Big Bad Wheat

April 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm 2 comments


Wheat is part of the ‘Highly Allergenic’ food list, much to the dismay of many people.  Wheat is such a staple in our diet it is hard to imagine not giving your baby a piece of whole wheat toast or a cracker to chew on when it is time to introduce finger foods.

It is important to keep wheat out of your baby’s diet until he or she is one year old.

When a baby is born her stomach is like a large fishing net; there are large holes.  These ‘holes’ allow the nutrients in your breastmilk to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream so your baby gets optimal nutrition, with minimal work.  As your baby ages her stomach ‘net’ gets tighter and more selective.  As larger nutrients are consumed by your baby, those nutrients must be digested by the stomach and the small intestine where the nutrients are broken down appropriately to be released into the bloodstream.

Wheat contains the protein ‘gluten’ which is a large protein.  If you introduce wheat to your baby before his stomach is ready to digest it, the protein slips through ‘the net’ and into the bloodstream without being broken down accordingly by the digestive system.  Your baby’s immune system recognizes it as an invader and ‘attacks’.  If this occurs repeatedly your baby’s immune system tires of attacking it and eventually just recognizes it as an allergy and other symptoms (eczema, frequent infections, runny nose, etc) occur.

Keeping wheat out of your baby’s diet is not too difficult.  Brown rice is a good substitute.  You can buy brown rice pasta in fun kiddie shapes.   Brown Rice cakes are good crackers, if you break them into small pieces.  I have recently found that Heinz has a product that I like “Toddlers Brown Rice Snacks”.  These are basically rice cakes, but in a kiddie size.  Just make sure you do not get the sweetened ones.

Read the labels carefully!   I have yet to find one teething biscuit that does not contain wheat, other than the Baby Mum-Mums.  It is also difficult to find a soft cracker that is wheat-free.  My personal project is to develop some kind of cracker recipe that is soft, wheat-free and tasty for little ones.  If I get a good one, I will definitely post it, however so far my attempts have not been good enough to share!

Label-Reading 101: Other words for wheat: wheat germ, bran, semolina, durum, wheat flour, whole wheat flour, flour

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Entry filed under: 1 Year, Wheat. Tags: , , , , .

Spicy Baby! Kids & Sweets

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anita  |  May 7, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Great posting Laurie! I love how relevant it is for me. 🙂 How do you feel about cheerios? I think I read wheat starch but way down the list. Also, curious about dairy and yogurt.

    Reply
    • 2. lkmnut  |  May 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

      Talk about timing… I had my post for Cheerios scheduled for today! I prefer the Breakfast O’s, if you can find them. Cheerios are okay but have a lot of additives that I don’t think are necessary. I am planning to post about dairy soon…! Boy you sure are keeping me on my toes! LkM

      Reply

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