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Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!

Why We Are Eating Gluten Free (and Why You Might want To As Well!)

Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!

Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!The question I get most often related to our diet and lifestyle is why we eat gluten free. The answer I give depends on my audience. If it’s someone I barely know I usually just say allergies to avoid a long discussion.

But the real answer goes much deeper. Especially since technically none of us does have a wheat/gluten IgE allergy!

So Why Are We Eating Gluten Free?

It all started in 2010 when I was pregnant with my son and did the GAPS diet (not something I would do again, by the way). At that point I was eating completely grain free. That was when I first started learning about the potential harm grains can cause to the body.

After coming off of the GAPS diet (very underweight and exhausted…that picture is only one month postpartum while doing GAPS) I switched to sourdough made with rye and wheat. Which I LOVE (and miss!). We ate that for a while. Though I learned pretty quickly that wheat that wasn’t properly prepared did not agree with me.

But it wasn’t until my oldest was close to five years old that we really made the switch to a gluten free diet. It wasn’t because she was having hives or rashes or another type of allergic reaction.Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!

We went gluten free because of the neurological impact gluten has on her. In other words, it makes her totally crazy.

We struggle enough with her focus and accomplishing simple daily tasks (in spite of her being the smartest kid I’ve ever met). We’ve worked with a speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, functional neurologist and orthodontist to help with reflex integration, focus, oral SPD and mouth breathing.

But the thing that has made the biggest impact on her health is diet. Specifically staying away from gluten.

Was It A Coincidence?

There have been periods where we tried switching back. Sometimes just an exception here or there. Sometimes for longer stretches.

Without fail every time produces the same results. She is non-functional. Sometimes I have to feed her. We can’t expect much from her. It pains me as a mother to see her like this. So even though she is my child with “no food allergies,” she has the strongest reaction to gluten.

How Gluten Impacts the Rest of Us.

Around the same time I discovered how gluten was impacting my daughter I learned just how important a gluten free diet is for thyroid health. As someone that has dealt with hypothyroidism for many years that is a big deal!

In 2013, while still struggling with infertility, I made the switch to natural desiccated thyroid AND made the choice to be strict gluten free. Those were two of the best things I ever did for my own health. And they are large reasons why we have our miracle baby #3 (who isn’t a baby anymore) and miracle baby #4 on the way!!

When my son was first tested for food allergies wheat was on the list. So it was a no-brainer to keep him gluten free. And considering all of my youngest’s struggles with food reactions and trying to heal her gut and whole body from vaccine reactions, I made the choice to keep her gluten free as well.

I have done a lot of research on eating gluten free. I’ve gone back and forth on the idea over the years. But in the end we have remained gluten free. My largest reason has been simply observing how it impacts my family and my desire to keep them healthy.

Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!Does This Mean Everyone Should Be Eating Gluten Free?

Maybe. Maybe not. That is still a debatable topic. But there is a lot of research out there that shows how gluten can damage the gut and lead to a host of health problems. According to Gluten Free Society:

Gluten causes neurochemical changes in the production of neurotransmitters (chemicals that allow the nervous system to communicate). Examples include: serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, epinephrine, and histamine. Gluten is also a neurotoxin that has been shown to damage nerve tissue. This is the reason so many with neurological disease (autism, migraine headaches, ADD, bipolar, schizophrenia, neuropathy, epilepsy, etc.) do well on a gluten free diet.

Which makes total sense to me seeing how my daughter responds to it! It impacts the entire nervous system.

What About Grain Free?

You can go a step farther and say that all grains are bad. Diets like primal, paleo, AIP, keto,GAPS, etc. exclude all grains. But I personally don’t think that’s necessary unless you are working on healing an autoimmune condition. And even then it should be temporary.

I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum – sprouting and grinding my own wheat to make homemade baked goods and being completely grain free. I have found for us that it’s best to strike balance in the middle using gluten free grains. I don’t feel well when I eat totally grain free. My body needs some starch. And kids need plenty of carbohydrates to balance protein and fat and have energy.

I recently watched the Broken Brain docu-series. One of the doctors said he believes every single person should eat gluten free, as it can lead to holes in the digestive tract (a.k.a. leaky gut). The amount of damage it does to each individual varies. The hard part is that the reaction can come hours or days later. So it is very difficult to pinpoint the culprit. And it can manifest is so many ways (think headaches, stomach aches, constipation, fatigue, foggy thinking, dry skin, hair loss, bad breath, poor growth, osteoporosis…the list goes on and on).

The only way to really know if  you feel better without gluten is to take it out for at least a month and assess. If you add it back in do your symptoms return?

Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!What About Einkorn?

There may be one exception to the rule. I have heard great things about einkorn flour – an ancient variety of wheat. I have friends that react to gluten, but seem to do fine with einkorn. This is largely due to how modern wheat is sprayed and processed.

This is a grain I have not used much personally. I have baked with it a couple times. But not enough to really experiment and see how we all handle it. Getting gluten out of your system completely can take a while. So I’m always hesitant to introduce any, knowing that if it goes poorly we’re starting back at square one.

