I’m thrilled to bring you the first in a series of interviews with parents whose kids have food allergies and intolerances. If you’re a parent who just can’t seem to get any clear answers about your child’s health issues, if you leave the doctor’s in tears, and if you feel incredibly helpless when you see your child in pain and discomfort, then please read these stories from parents who are going through it all, too. They may have even discovered something that could help you. My aim is to build awareness, knowledge, and community through these interviews.
Healing Gracie’s Gut is a blog created by Sydney mum, Mel, who understands how confusing and overwhelming it can be when a child has special dietary requirements. Her daughter, Grace, who is almost three years old, has been diagnosed with food intolerances and leaky gut syndrome. It hasn’t been an easy journey – she spent a long time going to various doctors, being fobbed off and given conflicting information, without any relief to Grace’s health issues. Finally, with the help of an amazing Integrative Paediatrician, Mel has changed Grace’s diet and eliminated certain foods. As a result, Grace’s gut is not only slowly healing and her eczema virtually cleared, but she’s a much brighter, happier child.
Follow their journey to heal Gracie’s gut, which includes some beautiful (toddler-approved) gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and AIP (Auto Immune Protocol) recipes and lifestyle tips. You can find them at: www.healinggraciesgut.com and Instagram and Facebook, where you can also join a closed support and chat group for families and carers, who are going through similar, to connect with others in a comfortable environment.
What food intolerances does Gracie have, and is there a family history of food intolerances?
Our beautiful daughter Gracie is nearly three years old and has numerous food intolerances, her Integrative Pediatrician diagnosed her with Leaky Gut Syndrome. Our Doctor thinks that dairy is the main culprit and has caused sensitivity to other foods.
My husband did have a wheat sensitivity as a child, and I’m lactose intolerant.
When and how did you find out about Gracie’s intolerances?
When we transitioned Gracie to cow’s milk at around 12 months old we started noticing changes to her skin and bowel movements. Within hours of consuming milk she would break out in red hives and eczema. Eventually her entire body was covered in Eczema and she started suffering from chronic constipation as well.
What 3 things would you like other parents to know about Gracie’s food intolerances?
1. The symptoms of food intolerances can be similar to food allergies.
2. The symptoms of food intolerances can be delayed making it confusing to pinpoint what’s causing the issues.
3. We aren’t trying to be anti-social or difficult when we say she can’t eat certain things
How do you manage going out in ‘the world’ (for example, birthday parties, daycare/school, people’s homes)?
We rarely eat out as it’s too difficult at this stage; we always have to pack a full lunchbox. Birthday parties I think are the hardest when the majority of children are all eating the same thing, I hate to think of her feeling left out.
Where have you found most of your support and information? Can you recommend any good websites or resources?
Luckily our wonderful Integrative Paediatrician, Dr Leila Masson has provided us with so much support and information. I also have found connecting with other families who have been or going through similar so helpful, especially since I started my own Blog and made connections with families going through similar via social media. I’ve also created a support and chat Facebook group for families who are going through similar, so they can chat in a comfortable space.
What 3 things do you wish someone had told you as soon as Gracie was diagnosed? Would you have done anything differently knowing what you know now?
1. Don’t feel overwhelmed, you’ve got this.
2. It’s ok to ask for help.
3. Go with your gut feeling and question everything.
Do you have a favourite recipe, or restaurant, or food blogger, or cookbook that you would like to share?
Being a blogger myself, I follow a lot of inspirational bloggers – here’s a few I love to follow:
● Casey-Lee of Live Love Nourish – Gorgeous dairy and gluten-free recipes http://www.livelovenourish.com.au/
● Assunta of Nourishing Lola & Sage – Beautiful refined sugar, gluten free and primal food https://lolaandsage.com/
● Ash of Nourish Me Mum – Gorgeous healthy and simple food http://nourishmemum.com/
● Viv of Allergy Families, GP & Allergy Mum with tons of gut health nourishing foods http://allergyfamilies.com/
What’s one of Gracie’s favourite recipes?
One of Gracie’s favourite meals is Spaghetti Bolognese. Apart from adding in a ton of vegetables I also make it with Chicken bone broth, so it’s a win win.