Allergic reation or parental overreacion?
August 31, 2010 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Did my daughter have an allergic reaction to her snack? If so, what could have caused it? YANMD, obviously.

My nearly-two-year-old had a packet of cheese flavour Walkers Quavers in a pre-packed lunch yesterday and after she'd eaten about half the packet I noticed lots of big red blotches around her mouth (she didn't seem particularly bothered by them). We checked inside her mouth and there didn't seem to be any inflammation and she answered 'no' when asked if anything hurt. The blotches disappeared after about 30 mins.

On the whole, she has a varied diet with very little processed food. She's otherwise healthy (apart from tonsillitis for which she was prescribed a course of penicillin about a month ago) and we've never seen anything like this before. We're seeing the health visitor on Thursday but is there anything I need to be aware of before then?

Here's list of ingredients for the snack: Potato Starch, Sunflower Oil, Whey Powder, Monosodium Glutamate (E621), Disodium 5-ribonucleotide (E635), Flavouring [undefined], Milk Powder, Cheese Powder, Butter Acids, Soya Protein, Paprika Extract (E160(c)), Rice Flour, Soya Flour, Salt, Yeast, Malted Barley Flour, Pepper, Wheat Flour, Annatto (E160b).
posted by dogsbody to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
It sure sounds like an allergic reaction; but the way those things are, it may be a while before you can narrow down the culprit.

I would save the wrapper somewhere and see if she has the reaction to anything else, then compare any overlap in ingredients.

I'm assuming she doesn't have a reaction to anything else that you've noticed.

There is also something that came up on AskMefi a while back re oral allergies; where eating one food doesn't cause a reaction right away but sensitizes you to other allergens. It seems to involve getting those kinds of mouth sores/inflammation. So again, it may take awhile to narrow this down.
posted by emjaybee at 6:50 AM on August 31, 2010

That's almost certainly an allergic reaction, and it's how things started with my son when he was a baby. The first thing he had a reaction to was teething biscuits, starting with little bumps and irritation. I won't scare you with the whole saga, but suffice it to say that his reactions got progressively more severe and dangerous. Getting him tested early and learning what foods and ingredients to avoid (and carrying an Epi-Pen) saved his life.
posted by amyms at 10:34 AM on August 31, 2010

my son had this exact thing happen to him, at about age 2. a food diary revealed that he was having a reaction to Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). it's in so many different things, and is almost always in stuff that's 'cheez flavored' or is coated with some kind of 'cheese powder'. it goes under various names and is even in foods listed as 'no MSG', so you have to do some research and careful checking of foods you give her (if the MSG turns out to be the culprit).
our whole family now eats MSG free and we all feel a lot better as a result. (maybe that's just a psychosomatic thing, but ...)
pretty sure my wife may have more links that i can share with you, so i'll try to stop by this thread later...
posted by g.i.r. at 11:08 AM on August 31, 2010

more msg info:
what is it ?
foods to avoid
more info
other names for msg
also, it is sometimes disguised as 'flavoring' or 'natural flavor'

as a family, we just started to avoid eating stuff that had ingredients we couldn't pronounce in them, and we all feel a lot better. it is sometimes hard to do, but worth it...good luck !
posted by g.i.r. at 1:09 PM on August 31, 2010

Thank you everyone. We'll avoid anything else suspect until Thursday's appointment and take it from there I guess.
posted by dogsbody at 2:41 PM on August 31, 2010

Keep in mind, any of the ingredients on that list can be considered suspect (not just MSG, and not just "unpronounceable" things). Many people are allergic to a variety of normal everyday foods that are otherwise nutritious and easy to pronounce. The only way to know for sure what's triggering your daughter is through testing.
posted by amyms at 3:02 PM on August 31, 2010

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