Sam: I note that in your book Tolerating Troublesome Foods you classify commercial sweet biscuits as Risk Rating 5 and wheat as dry white biscuits as Risk Rating 2. Would a milk arrowroot biscuit therefore be a Risk Rating 5 whereas a teething rusk be a Risk Rating 2? Although an adult in age, I eat very much like a kid (fussy eater, slow eater, eat simple foods, eat mild tasting foods, eat foods separately/sequentially, eat frequent small meals, drink plenty of milk). I’m not sure whether this has to do with my delayed development or my food intolerance or both.
Joan: Good question Sam! You are a wonderful example of a very sensitive adult who has to attend to every ingredient in a food. You would be liked by mothers who feel they may be fussing too much about ingredients in their infants who cannot speak about how they feel with small changes in food. Sensitivity does change with increasing body weight. Dry white biscuits usually have only flour and vegetable oil. The teething rusks may contain only a very little more in the way of ingredients so we could give them a risk rating of 3. Sweet biscuits usually contain margarine which has more ingredients. Using Arnotts biscuits is better as you note they just have oil. Some sweet biscuits have a little additive flavour, as Arnotts Scotch Fingers used to, and some people react to that. When considering sweet biscuits you have to consider whether the small amount of milk or soy and the other ingredients are a problem for you as well. When you are very sensitive it is wise to test each product one at a time and don’t even assume all brands of milk arrowroot biscuits are equally well tolerated. Over the years I have met many mothers who say that their children are better when they home-cook all biscuits. But it is difficult to manage this all the time, so test the biscuits allowed on the Commercial Food List, as in Are You Food Sensitive? one at a time. As always begin with small serves, such as 1/4 biscuit / day and then increase over the seven days.
Sam: thanks for your reply. I like milk. I tolerate it well. I drink approx. 1.5 L per day. No problem.
I tolerate the teething rusks well. The ingredients are: wheat flour, skim milk powder (2%), wheatgerm, yeast, salt and iron. The brand which I use are Bellamy’s Organic, although Heinz and Only Organic brands have the same ingredients. (I use Bellamy’s Organic as I find that they are a transparent company. I can ask them questions regarding manufacturing processes or ingredients via e-mail and they reply promptly and fully.) I note that, compared to the dry wheat biscuits which you mention below, the teething rusks have no vegetable oil.
I am experimenting with Arnotts brand Milk Arrowroot biscuits. The ingredients are: wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil, condensed milk, salt, baking powder, arrowroot flour, emulsifier (soy lecithin, antioxidant (E307b from soy). Antioxidant E307b is Vitamin E which is also in the multivitamin tablet which I take once per day. (I take Blackmores Sustained Release Multi + Antioxidants, which is among the list of multivitamins without additives.)
I have not yet tried the Arnotts Scotch Finger. It is, however, on my list of trials to do (I got as far as opening the packet and smelling them, but ended up giving them to my mother). The only ingredient differences with the above Arnotts Milk Arrowroot Biscuit are the addition of butter (cream, salt) and eggs, and the absence of arrowroot flour. Neither the ingredients of the Arnotts Milk Arrowroot nor of the Arnotts Scotch Finger list margarine. Both biscuit ingredients also do not list flavour. Are margarine and vegetable oil equivalent?
Joan: I am pleased to see the newer ingredient lists. Vegetable oil is better as it does not have any added emulsifiers, colour or flavour.
Sam: Have you found any general tolerance difference between flour potatoes and waxy potatoes? I would like to try a floury potato such as a King Edward potato.
Joan: Any possible difference in salicylate would be very small so not to worry about that. The change in texture may affect stomach comfort. I am amazed how much difference the density of a food affects people especially those with reflux or upper gut problems. One patient can eat spaghetti but she cannot eat spirals or shells, another can eat plain sweet biscuits but not shortbread. So I would expect the floury potato to be better tolerated than the waxy texture. Everyone is different so you can test what you want to try.