Moving your child to a gluten-free diet. HELP!
I need some help - fast! My 7-year-old daughter has apraxia (verbal and global) and has been diagnosed with ADHD. Apraxia is a motor-planning disorder. She has been in speech and occupational therapy for 6 years, and has made great progress. When she was in kindergarten, we finally broke down and put her on a low dose of Adderall. She couldn't even make it through the 2 hours of school without it, and she wasn't learning anything. She's now in 2nd grade, and school is still a struggle. Her behavior at home is getting worse. I am finally ready to try her on a gluten-free diet. I've been putting it off, because it seems so overwhelming. I'm desperate.
I'm jumping into this today, with little preparation. I did find some gluten-free bread from a bakery about 40 minutes from home. It is not frozen and is supposed to be the best. (I didn't like it at all, but she ate it with her eggs this morning.) I really need a good bread recipe. I know most of us don't eat bread, but if anyone has any thoughts, I would be grateful. I think I can get her through the rest of the day, but she eats her eggs over-easy and really enjoys the toast with them.
I'd get the Ener-G light tapioca bread. It's the most 'bread' like and when it's toasted and eaten right away, it's tolerable. More tolerable than any other gluten free bread I've made or purchased and over the last 10 years, that's been A Lot of bread.
Be sure she's getting plenty of vitamin D and magnesium. Plenty. Vitamin D is intimately involved in muscle co-ordination/function/strength.
In my experience, there is not likely to be much of a benefit from a gluten free diet alone. I've seen so many parents claim benefits but knowing their kids before and after, I just don't see it. And fwiw, I did GF/CF with my kids for years. I think there are alot of other reasons to avoid gluten - and we do - but I firmly believe that it's mostly about what you *add* to the diet. Subbing gluten free high starch, low nutrient foods doesn't do much.
I feel ya on the school thing. Been there, done that, got the sticker and had the PTSD to show for it. It was hell. We pulled our oldest out in March of her first grade year, homeschooled her for 3 years, then put her back in a private school for kids with ADHD (yes, she takes meds as does my younger child, dh and me)....homeschooling was the best of the lot for sure - until this year. We are making massive financial sacrifices to send her to The Howard School and it's been lifechanging. She now loves school, feels smart (always has been just never felt it b/c of the dyslexia/ADHD/social struggles), and is highly successful academically and socially.
When she was in environments that were less ideal, her behavior would get worse and worse depending on what was going on at the time and depending on how much academic and social frustration she was facing.
In terms of the diet, I'd encourage you to as much as possible, do for her what you're doing for yourself:
~50-65% cals from fat - mostly saturated, 1g protein per lb body weight (total weight for her, not lbm), and carbs
~enough fish (preferred) and high DHA fish oil (less preferred) to bring Ω3:Ω6 ratios to 1:1
~enough starchy carbs (sweet potato, winter squash, potato etc) to satisfy her
~enough vitamin D to bring her levels up to 65 ng/mL via ZRT or labcorp(maybe even higher for her issues, maybe not...I wouldnt' venture a guess but in your shoes, I'd read everything on vitamindcouncil.org and go from there). directlabs.com has vitamin d tests on sale this month for $38 and they do use labcorp. for more D info see my linked document below.
~optimal amounts of zinc, selenium, iron and magnesium...I'm happy to help there. She'll likely need supplemental zinc and magnesium. Her selenium needs can be met by a brazil nut a day.
Wishing you the very best as you walk this challenging path. Know you're not alone. Get support wherever you can from those who have been there before you.
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My daughter doesn't have the exact same things as yours.... but I totally get having a special child. The easiest thing will be to learn how to cook the things she eats. That way you will know what is really in it. There is a Book called (Special diets for special kids) that is so great. It is more for kids that are on the ASD spectrum, but it will tell you everything you need to know about getting kids to eat GF/CF. (there is a good bread recipe)
Is your daughter on some kind of omega3? I seem like the kids that do well on G/F also really espond to fish oil. My daughter takes Nordic naturals. It is really kid friendly as far as the taste goes.
If you can get the whole family to do it with her it is going to be lots easier.
Good luck! I know you can do it!
