About Us

Cooking for Oscar

Hi, I’m Oscar’s Mum (aka Sandra).  I have a 6 year old son, Oscar, who was diagnosed with food intolerances just after his first birthday following 4 weeks on an elimination diet. His intolerances include Salicylates, Glutamates, and most artificial flavours, colours, preservatives and additives. This means that most fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices and processed foods are excluded from his diet. I started this blog to share our experiences and recipes with other’s in similar situations.

Oscar started having sleeping problems when he was about 5 months old. He started waking more and more frequently overnight and was becoming very difficult to settle.  At about 7 to 8 months of age he was waking every 20 to 30 minutes all night long; my husband and I were exhausted. Feeling sure that this wasn’t something that could be fixed by letting him cry himself to sleep, we saw a sleep consultant, Pinky McKay.  Pinky saw our son eating a huge bowl of fruit and suggested that he might have a Salicylate intolerance. We removed the fruit from his diet and after 7 days we had a dramatic improvement, with him waking only a couple of times a night. Just to be sure, we added the fruit back and within 3 days the constant waking and restlessness was back. At that point we took him to a dietician who put us on an elimination diet for 4 weeks. I had to do it as well, as we were breastfeeding  It was incredibly hard for the first couple of weeks, but as with our first trial, the results made it all worthwhile. Not only was he sleeping better, but he was a much happier, calmer little boy. 

In hindsight, the sleeping problems started when he started on solid food.  We used the baby led weaning method of introducing solid foods to our son – and he loved it.  His first foods were nectarines and apricots from the tree in our back yard.  We started serving him small amounts of the same foods we ate, and he ate (or tried to eat) all of it.  An early favourite was chicken stir fry with ginger and garlic.  He loved eating.

During the elimination diet, which was difficult for all of us to adjust to, his enjoyment of food decreased dramatically.  If it was sweet he would eat it, if it was savoury he wouldn’t touch it.  Potatoes, leeks, cabbage and beans weren’t particularly appealing to me either, so I can understand where he was coming from.  He lived for months on creamed rice, tinned pears and toast with pear jam.

We started on a very long process of food challenges; reintroducing groups of food chemicals to see which ones he reacts to. As a result, we discovered that he has intolerances to Salicylates, Glutamates, food colours and most preservatives.  His intolerances to the natural food chemicals was diagnosed as moderate and we have been able to introduce moderate salicylate foods back into his diet. We are now trying to re-introduce some high salicylates, and have been trying to have occasional meals containing very high salicyaltes and additives and preservatives.  The sleep disturbances that we originally saw as reactions no longer occur, instead he experiences “sneaky poos” (can’t control his bowels).  I’m not sure which is worse!

His diet is still quite limited in fruit and vegetables and because of the food colours and preservatives there is very little processed food he can have, but it is no longer difficult. Not being on the diet is difficult.  

He is a very healthy, happy little boy, who (like most toddlers) hates vegetables (especially green ones).  Our challenge was to make our limited number of vegetables (including the green ones) tasty for a child and make food fun again.  I think we achieved this.  

I am discovering a new love of cooking through creating recipes for my family and friends to eat, which are also safe for my son. This blog is about Oscar-friendly food. Food that is low to moderate in salicylates and glutamates, and free of artificial additives, colours and preservatives. And a little bit about the challenges of living with food intolerance along the way.  There are also many recipes that are suitable for the RPAH Elimination diet and FAILSAFE diet.  

Oscar is now starting to eat foods in the high salicylate and glutamate list (just small amounts at a time), so many of my new recipes contain foods that I can’t include in this blog.  As a result, I don’t post as many recipes here, but there are still plenty for you to explore.

I also have a second blog – Just Simply Food – for all my recipes that are not suitable for Oscar or are getting into the high chemical categories (that we are currently reintroducing).   I want to keep Cooking for Oscar relevant to FAILSAFE and the RPAH Elimination diet, so have decided to start a new blog for anything that doesn’t fit that.  The recipes will still be free of all the artificial nasties and you can follow by email subscription, Google + and Pinterest.

