This weekend, Zac reached another milestone: sweet potatos are safe!!
I. Am. Ecstatic!
Sweet potatos are SO yummy and nutritious! After slightly over a week of sweet potatos, Zac’s weekly weigh in was a stupendous 28 pounds!!
Plus, this week he’s done his usual “new food developmental leap”. He’s trying to talk more. I know I’ve said that he’s babbled more in the past, but this is different. He’s actually attempting to use words and sounds to interactively communicate with us! Before, it was just an increase in babbling with an occasional word thrown in.
This is huge!
He’s been more energetic, playful and rambunctious, even swatting back at his brother when Jed gets a little too boisterous.
Jed, understandably, is not a fan of that particular developmental boon.
With a new food under our belts, we were ready to jump right in to the next food trial.
I’ve been chomping at the bit to trial spaghetti squash and butternut squash. They’re both coming in to season now, and they would both be a fantastic addition to his diet (and mine).
Darrel, however, finally pushed hard for the trial he’s wanted to do for months: salt.
It isn’t a bad idea; salt makes food taste SO much better, and it’s essential to life. I just wanted to trial actual foods instead of condiments during the summer months when fresh produce is so readily available.
Darrel pointed out, though, that we’ve had a hard time getting him to eat some of his safe foods, but salt might make them all more appetizing. (Cucumbers are delicious…but they’re far better with a little salt sprinkled on top, right?)
Having salt in our food arsenal might make future food trials easier. Right now, I mostly have to hide new foods in other foods for Zac because he gets picky and turns up his nose at many of his safe foods.
For instance, I outlined the trouble we’ve had getting him to eat sweet potato for the trial. I finally found the way to get him to eat more sweet potato than I could imagine: sweet potato ice cream! He’ll scarf down 2 cups of that in one sitting and be a happy little guy!
It works, but it would be very nice to be able to just serve him his foods without resorting to cleverness and trickery.
Maybe salt can make that happen.
So Saturday night we served him his chicken for dinner, but this time we sprinkled some salt on it.
It went great! No problems at all!
The next day I added 1 tsp. of salt to a batch of cookies I made for him. Obviously these aren’t sweet, dessert cookies; they came out more like a savory dinner bread. But it worked, and he ate them.
Every food we can, we shake some salt on for flavoring.
Fingers crossed it continues to go well!
As for Mr. Jed, well, he’s had a bit of a tricky week.
I’ve been making the Quinoa Breakfast Bake for him for ages, and he’s never had a problem with it at all. Last Monday, he begged me for a “black cake” – Jed-speak for Chocolate Cake – so I added some cocoa powder to the breakfast bake and made him his requested black cake.
It was all he wanted to eat for two days!
For two days, he was also a miserable human being to be around.
He had absolutely zero self-control; tantrums and screaming fits over the mildest of inconveniences. He grew increasingly aggressive, too, hitting me and Zac and screaming at me “I don’t like people! I don’t like anything!”
I thought I’d lose my mind. When he gets like this, it’s clearly a food reaction of some kind so I try very hard to be patient and gentle in my approach to him. Certainly I correct his behavior and follow through with consequences and punishments if necessary, but I try to remember: this isn’t Jed.
This is Jed on drugs.
It’s just that in our case, the drugs are his food.
But y’all, it is so. hard. to not lose my cool completely when my older son suddenly goes off on a rage and does something horrible to me or his brother!
Well, as is typical for him, he bounced back a day and a half after the last ingestion and was typical, charming, wonderful Jed again.
In the meantime, I had found some maple syrup candies at the health food co-op that I happily bought for him.
It’s the first store-bought candy he’s ever been able to eat!
We decided to allocate it as a reward for completing all his chores for the day. One piece of candy for earning all 6 stars.
Hey, it’s cheaper than buying a new train every week!
And it worked! He was trying to finish all his chores before noon so he could get another piece of candy. Very cute.
Unfortunately, all week he was just…difficult. Not nearly as horrible as the Monday/Tuesday “black cake” debacle, but just stubborn, willful, argumentative, and combative.
Yesterday morning he found my maple syrup candy hiding place and ate an entire package – 6 pieces – at one time. Little sneak!
At first I was just upset that he’d disobeyed me. I understand the temptation; it’s hard for kids to control themselves around candy, after all. So I wasn’t furious, just upset.
Later, though, I was frustrated and hurt. Within hours of eating the candy, he turned into the maniac that visited us on Monday and Tuesday.
He refused to do his chores. He screamed at everything. He flung his body around and angrily exclaimed that he “hated everything and everyone”.
This is NOT normal for a typically happy 4 year old, y’all!
I went to the Fructose Malabsorption Parents group on FB for help. Is it possible, I wondered, that the cooking process of the cocoa powder and maple syrup made them more “fructose-y”? He’s eaten both with no problems before, but always they were room temperature or cold.
The parents there suggested that his issues sounded more like an amine or salicylate intolerance.
Isn’t it ever possible to get a break? We feel confident we’re finally outgrowing FPIES, but now we get to delve into another bizarre food issue?
One step forward, one step back.
I’m getting tired of the food intolerance waltz.
But I’m so relieved to know that Jed truly is a wonderful child…except when his food is messing with him. Knowing what sort of amazing person exists behind the food attitude makes me want to fight even more to find the answers to help him.
Have you dealt with amine or salicylate issues before? What are your go-to resources for help?