With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

20 April 2010

Food Allergies and Fussy Easting

Every so often, I come across a commentary dismissing "perceived food allergies" as fussy eating. Of course, I know my peanut and nut allergic child has true allergies because I have witnessed unmistakable reactions, confirmed later by testing. I imagine it is difficult to misread someone's throat closing up. He is, however, a rather particular eater and I have always wondered if that is related to his food allergies. Is my guy unique among food allergic kids or do other food allergy families have fussy eaters too? Left to his own devices, I think mine would live off of bread and pink lady apples!

Are we unique? Or can you relate?


dannyscotland said...

My daughter is 16 months old, and is a very picky eater. She was diagnosed with a peanut allergy that was confirmed by testing. I don't think it's a severe allergy, though. Still, I avoid all the stuff we're supposed to, because I don't want to take a chance with her life (go figure, right?). I'm sure that some kids are misdiagnosed, but overall, I don't think *anybody* wants to take a chance with their child. I'd rather avoid peanuts forever than have her get sick or die.

Sorry, your question: yes, she is picky. I think she inherited it from me, though. I'm the worst eater ever. My daughter would live on bananas, blueberries, cheese, oatmeal, and Chef Boyardee ravioli if she could. Oh wait, she kind of does! Ha ha!

Maureen said...

My food allergic child has food preferences, too. Who can tell if they are due to his food allergy, though? For instance, for the most part, he likes his sandwiches plain - no mayo, no dressing, no ketchup. Now, is this because he's nervous about allergens in the various sauces? Or, because, when he was little, we were nervous about it and, therefore, served him sandwiches plain, which he grew to like? Or, does he just like a plain sandwich?

As long as he's polite about it (and safe), I don't mind. And, I hope that when he's older & cooking for me, that he doesn't mind skipping the mushrooms in whatever he's serving me, since I don't care for them at all :-)

Jenny said...

Hi Jen,

Funny you mention this because my nut-allergic daughter has always been pretty picky (it's getting better with age.) I think that this was a natural defense that helped her early in life to avoid foods that would harm her. Peanuts and tree nuts were two foods she was very picky about--she wouldn't eat them and for good reason! To this day, if she doesn't want to eat something I don't push it. If it's any consolation, my pediatrician just told me that most of her patients usually only eat about 5 things. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks, Danny, Maureen, and Jenny, for your comments. Both of my boys have their food preferences but the younger one (with the nut/peanut allergies) definitely is more finicky. I always assumed his body naturally directed him to avoid certain foods for whatever reason, so I just go with it too. As long as he's growing fine and is safe, as you also said, it seems ok to me. :)

Libby said...

My son is not very picky at all, but I have to admit, that I go somewhat over the edge after I spend hours trying to create something that's safe for him and he turns his nose up at it!

For me what's really interesting, is that his allergies that don't belong to the Big 8 are almost identical to my food preferences. I was a vegetarian for several years simply because I don't like most meats, and he is allergic to red meat. I don't think it's a coincidence.

Katie Sz. said...

My peanut allergic almost 4 yr old is super picky. He lives on pasta, chicken and apples. But of course, he LOVES dessert....choc chip cookies, cake, or cupcakes....he'd live on those too if I let him.