Since birth, Aden has had dry, sensitive skin and in the last few months, he's battled a nasty rash on his neck, chest, armpits and head. I've tried all the over-the-counter creams and lotions and nothing seems to truly remedy the issue. His pediatrician chocks it up to the harsh climate we live in, saying he sees babies and kids all day long with irritated skin caused by the dry, cold weather.
It's one thing to have dry skin (I think everyone has some level of this in the wintertime), but Aden's re-occurring rash is different. My poor boy breaks out in a rash a few times a week and itches his face, head, neck, chest and legs so badly he's left with bloody scratches all over his body. I keep baby mittens or socks on his hands 24/7 to prevent him from injuring himself, but now Aden's learned to bite the mittens off to free his hands. Clearly he's finding ways to scratch despite my efforts.
I might sound a little crazy, but I also worry about the development of Aden's hand/eye coordination because we wears mittens/socks on his hands all the time. If his hands are covered, he can't practice grasping or holding onto toys and the few minutes his hands are free, he looks at them like they're foreign objects. But, every time I take his mittens off, he scratches himself something fierce.
The doctor recommended an over-the-counter anti-itch cream to treat rash flare-ups and doses of Children's Benedryl to relieve Aden's discomfort. It works - temporarily - but I can't keep treating his symptoms this way every other day. My poor baby is suffering!
A friend of mine said her pediatrician recommended eliminating dairy when her son went through something similar as a baby. I've never thought much about what I eat and how it may affect Aden. Two days ago, I made a pot of my favorite Tomato Tortellini Soup (which is full of milk, cream and acidic tomatoes) and the next morning Aden woke up with a horrible rash on his head. Coincidence? Maybe.
So, I thought it might be worth a try to eliminate dairy from my diet for Aden's sake. What can it hurt to try it and see if dairy's the culprit for all his skin irritations. Yesterday was my first day cutting dairy and man, it's challenging. I never realized how many things contain milk until I tried to avoid it.
For breakfast, I usually have a bowl of oatmeal and coffee (black, so no issue there). Sometimes, I'll eat peanut butter toast and a banana. Those are my typical breakfast staples, so no big hardship there.
Dinners are fairly easy because we tend to eat a lot of baked chicken, shredded beef/pork in the Crockpot, etc. served with a steamed vegetable on the side. Cut out my occasional glass of milk and dairy's fairly easy to avoid during that meal.
It's lunchtime that's really throwing me for a loop. I'm a big soup and sandwich girl, and Tory and I usually have grilled cheese and tomato soup, turkey and cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or a cheese quesadilla with a side of sour cream during the week. Ranch is my favorite salad dressing, so even my go-to leafy green selection (lettuce, cottage cheese, croutons and Ranch) is out of the question.
So, I need some lunch ideas! What are some of your favorite dairy-free lunch meals? Preferably something quick and easy to prepare. Toddler-friendly ideas aren't mandatory, but ideally I wouldn't be preparing two lunches for both Tory and I on a daily basis.
Ready, GO! Leave me a comment; I'd love to hear from you. And hopefully, kicking dairy from my diet proves to be the answer to Aden's skin issues.