P.S Due to spammers, this is the only page that allows comments to be made.  You can also contact my using the email link or via my Facebook page.

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57 Responses to About Us

  1. Annie Macdonald says:

    Thanks.These comments bring tears to my eyes.my girl is 12 now.first 4 years of her life hardly slept.medicines werent tolerated but she had fruit.I had health issues-inflammation throughout life increasing after the sleep deprivation and also frightening respiratory problems dominated my life.Took dairy and gluten from diet which helped for periods of time but any medicines,contrast dye during hospital check ups and many healthy foods brought back old symptoms ,felt like I was being poisoned .episodes got increasingly bad I knew there was something else but what?searching the internet
    I found the rpah info and fedup and with the help of the internet,books and a few precious health professionals i have been saved.its a work in progress, hard work but worth it.for me its like been reborn and hopefully now i can be the mum my daughter needs and help my daughter(over the last few years has developed breathing issues.)thank you for doing this it gives support when you feel fairly excluded from every day life.Will look at your recepies.
    Annie,scotland

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks for the feedback Annie, I’m so glad you found my site and that you are getting some results with the diet. Keep up the good work.

      Cheers

      Sandra

  2. Nicki says:

    Hi there, great site, love your work!

    I noticed you have musk sticks on your list. They now contain 220. It’s so annoying when they add cheap and nasty chemicals. Due to this, I have gone into anaphylaxis too many times over it!

  3. Regan says:

    Hello!
    Have just started low/moderate salicylate diet with my 6 year old son. He is already Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Additive and Preservative free.
    He is really missing his strawberry and apricot jams ….. We just made the pear and apple jam. First time ever making jam, so I am not sure, do you need that much sugar for it to set? It seemed like a LOT of sugar as I was pouring it in (I only put in 4/5 of the amount) and the jam is so incredibly sweet. Like I said, I am a total novice, just asking the question so I can educate myself.
    Thank you so much for your website, knowledge and all of your recipes in what can be a very overwhelming time for families.

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Regan,
      sugar is a key ingredient to make the jam set. You can certainly try adjusting it, but at some point it will just remain runny.

      Cheers

      Sandra

  4. Sophie Cleve says:

    Hi Sandra
    My daughter is on the RPAH diet and it has made a huge difference, but I was really starting to despair today as she is getting really sick of the food. She is 7yo (and yet another redhead) so we have finally worked out why she feels sick all the time! At least she is quite mature and understands why it is important (most of the time) at this age. I have just printed out some of your recipes to make today and you have MADE MY DAY! Thank you for starting your blog and sharing your experiences. The only recipe I have come up with so far (or adapted!) is the RPAH vanilla cookies. I add 2TBSP carob powder (delete 2 TBSP flour) to make a sort of “chocolate cookie” (I tell the kids that anyway) which looks like chocolate and tastes good too. Carob chips are no good for us due to the dairy. That one is a big hit, happy for you to share via the website if suitable. It’s pretty hard to always take your own food and never be able to buy them a treat at a cafe.
    Thx again,

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks for the feedback Sophie. Its good to hear the diet is helping; its much easier to stick to when you can see the results. Thanks for the recipe tip.

