November 20, 2015

Kapu - Forbidden

 When planning an international trip with a baby with food allergies, here's my simple plan:
Step 1. Send lots of emails.
Step 2. Make a packing list with a long list of medications.
Step 3. Start stockpiling carrots.
Happy camper on the 2am flight to Fiji

Our family had the awesome opportunity to travel to Fiji and meet up with friends from Michigan and Australia! We had two wonderful weeks catching up and having new adventures. There were a lot of logistics in planning the trip - coordinating all our arrivals, two different resorts, two catamaran rides, and a seaplane! Add to the mix researching common Fijian foods, customs requirements and emailing resort staff to make sure our son with allergies would have food - it was quite an undertaking!
The staff loved "bacon boy"!

 Side note - Background on Calvin's allergies:
4 months old: Constant rash leads us to get blood tests that reveal allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts.
12 mo: New tests show additional allergies to fish, wheat, sesame and soy.
13 mo: Big test of 30+ things show allergies to EVERYTHING!

Now he is on a limited diet of pork, turkey, grapes and carrots. Although it seems restrictive, he loves the foods he can eat. And he really loves not being itchy.

To add in nutrients, he also drinks a supplemental formula that rivals Frappuccinos in price. But not in flavor. At first, he rejected it outright. Instead of serving it cold as suggested, we tried it warm in a bottle and he gobbles it up!

Enjoying his special order grapes-to-go
Back to our trip to Fiji
In order to make his limited diet work for two weeks, there was a lot of research and tons of emails to customs and our resorts. Although we had about 5 pounds of grapes confiscated at the airport, we had no other issues. Both resorts were very accommodating in ordering grapes from the main island so every day he had his very own special order grape and ham plate.

Our friends were really accommodating as well - in fact, I was the one who accidentally ordered the peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Overall, our journey with his allergies has made us very thankful. He doesn't know what foods he's "missing out" on and is generally pretty happy - even if he's itchy. Food allergies are much more common so people are more understanding. Amazon and specialty stores make it easy to find foods to accommodate his needs.

As of today, he has the green light to start adding back in new foods! Looking forward to adding some variety to his diet.

If you need me, I'll be shopping for carrots.

Language notes:
Word: Kapu
Meaning: Forbidden, sacred or holy
Language: Hawaiian
Usage: Fairly common, especially "keep out" signs