So, what can be done you ask...?
One of the best things you can do as a parent is to actually keep them off of those highly allergenic foods for the first 3 years of their life. This gives them a better start and a better chance at overcoming food allergies in the future. It's not a guarantee, but it's something significant that YOU can do.
With that said, and my OWN history of food allergies, I keep my little ones off wheat (gluten) and dairy for as long as possible. My method of madness is really quite simple though it might seem overwhelming for some of you. Hence this next post.
Making your own baby food might be overwhelming to say the least. There's a whole lot of combinations that you can do. Just take a glance down the baby food aisle and you'll see my point. When you're making your own, it's good to keep this in mind: Keep it SIMPLE. Trust me. Often times we think something like "oh my baby will think this is so plain..." Keep in mind your little one has been drinking the same thing every day for every meal for the past 9+ months... So I keep my combinations to 1-2 foods usually. (See a list below for info.)
For example, I'll cook up a batch of organic green beans and puree it with the water I cooked them in. (I puree for beginner eaters and puree it with chunks for later on.) Then I freeze the puree in individual ice cube trays. Once frozen, I place those in freezer bags labeled "organic green beans." I do this with other organic fruits, vegetables, beans, and even meats. (I do tend to mix my meat with rice, quinoa or lentils fyi. Babies don't need that large of proportions of meat and it keeps down the cost.)
Keeping the foods separate allows me to eliminate a food quickly if I notice a harmful effect on my baby's body (ie a rash, constipation, or diarrhea). It also allows me to make all sorts of combinations throughout the day without doubling up too much on one food item.
As your baby gets older and opportunities arrive, you may even be able to simply grind up what you had for dinner.
If we are traveling I typically resort to the organic baby food pouches for sake of time and lack of resources like a kitchen and freezer. ;)
No matter how you go about it, try to keep it simple. Stick to gluten free whole foods with an assortment of healthy organic fruits, vegetables, meats, legumes, and grains. Don't forget to incorporate fresh foods into your baby's meals as well (especially those foods that don't freeze as well such as avocados, bananas, etc.)
Observe your baby's bowel movements and skin. If he/she starts a rash, begin to eliminate foods until you discover the cause. Also pay close attention if your child develops diarrhea or constipation. They both can be a sign of an allergy or inability to digest something. (Constipation can also be caused by not enough liquids in the diet so assess accordingly.) Also, as you transition into chunkier foods- watch your baby's stool to make sure it is getting digested. If not, go back to pureeing until your baby's system can handle digestion better.
Good luck! You can do it.
**Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.
What I have in my freezer currently (all pureed or mashed):
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Just a side note:
Why most babies spit up...
What's surprising is how many nursing mothers don't correlate what THEY are eating with their baby's reactions. (But I guess I'm not too surprised because technically most of America is like that.) We (as a nation) tend to forget that WHAT we put into our body actually affects it. I'm talking about all sorts of health problems- diabetes, cancer, heart attacks. It can all be linked back to WHAT we eat. Yes, exercise and "lifestyle" can definitely play a role too but the main culprit is FOOD.
So the next time your baby spits up and you're a nursing mom, try to look for a pattern of what you've been eating to have caused it. The biggest culprit is usually dairy. (PS- I suggested that to a mom once and she said she "tried going off dairy but it didn't work." Come to find she went off a lot of dairy items but not ALL dairy. She was still eating yogurt which she explain had probiotics so it helped the baby digest it... Hopefully you see the error there... So if you're going to truly eliminate an allergen from your diet, give it 100%. Be sure to read labels and avoid it COMPLETELY. If your baby was spitting up from dairy, you WILL see a difference.