      Cheer

      Sandra

  5. Lara Lange says:

    Hi Sandra!
    Im still in the early stages of this process myself. Have felt so overwhelmed and just lost. My 2yo daughter (little pale redhead also 🙂 xx) showed behavioural problems as early as 8 months. Something was not right. now 2 and a half. we have completed the elimination diet. Hallie reacts to salycilates, amines, glutamates, preservatives, dairy and gluten. Suffers night terrors, night mares, is in the early stages of migrants (temporary blindeness spells atm) and I tell you what I just googled pear ice-cream and found you! BOOKMARK!!!! I will be trawling this blog for ages! have a new dietician starting tomorrow who has three failsafe children herself! I feel like today is christmas eve finding your blog and tomorrow could be christmas finding the right help. After reading about yourself and Oscar and that he is now tolerating more foods I could have cried in happiness for both of us. My little hallies behavioural symptoms when reacting to the wrong foods or smells are so confronting and violent, now to hear that she will potentially be able to eat something other than pears, meat, potatoes and rice in the future… sigh of relief/ hope. I find I’m pretty kitchen and recipe say (but hall literal odd refusal to even eat stumps me at times) now finding your site at least the creative side of my brain can take a break for a while knowing you have done such hard work in sharing yours! THANK YOU!!!!

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks Lara,
      I’mm really glad you found my site, and its helping both you and Hallie. Keep up the good work.

      Cheers

      Sandra

  6. Teresa says:

    Hi Sandra,

    I’ve just discovered your website / blog and I can’t tell you the relief and encouragement it has given me. We’re just embarking upon the journey of discovery with our 5yr old daughter. It looks as though she is intolerant to salicylates, amines and possibly, glutamates, as well as having a peanut allergy. I’ve felt overwhelmed and confronted this last week, trying to work out what to feed her, making her meals seem interesting and tasty so she’ll want to eat them, and also, balance her dietary needs with the rest of the family’s needs. Surfing through your recipes, I feel, as I mentioned above, a little relief. So, thank you so much for sharing your story, information and recipes. Terésa

  7. Janelle says:

    Hi Sandra, I am planning to make carob syrup using your recipe. If stored in the fridge how long will it keep?
    Thanks in advance, Janelle.

  8. Shari says:

    Hi Sandra

    Thanks so much for your website. I use it for myself (I’m aged 39) as I have a salicylate intolerance. I have a question. I just made some pear jam. have made it a few times now and this last time I made a bulk amount so have lots of the pear syrup left over. What do you do with all the left over syrup? I have frozen it for now but do you use it in any recipes etc?

    thanks

    Shari

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Shari,
      thanks for your feedback. I’m glad you find my site helpful. I do use the left over pear syrup in recipes, it’s mostly on an adhoc basis, although I do have a few recipes for drinks, jelly and muesli bars that use it. Mostly I will use a little bit if its on hand and I’m making a casserole, soup, sauce, etc. and I need to sweeten it up.

  9. Caz says:

    Ur website is amazing. So glad we have found someone with a similar problem. Ur story is so similar to what my son is going though. Have a much a happier little boy once it was all eliminated 🙂

  10. Amber Davenport says:

    Hi Sandra – I just found your website and it’s amazing. I have been trying online to find the charts explaining the low/moderate/high for salicylates, and every link takes me to the purchase of the RPAH Elimination Guide handbook which looks like it would take several weeks to get from Australia. I have googled everything and can find the FailSafe Diet guidelines explaining the how-to’s of the Elimination Diet, but just cannot anywhere find the food chemical charts for salicylates. I am very willing to spend the money to buy it from Australia but just don’t have the several weeks to wait since we need to start this Elimination diet immediately given my son’s reactions (I won’t go into the long story here!)….I see the link to the “revised guidelines” but just can’t find the original charts. I was hoping you could point me in a direction where I might find those! Thanks so much, I look forward to reading all your other suggestions on the site. Thanks again! Amber

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Amber,
      unfortunately the RPAH don’t publish those charts online, so the only way to get them is to buy the book. Sorry I can’t help with that, but if you want to do the elimination diet, any recipe I have marked as FAILSAFE / Low Chemical will be low in salicylates, glutamates and amines.

