As an acupuncturist, I advise people to make dietary changes on a daily basis, according to their diagnosis.As a mom, I am very well aware of just how difficult it is to follow my own advice when it comes to kids. The most important lesson i have learned in this regard is, that many parents are simply afraid of how their kids would react, when in fact the kids are much more open to change than their parents. I will elaborate on the “how” right after I will tell you the “why”.
My son had been suffering from ear fluids and therefore a very mild hearing loss, as an acupuncturist I treat many kids with the same issue, but it was the first time I had no success. It was surprising to me as usually with just a few sessions, sometimes eliminating phlegm forming foods and some herbs, it is very easy to resolve. So why was it not working with my son? And of course as a mom, i was very concerned. Then I realised i couldn’t get rid of the fluids since he always had a stuffy nose, which meant there was an allergy behind all this, which meant a different combination of points and herbs, case solved! Or… not?
Case was not solved, I even took him to an allergy specialist,but she found nothing wrong with him. I then began to suspect my beloved gluten all those yummy bagels we were happily eating for breakfast, the dinner pastas, the delicious sandwich snacks, crackers, and so much more. Oh no! But how was I going to avoid gluten for a few weeks on just a hunch?
So I didn’t...
Gluten Free - Why?
Until… I found out about NAET allergy elimination! So I took my son to see an acupuncturist that specializes in this and found out that he was sensitive to many foods, and yes, gluten was one of them. A while back i already eliminated tomatoes, oranges and seaweed from his diet as i noticed they were causing him diarrhea, although his pediatrician explained that some people have diarrhea as their normal stools but I refused to listen and the elimination of these foods helped significantly. We decided to first treat for Gluten and since it’s not healthy anyway, I decided to eliminate it 90% but still have the body exposed to it once in awhile so the body still remembers how to deal with it. In just a few days i saw a big change - his nose was no longer stuffy. But also, he was in a great mood! Prior to that he would wake up cranky and whiny, and he had a hard time sitting still, so he would get lots of “time outs” at school. I was worried that if i did not resolve the issue of his body constantly fighting off something, that he would be tagged as hyperactive and be asked to take ADHD medicine. But in less than a week he has transformed into this sweet mellow little boy.
As I started to incorporate NAET allergy elimination into my practice I have been able to help many patients improve their health in cases of digestion, hormonal issues, ADHD, headaches, PMS, allergies and much more, and Gluten was coming up a lot as one of the main suspects that were causing some of these discomforts.
Gluten Free - How? Get them on board
As my son was with me in all the hearing tests, he was aware that there was a problem, and during the NAET allergy elimination session, he realised what was going on. All that was required from me was to remind myself how parents react when I tell them to avoid dairy or any other food and to react the way i wish they would - breath deep and say “yes, we can do it”. And i had to think for a few second about how freaked out i am about cutting off gluten, before i could breath again. While the acupuncturist was waiting for my response. Then following a few deep breaths i said, “yes, of course we will do that”. And that is what my son saw, he saw his mom believing it could be done, and although he was barely 4 years old, he believed it too! Even though i saw this happening many times when parents would tell me that surprisingly their kids went along with the dietary changes, i still found myself in awe of how my son would check in with me whether something was gluten free or not, and was always willing to give up anything that contained gluten. And then it hit me - it was us who are freaking out about having to alter the children's’ diet, they were much more willing to cooperate than we give them credit for.
Keep them on board
I always thought that homemade food was better than school food but i was to lazy to do anything about it. Until, i had no choice! At first it felt like too much of an effort, very time consuming, and all in all just a nuisance. Eventually, I got used to, found a nice bento box and started to enjoy having my kids eat healthier. I wanted him to feel like he was lucky, getting great food and fun snacks, rather than being the boy everyone feels sorry for for not getting the crackers everyone else was getting, or the cake that had weird coloring on it, that doesn’t look like anything that resembles food. I wanted him to enjoy his meal and snacks and that was a big challenge as i am not exactly chef material
So i was on the lookout for the things he missed the most. One day i returned with some gluten free bagels, my boy was so happy. Another day i found gluten free bunnies and he was even happier than the day he learned there were gluten free bagels. Ever since, we are always looking for fun snacks and foods that are gluten free options, such as cauliflower dough pizza, almond flour cookies, etc. i keep asking “what else do you feel like you are missing out on”, and we find solutions together. Some our “special time”is actually visiting trader Joe's, sprouts, etc in search of alternatives that he is happy with, and of course - cooking together
My conclusions from this (Mostly) simple change are:
Not so scary after all - Going gluten free sounds like a very scary decision when in fact here are so many alternatives, some are not so healthy but are a good enough compromise for the transition, and some are a much better alternative.
If you lead the way, they will follow - instead of worrying about how your kids would react to the change, simply trust that they are capable of doing so and set a good example if you explain to them in a respectful way, they might surprise you with their willingness.
Diclaimer: Information and statements made here are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. The views and nutritional advice expressed in this blog are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you pregnant or have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.