Yeah, that's me.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mouth Watering Monday (and a sweet potato allergy update)

So I am getting a jump on my mouth watering Monday here, but we just had this for dinner tonight and it was YUMMMM-AY. Plus I really don’t want to be on tomorrow very much.
My mother in law gave me a recipe several years ago for her chili. She made it when she came to visit us in Missouri and I later called her and asked for the recipe. I was slightly frustrated b/c her “recipe” was in her head and she tweaked it every time she made it. For a new “cook” like me, that was hard to do. But over the years I have learned to tweak it myself and I no longer use a referrence for it. It’s so simple and easy, and tweaking it to fit your cooking mood is fun! Enjoy!

1-2lbs of hamburger

packet of taco seasoning

two cans of petite diced tomatoes (sometimes I use the cans with onions and peppers in them)

one can of black beans

one can of kidney beans

one can of a white bean (garbanzo, navy, great northern…take your pic)

*sometimes I put in a can of corn or green chilies too, depends on my mood

two small cans of tomato sauce

one small diced onion

one tablespoon chopped garlic (or garlic seasoning, but real is better)

Seasonings: cumin, paprika, onion (if you don’t use real), garlic (if you don’t use real), cayenne pepper. Just season to taste. Jake likes spicy and so do I so if it’s just us I use a lot of cayenne. For parties I make two crocks, one mild, one hot.

In a skillet brown the hamburger meat, onions, and garlic. When thoroughly cooked, add in taco seasoning DRY (do not add water). Mix around and once fully cooked, add meat to crock pot. Add in beans and tomatoes and tomato sauce. If you want thicker chili, use tomato paste instead of sauce. Cook in crockpot on high for 3-4 hours. If you want it to simmer all day, just put it on low. Makes the house yummy smelly too!

To eat with dinner I either make cornbread or quesadillas. I know, totally opposite side dishes. With the cornbread I put the cornbread in a bowl and pour chili over it. With the quesadillas I put the chili in a bowl, top with sour cream and cheese, and dip quesadilla triangles in it. Soooo gooooooood.

Ya gotta try this dinner! It’s so yummy! And if you have more hamburger meat than you need for the chili, since it is already seasoned, you can save it for tacos another night. Let me know if you try it!


So I said I would update about finding out about Owen’s allergy to sweet potatoes. Now mind you, a doctor didn’t tell me this. In fact, they weren’t too interested in the fact that I had JUST fed him sweet potatoes an hour before his episode. I googled “infant allergy to sweet potatoes” and came up with a lot of the same scenarios. Check them out for yourself. From now on, I am going to play it safe and NOT give Owen any sweet potatoes. Poor kid, won’t ever know of the yummy goodness of sweet potato pie! Here are the sites:

Click Here (scroll down a bit on this one)

and here

and here too

and don’t forget this one (more for allergy resource)

Okay that’s enough for now. If you google other combinations of “sweet potatoes, allergy, vomitting, infant” stuff like that, you get more sites. One site I found (I’ll have to find it again) showed a controlled study in a small group of infants that had a sweet potato allergy. So, I think we’ll go with “sweet potato allergy” just to be safe.

Now go make some chili!


Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know that I went through the same with my son, (as a baby) with extremely severe vomiting to getting tested for it at 6 years old to see if he is really allergic to sweet potatoes. The doctor tested the skin for regular and sweet potatoes and nothing, found out though that he is allergic to birch... but he researched further, to find out that there are 3 noted cases of allergies to sweet potatoes in the world, all with the same reactions as my son, so my doctor said that it looks like he was definetely allergic to this and prescribed an epi-pen for it. Apparentely, they don't do blood test for this here in Canada but perhaps in Spain. He found one intersting case from spain that looked a lot like my son. He can however eat regular potatoes with no problems. So, I will check out the links you posted for more info but it seems like there may be more than just 3 cases... Anyway, just thought you would like to know this.