    • Lara Triback says:

      Hi there,
      Congratulations on your management of Oscar’s food sensitivities! I have been struggling with finding a solution to my 3 year old son’s eczema and am forever grateful to the information available on the internet regarding the RAPH diet. I wanted to let Amber know that I found thorough salicylate food charts at: http://salicylatesensitivity.com/about/food-guide/
      Best of luck!
      Lara

  11. Leanne says:

    Thank you very much for your brilliant lifesaving recipies ! My partner has asthma that is triggered by food allergies. He can eat a lovely meal quite happily and almost exactly four hours later start to experience tightening of the chest and restricted breathing in the form of asthma. These symptoms cause constant loss of sleep and discomfort. The most baffling thing for us has been the symptoms vanish almost by magic around 2pm the following day – I know it sounds perculiar but by 2pm his body has obviouly processed the food and passed the reactive stage. Its been a long frustrating process identifying the causes as he seems to react to things without pattern. Sometimes restaurant meals are fine but he will react to a plain meal at home – I was beginning to take it personally ! We now know he is allergic to salicylates and amines in particular. We thought we were doing well eliminating spices, seasoning, colourings etc but have been frustrated at the lack of improvement. Having recently found a small booklet which lists many low, medium and high intolerance foods we feel we have reached a break through ! Cooking has been difficult, frustrated at the lack of options and getting it ‘wrong’ meant another night of asthma. I simply stumbled accross your site recently by chance. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. I am looking forward to less broken sleepless nights and a happier partner 🙂 Am hoping the new ‘diet’ may have a beneficial effect on our headstrong 4yr old too – although I think this is less food based & more personality type !

  12. vicki haines says:

    HI
    I wondered if you could help me again with a question?
    I have been stewing pears and giving them an the juice (just water from the stewed pears) to my son& stopped and wondered if they are actually failsafe? i cant find anything in my info regarding this. DO you know/
    thankyou so much
    vicki

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Vicki, as long as you are using ripe, peeled pears then the liquid from stewing them should be Failsafe, unless you are adding anything non-FS to the water when you cook them (sugar would be OK). The consumption of pears is limited on the FS and RPAH diets, as too many can cause salicylate overload. If you are giving your son a lot of juice then this could be a problem.
      Sandra

  13. vicki haines says:

    Hi
    your website is already alot of comfort, thank you.
    Im about to embark on the RPAH elimination diet with my 4 year old & quite overwhelmed.
    Im wondering if i can make cashew milk from soaked cashew & also is it ok to use a dehydrater to dry cashews, make veggie chips and dried pear? cant seem to find answers to these questions. WOuld you be able to offer any advice?
    thankyou so much
    vicki

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Vicki, thanks for the great feedback.
      It is possible to make dried pear in a food dehydrator – I have recipe you can use: http://www.cookingforoscar.com/recipes/basics/dried-fruit/
      You just need to be a bit careful as the salicylate content does increase a bit with drying. Also, too many pears can cause problems for some people that’s why they are limited to 2-3 serves, and it’s easy to eat a lot more when they are dry.
      I haven’t tried cashews in the dehydrator but they can be lightly roasted in the oven. The amine content increases with the roasting. Cashew milk can be made by mixing milk and cashews in a food processor (you want one that grinds very finely). I’ve done it make custard (http://www.cookingforoscar.com/2012/11/28/golden-syrup-cakes-and-cashew-maple-syrup-custard/). I’m not 100% certain but I don’t think this amount of processing will affect the amine levels. Cashews are also limited on the diet to 10 per day, so again you have to watch your intake.
      Vegie chips are also fine, using allowed vegetables, but I would make them in the oven rather than the dehydrator. You can make potato and swede chips – use a vegie peeler to get thin slices – and I’ve read about using brussel sprout leaves as well (but haven’t tried it myself). Toss the vegies in a bit of oil and salt then lay flat on a tray in the oven until the go crispy, turn them over half way through.
      I hope this helps you with the diet. It is very daunting to start with, but if you see improvements it will be worth it. Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

