Thursday, November 29, 2012

Coconut Trial

I will admit that I have been stymied by fear for a long time, which has kept me from going forward with some of the food trials on my list.  As I have said before, conditions have to be just right for me to have the strength to do food trial.  We have added things like cauliflower, and some gluten-free flours to the list of safe foods, without incident, but I have been meaning to trial things like coconut and sesame, which she has never eaten in isolation, but for which she has a positive blood test value recorded.  Every allergist we have seen agrees that the blood test, alone, does not equal a true allergy, and I understand and agree, but tell that to my nerves!  I know that my daughter's value for coconut (5.89 kUA/L) from a year and a half ago was not very conclusive, but it bothered me that there was any value at all.  She tested negative to "queen palm", but when I researched "queen palm", it turns out it's not even the same tree that produces coconuts. :/

Anyway, since I conquered my fear of administering epinephrine, I figured I needed to translate that conquered fear into lessening my fear of trialing new foods.  So, after having the allergist tell me, again, at my daughter's 4-year appointment, to go ahead and try coconut or sesame, at home (which I still find surprising, but OK!), I decided to try coconut.  (Update: I feel that this comment, right here, needs much more exposition, and I apologize for not giving more back-story on this, so please read my follow-up post.  I don't want to give anyone the impression that they should challenge a known, confirmed food allergy, at home.  This was not an officially diagnosed food allergy that was being challenged.  This was a trial, and I will explain my distinction between the two.  This was a new food that she had never eaten.)

I read that some moms used Nutiva's Coconut Manna, which is pure coconut, and once at the right temperature, it has a smooth, creamy texture.  So, I went to Whole Foods, in search of some:
*I just saw this has a warning that reads, "Bottled in a facility that produces peanut oil."
Peanut oil supposedly has no peanut protein, yet I would not let my daughter eat anything with it as an ingredient, but now I'm wondering about the cross-contamination risk.
I waited until the next morning and gave her just a little taste on the end of the spoon.  She didn't really like the taste or texture, at first.  I didn't push and just gave her a few minutes and went about the task of trying to act cool.  After 10-15 minutes (OK, who am I kidding, it was exactly 10 minutes on the microwave timer!) ;)  I gave her another tiny spoonful of coconut and waited.  

Nothing happened, again, so I decided to wait until after lunch and try a slightly larger "dose".  After lunch, I spread a larger amount on one of her usual cookies (Enjoy Life's Crunchy Sugar Cookies) and she ate it up with no apparent reaction.  She also had another piece of cookie, after dinner.    

This is looking like a success!  This could open up quite a few doors, for us, but since I was working so long on just getting up the nerve to trial it, I really haven't even made up a list of other food items that I want to try, now that coconut looks to be an option.  If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Information about Coconut

From Wikipedia: "The coconut palmCocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only accepted species in the genusCocos.[2] The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut."

There's also this quote from FAAN's website:
Should coconut be avoided by someone with a tree nut allergy?
Discuss this with your doctor. Coconut, the seed of a drupaceous fruit, has typically not been restricted in the diets of people with tree nut allergy. However, in October of 2006, the FDA began identifying coconut as a tree nut. The available medical literature contains documentation of a small number of allergic reactions to coconut; most occurred in people who were not allergic to other tree nuts. Ask your doctor if you need to avoid coconut.

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