Early this past summer we discovered two of our children have dietary sensitivities/allergies. Special K is highly sensitive to food additives such as artificial flavorings, colorings, and certain preservatives. We went through our cupboards and eliminated any culprit foods and restocked with natural alternatives. To say her behavior improved after implementing the dietary changes would be an understatement. The results were drastic and immediate. She became calmer, was able to focus better in school, and was more emotionally appropriate. We also noticed that if we slipped up or allowed her to indulge in "no-no" foods, even just a small amount, we'd see immediate results that were of the undesirable type. For the good and sanity of all, we've been pretty strict about her diet.
At the beginning of this school year, Special K had a morning that left me ragged and wondering if we would make it through the rest of the day. She spent much of the morning throwing a tantrum in her bedroom and my nerves were shot. Then she ate lunch. She had a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit. From lunch on, she was an angel. I realized that she hadn't had any protein for breakfast. Protein seems to be a key here, and so we've added scrambled eggs or slices of ham to her breakfasts. Success again. She's doing wonderfully and serenity prevails.
While potty training Lil' Wingnut, we discovered our little guy has an issue with milk. Over the summer we eliminated all cow's milk from his diet and within three weeks his issues resolved. I've had to become pretty creative with the menu around here. The little guy just absolutely loves cheese and ice cream and many other milk products. We've found suitable substitutes for ice cream and have discovered all sorts of cheeses made from goat's milk that Lil' Wingnut can not get enough of, and have worked fairly well in certain recipes. He wasn't too thrilled with drinking soy or rice milk straight, but I have been using rice milk in cooking pancakes, waffles, etc., and it bakes up very moist and a bit sweet. I came across goat's milk at Trader Joe's last week and thought we could give it a try. Lil' Wingnut is hooked. I actually have to hide it in the back of the fridge, as he'll down an entire carton of the stuff if he sees it. Goat's milk is not cheap, at nearly $4 a quart, so it will be used sparingly.
I never thought I'd have to worry about food allergies in our children. This has been quite an adventure and learning experience. I have newfound sympathy and respect for folks that have trod this path before me! I'm so grateful I've been able to come up with solutions for both of our sweeties!