  14. Leanne says:

    Hi Sandra, I have enjoyed reading your site and comments. My daughter is 15 and was a very healthy child…I thought …and has suffered headaches for nearly 2 years daily. After many visits to doctors etc by word of mouth I took her to Brisbane to allergy medics for testing as no referral was required. She did not react…so to speak for allergies but convulsed and had a seizure…very scary….after our visit the dr recommended trying the elimination diet which we sort of did but nausea and headaches still persisted. After seeing a dietitian this week who again has put her on a strict low chemical diet today is the first day no headache…yippee. After reading about Oscar, Breanna was a no sleep baby from hell and I spent one week in tresillian 15 years ago with no mention of me dieting, watching what I ate and what she was fed etc. if only the Internet and what we now know was available back them, I could of prevented her headaches, nausea and sleeplessness. On saying that my 18 year old son is similar with diarrohea and stomach problems, but after suffering from his “toxic tummies” as he still calls them, for 18 years, he still chooses to eat McDonald’s and hungry jacks and waits for the run to the toilet… Thank you and looking forward to Breanna learning to cook her foods with me. Leanne

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Leanne. We are lucky that we have all this information now, but it can also be quite confusing. I suspect that I also had food intolerances as a child. My Mum says I was similar to Oscar after I was born and she was told by the Health Nurse that her “milk was bad”, so I was put onto cow’s milk when I was 3 or 4 months old and the problems went away. I also suffered from migraines with vomiting as a kid, and asthma. The migraines continued as a teenager and adult but I have noticed in the last few years (since being on the diet) that they aren’t as bad or as frequent. Good luck to both of you, I hope Breanna continues to see benefits from it.

  15. Melody says:

    Hi. Great to see your site! We had issues for 4 yrs & 3 mths before anyone actually took notice of my concerns…after a serious issue of my sons lung collapsing due to stomach distension caused by coeliac disease and what I feel is a salicylate intolerance. It’s great to see your recipes….today especially as I am really struggling today dealing with the whole issue of school lunches and limiting his fruit intake. Do you have any suggestions about being as time efficient as possible when preparing foods? I have a daughter with potato, banana and other allergies so I am finding the preparation of many different food types a little draining. I used to love cooking but am finding it really tiring and frustrating at present. Thanks.

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Melody, it sounds like you do have a lot on you plate, although it’s good that you you know what you need to do. I try to prepare as much as I can in bulk. Baked goods can be frozen and thawed out in lunch boxes, I’ve also just bought some “Squeezems” food pouches and am practising with what I can put in them – yogurt, pureed fruit, custards, etc. If you don’t have much storage in your freezer, preparing on the weekend and having enough food ready for the week can help. I also try and think about what left overs can be used for, or when I’m cooking vegetables (steamed, roasted, etc.) I cook some extra at the same time so I have them to use in other meals or snacks. I have periods when I’m very organised and have meals planned in my head for the week, but then I also get lazy and can’t be bothered thinking, so for these times I have some “go to meals” that are really quick to prepare and I make sure I always have the ingredients on hand.

  16. Kate says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and recipes! I am very new to the idea of doing an elimination diet with my 7.5 month old son, but I suspect he may be sensitive to salicylates. Our story sounds similar to yours and Oscar’s – he loves food and we are mainly doing BLW too, his sleep also deteriorated at around 6 months but I put it down to the “6 month growth spurt”. However, he has been getting red blotchy cheeks after eating and a recurrant spotty rash on his arms and legs which make me think there is something going on with food. A friend from my mother’s group is a nutritionist and she has given me a ton of info on salicylates and doing and elimination diet together with him (as I am breastfeeding). We haven’t seen a paediatrician, allergy specialist or dietician though – since you’ve been through this journey already I was wondering whether you think we should do that before making any dietary changes?

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Kate, thanks for contacting me. I would absolutely recommend doing the elimination diet with a dietician or other specialist, but it wouldn’t hurt to start cutting out the artificial stuff and high salicylate foods before you do that. It can take a while to get appointments sometimes, and you might see some improvements by making small changes. Before you do this, record what you would both normally eat in a week and record his sleep and rashes for that week as well. Do the same after you make the changes. Even if you don’t notice improvements the dietician can use that information to help identify what might be going on. I hope it all goes well for you, and feel free to ask me any questions.

