Food can be a challenge with kids in general; finding a good balanced diet, getting food prepared and ready when life is busy and sometimes chaotic, even trying to get a child to eat can sometimes be challenging. What do you do when your child can’t eat certain foods? How do you handle play dates, school, birthday parties?
These are questions and challenges I have recently come up against. I had both kids tested recently and found that many things like corn, dairy, gluten and any fast or colored foods aren’t working for them. They are happier, have great energy and are loving life without these things in their diet. It has been a bit of an adjustment but a valuable one for sure. Maybe saying “a bit” is taking it too lightly. The cooperation from the kids has been amazing. They are sometimes a little bummed at not having something someone else is having but we usually find an alternative that works for them.
I am finding that I am having to become diligent and thoughtful, which isn’t a bad thing in regards to food. I am having to plan ahead for every event and pack food where ever we go. If we are going to a play date I must bring our own snacks that are “on the diet”. If we are going some place with cakes and cookies, I have to bring something as an equally interesting alternative or be prepared for the results of allowing them the freedom to choose. I do want them to have fun and be free. I also want them to be happy and feel good.
One thing that this has brought home to me is really paying attention to how my body feels after eating. Helping the kids focus on this is a great life lesson. So I am working on empowering them to see the results and give them some space to figure out how they are feeling after certain foods. So far my 6 year old is doing great. He is taking on his mind/body connection and totally on his own let me know that he didn’t want dairy any more because of the way it made him feel.
I guess it isn’t that surprising that the fuel they are taking in is truly affecting their lives on many levels. All one has to do is look and you can easily find out about all the hormones added to the dairy, and meat. It is easy to find that corn is actually considered a pesticide now because it has been “genetically modified” to kill the pests that try to eat it. It goes to figure that these aren’t working with our bodies and definitely not a small child’s. It kind of makes me cringe when I think about all the corn I have fed my children.
The other day I was cleaning out my purse and the kids where “helping”. They found a few mints from a restaurant I had been to before “the diet” started. I decided to let them have them since I had found out that sugar wasn’t necessarily a big problem for them in particular. My oldest grabbed a red and white peppermint and the youngest a small naturally flavored lollipop. A few minutes later, my oldest came up to me with a bleeding hand and confessed that he had a surge of rage. He had been holding a little glass vile his grandmother had given him at the time. He forgot and crushed it when the rage hit. I started questioning him to see why he was so angry. He said he wasn’t really, it just happens sometimes. So I kept thinking about it. Then I asked if he felt differently after the candy. Suddenly, his eyes lit up, and he said it was definitely the candy. He often had that happen after eating mints. I was confused because he has had some candy and not had a reaction. Finally it occurred to me that their is red food coloring in the mint. It is pretty scary to me that this small amount could cause such a big reaction.
I am just so grateful and thankful that we went down this path and have found what is working for them and what isn’t at this early age. It may take extra planning and work on my part but as their mom it is totally worth it! They are great kids and their smiling happy faces are a great reward!