Ritz Cracker Non-Reaction

Last week was brutal. I’m feeling very off my game right now, so this might not be the best writing I’ve ever done. Still, I wanted to give an update on the tomato trial, since I announced it last week.

The tomato trial never happened.

Zac helped us pick out tomatos in the store. He helped bag them. The morning of the trial, he helped wash and dice them. He told me how he wanted me to serve them to him.

He seemed VERY excited about tomatos!

Until I put the plate in front of him.

Then he absolutely refused to even taste a tiny little piece of tomato. He even pinched his lips closed when I attempted to feed him a little dice.


As we went about our business for the rest of the day, I contemplated how I was going to “sneak” tomatos into his food for a trial. Darrel was all for skipping tomatos and moving on, but, as I said, I really want to eat tomatos! If I could think of a good list of ways to pursue the trial, I was going to do my best to convince Darrel we should continue.

The kids ate a good, big lunch, and we went to town for speech therapy and a quick visit to the health food co-op. They really shouldn’t have been hungry until dinner time.

However, at the co-op, they both started whining and crying for food. “Mommy! I’m hungry!”

I don’t know what possessed me. After three years of dealing with FPIES, I’ve gotten very good at telling the kids “no” and making them go hungry until we get home on the rare occasions I don’t have safe food with us. But last Monday, I found myself seeking out the produce manager to ask questions about bananas.

The organic bananas at my health food co-op, she assured me, are not sprayed with anything. Theoretically, that makes them essentially the same as the bananas we’ve been having shipped in from Florida. Theoretically, that means Zac can eat a banana from my co-op without incident.

My parents have asked me several times why Zac can’t have bananas from the co-op, and every time I’ve responded that we don’t want to spend time on a trial for a version of a food he already has since we’re trying to get NEW foods for him.

But the tomato trial didn’t happen. And I had to leave for work in two days. I wasn’t willing to start a trial the day before I left work, which meant any new trial had to start RIGHT THEN.

Oh, what the hay. I bought Zac some bananas.

The child was thrilled!

For the first time in his life, he got to eat a food right there in the store. Seriously. He has never eaten ANYTHING that didn’t have to be specially sourced and prepared at home.

We didn’t even leave the checkout line before he was digging into the bags to pull out a banana. He ate it as he walked back to the car, a grin on his face.

I texted Darrel, informing him that tomatos didn’t happen and I guessed we were doing a banana trial now.

We decided it didn’t need to be a full trial; just a short one to make sure the bananas were as safe as we imagined they would be.

It looked good for those bananas, too, and then on Thursday, BOTH boys ate Ritz crackers and Dasani water.

I was at work when I learned of this, and was very upset. Ritz crackers are not exactly a great choice for my kids. I expected reactions from both of them.

Amazingly enough, it’s been decidedly quiet on the reaction front. Despite being made entirely of wheat, Jed didn’t have any Meanies from them. Why he had the Meanies from the wheat in the batter on some fried catfish but not from a cracker made entirely from wheat is beyond me, but it is what it is.

Zac’s poops have been…not perfect, but not anywhere near as bad as I would have imagined after drinking Dasani (aka CORN) water and eating Ritz crackers with a zillion ingredients.

I’m flabbergasted.

Still, since the next trial we want to do is potatos, and I REALLY want those to be a safe food for him, we have no choice but to wait a good week or two before pursuing the next trial. I don’t want a repeat of the bell pepper incident; it’s safer to wait just to make sure any mild internal reactions he’s having are healed up before introducing a new food.

I have some really cute pictures of Zac eating his first banana, but, last week was brutal. I don’t have the energy to deal with photo editing right now.

In the meantime, we’re back in a holding pattern, and waiting until we’re sure Zac is totally healthy before introducing potatos.

Also, I don’t know what to think about this Ritz cracker debacle. Do you think it’s a sign Zac may be outgrowing FPIES? I don’t know what to think. Maybe it’s just that since we’ve done such a good job of keeping him healthy he can handle small doses of triggers without incident?