Maybe some day after more healing (and when mom isn’t pregnant or nursing and exhausted) I will try sourdough einkorn and see how it goes. Then I can really see if it’s the gluten itself or the modern grains contributing to our health problems.

Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!For Now We Are Choosing To Remain Gluten Free.

We are still working through allergies and eczema for my son. We are still working on neurological issues with my oldest. And my youngest is finally making great progress with eating and growth. I’m not about to rock the boat and introduce something new right now.

A gluten free diet has made a world of difference for our family’s health, both physically and mentally. It has even helped me heal from years of struggling with infertility, anxiety and OCD. That is why we eat gluten free. Not because we read a book about it. Not because it worked for someone else. Because we have seen the benefits first hand. It has helped my kids feel better. And it has really helped manage my hypothyroidism.

Once you get started it’s not difficult to cook and bake gluten free. There are so many alternatives readily available now. Then again it’s not always easy when you are away from home. But it’s worth the effort.

Have You Ever Considered A Gluten Free Diet?

If you have a child that is a really picky eater, has eczema, struggles with ADD/ADHD, has ASD, is emotionally unstable (anxiety, tantrums, etc.) or has any other nagging condition you can’t seem to figure out, you should consider a gluten free diet. It’s a simple change that doesn’t require doctor visits and doesn’t cost anything. You never know. It could be a life changer!

I’m not going to go as far as to say that everyone should eat gluten free. I’m not a doctor. But I do think a lot of people could benefit from it.

Have you ever wondered why so many people are eating gluten free these days? I may not have all the answers, but I can share why we do!How We Got Started.

When we first started eating gluten free I took baby steps. I didn’t buy any strange, new foods. I just cooked meals that were naturally gluten free. I made dishes with rice, potatoes, corn, etc. I just avoided our meals that use wheat for a few weeks.

Once I saw how well it was going I started to venture into gluten free baking and experimenting with wheat alternatives. If you want to give it a shot I’ve got hundreds of gluten free recipes on the blog.

Curious what we eat every day? Follow me on Facebook or Instagram where I share most of our meals.

I know the idea of eating gluten free may sound overwhelming. But it’s not. Once you get started you’ll see just how easy it is. And you might be surprised by the health changes you observe!

Are you ready for the challenge? I encourage you to try a gluten free diet for three weeks and see how you feel. I’d love to hear about it too!!

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Does a Negative Allergy Test Put You In The Clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Allergy tests are great for pinpointing food reactions. All three of my kids have had multiple rounds of testing done.

Sometimes the test confirms a suspicion I have about a trigger food. Sometimes it helps me figure out a random allergy that I never would have guessed.

Not Always Accurate

But allergy tests are not 100% accurate. An IgE skin prick allergy test only checks for a reaction to the protein in the food. You could have a strong reaction to the sugar in a food (lactose intolerance is a great example) and test negative for an allergy.

An IgE blood test is even less accurate. It checks for antibodies in the blood to a specific food. It can help confirm a diagnosis after a skin prick test is positive. But it is not a very good diagnostic alone.

Food Sensitivities

IgG blood tests are a bit controversial. Some say they are great for detecting food “sensitivities”…actually called latent allergies. Others say this test can give different results every time. You could draw blood three times in the same day and get varying results.

I have done an IgG blood test for myself before. I had mixed feelings about its accuracy. So I’ve never done it for my kids.

All this to say that allergy tests absolutely have their place. And they are quite helpful for diagnosing allergies that range anywhere from mild to severe and life-threatening.

But just because an allergy test is negative does not mean you can throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want.

My Son

My son has been dealing with various degrees of allergies for many years. It started from birth with some reflux. Then at age two he developed bad eczema on his legs. Thus started our journey with allergy testing and food elimination.

Every time he is tested a slew of foods shows up. We cut them out, work on healing for a while and retest. 

But every time this has happened things have gotten a little more challenging. For example, rice showed up on his first allergy test. We cut it out. Six months later when he was retested the rice allergy was gone. Yet three years later he still can not eat rice without noticeable reactions.

Making Progress

In spite of some foods still causing problems we were making progress narrowing his list of reactive foods. Then in early 2016 after the onset of stomach aches and an inability to eat much he was retested.

To our shock he had a back full of welts. We were given a prescription for an epi-pen. And he was diagnosed with potentially anaphylactic allergies to nuts, dairy and a few other foods.

Wait, what happened over the last year that made his allergies go from mild and healing to life threatening??

Even though we didn’t have an answer to that question we moved forward, removing the necessary foods, always carrying an epi-pen, doing our best to keep him safe.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Not Fixxed

He had some reprieve for a bit. We were so happy to see him get an appetite back and really start growing.

But before too long he started having a lot of stomach aches again. Gradually they started to become more frequent. They prevented him from sleeping. They stopped him from eating well.

