Sciencewomen

This must be blog-about-food-issues week….

…because I just got a call from Minnow’s daycare saying that she’d accidentally been given two foods that she hadn’t yet been introduced to: Orange juice and cheese crackers. Apparently, a substitute teacher didn’t bother to read the menu circling which foods Minnow was and wasn’t eating. So, what’s the big deal about a little snack.

No less a mainstream source than babycenter.com has this to say about introducing citrus fruits:
“Citrus fruits — such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines — are very acidic and can cause stomach upset or diarrhea in babies. That’s why doctors recommend that you wait until your child is at least 12 months old to offer any citrus fruits or juices. What’s so special about turning 1? That’s the age when most babies’ digestive system is fairly developed and can handle the acid in these fruits without problems.”

And, well, cheese crackers have dairy by definition (and probably soy too)…and I think I’ve made it pretty clear why Minnow isn’t routinely chowing down on dairy.

So I was pretty ticked. The daycare has given Minnow the wrong foods before, but always just someone else’s jar food and it’s never been potential (or known) allergens.

Fortunately when I was able to talk to the center director, she gave me exactly the answer I wanted to hear. She was pretty livid too and she promised that all teachers who ever work in the infant rooms (including floaters and subs) would be getting extensive, individual training on infant nutrition. Because there could have been a major allergic reaction to an unintroduced food. (Minnow’s asleep now and seems fine, but I’ll bet we pay for their mistake later tonight.) The center director further promised that if there were any more violations after this that the employee would face disciplinary action.

It’s funny…when I started this post, I was pissed. Then the phone rang and the director and I spoke, and now I’m pleased with how seriously they are treating this. Mistakes happen, I get it. It’s the response to the mistakes that determines whether I’m going to continue to trust my precious Minnow to their care or not, and for now the trust remains. So long as they don’t go giving her any peanut butter and bubble gum….

Comments

  1. #1 Lisa
    November 6, 2007

    That’s ridiculous! It would be one thing if she got the babies confused and gave Minnow something that most other babies would be fine with (that would still be bad, of course) but it seems so much worse to give her food which MOST babies shouldn’t be eating before one year, like cow’s milk and, apparently, citrus fruits.
    I hope my son doesn’t have any allergies (he hasn’t started any foods yet)–it annoys me to try to buy 100% whole grain or no added sugar, which is more optional, nevermind having to read all the labels thinking about multiple allergens!
    Lisa

  2. #2 ScienceMama
    November 6, 2007

    A somewhat similar story from Bean’s daycare this week.

    One of the toddlers managed to wander away from the gym during the toddlers playtime, and ended up in the parking lot. It was the middle of the day, and the teacher noticed immediately and found the child who was not hurt. But the child could have been seriously injured if it were morning drop off or afternoon pick up time.

    Anyway, the school’s director let all the parents know about their mistake immediately, and plans are already in the works to install new fencing and double security doors on the entrances to both the school and the gym to make sure it never happens again.

    Again, a pretty serious mistake, but I felt like the school’s transparency, combined with how seriously they addressed the issue, made me feel a lot better.

  3. #3 ScienceWoman
    November 6, 2007

    Well, Minnow has now thrown up 3 times and is sleeping that deep sleep of the sick child. I’m back to being pissed. Cross your fingers that she sleeps well and wakes up feeling better.

  4. #4 Sicilian
    November 6, 2007

    A couple of thoughts for you. . . .
    Minnow gets exposed to lots of viruses. . . might just be virus related
    2nd realize that some people enjoy making your children eat things that you would not like them to eat. It is usually relatives, but be prepared to fight the world about what you choose to feed your kid. I hated for my kids to eat candy when they were young. . . . however . . . my family thought my kids were being deprived and would feed them lots of things that I did not want them to eat.
    In perspective now. . . both are grown. . . . I suspect I stressed and made to big a deal about diet with the kids. . . . and what is sadder to me. . . . when I get around my family. . . . all they remember is how I wouldn’t let the kids eat this and that. My kids. . . they look at them kind of funny. . . . their perspective is very different. . . and life goes on.
    Ciao

  5. #5 makita
    November 7, 2007

    My mother-in-law is rumored to have offered her first granddaughter a really nice, home-made flan at 3 months of age. She was apparently shocked and deeply offended when the girl’s mother got pissed and explained that she was exclusively breastfed at the time.

    Hi Sicilian, I’m with you on the candy. When I was little I never had candy, and I truly resent people offering my kids candy. Luckily my kids like the *idea* of candy, but when it comes down to it, they can’t eat much of it. On Halloween I pretty much let them have what they want. I’m not a monster (I think).

    I hope Minnow feels better. Sorry you had to go through this. I guess you’ve learned that citrus juice and cheese crackers are out.

  6. #6 ScienceWoman
    November 7, 2007

    we’re still puking and having diarrhea around here. Minnow will be home sick today, which means that Fish and I will each miss part of a workday…it’s like an anti-daycare. I am SO not amused.

  7. #7 ecogeofemme
    November 7, 2007

    I hope she gets better quickly. Food allergies seem to be everywhere lately. It was Newsweek’s cover story a couple of weeks ago.

  8. #8 ScienceWoman
    November 7, 2007

    Minnow seems to be doing somewhat better now and is holding down a few ounces of breast milk and water (oddly, she wasn’t enamored with the orange-flavored pedialyte). I talked with a pediatric nurse who suggested that there is a vomit-inducing virus going around the babies in town and that it’s unlikely that the foods alone caused all this (though she couldn’t believe the daycare would give her those things). The current working hypothesis in our household is that Minnow was probably fighting the virus and doing OK until the foods upset her stomach, at which point all hell broke loose. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a controlled experiment on this sort of thing. And hopefully no replication of results either…

  9. #9 soil mama
    November 7, 2007

    Crap! we have delt with the same issues for our little allergic baby. It really sucks and my daycare was not all that responsive and I have had to continue to fight to be able to provide all of her food.

    what minnow had was a classic FPIES, or non-IGE meadiated reaction. most people, including medical professionals, are not really aware of them and will tell you that it was just a virus. I think people have a hard time believing it is a reaction since the baby doesn’t break out in hives immediately. But when you read the experiences of others who have delt with the kind of allergies you are dealing with, you will see that this is likely not a virus. the parents of food allergic kids is a great resource and has a group for FPIES parents. most of these reactions don’t happen till 2 to 6 hours after ingestion, then you get lots of vomit and diarrhea followed by a day or 2 of generally not feeling well it is also not uncommon for them to pretty much pass out and sleep for very long periods.

    for our soy trial last weekend, my LO got a bit fussy within the first couple hours, then crashed and slept for 4 hours in the middle of the day, then woke up vomiting (6 hours after ingestion) then was fussy and not feeling well for the rest of the weekend… needless to say that the soy challenge was a fail.

    babe just woke up… let me know if you have any questions, but I really don’t think that this was a virus given your (minnow’s) history.

    many hugs!

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