pseudo grahams, but really, who cares!) were the product of yesterday's day of cooking. I was delighted with the results of both but B was less than impressed. She enjoyed the idea of both, just wouldn't eat much of either. I highly recommend this recipe-- and of course, I did make modifications. As always! I have another trial run with some different modifications to try, and when that has finished I will post the better of the two.

The tortillas were super easy-- just masa harina and very warm water. The recipe was on the bag!!! Ahhhhh, how nice was that! I will be coming up with a more detailed tortilla recipe (trying to pack in more nutrients and taste) but for now, this one was fine. I also learned in a completely "DUH!" moment, that Masa is not made by curing the corn with lime as in the fruit, but with lime as in calcium hydroxide. And you know why they use the calcium hydroxide? To make the corn easier to digest! Interesting isn't it, especially since B still doesn't tolerate regular corn meal or corn flour very well, but is perfectly fine with polenta (twice cooked cornmeal) and Masa. So another fun fact about our long time love, Masa! Thank you, WICO dietitian, who recommended that we try masa well over a year ago!

And now for the muddy waters. I had to cut peanut butter out of my diet due to stinking hives on my poor baby girl. I have been gradually adding peanut butter back into my diet since about two weeks after B's peanut butter fail. She doesn't react to most of her failed foods in my diet, so I always give it a try before I eliminate a new fail. She seemed fine on little bits of peanut in my diet here and there until this week, when I decided to eat a peanut butter sandwich for lunch each day.

The first day, I nursed her a few hours after eating the sandwich and she got very itchy and had the pin prick hives in patches on her arms. We has also given her a new tortilla chip (all safe ingredients and made in an allergen friendly facility) that day so we wondered if that was the culprit.

No chips the next day. PB sandwich at lunch. Nursed her a few hours after lunch and then about 30 minutes after nursing her, she got hives. Hives on her arms, legs, torso, back of her neck, a few on her face and on the tops of her hands. Most of them were the small pin prick ones ( that look very red and itchy) but she also had larger bug bite looking ones, a couple by her lip, several on her arms and a couple on her hands, inside her wrists, and in between her fingers. First round of hydro-cortisone did nothing and they slightly worsened. After bath, we put on another round of the hydrocortisone and by morning, the hives were mostly gone, just a few patches of the pin prick ones remained on her arms and she was not nearly as itchy.

I talked to the tortilla chip company and everything checked out-- nothing questionable there.

I was fairly sure it was the PB but tried it one more day. Reflux flares and blowouts as well as no sleep for baby girl, but only minimal hives, still following the same time frame however. I thought the reflux flares and blowouts were related to the broccoli trial of this week but once I stopped the PB, it improved significantly. After asking around and reading up, I also learned that because breast milk isn't always identical with each nursing, even when you eat the same foods, her reactions could vary to the same trigger. Also, since her reaction to PB when she ate it orally also included hives in addition to "classic" FPIES minor and moderate symptoms, it makes sense to ME that her reaction through breast milk would present with some FPIES and some non-FPIES symptoms.

So no peanut butter for any of us girls in this house. As a vegetarian, I am fairly bummed. I eliminate soy as well and I am hoping that dairy ends up being a pass following a trial in another month. Cutting out diary in addition to soy and peanut butter and being a vegetarian is definitely possible, but making things much trickier. I might attempt something with cashew butter (I can't eat almond products in any great amount) for myself to see if that helps with protein.

As for B, the broccoli trial marches on. I am hoping it will be a pass but the jury is still out. We'll see what this next week brings! And hopefully the time will pass quickly while we await our test results from NJ, and hopefully those test results will give us the go-ahead to trial dairy. Hopefully, she will start being a tad less picky and hopefully I will be a tad more creative as we work, as always, towards happier days in food and fun.


  1. Hi Amanda
    Good luck with broccoli, have you thought about sunbutter, 23.5g protein per 100g which is on par with chicken.
    Love Suna and Mitchy XXxxx

  2. Thanks, Suna and Mitchy!!! We have in fact been fantasizing over sunbutter! :) Does Mitchy eat it? Does he like it? My husband is try some this week but it may be on the short list for food trials in the next month or so. Still holding out for our test results and hoping for the green light to do a dairy trial... Thanks so much for thinking of us! B sends hugs!

  3. Yeah Mitchy tolerates small amounts of it spread on a cracker, he quite likes it if I put a bit of extra sugar in it (hes a terrible sweet tooth), too much gives him weird mushy poo. Can I ask you how you got molasses in B's diet, its sooo great nutritionally but has such a strong taste, I would love to give Mitch molasses.
    Hugs to B from her Ozzie boyfriend XXxx

  4. Hooray for a sweet tooth! These kiddos would get along well! We are in the same sugary boat-- haha! The molasses was added into the graham cracker recipe, but I am contemplating throwing it in to the pancake recipe as well. Maybe try pairing it with honey or golden syrup? I bet it would complement a squash or pumpkin well, again with either honey, Lyle's, or brown sugar. Let me know if you try it too! I have also heard that it can be used to help with acid reflux, interesting, yes?