Kids and food
One of my professors (a pathologist) was discussing a condition cause hypochondriasis by proxy. It's usually a mom who perceives her child to have something wrong with him/her, when no tests show that. He was talking about "all these moms who limit their kids' diets when there is no scientific reason to do so." Granted, he's generally CW, but still. I started wondering if I take it a bit too far.
A little background is that my 2 year old daughter had gut issues pretty much from birth. Lots of diarrhea then constipation. She saw a holistic pediatrician who put her on GAPS after a stool test showed 4+ candida (essentially strict primal plus 24-hour fermented yogurt and hard cheese). No grains, legumes, tubers, etc. She was on it for 7 or 8 months and then I started introducing a little rice and rice crackers or plantain chips here and there because she goes to daycare and she asks for crackers. I was making almond crackers, but that ends up being a lot of omega-6, plus I'm in school full-time and just don't have time. I also make homemade stock and soup and that is more important to me. She is better now (bowels more regular, although she still has the occasional diarrhea for no apparent reason). Still gluten-free (and grain-free except rice), mostly legume-free (occasional hummus or peas), and sugar-free except dark chocolate or a bit in her apple chicken sausage.
Do you think we can be too strict? Do you think it is hypervigilant to control their food like this?
Her typical diet looks like this:
B - smoothie with fullfat homemade yogurt (milk + cream), coconut flakes, berries, 1/2 banana, 2 drops stevia
S - plantain chips or cheese or almonds
L - salmon, chicken, beef, or lamb with veggies cooked in butter
S - pumpkin seeds, apple, cheese, olives, whatever
D - more meat or eggs, veggies (butter), and rice or sweet potato (butter) (or sometimes no starch as she actually loves meat and sometimes chooses monomeals of meat only)
I don't feel like I'm depriving her because I make sure she's gluten-free and that makes the most sense to me.
Is this too strict? I don't know why I'm doubting myself! Argggh.
I think you're doing great. If she continues to eat this way for the rest of her life, what's the worst that can happen? She's amazingly healthy? She resents you for not feeding her junk as a child? I don't think so! I don't think you should freak out if she gets the occasional cookie or cracker; she'll probably learn quickly that it doesn't make her feel good. I would be THRILLED if my kids ate this well!
Here's the thing: at her birthday party, one of the kids gave her a pretzel. When I saw her holding it, staring at it, I jumped and grabbed it from her. I scared her and she started crying. It was just instinct, I didn't mean to frighten her. I still feel really bad about that.
Originally Posted by JenCat
In my mind gluten = poison.
I don't know how to reconcile her growing up around it and wanting to try it, which will eventually happen.
I think your professor is referring to hypochondriac type "diseases". Ex: my kid is short and rail thin therefore he must have Type 1 Diabetes despite what the tests show.
Your kid did have problems that you were able to (mostly) control through dietary means therefore you were not denying the evidence and applying a treatment anyways.
It's hard. (You know I'm struggling right now, in a major way with my son!) Try to relax. Control her diet when you can. If she's at a party and gets something she shouldn't, maybe talk to her about how she feels after eating or why it's important to limit "unhealthy" foods. I know she's only two and won't "get it" yet, if you keep talking about it, someday she will. She will learn to make good choices. I tell my daughter (now 8) about the healthy foods that will make her muscles big and strong (she's all about muscles!). She sometimes asks me for "healthy food."
True. But he expanded on a story where some mother "swore" her child had allergies, but no tests showed them. He said she removed all wheat, eggs, milk, nuts, peanuts, soy, etc. from his diet. The father said the kid was fine eating those foods, so they had to do an "intervention" and tell the mother she was crazy basically. I sort of felt crazy because my daughter's allergy tests were negative too.
Originally Posted by Jason VT
I don't know. I guess it's just that my husband's family is always on my case about "When can she eat a cookie? When can she eat bread?" I feel like it's a constant battle. The truth is, her doctor still wants her to be grain-free, but it got too hard, so she now has some rice crackers and what not. I don't want it to seem that she's sick -- she's growing and learning well. I just want her health to be the best it can and I don't think diarrhea is normal for a kid. So I'm trying to make sure she's well.
Plus, I have Hashimoto's and my daughter already has elevated TSH! That's another reason her doc said GLUTEN-FREE at any cost. She is currently negative for autoimmune disease like I have, but her doctor said that gluten can trigger it. So that is the primary reason I think gluten = poison. I don't want her to have to deal with this and if I can prevent it, I will.
I love to feed my kids primal, but don't freak if they have a pretzel. *shrug* I don't want them to be so messed up about food like I am. We talk a lot about foods that make us healthy and strong, and foods that make us weak and feel yucky. I usually tell them that we try to eat very few of those foods, and to listen to their bodies.
My 2 yr old already passes up bread/pasta etc when offered at friend's houses. My 3 yr old declines cake and asks for fruit. Both will jump at the chance for a peice of chocolate though, or gold fish crackers a playgroup once a month, and I'm ok with it.
I do see lots of dietary/food restriction that is excessive and unhealthy....especially in hopes of changing behavior and sensory issues when in fact those things change mostly on 'aging out' of specific behaviors.
+1 on the feed them primally, talk about what various foods do but don't sweat the details.
The pathogens testing, IgG allergy testing etc etc just isn't beneficial...the GF/CF trial in australia.....
The one area where it certainly is an issue - artificial colors and flavors. But still, overall, the key things are good foods, good relationships and positive associations with and from both of those things.
Everywhere....*everywhere* I see folks restricting their kids diets to an extreme degree, then claiming that their kid is cured/better/whatever. These are kids I've known for years and what the parents claim just isn't there. So much of it is just the kid getting older and the parent learning new skills for dealing with the child and his/her particular temperment.
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That's how I wish I was. But I think I'm scared because of her gut problems.
Originally Posted by lil_earthmomma
You are doing great!
I can see your worry Shannon, but I think you're doing fine. She has issues that can be triggered by gluten, and your doctor and you know that. Kids every day learn that certain foods are not for them (like peanut allergies), and grow up fine.
The part where the husband and doc told the mother she's crazy is crap, but if you get the right combination of authority figures unfortunately CW can sometimes win. (I'm studying to be an MFT and they don't teach ANYTHING about the connection between diet and some psychological symptoms). You're not being too strict... you're being a good mom and not "giving in" to things because "every body else does".
And if you're inlaws/hubs keep asking, you can tell them "I don't think her having cookies is worth triggering an autoimmune disease, and neither does her doctor." Maybe you can use the authority of the doc and the seriousness of the possibilities to get them off that train of thought.
I was reading a book on living an extraordinary life and something the author points out is that when we're little and we want to do things like everybody else and our parent's don't want us to we're told "If everybody jumped off a bridge, would you?" Then when we're an adult and we DON'T want to do everything like everyone else we get branded as wierd, or an outcast... or overly concerned. Interesting, isn't it?
"Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid