It can be very frustrating going to the grocery store to buy groceries when you have multiple food allergies, and expensive. We have one with milk, soy and fish; one with peanut and fish; and another with wheat, egg whites, and fish. The fish is the only commonality. My two girls so far have not been diagnosed with any food allergies, only environmental so that makes it a little easier I guess.
When you live on a budget it can be really difficult to buy a weeks worth of groceries when you are avoiding ingredients that are in ALMOST EVERYTHING! For those of you out there who have kids with allergies, you know what I mean. Every little ingredient has to be checked so you don’t end up with some hidden source.
Of course, living on a diet of whole foods would seem to eliminate the necessity, right? Sometimes, I say thank God for Aldi’s since I can usually get fruits and veggies there for much cheaper than in the regular grocery stores. Did you know that you have to be careful of meats containing hidden gluten, etc.? I have had a difficult time finding employees who know what types of meats they have in the meat department, or in the Deli. Not that deli meats are recommended for children with ADHD, etc. due to the nitrates, nitrites, etc. in them. Buying whole foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, etc) can also be more costly when you are feeding a large family than those processed foods that are quick and easy to grab.
When looking at non-whole foods, the only bread I can buy that my little man can have is a brand that costs over $4 for a small loaf but it is the most natural I have found with only the basic ingredients. We are not entirely gluten free but we still try to avoid it as much as possible and true 100% wheat bread has less gluten in it than breads with regular wheat(white)flour. Of course I have tried to make my own bread. I have had a few successful loaves, but I am not a good bread baker apparently. lol! I can bake a mean cake from scratch. Gluten, dairy, soy free chocolate chip cookies too! Bread, not good!
Well, it seems to make a lot of sense that when you are dealing with food allergies you would check all the ingredients in your foods, but what about other products you use ON your body? For instance, my four-year old daughter was giving me a “salon experience” which involved a pedicure. Mostly lotion, lots of it, rubbed on my feet. Well, she put so much lotion on my lower leg that I took some off and used it on my arms and still had too much left over. So, my son was sitting close by, so I asked if I could put some of the lotion on him. It was Vaseline Total Moisture lotion. Within five minutes he was breaking out and itchy. I immediately got him in the shower and looked at the ingredients, the seventh ingredient is soybean sterol. The ninth ingredient is soybean oil. Well, I guess that explains it! I never would have thought to look for that and I should have.
I have read articles talking about hidden sources. One of the most mentioned non-food sources I have found outside of medicines (which are ingested) is chap stick. Even multi-vitamins can be a source of hidden allergens or even preservatives and food colorings. We do l’il-critters Gummy Vites. They are pretty allergy friendly. The omega-3’s do have soy in them though. Along these lines, my four-year old got a Tinkerbell bath and lotion kit for Christmas and I checked the ingredients and found it contained FD&C red 40 among other colorings. I am not sure, but I would think it would be reasonable to suspect that since a lotion goes on your skin that it would be absorbed into your cells and possibly cause adverse reactions for those that are sensitive to food colorings.
Things to look for
Here are some ingredients found in products that can be hazardous to our health:
Benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride and lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen Found in hair treatment products. Both are toxic and allergenic.
Aspartame Genetically Modified, synthetic sugar substitute. People report dizziness, headaches and even seizures. Scientists believe it can alter behavior due to altered brain function. Long term effects of this genetically modified organism on human health has not been studied or tested. Found as a sweetener in foods and some body products, such as shaving gel
Benzoic / Benzyl / Benzene Contains carcinogens, endocrine disruptor, may cause birth defects. Found in shower gels, shampoos, bubble bath.
Coal Tar Dyes – (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.) Even though their carcinogenicity has recently been proven, the 1938 Act includes a specific exemption for them. Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Found in bubble bath, hair dye, dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and foods
For a more complete list you can go here: Purezing
If you think you have been missing possible hidden sources for your childs food allergens I found this great website which has lists of uncommon names of common foods used on packaging. It has been helpful for me and I hope it can be helpful to others as well: CommonFoodAllergens
Enjoy Life and never give up hope!