Share Your Gluten-Free Story: Meet Annaliese!

This is a guest post by Annaliese.

Joseph was not a fussy baby, but he very well could have been. He had eczema in all his creases (especially behind the knees), but the only place he had the coordination to scratch was on his head. And scratch he did. I clipped his nails, I put mittens on him, but it didn’t help. One day, he woke up with blood all over his face, clothes, and sheets. So, I knew I had to take him to the doctor.

The doctor gave him some antibiotics for infection in his scalp, and some hydrocortisone for the eczema. Some of my friends had suggested that Joseph had food allergies, so I asked the doctor what his thoughts were. He said if I wanted to cut something from my diet, to try taking out wheat first.

I tried to follow a wheat-free diet, and Joseph’s eczema did improve. I still found it really hard, since my favorite foods are breads. I would cheat on the diet at least once a week. 24 hours later, Joseph’s eczema would flare up, and he’d get a bloody diaper rash. After three months, I decided I couldn’t do it anymore, and he would be better off with formula, which would be consistently good.

Except when I gave him the first bottle, he didn’t want it. I pushed him to drink an ounce, and then I noticed that his face was turning red. Within a minute, the redness turned to hives that were almost on top of each other. Thankfully, he never had any trouble breathing, and the hives went down after a while.

To make a long story short, I weaned Joseph to Alimentum, and slowly discovered that he also appeared to react to barley (so we avoid all gluten), soy and nuts. Now that he is two years old, he appears to have grown out of the soy allergy, but he also tests positive to eggs (thankfully, he can tolerate them in baked goods). I’ve had to reinvent my recipes as he’s transitioned to solid foods so that he can eat safely with us, and we’re not limited by cardboard tasting food. I blog about how we’re doing, and try out a new recipe every week at It’s not easy, but I’m gaining confidence as I learn day by day.

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