Tim was our first child and at the age of 6 months was doing well on breastmilk, formula and Farex. On the advice of the community nurse, we followed the usual recommendations and one of the first group of foods to introduce was potato, banana and avocado. After trialling potato and pumpkin very well, we then tried avocado which he did not like and started to get a rash around his mouth. After a couple of days and not thinking much of it (just teething?) we then tried banana. Within minutes, Tim’s rash around the mouth returned and he kept spitting the food out. After a couple of hours when we put him to bed, Tim started to vomit 2-3 episodes, very distressed and turning beetroot colour. He also had swelling and welts around the mouth. We rushed him to the hospital and were later referred to the RPA allergy clinic. Pin-prick tests showed allergy to peanuts, moulds and some others, and we started the elimination diet. Over the next couple of months, we soon discovered he was intolerant to amines, because everytime we tried an amine food eg. paw paw, chocolate, fresh cheese, he would immediately or a couple of hours later, vomit and these hives and welts were visible.

Over the next year, every time I tried Tim on fresh cheese (mild and tasty cheese were completely off the list as Tim would not tolerate these at all), he would fall sick with gastro, vomiting and very distressed. He was still highly intolerant to amine foods. We also had a blood test for banana performed and discovered that he also has a true allergy to this fruit and it was rated as high on the scale.

We visited my parents one day and they had blueberry jam (which Tim can tolerate if it's IXL brand) but the brand was different and one hour after eating it, he vomited.

When he had just turned 3, he came down with pneumonia and was hospitalised for a week. During this time, the nursing staff gave him children's panadol which was orange flavoured. Every time they gave it to him, he would vomit it immediately. Eventually we found that the cherry/vanilla baby panadol was the only one he could tolerate. I also had to speak to the catering staff and give them copies of what foods and cooking processes he could manage. It certainly was
challenging and we did have to bring in our own supply of meals because the hospitals couldn't cope with the particulars (especially the hidden ingredients in foods).

Since then we have always been very particular on the types of food bought, made and at parties because of Tim's reactions. We learnt early to cook our own bread, buy only food without amines, buy fresh white fish and make his own party food to go to places. Many people thought we were going overboard and being too picky but we didn't want Tim to always be sick and we wanted to give him confidence in eating nutritional foods rather than always being wary.

Tim is now five years old and attending full-time school and I am finding it a challenge regarding the availability of foods without additives and spices etc. He loves sausages, but our butcher has admitted that the meat and additives in them aren't perfect. Tim is very tempted in trying new foods that his mates bring to the school and we know there will be times when he will try and not feel so good but we are educating him to the best that parents can. - by email, Qld