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Aeryn's the bonniest on the block

PUBLISHED: 05:20 20 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl has proved she is the bonniest kid on the block after she was chosen to promote the benefits of drinking goats' milk.

A year and a half ago, Aeryn Jeffery's bright little face was hidden beneath an angry rash caused by eczema.

A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl has proved she is the bonniest kid on the block after she was chosen to promote the benefits of drinking goats' milk.

A year and a half ago, Aeryn Jeffery's bright little face was hidden beneath an angry rash caused by eczema.

Now she's been chosen to be the nationwide face of a "Thank Goodness For Goats" campaign as Food Intolerance week gets under way.

Aeryn, of Saxon Road, Saxmundham, suffered terrible problems with eczema, which she developed as a baby.

When she was five months old her mother, Therese, supplemented breast milk with organic cows' milk infant formula. She also tried out a soya-based formula, but her condition continued.

"The real problem was her face. She had it very, very badly on her face. She used to scratch herself until she bled," said Therese.

"She used to get stared at when we were out because it looked as if you had been at her face with a cheese grater really."

A close friend recommended trying a goats'milk based formula and after several feeds during an afternoon, Aeryn woke up the next morning and the eczema had virtually disappeared.

"It cleared up overnight. It completely went and it's never been back," she said.

"It was 'Oh my God, that's my child – that's what she looks like."

Now the family sticks largely to goat's milk, goat's cheese and even goat's butter over traditional cow dairy products.

After the change in Aeryn, Mrs Jeffery wrote to St Helen's Farm in York, which produces goat's milk products to tell them about the effect the milk had had on her daughter.

Aeryn will now appear in a range of St Helen's Farm marketing communications in 2003 featuring her story after being selected from 2,000 respondents, to help publicise the health benefits of goat's milk.

Angus Wielkopolski, owner of company, said: "Often people report that the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and asthma have been eased or even eliminated, especially in young children after trying goats' milk products.

"Many people go through years of tests and differing opinions before they discover the benefits of altering their diets," he added.

Factfile:

In food intolerance, the body reacts whenever a particular food or food ingredient is eaten, but the body's immune system is not involved.

Food intolerance can be caused by a number of things, such as a defect in how the body processes food.

Certain types of food intolerance are linked to specific conditions.

For example, lactose intolerance is when the body is not able to digest lactose (milk sugar) because of low levels of the enzyme needed for this (lactase).

Lactose intolerance causes abdominal symptoms such as bloating and diarrhoea, and is more common in older children and adults.

The only way to stop symptoms of food intolerance or food allergy is to avoid the food or ingredient that's causing the reaction.

So it's important to receive good professional advice on how to do without the problem food and still have an enjoyable, healthy and balanced diet.

Use ingredient lists on food labels to help you avoid any problem foods.

Although as many as 20 to 30 out of every 100 people in the UK think that they react badly to certain foods, tests show that the actual figure is closer to one to two out of every 100 people.

Typical symptoms include: headaches, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhoea, aches and pains, coughing and wheezing, a blocked or runny nose, itchy rashes.

In food allergy the body sees an otherwise harmless food as unsafe and activates the body's defence mechanism or immune system.

It is this activation of the immune system that causes the symptoms of food allergy.

Most allergic reactions to food are caused by a small number of foods, including milk, eggs, soya, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat in children.

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