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Help me with DD's diet

(55 Posts)

DD is 16mo. She has had a runny nose/full on cold/cough almost ever since she was born-even the midwives in hospital commented that she was very mucusy. The weeks she's NOT ill stand out in my memory! She currently has a really bad cough and cold, has just come off antibiotics for a chest infection, had an ear infection (and more antibiotics) before Christmas and has had a vomiting bug twice.

Does this seem excessive in her short little life? I keep thinking that her immune system must be really bad for her to get all these bugs, but I THINK she has a good diet. A typical day at the moment:

Breakfast of ready brek or sometimes a piece of buttered toast with jam
and a bottle of full fat milk.

Lunch depends if she's at home or nursery-at nursery it's always a full hot meal and at home it's either something simple and hot, like beans on toast with cheese, or something cold like cheese, ham, vegetable sticks (like a salad) and new potatoes.

In the afternoon she sometimes has a snack of a breadstick, rice cake or a bit of fruit if she's hungry.

Tea is always a hot meal-we did BLW so she just eats with us and I cook without salt. Examples-risotto, bolognese, chilli, stew, pasta, omelette etc. She then usually has fruit for pudding, sometimes with yoghurt.

She has another bottle before bed.

We give her Abidec in the mornings with her breakfast. She's never been breastfed as she wouldn't latch on at all, despite the efforts of many midwives and health visitors. I am still hmm about this and upset that her immune system might be rubbish because of it. She was on Aptamil first milk until a year and has had full fat cow's milk since then.

Am I missing something here? Is her diet not as good as I think? She's always eaten pretty much anything she's given and the only thing she doesn't like is green beans! She rarely has junk-she had a tiny bit of chocolate cake on her birthday but on a day to day basis she doesn't eat sweet things except fruit.

I just don't want her to be so ill all the time. GP says it's just life but it honestly seems constant. The last time she didn't have a cold was August.

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 09:48:04

The average number of colds a child gets in their first few years is huge. If symptoms last for a week each time it can feel permanent. I suspect that if she had been breastfed and had the same amount of illnesses you would just think she was unlucky. Let it go - you can't turn back time. She sounds like she has an absolutely fantastic diet! As she gets older you'll find she picks up fewer things. Nursery is a bugger for spreading stuff around.

Thank you, that's encouraging. I think I'm not helped by my DM always making 'sympathetic' noises along the lines of 'they do say bottle fed babies get more colds...' She also gets constipated quite a lot (DD that is, not DM grin) and DM is convinced that's because she wasn't breastfed too.

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 11:32:13

Stop with the milk! Dairy is mucous-forming.
My child is 2.3, has never had dairy, and never had a cold.

Better sources of calcium are:
Green leafy vegetables: spring greens, kale, broccoli, parsley.
(Spinach is not a good source of calcium. It is high in calcium, but the calcium is bound to oxalates and therefore poorly absorbed.)
Fortified foods such as soya milk
White flour (as calcium is added by law) and white flour products
Calcium-set tofu
Oranges 
Figs and black molasses

Examples of amounts of foods providing 100mg calcium3

Type of Food
grams

Almonds
42g

Black Treacle
18g

Broccoli
250g

Carob
29g

Chickpeas (boiled)
217g

Curly Kale (boiled)
67g

Currants
108g

Chickpea flour
56g

Figs
40g

Oranges
212g

Soya Milk (calcium-fortified)
83g

Spring Greens (cooked)
133g

Tahini
15g

Tofu (made with calcium sulphate)
33g

Watercress (uncooked)
59g

White Plain Flour
71g

Wholemeal Flour
263g

White Bread
56g

Wholemeal Bread
94g

Brown Bread
54g

Granary Bread
48g

recall Sun 20-Jan-13 11:41:37

antoinette looking back, I remember once realising that my daughter had had a cough/cold for about 12 weeks, I have 3, and they were always snotty. And thinking about it, my mate's son used to run a temperature very regularly, about every 2 or 3 weeks. It seems to settle as they get older. I suffer from health anxiety, and would always get very frightened when they were ill, it feels like i spent the last 5 years in total fear. They are all fine now, and they do get colds etc, but seem to deal with it more easily. I remember coming on here, and someone (in true MN style) said they weren't "ill" just having common ailments, that snapped me out of it a bit. As well as diet, I think that a feeling of well being is important for health, a feeling that everything is alright in their little world. (not trying to patronise there smile )

Really? I thought they needed it for calcium and fat...it seems quite extreme to put a baby on a dairy-free diet. Did your baby have a lactose allergy? I don't think DD has any allergies.

Ontesterhooks Sun 20-Jan-13 11:59:33

Think of it as her building her immunity, my ds had a lot of colds as he was at nursery from 9 months, from the age of 3 the number dropped and he also shrugs offost illnesses much better than a friends dd who didn't go to nursery and is making up for it now by catching everything going at school (and missing a lot of school because of it !)

