Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WIC and milk allergy don't go together

We had our WIC appointment yesterday and after a total of 2 hours, we finally made it out. The appointment itself didn't take long, it's just the normal government agency slowness at work. No one is ever in a hurry. I am also glad that hubby was able to come. Had I been alone with the 3 kids, I would have brought our side-by-side stroller to contain the twins, and that my friends, wouldn't have been able to fit in the tiny waiting room filled with chairs. The paper work was also not as bad as it could have been. Since the kids have been approved for Medicaid, WIC didn't have to verify income.

Once we were called in and the girls saw the scale, they started screaming. These two are scarred for life from their RSV shot days. And the screaming just got worse after their fingers were pricked to check blood levels for anemia. After all that was done, we were ushered to the next room by the so called nutritionist. She explained that the boy is big for his age and asked what he ate. I told her he actually doesn't eat that much. He only eats cheese, PBJ, fruits, chicken and dairy products. Then she said that WIC will cover milk, eggs, cheese, cereal, beans. At this point, I told her the girls have milk allergy, to which she replied, "well, as an alternative we have lactose free milk and powdered milk." I had to stop my gut reaction of slapping my forehead, rolling my eyes, and pulling my hair out. But instead, I said, "they can't have those because they still contain milk proteins" and they need to be on soy. She said they don't cover soy unfortunately, so I just let it be.

We were given WIC checks to cover two months for the three kids. The checks of course cover milk for each of the girls. Since they can't consume milk and milk products, we'll have plenty of milk for hubby, me and Curious George. We won't need to worry about who will eat the cheese since Curious George can consume his weight in cheese. The WIC checks also include 1 lb bag of dried beans. I have never used dried beans and don't really know what to do with that. I will either not buy them, or buy them and probably donate them to our church or hold on to them until I can figure out how to cook them.

I got to use one of the checks today, which covered a total of $20 worth: 2 gallons of milk, 1 lb of cheese, 36 oz of dry cereal, 2 cans of frozen juice (this one is new for us too). I just used one of the kids' check since each check include milk. My husband and I and the little man can't possibly consume that much milk in a week.

Anyway, we are completely thankful for this aid. Twenty dollars worth of staples that we don't have to worry about is a lot of help. I just wish they cover soy milk. If WIC lowers the amount of milk gallons approved for the twins to cover soy milk (soy milk is more expensive), we'll be happy. But they don't make concessions for special cases, sadly.

The information packet we received says WIC covers peanut butter, but none of the kids' WIC checks include peanut butter. Perhaps this because my kids are too healthy? Hmmm. Also, I doubt the so-called nutritionist is a nutritionist at all. Why else would she offer other milk-containing substitutes after I said my kids have milk allergy? Ladies and gents, there is a big difference between milk allergy and milk intolerance. The latter gives people diahhrea and doesn't cause people to carry epinephrine pens. Consuming anything with milk and milk derivatives causes my twins hives around their mouths within minutes of consuming them and causes them to sneeze, watery eyes and raspiness.

I have to thank a fella mama of twins at diagnosis:urine for sharing her WIC experience with me. Based on my online research of WIC, I didn't think we'd qualify, but this kind woman shared what she knew and so I went for it.


Jen said...

Hey, thanks for the shout out!

I can't remember how old your twins are, but my youngest wasn't given peanut butter on her WIC coupons until she turned 2, because it was a choking issue, they said. No idea why it wouldn't be on your son's checks, though.

I don't know much about cooking with dried beans, so I didn't get very adventuresome, but I did pick up dried peas or dried black beans. I've made several versions of pea soup and have loved all of them. I'd never had it before. I can share some recipes with you, if you want.

The black beans, I have used in chili (we don't like kidney beans so I substitute black beans), tacos, and some recipe my mom sent me called "Mexibean Lasagna." It sounds ridiculous but it was really good!

Oh -- I have also used dried lentils for the first time recently -- can't remember if they are a WIC choice, but I used them in some vegetable soup to make it more filling. It was very good and they added a nice texture I liked.

Several people have told me about how you can freeze milk. I haven't tried it on purpose, although the milk in our spare fridge in our garage used to freeze, and it thawed with no problems.

I can't believe the nutritionist tried to give you more milk products for your twins' milk allergy.

Hang in there!

Momlissa said...

I just discovered your blog (via Jen's) and wanted to say hi! *waving* I'm a fellow mom of twins + one or the 3 kids in 2 years plan. My daughter will turn 4 in April and my twins will turn 2 in March. Your girls are gorgeous!

Annie said...

Not sure if you will get this- as it's on an old post, but I couldn't figure out how to get to you. Well, in October Wic is introducing a Soy program for those with milk allergy. Just wanted to fyi.