Dairy Allergy, M&M's, Constipated Child

Is There a Carob Candy Substitute for M&M's?

Help!!! My ex gives our son M&Ms all the time, but since my son has a dairy allergy he gets so constipated afterwards - sometimes for 3-4 days. Is there any carob candy substitute out there? - J.V.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

I searched online and found various non-dairy and carob candy, but nothing exactly like M&M's. If you search under carob non-dairy candy or treats, you'll find them.

Or check your nearest natural food store. The trick is in finding a substitute treat your son will like and not react to.

According to the Food Allergy Survival Guide by Joanne Stepaniak (I recommend it to you and your ex), food allergies in children can be magnified by combination with other highly allergenic substances such as artificial food colorings, artificial flavorings, food preservatives, or sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, soy, casein, peanuts, etc, all of which could be in the M&M's.

That could explain why a few M&M's could constipate your son for 3 - 4 days. And non-dairy carob candy might have the same effect if that's the case.

I have to ask: If your son has a dairy allergy so extreme that a few M&M's can constipate him for 3 - 4 days, then why is your ex giving them to him?

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Have you told him what's happening and discussed alternative treats? What was his response? If he knows what happens and does it anyway, that's just plain abusive, in my opinion.

Besides the M&M's, there might be other things happening during the visits with Dad that could contribute to constipation. Not enough water to drink is one obvious possibility. Too much junk food and fried food, and not enough fruit and veg are other possibilites, also not enough sleep or physical activity.

I hope that a frank but friendly heart-to-heart talk (or a guilt trip maybe) will persuade your ex to act out of love for his child. I'm sure he wouldn't want to be constipated for three or four days (but maybe that's normal to him?) If he doesn't respond to that, find another way to persuade him, such as medical documentation and recommendations.

Hope this helps! Please let me know how it goes.

Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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