Brandy said...

thank you so much for this information!! I really do think there are more allergies to this than people think. My pediatrician sort of dismissed it b/c it's really not that wide spread or well known. For now, we are just avoiding sweet potatoes for sure, and really keeping an eye out for that kind of reaction again. You can see my new blog at or you can still leave me comments here, I would like to know what else you learn about this as well. I never thought about getting an epi pen but that is a good thing to think about for sure. Thank you for sharing your story with me! ;-)

Mary Jo said...

I have just concluded that my son has an allergy to sweet potatoes too. I was doing some internet research and came across your site. I wonder if kids will outgrow this allergy and if it leads to other allergies. I'm assuming your other boys don't have this allergy? I also wonder if it's hereditary. However, neither my husband nor I have any food allergies. So many questions unanswered! Check out my post if you get a chance. Thanks for yours!

Anonymous said...

My 7 month old daughter seems to have a sweet potato allergy as well. About 2 hours after eating them, she vomits and cries, poor thing! No diarrhea, no fever, just a lot of vomit and it comes on suddenly. It happened once a few weeks ago and I wasn't sure if it was a short lived virus or something she ate. I tried the potatoes again this evening and it happened the same way. I'm callling her doctor tomorrow and throwing out the rest of her sweet potatoes! They were Stage 1 Gerber.

Brandy said...

DEFINATELY call your doctor! And if you are able, print out those links I have and show them those. Also let them know about the other commenter here and my baby....our pediatrician, even though I adore him, didn't seem to think it was a possibility. I would really push that they look into it more. I am glad you left a comment! You can see my updated blog at
If you wouldn't mind, would you leave me a comment after your appt? I'd like to know how it went. :) Thanks! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted everyone to know that this allergy apparently can sneak up un-awares. I am a grown woman and absolutely LOVE sweet potatoes...I would eat one every MONTH ..not too often. I ate a baked sweet potato one night for dinner and woke up 2 hrs later with severe vomiting. My husband wanted to go the emergency room but I wouldn't (thought it was a stomach flu)...a month goes by ate another sweet potato and it happened again! Doc hasn't ever heard of doesn't just affect infants! Thanks for all the great links!

Brandy said...

Thank you for that information! I wonder what the cause could be then? Makes me nervous to make sweet potatoes here at home.

sandy said...

outgrow allergy to sweet potato? I am 37, ever since I can remember I have always vomitted after eating sweet potato. Accidently ate some two years ago- allergy still there! Reaction is about two hours after eating, very abrubt, and then over. But I can say, is pretty easy to live a good life without them. This is the only food allergy I have. I am curious about what causes the reaction.

Anonymous said...

This is weird! The first time I thought my baby was sick with the "flu" was about 2-3 hours of a full jar of sweet potatoes... he threw up 3-4 times, then also acted perfectly normal.... I had given him very small amounts in the past but not a full jar. Well just tonight this happened again! 2-3 hours after his feed, it all came up, violently! then he fell fast asleep with no vomiting of his milk... soooooo... sweet potatoe allergy? Sounds like it to me!

Duck's Mom said...

I just wanted to let you know that my son also has a documented allergy to sweet potatoes. At six months, we were just starting solids. This was supposed to be SAFE food to start with. Um yeah, we didn't have vomiting like everyone else is describing, I had a child that was hived out from head to toe. He was getting nothing but sweet potatoes and formula.

Duck has no problems with squash, pumpkin, regular potatoes, JUST sweet potatoes.

I have an incredibly hard time convincing people that it's real, even my family.

I will also add that if anyone gives their child those V8 combo juices.....sweet potatoes are common. We have to be VERY careful in what we buy that's mixed veggie/fruit in terms of juice.

Duck is now 3.5 years old and about 6 months ago, he got a bite of what we *thought* was pumpkin pie......within MINUTES, he was starting hives. Thank God we were about a mile from home (I now carry Benadryl with me all the time). We found out from the restaurant the pie had been mislabeled and was really sweet potato pie.