  17. Damien says:

    Hi Sandra

    I have really appreciated the recipes you have shared, as I have found them invaluable in sorting out dinners to cook for my wife, whom is on the elimination diet from the RPAH. I call it cooking for Carolyn! My wife has been suffering terribly for about 3 years now and we hope this difficult process will help us to discover if the cause is a food intolerance.

    By some luck I happened to make a dish I thought I would share. Its a recipe for the crumb for chicken tenders and we fount it to be very tasty and with a flavour not unlike KFC with some suprise. No doubt it would be popular with children. As you have been such a help with your site, I thought I would offer it to you to try, and perhaps provide for others.

    Crumbed Chicken Tenders

    1 part crushed puffed rice
    1 part crushed smiths original chips
    1/4-1/2 part buckwheat

    I used a zyliss cutter to cut up the first two ingredients (though a barmix or food processor would do Im sure). For a hot and spicy texture crush roughly, or for original recipe, fine. Cut chicken breast into strips, coat in whisked egg and then in the crumb before frying in canola.

    We are soon to try this with your mayo and some other sauces we have found including one made with purple cabbage on the fedup site.

    Thanks again!
    Damien

  18. Christen Taylor says:

    hi Sandra, my name is Christen and were have only just started a low salicylate diet for mine and my 4yr old sons benefit and your sight is really amazing. i have started a facebook for people to see our progress and id love to post your website for people to see and the recipes from here that i use but i wanted to check that that was OK first. thankyou so much i think your recipes will definitely get is through the first few weeks.

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Christen,
      sorry for taking so long to reply, I’ve been on holidays. Good luck with the diet, and I’m very happy for you to link and share my site. 🙂

  19. Kathy says:

    Hi, Im a newcomer to salicylate intolerances, and wonder about citric acid? It sounds like lemon/vinegar acid product, so can you tell me that it really is ok to try?? I notice it is in a lot of products and thought it would be a problem additive? Love the cookbook, thanks. Kathy

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Kathy,
      thanks for the feedback on the book. Citric acid is on the RPAH food chemical charts as low salicylate, however I know that for very sensitive people it can be a problem and they either have to limit it or eliminate it from the diet altogether. It is a natural preservative which originally came from citrus fruits, but (and I’m not an expert here) I think it is massed produced from other fermentation processes, but not sure how. You can either leave it out of your diet and then challenge it to see if you react, or keep it in but if you’re not seeing results then take it out.

      A similar product I’ve also started using recently is tartaric acid, which is also listed as low salicylates. It comes from grapes and wine products.

      Hope this helps.

  20. Oscars Mum says:

    Hi Jo, you’re the second person today to find me and have a similar story. You’re very welcome to ask as many questions as you like; it would also be useful to me to be able to include some equivalents and I am getting a few visitors from NZ now. Thanks for contacting me. Enjoy your weekend.

  21. Jo says:

    Hi Heather
    I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find your blog and website…all of 5 minutes ago! My son Ben is 33 months and was diagnosed with a Salicylate intolerance just before he turned one. I thought I was seeing things when I read Ocscar’s story – it is so similar to Ben’s! I have learnt a lot from my nutritionist but there is still a massive “gap of knowledge” out there so your blog is WONDERFUL! I am in Auckland so not familiar with some of the terms/products you refer to …my fingers are crossed that I can figure out local equivalents – or might have to ask some questions 😉 Thanks SO much for sharing, you’ve made my day! Jo

  22. Jazmine says:

    I am sooo excited to have found your site!! I feel like I’ve been hacking through jungle trying to explain to people that I think my son has a salicylate intolerance based on his sleep patterns responding to the food he eats. Barely anyone has even heard of salicylates before.

