Being Gluten Free is all the rage now. I’m not prone to conspiracy theories, and honestly I don’t have the desire to really think about what pesticides are being used on what, or what the latest food craze is. I keep things simple the way my mother did, making what I can from scratch and trying to use quality ingredients.
The thing is, our daughter has gone through various digestive issues at different stages of her life. When she was 6, there were random complaints about stomach aches which could have been chalked up to not wanting to go to school, or having nerves about something going on in her life. Then there was the constipation that ocassionally bothered her, and then at the age of 7, severe weight gain. We tried a few things here and there but our family doctor kept telling us that she was fine – beyond needing more fiber in her diet, there was nothing wrong with her. All of that was from our point of view – from my daughters point of view, she was tired of feeling exhausted, heavy and crampy. And she was tired of people thinking she was faking.
Of course there were always the helpful suggestions from friends and family. Give her more exercise – but she had lots. Feed her less processed food – but everything I made was from scratch. Take her to see a dietician – okay, that one was valid, and it happened to be just what we needed, although it took us another year to take her advice.
Have you ever tried to tell your child that they can’t eat their favorite foods, ever again? And have you ever had no choice but to follow through with it? The dieticians advice was simple, “remove all food from her diet except for lean meats, undressed veggies and fruits for two weeks. Then reintroduce foods back and see how she reacts to them”. Easy to say, but hard to do, so it took us another year of trying fiber syrups, smoothies, vitamins before I had enough and said it was time.
That was about 6 months ago. I could write pages and pages about the changes that happened immediately but here is the bottom line: She can’t have gluten, dairy or (a lot of) soy. We did the two weeks of clean eating, and then allowed small things back into her diet. It didn’t take long to find the culprits, and once she really understood that these things were what hurt her, she didn’t fight us to have them back. 6 months later, she has lost 12lbs, her hair has grown longer (it didn’t grow before!) and the dark circles are gone from her eyes. She’s sleeping better and has no more pain in her stomach and doesn’t require fiber syrups. My only regret is that we didnt try this 3 years ago.
I may not care to think to deeply about the reasons, but the fact still remains that there are more and more children suffering from childhood obesity and bowel discomfort. I’m glad that we were able to sort out the problem with our daughter while she is still young. If you’re going through something similar with your child, maybe evaluate their food and you might be surprised.