Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I have theories


I really should have been a scientist. I can't read news articles, particularly about children or health, without coming up with random unsupportable theories as to why stuff happens.

You can't read parenting blogs as much as I do without running into the issue of allergies pretty regularly. I have a theory about allergies that I haven't read or heard anywhere else.
I think more kids have allergies now because fewer kids are breastfed. It seems to me that a baby is exposed to everything the mother eats when she's breastfeeding. Whatever protein causes allergy to peanuts, for example, is still in Mom's milk, but it is filtered through her system and put in a baby-appropriate form. So that by the time a breastfed baby starts food, she has already been exposed to all of those proteins. On the other hand, when a baby is fed formula, she is exposed to formula. So, her body hasn't had the chance to "meet" all of those proteins and micronutrients and stuff, and when she starts solid food a year (or 7 years later, if you follow the current recommendations for peanuts, which I so don't), her little body freaks right out.

Doesn't that make sense? Am I the only person thinking about this?

I think the reason I'm thinking about this is because I've played it pretty fast and loose with Claire and solid foods. With Mary Grace, I had a spreadsheet that told me exactly when she could try each new food, and I followed it religiously. With Claire, I've ignored the spreadsheet. MG didn't have any issues with any of the foods she tried (except cow's milk, which upset her stomach, so we delayed that until she was around 18 months old). BJ and I don't have any food allergies. So, I figured, "Why not?" and thought I'd just sensibly ignore the recommendations (for the most part) and just feed her whatever she seemed interested in trying. So far, it's working. She hasn't had any problems with anything. I guess we'll see if my theory holds. But boy am I going to feel like an idiot if she ends up allergic to everything (and here I've entered my complete disregard for allergies into the Historical Record for all the world to see! Eek!).

1 comment:

B.J. said...

"I can't read news articles, particularly about children or health, without coming up with random unsupportable theories as to why stuff happens."

Maybe not a scientist but you are well on your way to being a member of congress.