One of my summer reads I’ve reviewed for my blog is a new book titled What’s Eating Your Child?, and it is an interesting book that looks at case studies revealing connections between food and childhood ailments. These case studies aren’t meant to be used to make a diagnosis per say, but in my opinion can serve as a guide for parents to 1) understand that there can be connections between food and ailments 2) learn to be a better nutritional detective to narrow down and pinpoint solutions for ailments your child may already have and 3) be better educated and have a familiarity with a variety of symptoms that may reflect an intolerance foods if they ever arise.
I have been reading this book out of order and started with Chapter 5: The Toddler Who Could Not Stop Spitting Up, which is a chapter that addresses reflux and dairy intolerance. My son had significant reflux since he was a newborn and although it has calmed down a great deal since he started solid foods, he still spits up more than a lot of other infants. Although messy, the reflux never seemed to bother him too much and the doctors didn’t see a need for any medication or other measures since he had great weight gain and was a happy baby.
I did a great deal of research before approaching the doctor about his condition at his 2 month well- baby appointment and tried eliminating dairy from my diet to see if he had a dairy intolerance. When I mentioned this experiment to the doctor, he sort of brushed it off saying a “dairy allergy” was very rare and it would be near impossible to eliminate lactose, since it was even in breast milk. Not wanting to be difficult I let this slide, but he clearly didn’t understand that I had researched allergies vs. intolerance and was specifically addressing the possibility of an intolerance, not an allergy (the author also addresses the selection of an empathetic and understanding pediatrician toward the end of the book in the FAQs).
Although my son didn’t seem to have a dairy intolerance in the end, I felt like I was finally reading a book written by someone in the world of health that acknowledged what I had been exploring with my son. The other case studies explore gluten intolerance, mood and behavior issues, learning disorders and other ailments that were all associated with nutrition. It has been a really interesting read and even though I previously knew the importance of what we put in our bodies, it encourages me to be more aware of what I provide my family to eat.