We’ve all been part of discussions about babies and toddlers and their various health conditions why they are unsettled generally, getting reflux etc. Parents are often desperately trying to find a medicine to fix their child. My experience, those I chat to on a number of forums online and elsewhere, plus my clients, is that dietary changes are actually easy for young children and in fact, these kids can go from ‘reflux’ or ‘colic’ to dream babies.
Why not try food as a solution, while your kid is still a little one?
Often the order of things is child gets sick, parent treats with pain killers, reoccurs or doesn’t help enough, so they visit the doctor, get antibiotics, which help for that round but either don’t eliminate the infection fully and/or never treat the base cause for the irritation. Inflammation. Irritants from allergies or intolerances (food or otherwise). Then this keeps happening, they get offered grommets, adenoids/tonsil removal and things may improve for a while. Look they are better!
Hurrah! Then school hits as a major stressor. The child can’t concentrate, sit still, or are disruptive. Maybe they still bed wet. Maybe they are very emotional all the time. Maybe they are on the border between being diagnosed as ADHD or Autistic, or maybe they are none of these but are just not well a lot of the time, quiet, slow weight gain, etc. Physically and/or mentally they are struggling. Things get desperate, Mum (sorry Dad, its more often Mum) hears about an elimination diet to get rid of food intolerances. They go through much trial and tribulation because now the child is older, they struggle with catering for school lunches, excursions, birthday parties, special events like Christmas or visiting family who don’t understand. You name it. But they get results…. and often they find that kids who did the elimination are new kids. Assertive, learning quickly, willing to help, concentrating. SLEEPING. This is wonderful, of course … they might have found it easier to do all this before the kids got mobile!
What’s my opinion antibiotics and medical intervention? They are necessary for those who are very ill, but offer little in the way of long term solutions or full ‘health’. They don’t help you work out the true causes to the ever-growing list of symptoms.
Can these common childhood problems be prevented from reoccurring and needing ongoing treatment by standard ‘medicated’ methods?
My family is living proof.
So, when you look at your toddler, thinking its too hard to consider looking at diet now because you’re too tired and overworked…maybe think about giving it a try because after a matter of days or weeks, your child may be sleeping through the night without wetting the bed, fighting at meal times, eczema, asthma, reflux, or simply being ‘unwell’ and clingy all the time or crying. There is a massive payoff to all your hard work. In my case waking up at 8am and realising that I had an awesome night with our ‘reflux’ baby – priceless!
Get started with the ‘FAILSAFE’ or the RPAH Elimination Diet and consider addressing wheat and dairy within that (as these often make inflammation worse!). At worst you have put a bit of effort to feed your child a low chemical diet for a matter of weeks… and they may stay the same. Or, they may surprise you and improve beyond what you could have imagined.
Toddlers are pretty accommodating with food, you may tell me you have a picky kid, but, I bet I could make Failsafe food which they will eat. If I can, you can. Trust me, it’s a whole lot easier to start even younger with a baby on early solids giving them swede, choko and celery than it is arguing with a 7 year old who is asserting their independence!
I offer coaching to help parents who are overwhelmed, in the midst of sleepness nights and behaviour problems… trust me, you can do it without me… you just might prefer to have someone alongside, giving you a hand. There are online communities to help you along if you want to research before going forward… or dietitians who are experienced in the FAILSAFE/RPAH side of things (beware, plenty are not! You risk taking a lot longer by doing one food type at a time, or by them not being at least aware of the benefits of the full elimination-diet.
Once you determine intolerances, their little bodies can rest, the inflammation response by the body is reduced, and you have a fantastic place to start healing and working on fixing the underlying cause/s… gut health… mineral balance… combination of the two. While the body is irritated by food or environment, the capability for the body to recover is that much harder.
Goodluck! Don’t forget to ask for help and guidance… please don’t do it alone.