Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Diet Solution?


Special K is exactly that; a special little girl. The vast majority of the time she is sweet and loving. She smiles and laughs and generally enjoys life. If we could change one thing about her, it would be her frequent emotional outbursts that show no signs of diminishing with age. At 7 years old she spends many hours sitting on her bed, doing extra chores, and running laps due to her lack of emotional self-control. She's a screecher and whiner and her behavior sends this household into an uproar at least once a week. We've tried charts, reward systems, and every other disciplinary device to no avail. Yesterday I was completely at my wits end, when I began to think maybe it could be a dietary thing. I've read about the Feingold diet, and while I don't feel our problem is that extreme, there is a lot of truth to the idea that additives and highly processed foods can lead to some behavior problems. I've resolved to get to the bottom of this. I began asking Special K what she had eaten during the morning and then pulled packages and boxes from the pantry shelves and checked for ingredients that may be the culprit. Everything she had eaten thus far had had artificial colors, flavors and or preservatives such as BHT, BHA or TBHQ. I always thought I did pretty well making healthy, whole foods for our family, as I perused the shelves, it was surprising how many processed foods with those ingredients I have on hand to feed the kids. Special K is especially susceptible as she is a grazer by nature and the pantry has all the great on-the-go food she loves. As of today, I am eliminating artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from her diet. We can expect to see results within a few days (hands folded in prayer). If this elimination diet does not help, I will need to add more things to our list of "no-no" foods. Oh, if it could be so simple for our sweet little girl.

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7 comments:

Dawn said...

I am very interested in seeing how this helps Special K. I've heard the same things about preservatives, but never tried removing them totally.
Prayers for you!

Party of Eight said...

Like Dawn, I hope it works for you and Special K. I've also investigated the Feingold diet, but couldn't commit. I also used to be a lot better about organic and natural foods, but that has slowly stopped. It sounds like Special K is a lot like my 5 year old.

Natalie said...

You might want to look into corn products as well. My aunt found out her kids cannot have anything with corn (processed or not) or it will cause all the outbursts you mentioned. I've also read that a gluetan free diet can greatly help kids. Hope you get to the root of everything.

Walter said...

Ahhhh my cute Kitty Kat could never be proned to anything bad...she is an angel. Are you sure it's not you throwing the fits Mau? Just joking of course...the thing is I can't relate to having a child prone to fits, rages and emotional outbursts (Jaylee). All three of my children (especially Jaylee)live in a Zen like state where peace and tranquility pour out of their systems (Jaylee's nickname is Peace On Earth). They never backtalk (Jaylee)and share with each other like two pitbulls (Jaylees) sharing the leg of a carribu. So if you need any advice on how to achieve this level of peace and tranquility with your child please give me a call and I can cry on your shoulder. Actually our counselor has suggested putting Jaylee on the Zone plan which helps level out insulin levels which can affect behavior. Either that or you can use the sleeper hold which quiets them down and helps them get naptime started smoothly and consistantly!

Love ya Mau

Your Bro!

Tonya said...

I hope you figure something out. And, of course, you must blog about it and tell us what you figure out!!! Maybe I should go that route w/ Josiah. Or maybe we should send him to a foreign country ...

Maurisa said...

For those following comments, I have to tell you what Special K said today, "I haven't gotten in trouble at all today!" She obviously thinks her new diet is working. We have a some, but very little, whining today, no screaming and mostly peace. It is too early to tell and maybe a little wishful thinking, but I have noticed she is much calmer in everything today. I'll keep ya'll posted. Keep her in your prayers, because her comment made it obvious that she is concerned about her erratic behavior and feels like she is out of control.

Dawn said...

love the sleeper hold. Works like a charm doesn't it? ;)