I think salicylates are a poorly understood intolerance. Basically these are foods that have naturally occurring aspirin in them. The higher the salicylate the worse the reaction.
In Little B’s case, he becomes hyper (like he’s on speed), aggressive, doesn’t listen to anybody, loses language, and is more inclined to miss getting to the toilet in time (even though he has been toilet trained since he was 27 months). I truly believe he would have been diagnosed with ADHD if we hadn’t picked up on his intolerance so early on in life.
Little B used to wake up to 15 times a night, every night for the first year of his life. This was almost completely the result of salicylates. Unbeknownst to us we had been feeding him high sals food for most of his life. All the foods that are encouraged as first foods were the culprits (apple, avocado, corn, pumpkin) plus I was passing these foods through my breastmilk. By removing apple and avocado alone from his diet, we reduced his night waking from 15 times to 4 times a night in one week.
Then the challenge was on – the best guides were Sue Dengate and the Friendly Food cookbook by the RPA. The Friendly Food cookbook has a list of foods at the beginning divided into low, mod, high and really high. We avoid all high and really high sals foods, and ration out the mods, the low ones are part of his daily diet.
Unfortunately sals are even in things like vegemite, most fruit and vegies, olive oil and I could go on. I am happy to say we don’t regret removing these foods one bit. Little B is an absolute delight most of the time (other than the normal 3 year old habits) - he is a quiet, caring, happy child.
People often comment on how “hard” our life must be with a child who has multiple food allergies and intolerances. Or how “hard” it must be for me to watch his diet so carefully and to have to bake and cook almost everything from scratch.
Quite frankly, I would rather live with the food limitations and have a gorgeous happy child than go back to an out of control child who rarely slept but had a more varied diet. Now that was hard!!