The 12 worst foods to feed eczema-prone children – and the diet that could get rid of their itchy skin for good
- While there are some foods that aren’t good for eczema, others work wonders
- Nutritionist Karen Fischer is the author of a new book, The Eczema Detox
- FEMAIL looks at the 12 worst foods for eczema-prone kids – and the best foods
- Items like potatoes, red cabbage, mung bean sprouts and flaxseed oil all help
Watching your baby struggle with itchy and inflamed skin is difficult for any parent to bear, particularly when you think it is caused by their diet – and they’re a fussy eater to boot.
Nutritionist Karen Fischer knows the problem well, having experienced a battle with eczema with her daughter, Avya.
She has spent 10 years researching eczema and inflammatory skin conditions – and has now published a book about her research, The Eczema Detox.
Here, FEMAIL looks at her 12 worst foods to feed eczema-prone children – and the diet that could get rid of their pesky itchy skin for good.
Nutritionist Karen Fischer has a daughter who has battled eczema – and she has spent the past 10 years analysing which foods are good for eczema, and which aren’t (stock image)
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FEMAIL looks at her 12 worst foods to feed eczema-prone children – and the diet that could get rid of their itchy skin for good (pictured: a success story from using Childs Farm products)
According to Karen, while there are some foods that worsen skin rashes intensely, there are 12 which work wonders at reducing eczema.
Here’s what you need to add to your eczema prone child’s plate.
What are the itchy 12 foods to limit in your child’s diet?
1. Grapes: including sultanas, raisins, grape juice
2. Oranges: including orange juice
3. Kiwi fruit
4. Soy sauce: including tamari and other sushi sauces
5. Tomatoes: including tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and tomato juice
8. Dried fruits: including apricots, dates, prunes etc
9. Deli meats: including sausages, ham, bacon, devon, salami
10. Eggs: especially: raw egg whites hidden in mayonnaise, coleslaw dressings, pancake mix, chocolate mousse, pavlova
11. Chocolate: including coffee and tea
12. Dairy products: including cow’s milk, yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream, desserts, sheep and goat’s milk
1. Mung bean sprouts
‘Mung bean sprouts are like little alkalising “bombs” when added to your meals as they are one of the few strongly alkalising foods available,’ Karen wrote in her book.
‘They contain magnesium, vitamin K, folate, potassium and vitamin C and they are salicylate-free.’
The nutritionist recommends you store these in the fridge, wash before serving and add to salads and savoury dishes.
2. Flaxseed oil
Flaxseeds are small brown seeds best known for their rich content of anti-inflammatory omega-3 oils.
Karen explained: ‘Flaxseed oil is more refined than whole flaxseeds so it contains fewer salicylates and amines and more of the beneficial oils, including 57 per cent omega-3 essential fatty acids.’
The benefits of flaxseed oil include a remedy for dry skin, a prevention of dry eyes and a reduction in the risk of cancer.
Sprinkle some on your child’s breakfast cereal for healthy skin.
3. Red cabbage
Another ‘alkalising vegetable and a member of the mighty brassica family’, Karen outlined that red cabbage is ‘rich in vitamin C, folate and anti-cancer indoles’.
‘It’s worth swapping from white cabbage to the red variety as red cabbage has double the amount of dietary fibre compared to regular cabbage and it contains protective purple pigments,’ she said.
Red cabbage’s anti-inflammatory properties ‘activate the production of collagen for healthy skin’.
Among the foods that you should be increasing if you have a child who struggles with eczema are potatoes (stock image), spring onions, red cabbage and saffron
4. Spring onions
Also referred to as scallions and shallots, spring onions are part of the onion family and contain ‘histamine-lowering, anti-inflammatory quercetin’.
‘Like garlic (but in lower concentrations) spring onions possess antioxidant flavonoids that convert to allicin when cut or crushed,’ Karen said.
‘Spring onions contain folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein and are one of the richest sources of vitamin K, which is vital for healthy skin.
‘Just 50g of raw spring onions provides 103mcg of vitamin K, nearly double the daily adequate intake for adults.’
Red cabbage’s anti-inflammatory properties ‘activate the production of collagen for healthy skin’, while two to three servings of fish each week is beneficial (stock image)
Fish is great for your health for a number of reasons, but it also helps with eczema.
‘High fish intake during pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of eczema,’ Karen said.
‘Two to three servings of fish each week are beneficial for elevating mood and increasing the health of the brain, skin and heart.’
Good sources of omega-3, EPA and DHA include trout, salmon, sardines, herring and fish oil supplements, she outlined.
Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided, she added.
‘Beetroot, also known as beets, is an important vegetable for eczema sufferers as it has strong alkalising properties which boost liver detoxification of chemicals,’ Karen said (pictured: a Childs Farm success story)
‘Beetroot, also known as beets, is an important vegetable for eczema sufferers as it has strong alkalising properties which boost liver detoxification of chemicals,’ Karen said.
‘Beetroots are a rich source of betaine, a derivative of choline, which helps to prevent fatty liver and boost detoxification of chemicals.’
Grate fresh or peeled beetroot into salads and sandwiches, and put in your kids’ veggie juices.
A staple of thousands, Karen highlighted that oats are vital for eczema sufferers as ‘wholegrain or rolled oats provide more dietary fibre and protein than other grain cereals’ (stock image)
A staple of thousands of people around the world, Karen highlighted that oats are vital for eczema sufferers as ‘wholegrain or rolled oats provide more dietary fibre and protein than other grain cereals’.
‘They’re a source of vitamin E, zinc, potassium, iron, manganese and silica, an essential mineral for strengthening connective tissue in the skin,’ she said.
Practise giving them to your kids at least twice a week for breakfast to reap the complexion results.