Duck's Mom said...

sorry i should say as a side note.....mine were homemade. so I know preservatives were not at hand. :)

Paula from PA said...

I am 51 and get indigestion and diarrhea ever time I eat sweet potatoes. Just this week, I ignored my past reactions (believing they must be "all in my head") and made a beef stew with sweet potatoes. What a mistake! I was sick all day with indigestion and a lingering headache. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. It has always seemed like a strange intolerance to have. I was not "exposed" to sweet potatoes until I was 30+ years old.

Cruisin said...

Hello all,

FYI - I have read food sensitivities tend to be in the same families of foods. Sweet potatoes are in the morning glory family which also includes yams and jicama. Jicama is becoming popular and showing up in salad bars and coleslaws.


Anonymous said...

Tonight my little baby girl vomited about 3 hours after eating sweet potatoes. This is the third time this has happened, the other two times I didn't put the two together, but now I am convinced she is allergic to sweet potatoes.

Anonymous said...

I also think my 3 year old has a sweet potato intolerance, not allergy but intolerance. About 3 hours after he eats them he starts scratching his skin and his eczema flares up and he gets itchy and he also gets bloated and windy.

I notice that others say they vomit but is there anyone else whose children doesn't vomit but gets bloated with wind and itchy skin?

Jerah said...

Our son has the exact same thing: any time we feed him sweet potatoes, he throws up a few hours later, and then is fine.

We thought he might have outgrown it by now (he's 3 and we haven't fed them to him since he was an infant), but last week my mom inadvertently gave him some sweet potatoes (we forgot to tell her, since it's really the ONLY thing he seems to be allergic to). He only had a bite or two, but ended up throwing up anyhow.

Eh, at least we know what causes it.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear of other accounts of a sweet potato allergy! My daughter has this too. Our doctor called it an intolerance. She had severe vomiting in response to sweet potatoes several times as an infant. It took us awhile to figure it out because they are supposed to be a low allergen food. We've avoided it since, but yesterday she inadvertantly had some in a muffin and was vomiting off and on for three hours. Thankfully it is not too hard to avoid.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. My 6-month-old has now had sweet potatoes twice. He gagged and threw up after eating a couple of bites the first time so I thought he just didn't like them. I tried them again last night and he ate a few tablespoons and seemed to like them. An hour or so later he was vomiting forcefully and it continued for almost 5 hours until he was dry heaving and later just green/yellow fluid was coming up (bile?), which was both alarming and heartbreaking. He was also cold and clammy. The on-call Dr. at our clinic said (over the phone) to give him Pedialyte but he was throwing up small sips of that as well.

We were getting ready to go to the emergency room but then he wanted to nurse so I let him for a couple of minutes (I was worried about him getting too much and throwing it all up again), waited awhile, nursed him for a few minutes again, etc. He kept it down with no problem and finally got some sleep.

I thought it would be pretty unusual to be allergic to sweet potatoes, but I don't think he has a virus (no fever, was able to keep breastmilk down fine) so I don't think it could be anything but an allergy.

I'm going to make an appointment with an allergist first thing tomorrow to see if I can find out more.

Just wanted to post my experience since reading this post and the other comments helped me. Thank you...

Lucy said...

It was such a relief to read all these comments as I have had the exact same thing happen with my 5 month old son. He has had sweet potatoes 3 times in 9 days and each time has had SEVERE vomiting and diarrhea, etc. I didn't put two and two together the first 2 times since my Dr told me it was a virus that came back again. I just tried him on solids again today and fed him a bit of homemade sweet potato for dinner. Again, within an hour later he was projectile vomiting and has since vomited (or tried to) a further 15 times plus 2 really bad diarrhea poops. VERY scary stuff. I would love to hear what other doctors have said on this and know for sure that we will never feed it him again! Now I am wondering if the rash he has had on and off (particular on the face) since he was born is related. I love sweet potatoes and eat them a lot and am wondering if through the breast milk he has already been getting this allergic reaction...