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12 Responses to Ritz Cracker Non-Reaction

  1. rpcvmama27 says:

    I have to laugh, because we must seriously be on the same wave length… This saturday, while at the store, we picked out a cracker from the cracker aisle. A brand we’d been familiar with, and just a new flavor that should have been safe. We got it home, I ate 4 of them, and then realized the texture was… off? So I went to the kitchen, and realized that I had eaten rice for the first time in over 18 months. I freaked out, knowing I couldn’t wean her from the boob in one night. I did everything I possibly could to prevent her from nursing the rest of the day, and at bed time for less than 2 min. She was less than pleased about this…. we went into prep mode thinking she might vomit that night, but low and behold, her worst reactive food, that was so bad she reacted through me, she didn’t show a single sign of reacting to that night… not sure if it was the low quantity filtered through me or what, but I’m grateful that we can continue our watermelon trial without issue tomorrow.

  2. Cathy says:

    We have found that lately my son can tolerate small doses of triggers. It’s taking longer to get a reaction and bigger doses. The reactions aren’t as bad either (also not as clear cut). It makes for lots of wondering and longer trials BUT I’ve actually started to relax when we are at parties! I still keep an eye on him and the food but I know he won’t eat a ton of an unsafe food before I notice and chances are he won’t react or will only react mildly. I’m not saying I stopped monitoring, just some encouragement that maybe as kids grow out of FPIES this happens and it really does change everything!

    • Carrie says:

      That’s good to know! We’ve actually noticed something similar in our boys…I just didn’t expect to have NO reactions at all, you know? 🙂

  3. dkaj says:

    Hi Carrie, this is just some food for thought with your inquiry about the wheat and the catfish. Thus, just throwing this info out there. Could it be that the ritz crackers uses bleached white wheat flour. One would have to think the bleaching and bromating agents they use in the flour kills most of the proteins in the wheat if not all. Pretty much it’s dead wheat and highly processed. And in regards to the catfish, it could have been a histamine issue with the fish that had nothing to do with the coating or batter. Unless, the coating/ fish batter was made with whole wheat or whole grain wheat that’s not bleached and the proteins are kept more in tact and had seasonings in it that your child doesn’t tolerate. And, with fish, one has to be very careful with how it is handled due to histamines levels. BTW. Catfish is naturally higher in histamines too. Here’s a good post on fish and histamine levels. PS. Thanks for the info on Dansini. I bought that water once and that was the last time. Didn’t even think to look at the label for added ingredients. My dd doesn’t do well with corn either.

    • Carrie says:

      Once again, Deb, you are a source of amazing information! Well, the problem for Jed with wheat is the fructans, not the proteins. I’m not sure if white versus whole wheat makes a difference, but that’s worth investigating! 🙂

      Good to know about catfish and histamines. So far we haven’t seen histamines being a big problem for Jed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t at least a contributing factor for him. And now we know to avoid a catfish trial for Zac, since histamines ARE a problem for him.

      It just gets so confusing sometimes, you know? LOL

      Glad I could help with the Dasani! Just so you know, it isn’t labeled as corn on the bottle. It’s just that corn-allergic people ALL report that it’s the worst bottled water they can drink. Dasani does have magnesium sulfate added, though, so if sulfates are an issue, that could be a problem. It’s really terrible water. 🙁

  4. Rebecca says:

    Jeremy can eat potatoes, but not French fries or hash browns – frying starches does something to them… Creates a new chemical? Anyway, it’s the chemical he happens to react to, not the starch.

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  7. dkaj says:

    Going back through some of your old posts Carrie, and I just have to comment on the starches comment that Rebecca posted about. Starches are quite complex. I think it has to do with what a person can tolerate and probably a person’s unique chemical makeup. My Dad, niece and daughter can not tolerate mashed potatoes but do ok with fried and baked potatoes. I have searched high and low about these starches for my dad because he wants to know why this happens to him, and from what I have been able to find is that the starch becomes less resistant when they are mashed and go through digestion quicker. My dd has neurapathy and he feels the burning in his hands and feet right after eating them. On the other hand, frying the potatoes makes the starch more resistant and more resistant to digestion. Now if you boil a potato and then cool it and serve it cold like in potato salad, the starch then becomes more resistant again. Anyways, starches are a whole issue with so many different variables affecting them and yes, they take a degree in food chemistry just by themselves.

    • Carrie says:

      That’s just…how do you keep all this straight?? Good grief!!

      I’m sorry your dad goes through that. I’ve heard something similar before (from Rebecca, actually), but had no idea the mechanism behind it. The mind fairly boggles, doesn’t it? 🙁

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