Thank you both for your quick responses. I put her back on a zinc supplement a couple weeks ago. I have tried the Nordic Naturals, but even that is hard to "sneak" in. GNC makes a chewable Omega 3 that tastes like orange starburst. I'm guessing it not the highest quality, but she takes it willingly. She is a bit of a "carb junkie," so I do need to find some snack foods to replace all the crackers. I will definitely look into additional supplements.
I started homeschooling my older two kids this year, and hope to be able to homeschool my daughter at some point. Unfortunately, she really fights me when it comes to school work, and seems to do better with someone else.
I really appreciate the support. Would it be okay to keep in touch with both of you? It's nice to have someone who understands what I'm struggling with!
Originally Posted by JenCat
For the fish oil, higher DHA really is probably quite important but there are ways to add that in. Maybe in addition to the chews she takes she would take enough of this to give her more DHA than EPA? or perhaps even instead of the one she is taking?:
teaching them to swallow pills can be really helpful too - and chocolate chips often are helpful as a bribe
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Hey, we all homeschool! I would love to have a buddy (or two) that is into the same kind of things as I am.
Cillakat, I'm going to use your chocolate chip idea. Thanks!
I just dug out my C/F Bread recipe. (not that primal but works)
1/4 C. oil
1 t. lemon juice
1 1/4 warm water
4T. sugar (divided)
1 1/2 T. active dry yeast
2 C. tapioca starch flour
1 1/2 C. quinoa flour (ameranth or buckwheat will also work)
2/3 dry milk powder
2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. salt
2 T. ground flax seed (optional, but it does make the texture better)
Make sure everything is at roomtem befor you start.
Mix eggs, oil, and lemon juice.
In a large mesuring cup mix water, yeast, and 1 T sugar. Let stand for 5 min. (it should be foamy)
In a medium bowl mix tapioca starch, quinoa flour, dry milk powdre, xanthan gum, salt, flax seed, and sugar.
Add yeast mixture to the egg mixture, then slowly add the dry ingredients until completely incorporated.
Mix batter on high speed for 3 1/2 minutes, then pour into a greased loaf pan.
Cover bead with foil and place in a cold oven. Set pan of hot water on lower shelf underneath the bread. (yes you have to do that step) leave for 10 minutes with oven door closed.
remove from oven (don't uncover just yet). Preheat oven to 400.
Uncover bread and bake for 10 minutes to brown top.
cover bread back up with foil and continue to bake for 30 minutes.
Turn bread out on a cooling rack.
(If it seems like the bread falls after it is out of the oven use less water with yeast)
As far a crackers for your girl...
It is super easy to toss a few different kinds of nuts and a bit of salt in the food processor. Mix with butter or coconut oil and press into a cookie sheet. Cut into shapes with a pizza cutter and pop in the oven for a while to make crispy.
Thank you! I will try the recipe. I've got to track down some of the more unusual ingredients.
Zophie, that would be great. Let's keep in touch.
My 4 yr old is gluten intolerant, we've got tons of gf recipes if your interested. We've been gf for almost 3 years now, I'm primal now but kids are going thru a picky stage and I can't get them to eat what I eat This recipe is the best and easiest I've found for gf bread, I've tried a ton and this one is really good. http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.co...ree-bread.html If you can't find sorghum I've used brown rice with good results. Another great food for kids is corn tortillas, we use them for about everything, quesidillas, burritos, even with peanut butter and jelly. Corn chips are gluten free also. I know, lots of corn and lots of grain..... I cringe to suggest it... But getting a kiddo to eat primal is very difficult. Oh, and we homeschool too
Gee, all you moms! Can a dad join in here too?
Originally Posted by Isfahel
My wife and I have a 12 year old son with Obstructive Defiant Disorder/Bipolar. The psych doc has finally browbeat the insurance company into allowing testing for food allergies, especially for Gluten as I'm intolerant. We're trying to get this kid to eat better and I hear you about how tough it is.
One thing I'm starting to see is that if I can find a meat dish that he likes, that fills him up. Follow with a fruit, something sweet that satisfies the sweet tooth that a lot of these kids have. Keep around the house the nut crackers made by Blue Diamond, along with cheeze and veggies like carrots so that he can have something to eat 'right now' because the meds he's on have torpedoed his blood sugar levels. Do all that, and it seems to make the days go easier.
Our son is not home schooled but goes to a school that does their classes 'online', with the student physically going into the school about 8 hours a week or so.