Thinking of changing difficult child's diet

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by a_demann, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. a_demann

    a_demann New Member

    Wondering if anyone here as tried any specific diets and if they have helped you?? i.e the gluten-free, casein-free diet or eliminating red 40.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I have thought of it, in the past...then I even recommended one time that we had to not eat something he was used to and holy cow....he obsessed about it for days...I never even did it, he just fell apart thinking of it... so never went there. It could have been a mistake but honestly, for him, he has so many known issues, I wonder if he really could have food issues causing these problems too...I doubt it. How many more things could really be wrong... THen I remember his medication enzyme disorder and think again.... these are the things over the years that make my brain hurt, lol.
  3. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    We've done girlfriend for Bug for a while--it made a big difference initially and then he seemed to plateau. As far as perseveration, stimming, etc goes, he really calmed down when not on the gluten. Now it doesn't seem to matter.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    gluten-free, casein-free All Natural hear! HUGE difference. As they have gotten older we have learned that they can have some dairy and some additives but ABSOLUTELY NO GLUTEN. Both times that Eeyore came within moments of the psychiatrist putting him in the psychiatric hospital were because he snuck and ate wheat at school.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes. Huge difference. Our son will not admit it, of course. He's Mr. Perfect.
    But I can tell immediately when he's having a reaction ... his ears turn red, his face breaks out (he's got eczema too), his eyes get red, and he turns into a monster. SO mean and nasty. If it's a tiny bit, he's okay. But if he eats wheat 2 days in a row, watch out.
    Milk distends his stomach pretty much right away so he's not so bad with-that. IOW, if he can see an immediate reaction, he'll agree with-us.
    Plus, he's learning to like rice milk and almond milk.

    I got rid of the dyes for a cpl wks (or was it a month?) when he was younger. Then I gave him a couple of bags of candy ... I think it was Skittles. I sorted them out and left the red for the last day. He asked what I was doing, and when it was time to eat the red ones, he got so upset and scared when I explained what I was doing, he refused to eat any, lol!

    That only lasted a yr or so and now he sneaks, but we also use clonidine to calm him down so he'll offer to take a clonidine if he can have wheat and colors. Sigh. He's a born negotiator.
    Nothing like adding chemicals on top of chemicals! Something he won't understand until he's middle aged, for sure.

    Long story short, yes, it makes a difference.
    All kids are different.
    However, with-our kids, remember that red dye, for example, may give them a headache or may make them anxious, but instead of expressing it in words, they just blow up. So when you do an elimination diet, you have to observe carefully and try not to react when they blow up.
    You have to take it day by day and re-introduce the bad foods one at a time and test them out.
    Not fun, but very worth it.

    I hope this made sense!

    P.S. This is a good topic to consider, with-Valentine's Day coming up.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  6. a_demann

    a_demann New Member

    Did those of you who do the girlfriend diet notice any weight loss? I have heard that people on a girlfriend diet loose weight, J is 9 and only weights about 45 lbs the same as his 6 yr old sister. He has lost 5 lbs since he has been on adderal, the dr suggesting boost since with the medication he doesn't have a huge appetite which he never really had to begin with. He as always been on the small side. So that would be one concern of mine. Another question I would have is do you then switch the entire family? and how is it getting them to comply at school or do you just have them take cold lunches? Also what kinds of food do you prepare, do the kids enjoy/like the new foods and are there any convenient foods that are good or atleast decent choices? as he will need something to take for snack time at school. Thanks for all the advice!
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    First you need to find out what does/doesn't trigger him... and for this stage, its easier of you can just switch the whole meal plan - makes it less obvious.

    The big triggers I'm aware of are: dairy, wheat, dyes (not just red - but red is one of the worst).
    Dyes are the easiest to get rid of... no candy, no prepared foods... cook from scratch, but make sure to cook "goodies" too (home-made chocolate chip cookies are worth having... can't expect a kid to give up gummies and not get something good in return!)

    Only take ONE thing out at a time. Otherwise, you won't know which it is.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT reacted to caramel coloring, the brown part of soda and hidden in a lot of other things. Clear or fruit sodas were fine, but something about the cokes and pepsis just did her in. She was off the charts cranky.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We changed the family diet in the 70's to see if it helped GFGmom. It seemed to take an age to figure out what to buy, lol. Anything with artificial colors/pres. or dye just were eliminated from the pantry. The easy child's who were a couple of years older just ate the junk food when they weren't home. There was no miraculous (sp?) changes but it did seem to help a bit. Once she was out of the house, however, she had access to whatever other families had on I'd guess by thirteen she was eating exactly what we had eliminated at home, lol. For us there was no huge difference to be seen. on the other hand, the rest of us benefited from healthier living and were food aware. She still buys and eats whatever looks good at the moment...sigh! DDD
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Mine didn't respond to gluten free or casein free except for when thank you was little. thank you has what I call food allergies. The dairy is technically a sensitivity because it didn't react when the allergy doctor did it, but he knows he feels yucky if he eats too much. He does okay with cheese, even a lot of cheese, but not milk or uncooked milk items like instant pudding. Even cooked into gravy it is easier for him, but lactaid does NOTHING. We react to the fat. The more fat in the dairy the more problems. He is still sensitive to orange, pineapple and strawberry. Plus he hates the taste, thankfully.

    Other than that and Wiz vomiting if he ate tomato anything until he was about 12 (other than pizza so I think it was more sensory?), my kids don't have behavior issues from foods. They do have migraines and we avoid as much processed foods/preservatives/artificial colors/flavors as possible due to that.

    One thing that can help if you switch to girlfriend/cf is to make your own mixes. It is pretty easy and if you need help I can point out books or help create a mix that owrks for you.
  11. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    we added omega3 calm to our childrens diets a few months ago. it comes in a gelcap. they each took 2 a day, the dosage was determined by psychiatrist. for difficult child it made him talk nonstop to the point where he had to be removed from school so that was discontinued but for my 5yo it has made a world of difference. he is like a whole new child. it took a couple weeks and the change was subtle and slow. but comparing him now to before he started it the difference is amazing. in fact i have been thinking of changing the difficult child in his name back to easy child. i think it was also helping my 12yo but she refuses it now because it is (in her words) 'the most aweful and discustingest barf $hit' she ever tasted.
  12. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    When my daughter was 10, we switched her to the girlfriend/CF diet. It was a miracle for her, changing her from a difficult child to a easy child. Now, 6 years later, she eats whatever she wants when she is out of the house and she is difficult child-ish again.

    Personally, I discovered my "stress", fatigue, irritability, etc. all went away when I went on the girlfriend diet. It is still a miracle for me.

    If it worked at first, my guess is that either there is another food sensitivity involved or there is some gluten getting in the diet somewhere. I am extremely careful about what I eat and barely ate in restaurants for the first few years. I've had two reactions that lasted weeks after eating in a restaurant, supposedly gluten free food. A little bit can make a big difference.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    No weight loss, because you can still make pizzas and such with-gluten free crusts and you'll get calories from other things. Luckily, our son likes cashews and peanuts.
    And we let him eat two dinners, one at 6 and one at about 9 right at bedtime.

    Yes, the entire family has to go gluten free. It is hard. I gave away so much stuff to friends and even a lady who came to clean! I sneak out once every 6 mo's or so and have crepes at a local pancake place, but in general, there is so much gluten free stuff out there (yaaay, Betty Crocker and Bisquik!) that it's not a problem for me any more. My college age daughter, though, is a problem. She loves to buy Life Cereal and cookies an we tell her to lock them in her room. Does she remember? Noooo ... That's about the only good thing about having her leave to go back to school this weekend. :(