Tori Levine is the owner of Babies at the Barre where she runs fitness classes for moms with little ones. Today she shares her journey of breastfeeding a food sensitive baby. Get to know her more below.

Tori Levine

Tell us a little about yourself and family.

I live in Harrisburg, PA with my husband, 2-year-old son, and dog. I stayed home with my son for about 20 months and started my mommy and my fitness business, Babies at the Barre, during that time. I love connecting with and helping new moms, playing with my family, and love a good cup of coffee!

What food sensitivities did your kid(s) have as infants?

Dairy, Soy, and Gluten

Tori Levine

What symptoms or reactions made you suspect a food sensitivity?

He had acid reflux issues and would projectile vomit A LOT! A fecal occult test showed positive for microscopic blood in his stool. We didn’t realize that lime greenish mucousy poos were a sign of blood in the stool. His gluten sensitivity showed up after we introduced cream of wheat as a solid around 7 or 8 months old. He got a bright red rash on his cheeks after eating and then would have mucousy stools/diarrhea.

How did you change your diet or the family’s diet?

I cut out all dairy and soy for over a year. We now cook mostly the same meals, but just make sure there is gluten free pasta or options for our son.

Tori Levine

Did you notice any health changes within yourself on the new diet?

I noticed I lost weight because I couldn’t eat ice cream or cakes. I found I did not have as many sinus/allergy issues after cutting out dairy. I actually found out I have a dairy allergy when my son grew out of his and I began to reintroduce dairy into my diet causing sinus infections and severe heartburn/indigestion. Without dairy, I have fewer migraines and sinus infections.

What was (or is) the hardest thing about having food sensitivities in your family and how are you managing that challenge?

Making sure family and friends understand what the allergens are and how to avoid them.

Food sensitivities or allergies can be stressful or even scary for a family. How have you chosen to move forward in faith, not fear?

We luckily do not have any anaphylactic responses. It is stressful because we do not want our son to have any adverse reactions/stomach aches from eating something that contains gluten and we are pretty vigilant in making sure when we order out or eat at a family or friend’s that they are aware of the allergies. We have been straightforward with our son and he understands that if something has gluten he can’t have it and if something has dairy mommy can’t have it.

What’s the most helpful thing people could do to help you during that season of breastfeeding a food sensitive baby?

Make me food that was free of dairy and soy. That time period was hard as a new mom without having to read labels and prep special food.

What advice would you give a mom who’s struggling now with a food sensitive baby?

See an allergist and understand where the allergy is coming from (the protein). We are lucky now that more pediatricians are recognizing that there are food allergies and food sensitivities but you still need to trust your gut and advocate for your child’s health.

What’s one of your favorite food sensitive recipes? *Does contain nuts*


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