Vivian’s Story

Hi!  I’m Vivian!

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I am six years old, and I have a dairy allergy that I discovered this summer.  Thanks to my friend Hunter, I am able to help kids my age learn what you can and can’t eat!

My mom knew I had a dairy problem when I switched to drinking whole milk from baby formula.  I kept spitting up a lot and had really bad diapers, so my Dr. told us to switch to Almond milk and see if it made a difference.  It did, but for some reason, the second I was able to eat regular foods, we didn’t stick to it.  We thought I was still able to eat cheese, yogurt, and even ice cream just not drink milk.  I’m not sure why we made this choice, but we just didn’t group it all together.  So I always had my scrambled eggs with butter, ate grilled cheese sandwiches, and enjoyed all the dairy-filled tasty treats served at birthday parties—I just kept drinking Almond Milk.

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Then I started having really bad stomach aches that woke me up at night.  My mom thought it was from drinking Sprite or sparkling water, so we first cut out all fizzy drinks.  When that didn’t do the trick, my mom started writing down everything I was eating and drinking and realized I had not gained any weight in almost a year.  For a growing 4-5 year old kid, that wasn’t good.

So one night at dinner my mom started asking Hunter about what happens to her body when she eats dairy.  She described almost the same feelings I was having.  So, after talking to Hunter and my pediatrician, we decided to cut out all dairy for two weeks and see what happened.  It was the best decision ever!  Just after the first week I was feeling better—not waking up in the nighttime, no cramps, no extra time in the potty, better rest, no more dark circles under my eyes, etc.  And by the end of the second week I felt like a new girl!  It was great.

Now the only challenge was in how to eat.  My family decided that we would all be dairy free to help support me in finding new ways to order food, pack a lunch, or even enjoy a family meal.  Hunter was a big help to me.  She taught me a lot of tricks to the whole dairy thing—like taking Oreos or Pop Tarts to birthday parties that will have dairy treats,  eating Earth Balance as a substitute butter, or even how to make cinnamon rolls from pilsbury crescent rolls.  She made it so much easier for me, and she helped me a lot.  She still helps me a lot.

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In fact, that’s why we started this blog—to help kids like us be able to enjoy eating without having to worry about the dairy issue.  We like to travel, and every place we go we explore the menu to order special meals prepared especially for us!  We are learning to try a lot of new foods and to enjoy the same things that our families enjoy just with an added adjustment.  We are learning to ask for dairy-free items on the menu, and we are learning how to pack a yummy dairy-free lunch for me at school.  What we have discovered is that this whole dairy issue isn’t something that makes us weird. It is something that makes us special—and we get to pay special attention to what goes inside our bodies.  This is a good idea for anyone to do.

We only have one body, and it’s our job to help it stay healthy!  I hope you enjoy our blog and getting to know us.  I want us all to share special things about our special diets.  XOXOXO and happy eating!