Sunday, November 6, 2011

Calvin's love-hate relationship with food. Or how I became a short-order cook.

Calvin loves to eat.

He's happiest with a full mouth.

  Calvin loves food.

But, food doesn't love Calvin.

He has terrible eczema.  He itches all the time.  His face breaks out so easily, especially around his eyes.  He scratches at his neck, turning his head back and forth in a desperate attempt to relieve his itching.  It's really pitiful.  I diligently tried the topical steroid twice a day followed by Cetaphil or Eucerin.  I always cover him up with Aquaphor when he first gets out of the tub.  I use natural, hypo-allergenic soap and clothes detergent.  It hasn't helped his eczema.
So this is the part of the story where we get to how I've become a short-order cook. 

Calvin gets cooked rice, sometimes more than once a day.  Calvin gets cut up cooked apples.  Calvin gets stewed chicken with chicken broth.  There are just a couple of jars of baby food I've found that he can have.  This makes lots of work for Mom.  I feel like I'm spending twice as much time in the kitchen, but on the upside we've had lots of chicken around.  I made chicken spaghetti this week and chicken pasta alfredo.  But lots of times the family gets something else- like homemade waffles, or homemade ham and broccoli mac-n-cheese (a favorite for lunch), or something with soy sauce (twice this week- sweet and sour meatballs and cashew chicken).  I think Calvin has problems with milk, pears, and bananas.  I'm more sure that he has problems with soy and oats.  Some foods I know he can't tolerate like crackers, but I don't know if it's the wheat, the soybean oil, the BHT, or a combination thereof.  Basically, the only packaged food I'm giving him is Baby MumMum organic rice crackers.  Last week he was sick and he seemed to react to his antibiotic.  I think it wasn't the antibiotic itself, but something else in the oral suspension.  We switched him to another penicillin with no flavor or dye and without the sodium benzoate and he did fine.

I've been giving him an antihistamine a couple of times a day.  He had to have a steroid shot last week. 
Please pray for Calvin:  that we'll get a handle on what he can and can't have and that he'll clear up for good.


  1. Praying for Calvin. It's hard when your little one is having food difficulties. Also something to consider on the crackers that you might not think of: he could be allergic to barley. My oldest was allergic to barley and you'll find it in just about any prepackaged grain product (bread, crackers, cereals). It's also in most brands of all-purpose or bread flour. And anything else that might conceivably have all-purpose flour in it. And sometimes it is listed as "malt" or malt syrup." Since it's so prevalent, it's hard to pinpoint unless he happens to have some barley baby cereal (that's how we figured it for my son) or a bowl of Grape Nuts (lol). Hoping you get it all figured out. His food allergies may lessen as he gets older.

  2. I have two severly food allergic children who exhibit this with eczema, but also hives, coughing, wheezing..anaphylactic shock. One of the main things they are/were allergic to is wheat. They are also deathly allergic to eggs and are also highly allergic to dairy, nuts and shellfish. Some are allegic to one thing while the other may be fine with it, so my meals tend to have MANY dishes to accomodate all the allergies. From what I understand is that apples are a chief cause of eczema. Just to add a little more to your challenge. Have you had him tested yet? You can do a blood serum test that will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with.

  3. Awww...I'm so sorry. I am praying for sweet Calvin! And his short order cook Mommy!

  4. I give my kids an oatmeal bath when they have skin issues - hives, etc. Takes the itching away almost immediately and a lot of times even clears up the hives.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.