    It was my son’s terrible sleep – like Oscar’s – when he was 9 months old that led me to cut back to feeding him bananas and rice besides breastmilk for a few weeks, with incredible results. I was so relieved because – also like you – I didn’t think it was necessary to resort to cry-it-out methods for getting him to sleep. I didn’t figure out the connection with salicylates until a few weeks after I stopped all the solids. I’ve kept him on a low-salicylate diet, but was finally able to start the diet myself last week. The fact that he has practically put himself to sleep a few times since last week has me amazed! My hope is to see him sleep up to 8 hours on his own. I start work in 2 weeks, so I’m hoping hard!

    What I’ve really wanted is to find someone with a similar experience. I’m going to be referring a ton of people to your site to help explain what we’re doing with our diet. I’m especially thankful for your recipes and how well you label them. I also discovered I’m gluten-intolerant this past April, so being able to quickly identify whether one of your recipes is suitable for all my restrictions is great.

    Thanks for blogging. I’m feeling validated 🙂

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi Jazmine, I’m so glad that you’ve found my site and that you now know that you are not alone in what you’re experiencing. Your story sounds very similar to ours. This was the reason for starting this site, so thank you for your feedback. I’ve only recently started updating my recipes for gluten and dairy intolerances, so you’ll find more of them appearing in the search over time. Good luck for starting work. I started back not long after we worked out Oscar’s diagnosis; I have never been so grateful for sleep in my life!

  23. Heather says:

    Hi Sandra, great work here, love it. My daughter was 3 when we finally found out what was “wrong” with her. We’d been through all sorts of tests and one day we miserably went for icecream and a look in a bookshop to cheer ourselves up and Sue Dengate’s book literally fell off the shelf and hit me in the foot!

    Three days later I had a different child. Wish I’d had your blog then, but it was a while ago now, she’s about to turn 18. We survived 13 years of strict salicylate free food and tried to increase her tolerance a few times to no avail. I made up heaps of recipes and made the most of it, because I love to cook and really, you can do a lot within the limits. There is no reason to be bored, once your tastebuds adapt to the smaller variety. You even gain an appreciation of the more subtle flavours. Wish I’d known about the No Tomato Sauce though, lol! Our son was glutamate intolerant and they both sorely missed tomato sauce.

    And to Martine, good luck with the pear ketchup/chutney attempts. It’s worth trying again and getting it right, it makes a great sauce base to add to other recipes to give them a better depth of flavour, even if you don’t like it for sauce.

    I’m sharing your site with several people I know who will be glad to know about it. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks Heather, I agree that once you get used to the food and learn how to make the most of it you get used to the different flavours, and there is a lot of flavour in these feeds. The trick is working out how to put them together. Thank you for sharing my site.

  24. Jodie says:

    Hi, Just came across your site and it has brightened my day. Food intolerances can crop up at any age, I’m 51 and had a severe allergic reaction a few weeks back. I am not allergic to any specific food, but some build up of chemicals. Hence I am on the elimination diet. For someone who has been involved in the food industry most of my life, love cooking, love dining out, this is really hard. I am over porridge, cabbage, peas and beans ! Anyway, I look forward to trying out some of your recipes, and hopefully I can soon find out what specifically I need to avoid, and get back to normal life.

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Good luck with the diet Jodie. I hope the diet works for you, then you can figure out which foods are a problem and it does become much easier.

  25. Karina says:

    Hi, thanks for your great blog and resources. After 5-6 years of chronic migraines, many meds and a few neurologists, i came across amine/salucylate intollerance. Ive been on low amine/moderate sals for approx 9 months now. Added challenges with diet include my husband is gluten and lactose intollerant, allergic to legumes, and i also have to be careful with milk. It is hard to stick to, especially when some other “failsafe” bloggers include moderate-high amine ingredients in their recipes, andthe usual slipups, and the cravings for spicy food takeover. I have found that your blog/recipes are true to the RPAH categories, which is very helpful. Keep up the good work!