Isabelle Larose said...

My 8 month girl seems to have an intolerance as well to sweet potatoes.
I just couldn't believe it was that as it is on the "safe" food to first give to a baby.
She gets a terrible rash in her face (that I first attributed to the dry weather we have in calgary) she does spit rather big quantity of it. I would not call it vomiting as it is small amount at a time though.
And she wakes up at night ONLY when she gets sweet potatoes or wheat. It took me a while to figure it out as it is on the "safe" list and I had a bunch of frozen sweet potato cubes that I was using pretty much every day for a while. I thought she was teething, that she had thrush and I simply wouldn't know. Then it occured to me that it was since I started the sweet potato cubes...

So for 3 days in a 2 week period, I gave her only breastmilk and sweet potatoes. For those 3 days, she got cranky, itchy and has spat. So I have no doubts now. (despite what my doc says) that she reacts to sweet potatoes. No more sweet potatoes for her for a while.

She also is intolerant with Wheat and oats. (I did the same 3 day test) So I am starting to think she has a starch intolerance.

The one time I gave her formula, she had an unpleasant time as well. So something is going on for sure.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I never thought to Google sweet potato allergies before! My husband has a severe food intolerance to sweet potatoes, and has been intolerant since he was a baby, with a very similar reaction to many of the children here. He has no other allergies.

In his case, several hours after he eats them, he gets violently sick for three days, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, etc. Can't keep anything down, even water. It takes next to nothing to set it off; one day he ate a cookie baked on a baking sheet (since washed) that had had sweet potato fries on it the day before, and that was enough to make him sick. I made him go see an allergist after that incident, although there wasn't much he could do other than confirm that, yes, he is allergic to sweet potatoes (or, more accurately, has a food intolerance), but not yams.

For several years in his teens he thought he had outgrown it because he had eaten what he thought were sweet potatoes with no ill effect. In retrospect, it seems merely that he had gotten lucky and had eaten yams, not knowing the difference.

So, here's what DH has learned over the years. Maybe this can be of help to someone. There IS a difference between sweet potatoes and yams, although practically no-one knows it, so he avoids both. Heck, before we were married I thought they were the same thing, too). If you see something orange on your plate and you are not 100% positive that it is carrot, ASK! If you're feeling like taking the risk (not really recommended, though), Asian restaurants almost always use Asian yams in their dishes, which aren't the same as sweet potatoes at all, and thus are safe. However, be wary of what anyone in a restaurant tells you (sweet potatoes vs. yams), because chances are they won't really know the difference. Unless you have personally bought the yams yourself, you just can't be sure of what they are. DH was once told that he had eaten sweet potatoes (a garnish in a restaurant dish he only thought to ask about after the fact; big oops), only to realize later, when he didn't get sick, that they must have been yams after all.

On the plus side, we live in the northeastern US, where neither sweet potatoes nor yams are all that common, so they're not too difficult to avoid. The other positive thing is that despite his vicious reaction, it's not nearly as dangerous as going into anaphylactic shock. The only way he could really die from sweet potatoes would be if he ate them constantly. It's been over 10 years now since he's had sweet potatoes (although there was a close call last night, prompting my google search today), so they CAN be avoided without changing your life. Sorry for being so wordy, and good luck!


Anonymous said...

I forgot to add, my DH's reaction has made me very wary of trying sweet potatoes on my kids (one 3 years old, and the other 6 months). It's unlikely they're allergic, I've been told, but since DH can't touch them anyway, I just haven't bothered.


Antony said...

I just wanted to say that I'm an adult and I seem to be intolerant to sweet potatoes... and that's the only thing I'm intolerant to.

Anonymous said...