Both papaya and pawpaw are encouraged, thanks to papaya’s lycopene content, which helps to protect the skin from sun damage (there is no lycopene in pawpaw)
8. Papaya and pawpaw
Both papaya and pawpaw are encouraged, thanks to papaya’s lycopene content, which helps to protect the skin from sun damage (there is no lycopene in pawpaw).
Eating them raw, with the skin and seeds removed, is typical and the most beneficial way to eat them.
Saffron has long been touted as the health holy grail, thanks to its medicinal properties, pleasant flavour and bright orange colour, which means it’s often used to colour rice dishes.
‘Saffron has many health benefits and it has been used for centuries as a natural antiseptic, digestive aid and antidepressant,’ Karen said.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with stomach disorders and coughs, too.
Pear sorbet recipe
Pear sorbet is a great way to get your child to eat pear, another good food for them (pictured)
Serves 2, preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 5 minutes (plus overnight freezing time)
The humble pear is an incredibly healthy fruit, rich in two types of fibre for bowel health, plus anti inflammatory nutrients including quercetin and vitamin C. The addition of calcium powder makes this an acid–alkaline balanced dessert (and it’s a fun way to have your calcium).
• 4–5 ripe pears, peeled (avoid Asian/Nashi or Ya pears) (or 1 x 400 g/14 oz can pears in syrup, drained)
• 3 g (3 scoops) fine calcium powder
• filtered water
• real maple syrup, to taste (optional, if using fresh pears)
If using canned pears, be sure to avoid any containing corn syrup. Drain and discard the sugar syrup.
Cut the pears into small pieces. If using fresh pears, fill a medium-sized saucepan with water, then add the pears and bring to the boil, cooking until the pears are soft (about 5 minutes).
Strain the pears and refrigerate the liquid for later use. Allow the pears to cool.
Place the pear pieces into a freezer bag or large freezer-proof containers.
Freeze the pears flat so that you can easily break off pieces when frozen. Leave in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or until frozen.
Place the frozen chunks of pear into a food processor and a splash of pear water to help it blend, and blend on medium speed until smooth.
If using fresh pears do a taste test and add maple syrup if desired. The consistency should be like sorbet or soft serve ice-cream. Serve immediately.
Freeze leftovers in ice block trays.
Source: The Eczema Detox
‘Pears are a member of the rose family and have a unique combination of insoluble and soluble fibre,’ Karen said.
‘This powerful combination of dietary fibre in pears helps to reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, by binding to bile acids to aid the removal of toxic waste from the body.’
They are also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K – and they’re easy to digest.
The Eczema Detox, by Karen Fischer, is available now (pictured)
‘Carob has been used for its many health benefits for over 4000 years,’ Karen said.
‘It was used to soothe and cleanse the throat and it can help alleviate diarrhoea in children.’
Incorporate a bar of carob instead of chocolate for your children, to help their skin.
‘While potatoes are often mistakenly touted as being “void of nutrition”, this humble vegetable has a high vitamin C content, which kept sailors in the 1700s from dying of scurvy,’ Karen said.
‘White potatoes are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin B6, and a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin B5 and dietary fibre for healthy bowels and clear skin.’
Potatoes are easy to add to your children’s diets – simply add them to any evening meal with vegetables and protein.
The Eczema Detox, by Karen Fischer, is available from Exisle Pulishing and all good bookstores.
What are the Child’s Farm success stories?
There is another product that eczema-prone adults swear by for themselves and their children: Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser. The success stories speak for themselves.
Paige Sweeney, 23, spent more than two years with dermatologists trying to find a cure for the eczema afflicting her daughter Evie-Rae, now three, but nothing worked.
The toddler would wake up every night, scratching herself until she bled, Paige said.
Then, as a last resort, the Nottingham-based mother spotted the $8 Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser on the shelves at her local Boots and decided to give it a go – to her amazement Evie’s eczema quickly vanished.
Describing it as a ‘miracle cream’, Paige said: ‘Within a matter of days I could see her skin starting to clear up. I couldn’t believe it.’
Paige Sweeney, 23, from Nottingham spent more than two years with dermatologists trying to find a cure for her daughter Evie-Rae’s eczema (left). After using Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser the condition started to clear within days (right)
Nicole O’Dwyer, 21, from Tipperary, Ireland, suffered from chronic eczema on her hands since birth and tried countless products on prescription including steroid cream and emollient moisturisers.
Frequently having her hands in water and using hair products made her condition even worse, and she was in constant agony.
But in July Nicole’s dad Kieran suggested she should try $8 Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser, after he read about the product online.
Hairdresser Nicola O’Dwyer, 21, from Tipperary, Ireland was advised to give up her job because her eczema was so bad (left). But after two weeks of using Childs Farm she was able to carry on without any problems (right)
Nicole started applying the cream regularly, and within two weeks her eczema had disappeared, leaving her able to carry out her job without any problems.
Psoriasis sufferer Damien Broderick, 26, had to fetch a vacuum cleaner every time he removed an item of clothing in order to clean up flakes of skin that would fall off his body.
Damien from Dublin, previously used a steroid cream to treat the condition, however when the disease returned his GP advised him to look into alternative therapy, as another course of steroids may not have the same effect and could potentially do more harm than good.
Desperately looking for a solution, he looked into everything from Chinese medicine to acupuncture, but was advised to try Childs Farm products by a colleague.
Damien bought the brand’s Baby Moisturiser and Hair and Body Wash, and within days he started to see a visible difference in his skin.
Damien Broderick from Dublin had such bad psoriasis he would have to vacuum up the flakes of skin (left) but within days of using Childs Farm he could see a visible difference in his skin (right)
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