Last week was the first full week we ate dairy-free as a family at dinner time. Before that, I was just giving E a mish-mash of things we had on hand that she could eat: different meats, zucchini noodles, almond yogurt, fruit, bread. Now that we know we’re in it for the long haul with her allergies, I’ve been in full planning mode and really trying to settle in to this as a lifestyle rather than something more temporary. Here are some of the things we tried this past week:
- Non-spicy Turkey Chili: E strongly disliked it at first, but eventually I figured out it’s because she didn’t want to be spoon-fed. The spoon is her sworn enemy. It was a mess, but I eventually spooned the chili on to her high chair tray and let her have at it with her hands. Turns out she LOVES chili…as long as she can feed it to herself.
- Spaghetti: Made with jarred sauce (ingredients checked, because Ragu contains milk) and ground beef. E went bonkers over it. She shoved it into her mouth by the fistful and ate about twice as much as I expected her to. When all was said and done, her face, hands, clothes, and high chair tray were all covered in spaghetti sauce. At this point I strongly considered feeding her naked in the bathtub until she learns how to feed herself with utensils.
- Gumbo: Made (by grandma) with chicken, sausage, onions, tomatoes, and okra. It’s served over rice but I just picked out the chicken and veggies and fed them to E. It was E’s first time eating okra and I expected her to hate it but she’s actually a big fan!
We’ve also been trying out a little bit of goat’s milk for E. About 20% of babies with a true milk allergy are able to tolerate goat’s milk, but 80% have a reaction similar to the one they get with cow’s milk. I’ve only given E a couple of tablespoons of goat’s milk at a time but so far she hasn’t had a reaction to it. Fingers crossed this will be an option for her as we wean her off of her formula within the next few months.
While we’ve been experimenting with E’s food, we’ve also been doing a lot of practice walking. E finally lets us hold her hands and walk her around the house, although she still prefers pushing the chairs around the kitchen on her own. She can stand independently for 10-15 seconds at a time, but so far the most we’ve gotten out of her on her own is one single step.
One thing that’s really helped with her ability to stand and work toward becoming more mobile is her baby gymnastics classes. We go once a week for a 45-minute class, and I think it’s E’s favorite part of the whole weekend.