We just experienced the same thing. Fed my 6 month old daughter organic sweet potatoes, and two hours later - severe vomiting and then nothing. No fever, no rash, just vomiting. Wasn't sure what it was, and then five days later gave her sweet potatoes again and the exact same thing happened. I have never heard of a sweet potato allergy, but this was an identical reaction both time. I am throwing out all of the sweet potatoes and talking to our doctor.

Brandy said...

I am so glad that people are finding this information useful long after I've posted it.... and I don't even use this blog anymore! ;o)

If you do go to a doctor with these concerns, be prepared for them to look at you like you have three heads....that was my experience, even with our regular pediatrician who always went by my instincts. In this case however, they thought I was pulling at straws.

It might help if you print out these comments and the post to show them that this IS happening to other people, they might be more willing to listen if they know you have found similar stories.

Good luck to everyone who posted here and I hope that you don't come across another food allergy!

So far we're fine.... I have never fed Owen sweet potatoes again and don't ever intend to, even to "test" it out. ;o)

Anonymous said...

I spent my daughter's entire first three years trying to convince people that you can have two types of allergies. Anaphylactic and Food Protein Intollerence. I find it comforting to have others understand my frustration but I also would not wish this on anyone. Allergy Net has a good description of sweet potato. We have mustard allergy here too so goodness knows what else is on the horizon.

Big week for us though. She outgrew here egg allergy FINALLY! Just a dozen more to go. :-)

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Anonymous said...

Sweet potatos are extremely "yin" according to Chinese medicine. Yin has an upward rising energy. That is why, even though your child has vomited out the yin, the sweet potatos, he still feels like vomiting for a time afterward...until the baby has returned to its yin/yang balance. Doctors cannot diagnose this because they do not believe in yin and yang.

Stummy said...

I am the mother of a 22 month old boy who wakes at night after having Sweet potato. After months of having him stand up in his cot in the middle of the night for hours chatting away we worked out it was sweet potato. He doesn't throw up or anything, just has lots of energy and bounces around. His twin sleeps thru it all thankfully. I am glad someone in these postings said they have a child who wakes at night after having Sweet Potato, I was thinking I was going loony.

Anonymous said...

My daughter has the same thing. What is odd is she did eat the stage one foods without a problem. We did it for a week as they suggest and nothing. But when we got to stage two, the school called us because she was vomiting. We thought it was a stomach flu, but then again, with the Sweet Potato Puffs she started vomiting again. Then I think it was Harvest Vegetable--the school called and same thing. When I checked the ingredients it has Sweet Potatoes, so even if it is a small amount, she still gets sick. I had forgotten to mention it to her doctor until her 15 month check-up (today) and he said he hadn't heard of it but to research it online. He recommended the Food and Allegery Network site, but I couldn't find anything there. We just keep her off them and make sure that everyone--sitters and the school know that she is allergic.

Anonymous said...

We went through the same things with our daughter and sweet potatoes... violent vomiting 2-3 hours after eating.

We have avoided them for years. She is now 14 and last night we had butternut squash raviolli, we didn't read the ingredients and whoops - it had sweet potatoe in it.

Same old thing happened... good thing is that it has never progressed into a serious allergy. As others have noted it just seems to be an intolerance or an inability to digest sweet potatoes.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add another story. My son is 7 1/2 mo. old and he has now vomited profusely several hours after eating sweet potatoes on two separate occasions. However, the first couple times he ate sweet potatoes, he did not react at all. He has no other allergies and we have only a history of shellfish allergies in our family. But like others said, he vomits and then life goes back to normal... no rash, hives, diarrhea, nothing. I also know that the food is not tainted because he has a twin sister who eats it and is fine. It was homemade organic sweet potato puree. I am disappointed to hear others report that kiddos don't grow out of this... such a bummer, as sweet potatoes are so yummy!

Anonymous said...

I too have found that my son is allergic to sweet potatoes. First time I fed him some it was a Sweet potatoe chicken dinner combo. I thought maybe the food was expired, so I dug it out of the trash only to find it was just fine!! I thought to myself, I am NEVER going to feed him that again! 2 hours later he was vomiting very hard and choking on it. I was scared to death. At this time he was about 8-9 months old.

