…A quarter salmon patty 🙂
That’s right, Saturday we started the 12 Days of Salmon, which isn’t nearly as exciting or interesting as the 12 Days of Christmas, but we do what we can to keep things fun around here.
At our last allergist appointment (in November) our doctor encouraged us to try fish and shellfish, which are E’s last two top 8 allergens to try. He’s never had a positive scratch test or blood test to either and they aren’t very common FPIES allergens, so there really wasn’t a reason not to go ahead and give it a try. (FYI, this information has absolutely no bearing on how nervous I feel about starting a new trial, especially one with a higher likelihood of an IgE allergy.) Well things got pretty crazy after that appointment and we finally have the time and motivation to start the trials.
The motivation for the fish trial was also spurred by a not-so-recent (January) trip to the dietician, who is a little concerned about E’s calcium intake. It’s really hard to get enough calcium without any dairy products. I’m not sure why Neocate doesn’t meet all of the calcium requirements, but that’s a rant for another day. She suggested several things – almond milk, leafy greens, and salmon. She specifically recommended canned salmon, explaining that it contains tiny bones which are an excellent source of calcium. So, it seemed like no-brainer to use canned salmon for the fish trial.
Ok, I’ll admit it. Besides the nerves-factor, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and several illnesses, the main reason why I put off the fish trial is because I don’t really like fish. In small doses it’s ok, and I like a lot of shellfish, but fish just isn’t my favorite. That doesn’t really matter though, because I, of course, want the best for E. So I went grocery shopping. When I found the canned salmon I was horrified to learn that the salmon that contained the bones also contained skin. Ewww. I have served my son some pretty gross things on this journey (think pureed lamb mixed with pureed peas). However, at that moment, in the grocery store aisle, as the nausea set in, I decided that my husband would be preparing this dish for our son. He graciously accepted the challenge (and only mocked me a little bit).
We found a recipe for Potato Salmon Patties and made a few modifications to get to the recipe below. Jonathan whipped them up first thing in the morning (nothing like a fishy-smelling house at 9 am) and they were ready by lunch. I got to be the one to serve the little man a lovely lunch of peanut butter and jelly with a side of salmon patty (yum).
E was not instantly in love with them. He spit out his first two bites. That meant that I had to walk a very thin line between forcing him to eat something that he might be allergic to and encouraging him to try a new food. It’s even more difficult because I’ve started to notice that E tends to reject the foods that he later reacts to. But he’s also a toddler who is used to eating the same thing day after day. So I explained to him that they are like “meat-a-balz-a” (ala Chef Pisghetti from Curious George), at which point he decided they were worth another try. He then allowed me to feed him the rest of the salmon on his plate. We always start food trials at a very low dose, so it was only a 1/4 of a patty that day. I watched him carefully, jumping at every sniffle or cough, and checked the monitor a little more closely and obsessively during nap time. I’m happy to report that there was no sign of a reaction! He ate the quarter of a patty much more readily on Sunday (without any theatrics and by himself) and so far, so good. The plan is to give him half a patty for the next three days and then a full patty until the end of the 12 day trial. I’ll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, if you’d like to join E on his latest food adventure, here is Jonathan’s adapted recipe:
Salmon Patties By Jonathan
Makes 6 Patties