Monday, July 29, 2013

Top 8 Food Allergy Elimination Diet: Meal and Snack ideas

Our baby was diagnosed with eczema when he was 3.5 months old.  Eczema is a skin condition that often results from an allergy.  Food allergies or food intolerance can be a major source of skin irritation in babies.  We know that breastfeeding can reduce eczema and that switching to formula usually exacerbates eczema symptoms.  However, foods consumed by the nursing mother can have a huge impact on the severity of the eczema. 
The top eight most allergenic foods are: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy. These foods account for 90% of all food allergies [Enjoy Life Foods].  Since I am breastfeeding our baby, I went on a food elimination diet to help reduce his eczema symptoms.  I chose to eliminate all of the top eight allergenic foods besides fish and shellfish (allergies to these are typically affecting adults).  So, what do I eat?

Allergy-free food ideas:

  • Oatmeal made with water, topped brown sugar and coconut milk
  • Enjoy Life snack bars
  • Fresh fruits
  • Raw seed mixes
  • Banana ice cream (two frozen bananas pureed and mixed with cocoa powder) topped with Hershey's chocolate syrup 
  • Coconut ice cream
  • Hummus with baby carrots
  • Guacamole with corn chips

Main dishes:
  • Rice with lentils mixed with cider vinegar, olive oil, and fresh mint leaves
  • Black beans, corn, rice, bell pepper, topped with olive oil and salsa
  • Tacos with corn tortillas topped with lettuce and tomato
  • Green salad topped with chicken and served with olive oil, salt, and black pepper as dressing 
  • Brown rice noodles with shredded chicken and cooked vegetables (visit your local Asian market for a variety of different rice noodles)
  • Steak, potatoes, fresh vegetables
  • Fish cooked in olive oil with salt and pepper (Note: fish is often allergenic in adults)
  • Bean and ground beef casserole
  • Bacon wrapped chicken thighs
  • Chili
  • Tomales, Burrito Bowl, many authentic Mexican dishes (check out Chipotle for a dinner out)
  • Homemade soups (just watch out for wheat "aka caramel color" or soy in broths)

These are just a few food ideas, but there are a surprising number of dishes that are OK to eat on this diet. I am really taking advantage of the fresh summer fruits and vegetables. I'm even noticing some health benefits for myself.  We do a lot of our cooking from scratch and that makes it incredibly easy to make substitutions or eliminations.  I have taken some suggestions from a fellow blogger over at Sunshine Praises and I encourage you to check out her list of ideas for the dairy intolerant baby.  I will continue to add to this list of meal and snack ideas and I would love to hear your comments about other favorite non-allergen containing food ideas.


  1. Aren't those 8 foods about 90% of what we eat? ;) In all seroiusness, though, it's awesome to be able to find the cause of what's bothering your baby and fix it!

    1. Yes!! I just finished reading the book "Wheat Belly" which is an awesome read even if you don't have food allergies. It points out how wheat has taken over the American diet. I think the imbalance of wheat in our diet can have some problems for our health in general. Even though this has been a hard journey, it has really helped our family take a close look at what goes into our bodies. We now spend much more time visiting the local farmers markets and prepping fresh foods together.

  2. My son's eczema flared horribly from potatoes. It took us forever to figure that out since who gets a bash rash from potatoes? Also, it was only potatoes in their unprocessed form. He was fine if he ate a tator tot at someone's house.

    1. That's the first potato allergy I've heard of! We've been doing a daily food-log which records all the things I eat and when. It was a huge help in hashing out some of the allergens. We found out LO gets a rash if I drink red wine as well.

  3. I have very little experience with allergies as no one in my family is allergic to anything besides seasonal allergies. I hope that the diet allows you to easily pinpoint the problem food(s) and that it isn't anything too drastic.

  4. These allergy-free food ideas are very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  5. So great to see a post on the top 8 elimination diet and infants. Great food suggestions!

  6. My 7 month old daughter has chronic Eczema. This week I decided to cut the top 8 allergens from my diet. I am so hopeful that this will help relieve my daughter of the constant itching and inflammation. Thank you list listing meal choices. Very helpgul!