Paleo Diet to Heal Eczema and Dermatitis in Children –
This is a guest post from a friend of mine who is using the Using the Paleo Diet to heal Eczema and Dermatitis in Children, especial her own daughter Eliza. I have been seeing Elisa picture on Facebook since she was born. Alison, Eliza’s mother is a health coach who lives in the East Bay and I ofter saw her posts about how she was struggling to heal her daughters Eczema. She was seeing many specialist and trying many different treatments until she finally found something that worked. Read the rest of the story below:
Paleo Diet to Heal Eczema and Dermatitis in Children
Back in 2010 I discovered the Paleo diet when I worked with a health coach and found that I was highly sensitive to grains and processed sugar. I cleaned up my diet, dropped 30 pounds and more importantly I felt GREAT! In the summer of 2011 I found out I was pregnant and I knew that I wanted to feed my child this way. And one of my worries was that people would think I was weird or that my wishes wouldn’t be respected by those who were not on board with the Paleo way of eating. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey that would make Paleo a necessity.
Eliza arrived in March of 2012 and I was lucky that I was able to nurse her because I didn’t want to put her on formula. When she was 3 months old she started getting eczema on her face. A couple of months later we took her to an allergist and before she was even eating solid foods we found that she was allergic dairy, eggs, peanuts and bananas. She came up questionable for wheat but I am grain free and planned for her to be as well so that wasn’t an issue. I tried to eliminate those things out of my diet since I was still nursing her but nothing seemed to help. Then I had the double whammy of going back to work and I was not able to pump enough so I guiltily supplemented with formula. It made me sad to see that the first ingredient in it was corn syrup solids but I didn’t know what else to do.
She continued to have eczema all over her body but it was worse on her face. She would scratch her face and it would bleed and she would get constant infections. I was desperate to try and figure out what was causing it because the dermatologist and allergist helped as best as they could but it still wasn’t enough. I am a certified health coach and knew it was probably something in her formula but I felt so helpless because I did not know what else to feed her since I was “supposed” to give her formula to grow. It was my first child and while I had strong feelings about certain things, I also felt helpless when it came to infant nutrition. She was small and only in the 10th percentile for weight so I did not want to do anything to keep her from growing. It was such an uncertain and scary time.
We introduced solid foods and she seemed fine but still had constant eczema flares. I found a Chinese medicine doctor who helped with the inflammation but because we were not treating the cause, the eczema always came back. My husband and I suspected that she was having a reaction to corn and the “corn syrup solids” in her formula but again felt at a loss about what to feed her and were scared to just give her water. I spent months searching online for solutions and trying to find a baby formula that did not contain dairy, casein or soy. I came up empty. Finally I gave in and tried Baby’s Only Organic Soy formula. I didn’t feel comfortable about this but also felt like I had no choice. She seemed to get better for a few days and then her eczema flared again and I figured it was because of the soy.
So…I continued my research and told my story to every mom I encountered and FINALLY, when Eliza was 10 months old, a fellow mom was able to truly help me. I will never forget. She told me about a book called What’s Eating Your Child, by Kelly Dorfman, and said it included a “formula” recommendation of coconut milk, rice and/or almond milk and a special powder formulated for babies with multiple food allergies.
Lo and behold, IT WORKED! Her eczema cleared up within a few days. I couldn’t stop staring at her clear skin. I shouted from the rooftops, posted on Facebook and pretty much danced in the street. So now we know that in addition to the above mentioned allergies she also had intolerances to corn and soy. Her body basically dictated that she become Paleo (minus the eggs).
She is 2 years old now and is happy, healthy and very smart and talkative. She loves salmon, grass-fed ground beef and steak and turkey. Her meals consist of meat, veggies, fruit and healthy fat, usually avocado. Carrots, broccoli and cucumber are her go-to veggies at the moment. And her favorite fruits are strawberries, grapes and apples. We make Paleo meals for ourselves for dinner (Practical Paleo is and Against All Grain have our favorite recipes) and she eats them too and really seems to be into spices and different flavors, which I love. I never gave her rice cereal when she started out eating and just gave her real food. It took some time but now we have a system. We cook and cut up meat or fish once or twice a week and portion it out into containers for her breakfast and lunches because she loves meat and we don’t have time to cook every time she is hungry. We always have cut veggies and fruit for her to snack on.
But alas, we are not perfect. Snacktime seems to be a challenge and she has opinions and asks for certain things. We rely on Happy Family fruit and veggie squeeze packs and Go Go Squeeze applesauce for snacks. She loves raisins but I try not to give her too many because they are high in sugar. She does sometimes eat Happy Family gluten-free puffs made of rice because let’s face it, it’s not always easy to be perfectly Paleo all the time. And I have a special local cupcake shop that makes gluten, dairy, corn and soy-free cupcakes that I freeze and take out to bring when she goes to birthday parties so she doesn’t feel left out.
I have learned so much from all of my struggles with Eliza’s eczema that my health coaching business now focuses on helping other moms who are going through the same thing I went through. I want to help moms figure out what their child is eating that is aggravating their eczema and then I want to help them learn how to feed their child once they figure out which foods they have to eliminate. I want to show people that feeding your child healthy food is totally possible and does not have to take too much time!
If you enjoyed this post and want to hear more, sign up for my email updates on healthybellyhealthylife.com.
If you need to book a 30 minute Healthy Baby Breakthrough Session with me, make an appointment and let’s talk!
Read my other post 6 Secret Eczema Solutions here
Books I reccomend to heal from Eczema:
Many of my past clients have had a lot of luck with The GAPS Diet.
This book walks you through how to do an elimination diet and how to slowly reintroduce foods to gauge reactions.