When our son was very young and sensitive to a lot of things (they couldn’t test him for enough things in the allergist’s office, especially when he was a baby because they couldn’t take enough blood and also because he was too young for skin prick tests, plus the fact that it takes forever to see an allergist), we struggled with what we could feed him (and I struggled with what I could eat while I breastfed him). Over the years, I learned about a few food sensitivity tests that we could do at home. They really worked. You can also use to first two methods to determine which supplements are appropriate for your child.
Of course, use your common sense. For example, for food items that you think may cause anaphylaxis, consult with an allergist or your health care practitioner.
“Tape it to the inner wrist” or “Smush it on the back” Test
To test milk, or another liquid, you can put it on a cotton ball and then tape it to your child’s inner wrist. It really works for severe allergies, but might not work for sensitivities. For example, when I did this with milk, my son’s wrist developed hives. (Better to test on his skin than internally). We tested pineapple juice this way before we let him ingest it. There was no reaction on his skin and no reaction when he ingested it.
Another mom has said that she has taken small pieces of food, moistened it, and then taped it to her child’s inner wrist for 30 minutes and see if a reaction occurs. I think this would generally work better for moist foods (like fruits).
Before feeding her son cod for the first time, Mama Juniper smushed it onto her son’s back first and waited for 10 minutes to make sure that hives didn’t develop. (She did this to test for cross-contamination with some of his other allergens). She also mentions that it generally only works for severe allergies.
A mom who also has a child with multiple sensitivities sent me this link on how to use a pendulum to figure out what foods would be good for him. More information about this technique can be found on this discussion group here.
This method was a God-send when I found out about it as I had literally been praying for an instruction booklet on how to feed my sensitive boy.
Anyone can use this method to figure out what foods would be best to consume. And, one can also ask just about any “yes or no” question from the pendulum, if you are having difficulty making a decision about something and would like to access a high level of truth. DH, who is normally skeptical about these sorts of things, really liked it because it worked for him too.
If there is a food that you suspect that is the problem, remove it from your child’s diet for at least a month. After a month’s time, give your child the food and see if there is a reaction. (Or, if you notice a big difference with the food being eliminated, you may not even want to re-introduce the food).
This is how we discovered my son was sensitive to dairy. When he was a month old and I was breastfeeding him, I was advised that the dairy that I was eating may be contributing to his severe eczema. I gave up dairy for a week, but didn’t see a difference in his eczema, so I went happily back to eating dairy. When he was 5 months old, someone told me that it takes a least a month for the milk proteins to leave the system (which is why my son’s eczema wasn’t affected when I stopped milk for only a week). So I gave up milk for a month. We didn’t see a noticeable change in his eczema (because he was sensitive to more things than just milk), so at the end of the month’s time, I ate a lot of pizza. Lo and behold, my son’s eczema got very bad. Really bad. Dramatically bad. I was convinced and stopped eating dairy while I was breastfeeding him. He hasn’t had any dairy since then (since all of his traditional allergy tests [IgE blood tests and prick tests] have indicated that he is still allergic to dairy).
I’ve been told it takes gluten proteins 6 months to leave the body (after you’ve stopped ingesting it), so it may take a longer time to notice a difference with gluten after you take gluten out of the diet.
Applied Kinesiology / Muscle Testing
I use applied kinesiology or muscle testing to find out whether a certain food or substance is “in my son’s highest good” to eat. I wrote more about muscle testing here.
IgG levels (need a naturopath for this)
In addition to the traditional allergy tests that your allergist can do (i.e., prick test, or IgE blood tests), consider consulting with a naturopath and determining which foods are triggers based on blood IgG levels. I’ll expand on this when I get more time.
Introducing new foods
When you are introducing new foods, do it one at a time and space them out at least four days in between (give it more time if a new food causes a reaction).
Be sure to keep a food journal to keep track of new food introductions. (You think you will remember if a food has a negative effect, but within a few months, you may not — especially if there are a lot of them to keep track of).
Let me know if you have any other methods that have worked for you.