Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Diet during flare up

In the beginning before I made drastic changes to Liam’s diet I pretty much let him dictate what he wanted to eat within reason. The only area of food I did not budge on was dairy and high fiber foods. Liam’s first “flare up” started July 2010. He was diagnosed October 2, 2010 and after treatment the flare ended December 2010. This flare lasted 6 months. Liam was a great eater before the Ulcerative Colitis started. Little by little he started refusing to eat certain foods that he once loved. He stopped eating all beans, raw vegetables (except for tomatoes and cucumbers) apples with skin, and high fiber breads. All he wanted to eat was instant oatmeal, nitrate free hot dogs, scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, fruit snacks, smoothies and In and Out Hamburgers. Because he had dropped 7 pounds in 4 weeks, I just fed him whatever he wanted to eat. I worried about the lack of nutrients he was getting, but the doctors kept telling me to give him what he wanted. 

I started tracking his food, per the advice of a friend who lives with Ulcerative Colitis. I started to see a trend. His typical day consisted of:

Instant Oatmeal or Pancakes with Sausage

Banana or Fruit Snack

Hot Dog or Oatmeal

1/2 Apple no skin

Hot dog or Chicken with plain rice

Some days I could get him to eat plain chicken legs that were baked or barbecued or some slices of turkey.  These foods must have helped with the pain he was in. I call them his comfort foods. Once his "flare up" ended the oatmeal and hot dogs became a food he refused to eat. He has had two little flares since his very first one and he goes back to the oatmeal and hot dogs. But once he is on the mend he refuses them again. I am not sure if this helps other parents, but if you don't know what to feed your kids during a "flare up", try the foods that I listed above. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eliminating Diary

After Liam's first birthday I took him off cheese, ice cream, yogurt and milk. I replaced his milk with lactose free milk, thinking it would do the trick. I removed all cheese, ice cream and yogurt from his diet. I thought, well this is easy. As time went on his tummy was still hurting, so I stopped giving him Lactaid too.  Now I was on the hunt for alternative non-dairy items. First, we tried Almond milk. We did the unsweetened, then sweetened and then vanilla flavor. All of them did not go over  well. He just kept saying "icky mama". Then his GI specialist recommended Coconut Milk. I did not even know they made Coconut Milk, other than the can to cook with. I went to Safeway to buy it and to my surprise they did not carry it. I checked out three other major chain grocery stores and none of them carried it either. 

The next idea I had was our local mom and pop all natural store in town. To my excitement it carried it. To my shock it was $5.99 for a half gallon. I just about died seeing the price. They had three choices, sweetened, original and vanilla. I chose the unsweetened and prayed Liam would like it. I got home gave him a cup and to my surprise he did not say "icky". He was not thrilled about it, but did drink a few sips. Next I gave it to him with some dark chocolate syrup. He drank more this go around, so I was thrilled. Little by little I lessened the amount of chocolate syrup and he eventually was calling it "his milk". Many must be asking "does it taste like coconut?" Surprisingly it does not. I would say the flavor is fine, its just a little on the thick side. Sometimes I put some water in it, to thin it out. The next food to tackle was yogurt. Liam definitely missed his yogurts, so I researched non dairy yogurts and found that the same company made coconut yogurt and ice cream. The yogurt is really good. They have many flavors to choose from. Pina Colada is my favorite while Liam enjoys the chocolate, Savannah loves the raspberry and my husband prefers the vanilla.There ice cream has also become a family favorite, especially the mint. Check out the website http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/ .

Coconut milk has become a savior in our house hold. I use it in place of anything that calls for milk in a recipe. The only recommendation I have is it is thicker than milk, so add water to the recipe if the consistency does not look right. . For example in pancakes I will use the coconut milk exactly how it calls for. After mixing the mixture usually is a little thicker than I want it to be so I add a splash of water at a time until I get the right consistency I want.

Some of you may be thinking what about butter. I don't cook with butter either, since its considered dairy. To replace butter in a recipe I either will use grape seed oil or coconut oil.

I have not found a substitute for cheese for him. He seems to be doing just fine with out it, so I have not pursued it. 

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