Baked Milk Challenge: Success!
Because Joseph’s numbers on his allergy test were fairly low for milk allergy, our allergist told us to try challenging him with baked milk at home. Baked milk just means making a baked good that has milk in the dough/batter. Studies have found that the heat of the oven will often warp proteins enough that the immune system no longer recognizes it as a threat. And if he is able to tolerate baked milk, then not only does that mean that we can bake with more ease, but he will be more likely to outgrow this allergy faster as the baked milk desensitizes his immune system.
Still, I procrastinated the challenge. The scene kept going through my mind of him as a baby eating a crumb of zucchini bread I’d made with sour cream, and getting itchy red eyes. Was it really possible that he had come down in sensitivity enough to tolerate an entire serving that contained 1/5 cup (20% of a cup) of milk?
I finally broke down this week and did it. I started small – muffins that contained 1/24 cup (4.1% of a cup) milk each. Joseph never ate a full one. I wasn’t sure if that’s because they were on the dry side, or if they were making his throat itch, which is a symptom he can’t really tell me about. However, there was no sign of hives or itchy eyes.
So, I upped the challenge and made a batch of pancakes with half coconut milk and half cow’s milk. This came to about 1/16 cup (6.3% of a cup) in each pancake. He ate two for dinner (12% of a cup), and then two more for breakfast the next day. Both times, his skin stayed perfectly white, and he was perfectly happy.
I am floored. I knew his sensitivity was decreasing, but I hadn’t expected it to decrease so much. While we are only half way to the doctor’s threshold, I am pretty confident that we will hit it. I’m not sure yet how this will affect my cooking. I have no plans to give him cheese or butter unless the doctor tells us otherwise at our next appointment. But I will probably try baking foods with milk, sour cream, or other dairy foods again. What will I try first? I have absolutely no idea.