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Old 09-21-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
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Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

(Not sure where in the forum to put this, feel free to move )

After hearing a testimony from a friend who took her kids off gluten and dairy and saw significant improvements in their sensory processing disorders and hyperactivity, I did some research (not very extensive) and learned that there is a lot of evidence that a healthy diet and eliminating certain foods can really help with a child's concentration, mood, ADHD, Autism, etc. Although I don't believe my children have any actual allergies, I was too lazy to do a proper "elimination diet" with my toddlers, so after some research, I decided to do the following with their diet:

Eliminate all dairy
Limit Gluten
Eliminate all food dyes
Limit processed food as much as possible (causing me to have to learn to make a lot of things from scratch -- good for the budget, but not my favorite thing. )
Buy as much organic as possible, especially the "dirty dozen"
Eat more fruit and vegetables (bought a juicer) and less meat
Eat a variety of nuts and grains. We are discovering pumpkin seeds, quinoa, flax seeds, etc. Fun!
Generally eat REAL food and as much raw as possible

I was just curious if any other mamas are on this journey too? I've only been doing it for about a month.

I have DEFINITELY noticed a HUGE difference in my own mood and energy levels. I feel fantastic, and I haven't even incorporated exercise yet. I had no idea eating healthy on a daily basis would change my life so much. I'm not sure if I've noticed a huge difference in the kids or if it's just my imagination. They are toddlers, after all. But I feel good that they are eating real food, because that's what our bodies were designed to eat to function optimally.

Curious if anyone has experience with this and HAS seen a change in their children?
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

We tried it with my son who has autism (GF/CF and dye free). He actually got a lot worse. He has a very self limited diet, and he was crabby because he didn't like any of the food.

We do try to eat a whole foods type diet, but because I think it is better for our overall health and it tastes better, but not because I think it is some sort of cure for my kids' quirks. I can be lax about it, so if I've been sick or we're on vacation it all goes out the window, and I don't see any change in their behavior at all. But, I also feel like my older kids' issues are genetic, and not caused by anything I or my dh have done.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

DS is only 13months, but he has no dairy and we limit gluten. I am allergic (not intolerant to dairy) and we have been on and off a gluten-free lifestyle for a few years now. We also eat mostly vegetarian, meat maybe 1x a week and fish about 2x a week. We also don't eat refined sugar (DS had his first encounter with sugar on his birthday cake, but is was not refined). We also don't eat processed or boxed foods...minus organic canned soup every now and again.
I can't comment on if it has changed him since this is all he knows, but for DH and I, we see a big difference. We call it a "lifestyle choice" because it isn't really a diet...we do, however, get lax about it sometimes, but we later regret it. It has gotten to the point of not eating out because the food makes us feel so gross and run down afterwards.
When we first started the diet, DH lost 20lbs and I lost 10. Then, I got pregnant, gained 30. I lost all my baby weight plus an addition 10lbs within 6months...but I don't drink soda, don't eat dairy and I lay off sugar (with the occasional treat if it isn't refined).
It's hard to keep up with it sometimes, but we find that it is worth it! It had become routine, but since DH has to travel more and DS has become super active, we lost track of it somewhere. We are getting back on it so DH can lose some of the weight he gained back and so we can feel like people again!
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

i wonder how how it would be to follow a diet like that in a public school setting when other parents are supplying the snacks
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

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Originally Posted by KaleidoscopeEyes View Post
i wonder how how it would be to follow a diet like that in a public school setting when other parents are supplying the snacks
You supply snacks for everyone regularly or do you mean just for parties etc? We just send our own kids' food unless it's a special event.

As for the OP question - we don't limit dairy or wheat but we've always done the other things. Not for any reason, it's just the way people around us eat and the way we grew up. On the occasions where there is a lot of junky food being eaten - parties etc... I don't really noticed a difference in myself or the kids. I just eat real foods because processed stuff tastes bad.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

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You supply snacks for everyone regularly or do you mean just for parties etc? We just send our own kids' food unless it's a special event.

As for the OP question - we don't limit dairy or wheat but we've always done the other things. Not for any reason, it's just the way people around us eat and the way we grew up. On the occasions where there is a lot of junky food being eaten - parties etc... I don't really noticed a difference in myself or the kids. I just eat real foods because processed stuff tastes bad.
well someone in another thread said that the parents take turns supplying a snack for the entire class. im guessing the only thing that really could be done is the child would have to be exempt from that and just being their own every day
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:42 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

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Originally Posted by KaleidoscopeEyes View Post
well someone in another thread said that the parents take turns supplying a snack for the entire class. im guessing the only thing that really could be done is the child would have to be exempt from that and just being their own every day
For my dd who has food allergies (in her preschool, she is now in a regular school) parents were assigned a specific snack and day for that snack (school's rule to keep junk out of school). We knew what was coming into the class on what days. If it was something she couldn't eat we would send a snack. We also provided her teacher with snacks stored in the classroom in case someone went off schedule and we didn't send one. Other wise if it weren't assigned specific snacks we would send snacks for her everyday. And we weren't exempt from bringing our snack for the class when it was our day.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

I did an elimination diet with my kids along with behavior charts (2weeks of charting before and charting during). The only difference I found was with my oldest who is ASD and food dyes. It actually causes him to get really itchy, whiny, and worsens his Kertosis polaris. So Kearnan is off of all food dyes and eventually I may take out artificial flavorings as well. We try to stay away from HFCS anyway. The gluten and dairy didn't seem to make any difference for either of my boys and Tharen had no change with the diet. Both of my kids have special needs.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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I don't know if going dairy/gluten free has as much impact as going GMO free. It's really interesting if you want to do some research on the health impact of GMOs. Many people remove GMOs from their diet when they are "allergic" to gluten, dairy, etc... And find that they can reintroduce the previously "allergic" foods in non-GM form and they no longer have an inflammatory allergic response.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

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I don't know if going dairy/gluten free has as much impact as going GMO free. It's really interesting if you want to do some research on the health impact of GMOs. Many people remove GMOs from their diet when they are "allergic" to gluten, dairy, etc... And find that they can reintroduce the previously "allergic" foods in non-GM form and they no longer have an inflammatory allergic response.
I removed gluten and dairy for myself for one year to heal my endometriosis. It is the only thing that helped me. I accidentally had three non gmo multigrain chips in my chili and I had a horrible reaction to it. Eating bin gmo might work for people without a true intolerance, but it doesn't for me. I was so well before he accidental ingestion,but have been in pain for 7 weeks from 3 little chips.
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