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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?

Quote:
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, 11:34 AM   #6
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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   #7
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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 09-21-2012, 01:09 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

Nah, not really. I mean, I try to avoid processed stuff as much as possible, and of course eating the basics of healthy, like veggies and such.

But I don't believe in eliminating things I consider healthy, like milk or whole grains, when there's no allergy or intolerance to indicate any real reason, and certainly wouldn't do so without extensive research for a wide variety of well respected sources.

Generally speaking, I believe that human beings evolved to be omnivores and I will as a result feed my kids an omnivorous diet, including fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, meat and so on.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

We haven't made drastic changes, like eliminating all of one kind of food - e.g. dairy or gluten - but we aim to get rid of sugar, white flour and other processed foods. We can't afford to go all-organic, but do so when possible - especially with meat (I only get the store-brand organic meat when it has a sale sticker on it, stocking up and freezing if there are a bunch of pkgs).

I think a variety of foods is beneficial, so even though we aren't concerned about going gluten-free and aren't vegetarians, I often try recipes - or alter a recipe - to be gluten-free or meatless. I don't give my kids straight milk because I don't think it has any benefits, but I think cultured dairy is good so we use buttermilk (I make my own with whole milk and and some leftover from a previous batch as a starter), yogurt and cheese. For a milk alternative in baking I like almond or coconut milk.

Even though we could be more consistent - fewer treats and compromising on processed foods - for the most part I'd say we eat pretty healthily and are healthy as a result. I have been curious to see if eliminating certain foods would help with my moods, weight loss, skin problems and so forth, but sometimes the idea seems daunting so I haven't tried.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone Else Keep Their Kids Off Dairy? Gluten? Food Dyes? Processed Foods? Etc?

We eat very healthy - I make most everything from scratch, mostly organic, all whole grains, no preservatives or artificial ingredients, etc. DH and myself are vegetarian but DS eats organic meat - pretty much just turkey as he loves it.

We do eat gluten and dairy. DS drings organic, grass fed hormone free milk from a local dairy that uses low heat pasteurization. I think a lot of problems with dairy have to do with the pesticides, hormones, and ultra high heat pasteurization in conventional milk.

DS has no allergies, doesn't get sick, no disorders, etc.
I think it's great to eliminate gluten and dairy if it works for you - some people can't tolerate them or have sensitivities they don't know about.
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