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 Post subject: Between two kids..
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:06 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Terrebonne, Quebec
My husband and I have been discussing this recently, and I was thinking this is probably an excellent place to post this question, as many of you have more than 1 child. With a second child on the way in less than 3 weeks, we've been wondering how we'll handle it if our second child doesn't have allergies. I know in the house at the moment, we still keep milk and eggs for us, but now we don't make anything like scrambled eggs anymore, I only use it in baking for us, which may become a problem as our kids get older, but we'll cross that bridge when we reach it.

I was mostly wondering, do kids have trouble understanding what they can have and what they can't and why? If i'm giving my older daughter soy milk and our younger child whole milk, will she understand why she can't have it, or will it make her jealous? Should I just avoid giving them different foods? I'd really like to expose each child to all the food they can have, even if they are different. I know sadly (for me) summer trips to the ice cream shop are out, i've dealt with that, and we have sherbet that is safe, so we'll all just have to get used to that, but as they get older, will they start to pull the "well, I got to have ice cream at my friends party and you didn't.. hahahaha!" and if that is the case, how would you deal with it? So many mysteries in raising children with food allergies, I was just wondering how some of you feel about it/deal with having 2 kids (possibly with different allergies)..

I'm also asking because i'm insanely bored, having 3 weeks before I deliver the new one, and am going stir crazy!

Daughter 3.5 years) - Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Sesame, Beef; asthma and eczema
Daughter (2 years) - Peanuts Eczema
Son (7 months) - Contact allergy to something food undetermined

 Post subject: Re: Between two kids..
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 816
Location: Vancouver, BC
This is an interesting question and I'm sure everyone deals with it differently. I think it depends on what the allergy is, how easy to avoid, what alternatives are available, how severe the reaction would be, age of kids and other factors.

For us, both kids have allergies, but not all the same ones, and they are still pretty young - 3 and 5. We don't have any actual nuts, sesame or peanuts in the house, nor do we usually have actual eggs, but we do have milk that my husband puts in coffee, and DD and I will occasionally have cheese or yogurt. There are store bought goodies with eggs, or are 'may contains' for nuts/peanuts/sesame that the adults eat. Kiwi is easy to avoid so we just don't buy it, although DD got a kiwi at school, and I let her eat it, but was careful about washing hands, etc afterwards.

Maybe it's his age or personality, but DS never complains when others have milk or cheese in front of him - he just says 'oh, you're eating cheese? I'm allergic to cheese' and doesn't go near it. This may change as he gets older and realizes a lot of treats contain milk. I generally find that although DS's milk reactions are now mild, I find it easier not to let DD eat milk products, because even if she washes her hands and the plate goes right into the dishwasher, it's just too hard to keep track of which cup she has drank out of, which fork she used and keep DS away from them. I'm lazy and practical, so when it's just me at home with them, it's usually no dairy for anyone.

I do make a point of sourcing treats that they can have and also baking regularly so really, there are no shortage of treats in our house that both kids can eat.

I know when they get older and more independent, it may become more challenging, but for now, it works out OK.

DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema

 Post subject: Re: Between two kids..
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Our situation is different also as our children have an 8 1/2 year age difference. However, even with an age gap there are pro's and con's.
Our daughter is almost 11 now so for the past two years she has been able to completely comprehend our son's allergies. She also knows why we can't have certain foods in the house and why we can't eat in restaurants she doesn't question such things.
What is difficult I'm sure although I never hear her complain is the sudden change in her/our lifestyle after almost 9 years of being an only child. Special dinners at home or out were usually crab or sushi. We all love seafood/shellfish, dim sum, and we used to eat regularly almost all varieties of asian (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese) cuisine. (my kids are 1/2 Chinese).

We do take turns going out to eat with our daughter so she can stuff her face with her favorites. :D So I guess it really is different for each family depending on allergies and ages of the kids. Closer ages might be a pro. as they won't even know the difference in lifestyle. But I know there also would be the difficulty in being close in age regarding how to handle one child is eating some food item the other can't eat.

I wouldn't want our daughter to give up so many foods she loves and is able to eat. I also am very aware that we need as our son gets older to make him feel included and keep him safe.

DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish

 Post subject: Re: Between two kids..
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:44 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2987
Location: Toronto
Cauger - I think the answer is there's no right answer.

It depends on your household, the kids, your own comfort zone. You might want to give a listen to Dr. Sicherer's first podcast here:
When talking about his book Understanding and Managing Your Child's Food Allergies, he writes quite a bit about finding the right balance within the house and for the allergic sibling as he/she grows older.

In my own home, I'm allergic to soy, but I'm still OK with others using soy sauce if we're very careful about thorough clean-ups of spills. I even have come around to my tofu-eating daughter barbecuing tofu on our grill - provided there is foil underneath to prevent cross-contam.

However, I have no comfort zone for shellfish, as I've had a severe reaction to shrimp steam in past. I take the attitude of: if you want some, eat it elsewhere, then wash your hands.

Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin

 Post subject: Re: Between two kids..
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:30 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6616
Location: Ottawa
We don't have this issue but I know of people who do. It might be easier for ones sanity to rid the house of all allergens, but when you are trying to meet the nutritional needs on restricted diets, that isn't always easy.

Consider the age of the children. You might not be able to keep allergens in the house while they are infants. They can restricted to the highchair while eating, but they tend to mouth everything. Depending on the child, you can introduce allergens when they have learned food safety rules.

I know of some parents who use a sticker system so that children know what is OK to eat. If a food is accidentally contaminated, they place a red sticker on it. Others use specially coloured cups for the children to avoid one drinking the others "milk". Be prepared to wash your hands more, stock up on extra spoons, spatulas, can openers etc.

Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy and green beans) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: Oral Allergy Syndrome, Allergic to Birch trees

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