Later I got a mix of gerber foods, only to find him 2 hours later again, sick to his stomach. This was after eating only ONE BITE = vomiting for hours. I read the back label to find there was some sweet potatoes mixed in and I didn't realize it. This time I knew it was that for sure.

3rd time my mom watched my son and fed him a TON of sweet potato fries and told me "Oh he just ate so many!" And I was like ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS? Low and behold, two hours later he was vomiting and choking like I have NEVER SEEN!! (and never want to see again) I thought he wasn't going to make it that night :( So please be careful out there !!! He hasn't had any since and I'm not about to find out if he is still allergic. I also have a 3 month old daughter and am very hesitant to try them with her.

salesmom said...

My son also has a sweet potatoe allergy. He is 12 and has not outgrown this terrible vomitting reaction to anything with SP or any vegetable juice or powder. Be careful of juice blends with vegetable juice, vegetable crackers, V-8, Minute Maid Pomegranete Lemonade (uses vegetable juice for color!) We have found out the hard way and he is terribly sick and has terrible projectile vomitting.

salesmom said...

My son also has a sweet potatoe allergy. He is 12 and has not outgrown this terrible vomitting reaction to anything with SP or any vegetable juice or powder. Be careful of juice blends with vegetable juice, vegetable crackers, V-8, Minute Maid Pomegranete Lemonade (uses vegetable juice for color!) We have found out the hard way and he is terribly sick and has terrible projectile vomitting.

salesmom said...

My son also has a sweet potatoe allergy. He is 12 and has not outgrown this terrible vomitting reaction to anything with SP or any vegetable juice or powder. Be careful of juice blends with vegetable juice, vegetable crackers, V-8, Minute Maid Pomegranete Lemonade (uses vegetable juice for color!) We have found out the hard way and he is terribly sick and has terrible projectile vomitting.

Erin said...

My daughter has the same reaction - throwing up several hours later. And it looks like her food hasn't even begun to digest, like it just sat in her stomach until it rejected it and sent it all back up. I am so glad to have found that others can react in this same way and wished I'd searched online sooner... this happened three times when she was a toddler. We haven't tried them for years, but she had a few sips of V8 juice w/ sweet potato in it as a free sample at a store and was fine, so we decided to try again tonight... big mistake. Four small bites of sweet potato, and she vomited all over her bed tonight. :( Her 4 yr old sister tolerates them but doesn't like them. No other known sweet potato allergies in the family. It is just such a strange thing to be allergic to, especially since it's so highly recommended as a first food for babies!

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Debbie said...

My daughter, now 3yrs old, also has an intolerance to sweet potatoes. Our pediatrician didn't think much of it either... I pushed. I knew it wasn't an actual allergy. I've been through that with my son and peanuts. This was not the same. She's only had sweet potatoes 4 times now and every time it is the same. About 2-3hrs after ingestion, she vomits and vomits and vomits... till it is all out of her system. It has taken me 2yrs, but we finally have a diagnosis: FPIES. Seriously, google it. Spot on.

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Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to share with parents who feel their child may have a sweet potato allergy. My daughter had similar GI reactions as an infant and we stopped feeding sweet potatoes. Over the years, incidental exposures have proven that she does have a severe allergy to them; once she had a reaction from touching dog treats with sweet potatoes in them. She had an anaphylactic reaction once after her food at a restaurant was cross-contaminated (same oil used for regular fires and sp fries). Thank goodness the NP at her pediatrician took my worries seriously when she was young and always made sure we had an epipen prescription once a year. If I didn't have it the day her throat and tongue started to swell and she had severe chest pain and a few other symptoms, I believe she would have died.
You are your child's best advocate- you know in your heart when something doesn't seem right. If you believe your child has a food allergy, they likely do!