Thursday, June 30, 2011

Abigail Likes It!

For the first time ever, Abigail ate a sunflower butter sandwich for lunch.  Now, to most families, that wouldn't be any big deal.  But, in our family, for a child that, up until a day ago when asked if she wanted to try sunflower butter would make a disgusted face, it's significant.

We've used sunflower butter for years (at least since Abigail was 18 months old) as an alternative to peanut butter.  My husband and son eat it almost on a daily basis.  Over the years, I would ask Abigail if she wanted to try it.  Occasionally she would, and each time, same results.  That disgusted face.  Now, I should admit, that she does like the Sun Cups, but they're covered in chocolate.  Yesterday, at snack, she asked to try a cracker dipped in the sunflower butter.  She's never asked before.  She ate several.  Today at lunch she asked again if she could have some and then ended up spreading it on bread and making a sandwich.  She even asked to lick the knife.  I was amazed.

I believe that your body has innate self-defense mechanisms to keep it safe.  My fair-skinned, red-headed son, doesn't like being outside in the intense heat.  Abigail doesn't like the smell, texture or taste of the sunflower butter which is quite similar to peanut butter.  Self-defense mechanisms to protect themselves?  I'm purely speculating here, but what if through this densitization process with the peanut clinical trial, she's losing that self-defense mechanism?  Just maybe.  Or, maybe just wishful thinking.


Lisa said...

You know, I have talked to the Duke team about this in general. My son is 18 months old and he will eat anything that you put in front of him...peanut included. That is how his reaction happened...he ate a cookie with peanut butter in it. He didn't spit any of it out and ate the whole thing and then wanted more. In my conversations with them, they said that kids his age are likely to get the most out of the treatment in terms of the stress/psychological side of it...meaning, that his allergy will be treated before he even understands what is going on or before we even have to train on to avoid certain foods. He eats his daily dose with no issue either...he thinks it is just applesauce. An older kid knows what is going on and I have seen other parents struggling to figure out ways to get those kids to eat it. So, in Abigail's case, it sounds like maybe she is feeling more confident in herself and by taking a little taste and then listening to her body and seeing that it was okay, then she was probably mentally able to manage more without stress. :) I know that in the trials they have some kids who have been successfully treated who struggle to keep peanut in their diet because the kid just doesn't like it (based on growing up being told that it would kill them). It is a stressful thing and hard to overcome! Anyway, glad she is adding something new to her diet! We haven't tried it at all yet just because at my son's age, it is still a choking hazard and I don't want to confuse him either. So, hopefully we can see success with the trial before he hits 4 and then we can just go straight to regular peanut butter! :)

Mom with a Mission said...

Thanks for the comment Lisa. I totally agree that there is a fear factor involved. I have a friend whose daughter has completed the trial, and it's a major issue for them to get her to regularly consume peanut products.

I will say though that Abigail wanted no part of the peanut butter I gave her at 18 months. I started with a tiny bit on a cracker and she flat out refused to eat it. I remember telling her to just try it, that she'd just love it. I ended up putting an even smaller amount on my finger, and as I tried to get her to taste it she kept moving her head away. Some got on her lips, and she swiped it off. I left it at that. Obviously, she didn't want it. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, I look over at her playing and her nose is pouring gunk. I go to wipe it and realize that her arms and legs are covered with hives. I gave her Benadryl and took her to the pediatrician's office. So glad I thought to just start with a tiny bit and not make her a sandwich or something.

Laura said...

My son has always refused any type of peanut butter or peanut products. We didn't find out about his PA until 4 years old, but I am convinced that his body knew he should not eat it and that is why he was totally disgusted even by the smell. If we ate peanut butter and started talking to him and he got a wiff of our breath he would run away yelling"ew gross". Very interesting that your daughter will now try it.

Anonymous said...

I have three children with PA and one with Tree nut as well. How do you get into this trial? What ate the qualifications? Their RAST numvbers are fairly high. 23,52 and well over 100.

Mom with a Mission said...

Anonymous - thanks for commenting. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Qualifications really depend on the trial. They're currently doing 3 or 4 different ones using both peanut flour and drops. Right now, the staff is in transition with the move to Chapel Hill. If you want to contact me using the link on the Home page of my blog, I can send you a phone number and/or e-mail address once I have the new information.

Regarding the RAST numbers, they have children in the study with numbers in the 1,000's. I do know that the lower the number the faster the response rate, but they are having success with both high and low RAST numbers. That won't be a determent in qualification.