If you have a kid who's been diagnosed with an allergy to dairy, you're probably driving yourself crazy scanning food labels for potential triggers: Butter solids, casein, whey, dry milk powder. But you might be able to relax a little bit where muffins and other baked goods are concerned. Research shows that kids who regularly ate muffins with milk baked into the batter actually got over their allergies faster than kids who avoided milk entirely.
The muffins aren't a guarantee and wouldn't be recommended for all kids, but this is promising news for any parent who's given up hope of their child ever growing out of their food allergies. When my son was very small, he was allergic to milk, soy, eggs, and every type of nut. I was told that his only chance for someday getting past his sensitivities was for me to keep him away from those foods at all costs. And so I tried, I really did, but every so often, he would get a bite of a cookie or something made with dairy that my older daughter was eating, and even if it wasn't enough for him to break out into hives, I would worry that his little immune system had been compromised even further. Apparently, I was building up his immune system and unwittingly curing my son of his milk allergy using the "exposure desensitization" technique, which works by giving kids very small amounts of an offending substance over an extended period of time.
My son, now 5 years old, is no longer allergic to anything except peanuts and tree nuts, and I couldn't be more relieved. Because I'll never forget what it felt like sitting in the pediatric allergist's office, being handed the list of edibles that could make my son sick. Back then, I felt like my son was getting a life sentence for a crime he didn't commit. So if you've got a little one who's currently on the rice-only diet (seems no one on the planet is or ever has been allergic to rice?), don't lose hope! Bake muffins instead.
Do you have a child with food allergies? Do you think "exposure desensitization" could help?
Image via N i c o l a/Flickr