Where do you usually eat your biscuits? On the sofa with a cup of tea? At your desk? In bed? Well on Friday we are heading to Addenbrookes hospital so J can eat his first ever malted milk biscuit! It is called a food challange and is all part of starting the ‘milk ladder’ to see if he can tolerate small amounts of milk that has been highly heated in baked goods.
What is the milk ladder?
The milk ladder is a way of slowly introducing milk into your child’s diet to see if they have either outgrown their allergy or can tolerate some dairy products.
J has Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) and reacts immediately and severely if he eats any uncooked milk. Despite his level of reaction our consultant has been keen to carry out the food challenge as there are a number of studies that show at least 75% children who are unable to tolerate raw milk do not react to baked milk. There is also evidence that introducing small amounts of milk into the diet can help outgrow an allergy quicker.
Why do a food challenge and start the milk ladder?
If he passes the first step of the milk ladder it not only means we can start to widen his diet but it also dampens some of the fear we live with every day. It means we don’t need to worry about him picking up biscuit crumbs at toddler groups and can feel more comfortable with ‘may contain milk’ labels. He has multiple other allergies but milk is the hardest to deal with so it would be a major breakthrough in all of our lives.
Anaphylactic reaction to milk
I am still petrified though! The last time J accidentally had some milk he struggled to breathe and we had to use the epipen for the first time and call an ambulance. However, I trust our consultant and we will be in the safest hands if he has a reaction. I would never dream of attempting this at home but in a hospital setting I feel the possible benefits outweigh the risks.
So, hopefully next week I will have some exciting news to share and we will be one more rung up the milk ladder!
…Find out what happened next when J climbed the milk ladder
…And how he eventually outgrew his milk allergy