Saturday, November 8, 2008

Is This Your Child?

I've recently read the book "Is This Your Child" by Doris J. Rapp. Although the book was published in 1991, it stills holds valuable information for parents today. In a day where so many children are on medications to help solve their problems, this book offers solutions to these problems by outlining possible food and environmental allergies.

Although this book is over 600 pages, it's actually very easy to read! You don't actually have to read it cover to cover, but read only the chapters that may apply to you and your family. This book does a great job of helping parents find possible hidden allergies that may be effecting their children. She describes different symptoms from red ears and cheeks, aggression and hyper activity, to poor writing and headaches.

This book even describes pre-natal issues like hiccups and constant fetal activity. Personally, had I read this when I was pregnant, I would have been able to figure out my son can't tolerate cows milk! Children exhibit allergies so differently from adults and each child's reaction can vary from that of another child. This book does a great job of offering many ideas for possible allergies.

It also outlines some of the most allergenic foods that we never think to keep our kids away from. We know better than to feed peanut butter or nuts before year one (and to use sparingly until age 2) because we've been told by the medical field that this could cause allergies. But what about dairy? and wheat? and corn products? These three food items are the cause of so many allergies and food sensitivities in kids that often go undiagnosed.

The parts about this book I didn't really care for was the constant talk about formula in the infant section. Although, when you think about it, this book was written in the early 90's when, for some reason, parents were under the impression that it was better for their kids. Or maybe it's the fact that so many formula fed babies do have more issues because of their reactions to the formula. Maybe if we can keep more moms nursing longer, we wouldn't have so many babies with problems! (O.K, I'll get off my high horse now, I know not everyone can nurse, yadda, yadda. But still, everyone now knows breast is best)

Another issue I had with this book was the over use of the word allergy. Seems to me the new language of 'food sensitivity' would be better suited for some of the conditions she showcases.

It's definitely a must read for parents, especially if you have a child who is chronically sick, hard to handle, or if you have a family history of allergies.

*also, this book isn't just for kids. If you're an adult and think you have food sensitivities, it's still a great read!

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