Cade, who lives near Atlanta, GA, was diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy around 5 months old after he developed a rash after drinking a standard infant formula. His pediatrician recommended a standard soy-based formula. Cade developed hives and a cough after drinking the soy formula for the first time. An allergist diagnosed Cade with cow’s milk and a soy allergy and prescribed a hypoallergenic infant formula. The allergist performed a skin prick test and determined that Cade’s allergy was quite severe. Future ingestion of cow’s milk or soy could lead to anaphylaxis.
Because Cade is so severely allergic, he will need the hypoallergenic formula as an infant and as a toddler to provide needed fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories. When he was an infant, Cade’s parents had to spend $460 per month to feed him and often had to choose between paying bills, buying food for themselves, or diluting the formula with extra water to make it last longer. With the help of a registered dietitian, his parents were able to start slowly introducing baby food into this diet. However, even as a toddler, Cade still requires 20-24 ounces of formula each day due to the slow pace at which his parents are able to introduce solid foods. They often ask other family members to buy formula instead of birthday or Christmas gifts.