Thanks all, I think the idea of 'ailments' as opposed to illnesses is a good one-I'm just a bit paranoid I think. (And not totally over my PND.) I hope she has an amazing immune system when she's older to make up for all this!

brettgirl2 Sun 20-Jan-13 12:16:58

I think you need to tell your mum to stop making nasty snide comments about you not breastfeeding and how it's upsetting you. FWIW the breastfed babies I have known tend to get more things slightly later. In the end they surely all have to build their own immunity?

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 12:20:00

Milk absolutely definitely is not mucus forming. There is no evidence whatsoever to support this theory.

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 12:56:27

Ok, well try it, OP, try cutting out the dairy, and see if your child's health improves. The milk and the cheese.
Dairy is bad for us. It leaches calcium from our bones. I have listed better sources for you.
No, my child doesn't have allergies, I just believe dairy is very unhealthy. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that he has never had a cold.
Admittedly he does not go to nursery, but he does go to soft play/gym class/music class/play centre etc, out in all weathers.

brettgirl2 Sun 20-Jan-13 13:00:57

I agree OP that entirely dairy free seems extreme. However 2 bottles of milk is also a lot of dairy on top of dairy in diet. I might try cutting it down.

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 13:03:02

Again, there is no evidence that dairy is mucus forming. Just saying.

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 13:06:36

Cutting out dairy is not extreme. Continuing to consume it when a little research shows it it unhealthy, is extreme.
I have not had dairy in 13 years and haven't had a cold in all that time.

Here is some reading for you.

www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/dairy-free-dairy-6-reason_b_558876.html

www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2003/dec/13/foodanddrink.weekend

saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

Hth.

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 13:12:20

nora, there is stacks of evidence that dairy is more harmful than beneficial, including being mucous forming. I am not saying drink milk and you will get mucous straight away. But get a hint of a cold, and your milk consumption will mean that cold sticks, and gets worse, and you will get mucousy and phlegmy and snotty. Don't have dairy in your diet, and you have more chances of warding off that virus.

Here, for starters: www.thechinastudy.com/the-china-study/about/

In kinda with lentil! Dd2 was snotty and gunky from day one. She only stopped getting so many colds when her milk was switched to pepti formula. She's been dairy free now for two years and hardly ever gets ill despite the crap get older sister has brought home from school. My dd1 caught everything in reception and has yet to have a day off since I took her off milk a month before the summer holidays.

BUT I do agree that there's alot of conflicting information out there and it's totally the op's choice. I can understand why people find it hard to live without milk as its something many rely on when u have children. And u don't reAlise how much til u stop.

I hope your dd feels better soon op

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 13:27:02

I am so pleased you have found an improvement in your DDs' health since giving up dairy, that is wonderful.

I agree there is lots of conflicting evidence out there. We can find 'evidence' for anything. In such cases, I think it makes sense to follow the money! Who is providing the 'evidence' for milk being good? Why, the dairy industry! Or, the government, having been paid by the dairy industry to do so!
Who is telling us dairy is bad? Lots of people, with nothing to gain.

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 13:33:24

I am not saying dairy is not bad for you (and in terms of animal welfare pretty evil). I am just saying it is not mucous forming here

Sarahplane Sun 20-Jan-13 13:35:00

My ds is 16 months too and in the last 3 months has had countless colds, diarrhoea, bronchiolitis and chicken pox. I feel like he's been constantly ill recently too but our gp says it's normal at this age and this time of year, especially when they're at nursery. My nephew who's 18 months and breastfed is very similar so don't beat yourself up about it. They just need to build up there immune system I think.

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 13:37:01

Follows money ...

Some kids r just sickly kids regardless and they often just grow out of it. I know how awful I felt watching my dd sniffle and struggle for weeks. She had bronchiolitus twice and was never right inbetween. We were always up at night spraying saline up her nose desperate to clear the crap out of it. And I've no doubt with both my dds that the no milk was the best decision I ever made they r so much better for it. And agree that with the dairy industry funding god knows what ( make mine milk posters etc at your drs, cafes, sporting events etc) no ones gonna want to loose that by announcing its a bad thing!

op how about some home made soups, lentil chilli ginger squash etc are all really good for u and I always break out the soup when dd1 was ill in reception. It's a great way to cram
In as many veges as possible. As is a homemade tomato and veg sauce that you can use for bolognase and pasta etc. would u consider done vitamin drops? Fruit smoothies made from fruit juices whizzed up with berries, apples kiwis? Do u hae a juicer. Carrot orange and ginger for instance would be good. Heat of the ginger clears sinuses and carrot contains beta Carotine and orange juice helps you absorb iron. Could help.

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 13:39:04

There's money to be made for the other side too (look at homeopathy). Please keep an open mind in life.

cocolepew Sun 20-Jan-13 13:39:29

When DD2 was younger I stopped giving her so much dairy, she was incredibly snotty. It really helped her.

My brother saw a ENT specialist who told him to cut out dairy and nuts, of all things.

shrinkingnora Sun 20-Jan-13 13:40:05

And bear in mind that I have had long periods of being dairy free and being vegan.

TitHead Sun 20-Jan-13 13:50:51

My DS has suffered with constipation from a few weeks old. He is now 2.2yrs we were told by the gp that milk can be constipating. Although he still has some milk in his diet we have cut it right down and noticed a massive difference.

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