It started in April of 2010 when Daddy and I decided to try the Feingold diet with the boys (see blog post here). Big Brother was the main motivator, but the Big Three aren’t good for either boy (Artificial Colors, Artificial Sweeteners and Preservatives.). We have been more so less strict about this; adding items and removing other items that we see a reaction (behavior) from. As it stands now we avoid The Big Three; but we have added some “not allowed foods” back into his diet. Almonds and oranges are two of the big ones we have allowed back in; he loves them both and I do not see any behavior reaction from them. With the new limits we are planning and starting to “impose” having been able to add back in to his diet some real foods that we avoided at first is a real help – gives us more real food options. However, there are still some 100% real foods that we avoid, apples being the biggest (and you’d be surprised how many things have APPLE JUICE in them). Here is a full list of other posts about eating and our family.
A few months ago we removed all dairy from Big Brother’s diet. This is a work in progress as I suspect he is still getting some hidden Dairy but Momma is learning. We did this after medical tests revealed he has a milk allergy. We are luck we have been able to add almonds back to his diet (over a year ago) with no reaction; because I am able to use almond milk for his bedtime hot cocoa. That has made the transition easier. There has been no behavior change, sadly momma was hoping for a little calming, but we know he has an allergy so the removal was necessary, even without any perceivable change in him. He never ate cheese; but he is still missing yogurt. In fact, we have not explicitly told him he can’t have dairy – you tell him that and all you are going to have are fights; he is just now getting good at accepting NO to the Big Three and still complains about THAT. We have simply removed it without discussing it.
Now in 2012 Daddy and I have again had a meeting of the minds and decided we want to evolve our food choices even further for the family. This is currently “in process”. We plan to remove all HFCS from our diet (yes should done it long ago); eat only whole grain (Momma is now GF); and try to eat as whole food as possible. Real food, whole foods. We are doing this by attrition; as the more processed foods (crackers for example) are eaten up they are not being replaces. We have decided we simply should not be eating things made of chemicals. Pretty simple. We want the boys to grow up with good eating habits. It is hard; a lot of the junk (like pop tarts, which Big hasn’t had in years) is really yummy. Momma struggles with this too – no more Mac and Cheese?? We are going to push veggies and fruit as snacks and simply stop buying things if we can’t read the ingredients out loud. I know I am behind some of my friends in this, but I have resisted allowing diet and food to take up THAT much of my active thought (not like I don’t have anything else to occupy my mind); but it is time to bite the bullet; clean up their diet (our diets) and get them on a path to good eating as adults. This time I do not have any hope of behavior changes or improvements this time, but it just needs to be done. (I do admit, as I change our diet again and again, I’d love to see a ‘miracle’ change in the over-the-top energy and silliness levels around here – it happens for others, so why not us?).
I have found a source for safe candy that the boys like. I will be more diligent about carrying safe candy and gummies so that the boys are less tempted by vending machines and “treats” on long days of travel or errands. We now have a Trader Joe’s; so that helps a little one the few special items we’ll need to buy (got safe jelly beans there last year). In reality the biggest “need” is for momma to stop being lazy and to actually cook and tow a hard line about what she will and won’t allow. I have always has a hard time with this due to Big Brother self limiting regarding food – both in items eaten and amount. Nevertheless this needs to be done. There is a chance, if his eating does not improve, I might go back to our Pediatrician once our diet adjustment is done. Also when we move this summer any food not fitting the bill will be trashed. The biggest thing is momma has to tow a harder line about treats and buying food when we are out.