Food sensitivities are confusing, but you can take back control of this overwhelming problem.
It helps many parents to realize that food sensitivies are a real issue and they are one the rise. Not because you did something wrong! Rather, most of it is probably because the world is increasingly toxic and our strains of food compromised. The result is that when we were young far fewer children had as many severe food allergies, auto-immune diseases related to food, or food sensitivities even just 20 years ago.
What is a food allergy versus a sensitivity?
An allergic reaction, according to Kelly Dorfman nutrition detective and food guru, is “narrowly defined as symptoms following a histamine response.” Think: throat closing after eating a peanut. Or, itching and swelling.
The response to food allergies is narrowly defined and often quite extreme and thus can be much easier to figure out (and more immediately problematic.) You can figure out your child’s food allergies by doing a food allergy test. (Although, Dorfman warns that allergy tests in children under two are particularly unreliable and that a negative allergy test even in older children can be wrong.)
Food sensitivities or intolerances on the other hand are “induced by a complicated group of non-histamine messenger chemicals,” says Dorfman. The symptoms of which can range from joint pain to moodiness, cause reflux or eczema, and many other issues. Food sensitivities can have major consequences, yet they are harder to detect. The best way to detect food sensitivities is an elimination diet.
And, while some food sensitivities, a child may grow out of, time will not fix all of them. Indeed, if you do nothing, food sensitivities can get worse and lead to other issues.
I recommend a few guides if you suspect you or your child or your nursing baby are suffering from food sensitivities
1. Read and follow Kelly Dorfman and her amazing book Cure Your Child with Food: The Hidden Connection Between Nutrition and Childhood Ailments
2. Following a traditional, nourishing diet as your foundation and then working on food elimination from a place of real food. My bible on real foods is Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
3. I recommend adding at least these two supplements to your child’s diet: fermented cod liver oil
(for the Vitamin D and the essential fatty acids), a high-quality probiotic (or daily fermented foods such as kimchi or saurkraut) and a chewable probiotic with Salivarius such as Ear Nose and Throat Shield VegLife 50 Lozenge (because what’s good for the gut in this regard can be hard on the teeth).
4. Do an elimination diet. Read how.