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks Karina, I had the same problem with online food lists when I first started and I still find sites that have no idea what salicylates are so list products and recipes as “salicylate-free”. That’s why I follow the RPAH catgeories, I do make mistakes sometimes, but my recipes are pretty accurate.

  26. Martine says:

    Thank you for you blog. I came across it only yesterday searching for a decent recipe after a terrible failed attempt at pear chutney. I have actually started an allergy free diet myself (as a 37 year-old mother of a two year-old) and I know I will be a regular visitor!

  27. Paula says:

    Hi Sandra,
    Great site! I was wondering if it\’d be worth starting a blog like this only to find yours, so thanks so much for sharing your story and recipe ideas. I\’m finding it actually quite fun to experiment with ingredients within the constraints of a low-moderate salicylate diet for my daughter. (e.g. I\’ve found pushing some tamarillo flesh through a sieve makes pink colour for icing and tastes better than citric acid)

    It took us 2.5 years to find out our kid was sensitive to salicylates because she ate EVERYTHING and the more we eliminated foods we thought were the problem, the more the symptoms persisted. Symptoms were hard to put your finger on until we tried toilet training. Our toddler could do it all fine except for those sneaky poos and I just knew it wasn\’t a matter of her not understanding or cooperating – she just couldn\’t get to the toilet in time.

    We found a good paediatrician who suggested the Friendly Food cookbook and have found the RPAH resources really useful – it all made sense when we saw the foods we\’d identified in the \’very high\’ category for salicylates. So – she\’s back to being toilet trained and we\’re all cheering – we just sneak in spicy foods when we\’re not with our daughter…

    Keep it up!
    Paula.

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks for the feedback Paula. It’s amazing how difficult these food issues can be to figure out, but I’m glad you’ve found the answer. Don’t be put off doing your own blog. There’s a great little community of Failsafe and Elimination diet bloggers out there!

  28. Cassroe says:

    Hi OscarsMum,

    I have just found your website while searching for RPAH elimination recipies. I cannot believe the similarities to our stories. My son is 10 months old, and I have just started him on the failsafe/ RPAH diet a week ago. He has always been a restless baby, wiggling his feet, and seemingly not needing a lot of sleep, and easy to stir. Looking back his sleep worsened dramatically when he started on solids, baby led weaning style like you and Oscar. My son Victor also threw himself into eating with gusto, eating piles of fruit, mild curries with the family and anything he could get his hands onto. He started waking around 5 times a night, and my gut feeling has always been that it was his tummy causing him trouble. I took a step backwards with food, only offering him plain fruits and vegetables with no improvement. I stumbled on Pinky McKays book at an op shop, and even though I had read bucket loads of sleep books, I had never before heard a mention of salicylate intolerance. We are just in our first week of the diet, and I am finding it difficult and have made a few slips already (I’m finding dairy very difficult to avoid) but have already had one night with o ly one wake up – with me getting the biggest block of sleep since my son was born. Thank you, you have motivated me to stick to the diet more strictly, and I look forward to looking at your recipies!

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thank you for contacting me. I’m so glad that the diet seems to be working for your son, and that you’ve found my website. Hopefully you’ll find lots of ideas here to help you with the diet. Don’t get down on yourself for making mistakes – it’s a really hard thing to do. And it’s not until you get into it that you realise how hard it is. It will start to get easier, especially if you are seeing results. Good Luck!

  29. doreen says:

    your site is very helpful, can you tell me please what salicylate free toothpaste and bath products you use, thanks!

    • OscarsMum says:

      Hi doreen, thanks for your comments. We use plain toothpaste from Allergy Train. For the bath and shower we use QV Wash and QV Kids Wash (I have heard some kids can be sensitive to the blue specks in the kids one, so if you are highly sensitive the plain one may be the better). We also use the QV flare up wash and flare up bath oil when Oscar gets eczema. The shampoo we use isn’t low salicylate, but it works for us – Curash Soothing Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo.

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