More Testing

It was back to the drawing board. We started by going to the pediatrician. We did a CBC and metabolic panel. We did urine and stool tests. All normal.

So it was back to the allergist for another round of testing, fearing another laundry list of foods to avoid.

And we got a huge shock!

Every single skin prick was negative. Not even a tiny bit of reaction. So we did the blood test. Again, all negative.

Nuts, dairy, wheat…everything…negative.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Although it was good news I was more confused than ever! The allergist (a new one) said his old test was likely inaccurate because foods were tested at the same time as airborne/environmental allergies.

Now what?

Do I just throw out his allergy list and let him eat whatever he wants? Do I trust the tests?

My husband and I both see glaring evidence of food reactions.

Digging Deeper

Well, I did what I do best. I observed, experimented and researched.

The thing is food reactions are a sign of a deeper issue.

Just because an allergy test is negative does NOT mean you can eat a particular food.

This is something I am very passionate about and believe so many parents could benefit from.

Behavior, digestion, skin, emotions…they are all impacted by the food you eat. Even healthy, nourishing food can create a negative reaction.

Case in point – my whole family (you can read more about it in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!).

Experimenting

We gradually let my son try a few foods he’d been avoiding. His stomach aches increased in frequency. His mood declined. He started wetting the bed. He developed bad breath.

Then we let him try some goat’s milk. Wow.

The result was horrific meltdowns, almost as if he was a psychiatric patient. Anything and everything caused him to scream, cry, hit himself and berate himself. It’s a parent’s nightmare.

No amount of comforting him and trying to talk through his feelings helped. If his big sister wouldn’t play with him – meltdown. If I told him I was reading a book his little sister picked out before the book he picked out – meltdown. If he wasn’t crazy about some of the food on his plate – meltdown.

This list could go on and on.

After some charcoal and a few days off of dairy he returned to a more stable state.

Sadly it’s not just dairy that does this to him. There are quite a few foods, all with varying degrees of reactions.

I could also go through our entire family listing foods and reactions. Yet we all test negative for food allergies.

So now what?

What do you do if allergy tests are negative but food reactions are present?

You get help from others who have been there. You find doctors and practitioners who are willing to dig deeper and find a cure instead of simply avoiding certain foods.

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Healthy Kids

In my book I teach you how to observe your child and not just accept the poor behavior. Find a root cause and fix it. Say goodbye to picky eating and temper tantrums.

Beyond Allergy Testing

If allergy testing isn’t giving you answers, here are some other conditions to consider.

  1. Overall gut dysfunction/leaky gut.
  2. Parasites – they are more common than you think. They tend to really act up around a full moon, so if your child is worse during that time it is something to consider.
  3. Slow metabolism.
  4. Thyroid disorders.
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Mineral imbalance/nutritional deficiency

And here are some potential treatments.

  1. GAPS diet (Gut And Psychology Syndrome)
  2. Parasite cleanse
  3. Probiotics
  4. Digestive Enzymes
  5. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

 

You can also treat food reactions from a more neurological and physical perspective. This includes:

  1. Functional neurology
  2. Chiropractic care
  3. Craniosacral therapy
  4. Osteopathic manipulation therapy
  5. Energy healing
  6. Muscle response testing

Baby Steps

I don’t have all of the answers for you. We are still in the trenches with my son’s reactions, trying to find the correct path forward. 

I know we will keep digging until we find the problem and the solution. We will restore my son to full health. We will find health for our whole family!

A negative allergy test does not give you free reign on food.

You have to dig a little deeper. It’s more work, but so worth it! In the end you will be able to eat more of the nutritious food your body needs.

Have you or your children been tested for allergies? Was it helpful or confusing?

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

It's not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods...but of higher quality. But just what is the natural flavor in your "natural" foods?

The Secret Ingredient Hiding In Your Natural Food: What Is Natural Flavor?

It’s not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods…but of higher quality. But just what is the natural flavor in your “natural” foods?

It's not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods...but of higher quality. But just what is the natural flavor in your "natural" foods?

It’s been over three years now since we cut out food coloring/food dyes from our kids’ diet. As in absolutely none. No exceptions. Artificial flavor is limited to a few times a year in a treat of vanilla ice cream.

It has made a big difference in how my children feel and behave. It is literally like a drug for my oldest. Sometimes it makes her insane. Sometimes it makes her super mellow. Either way, it’s impacting her brain and is not good.

Of course cutting out artificial ingredients naturally lends itself to a healthier, more natural lifestyle. Who doesn’t love that?!

Instead of artificially flavored fruit snacks you buy organic gummies. Instead of Trix yogurt with food dyes you get organic yogurt. Instead of traditional candy you buy organic suckers made with fruit. Sounds great!

Not Enough

That was us…for a while. Until I noticed my daughter was exhibiting the same behavior as when she ate the foods with artificial colors and flavors.

Being the investigator that I am I read labels, I observed her, I kept a food journal. She had already been gluten free for a long time.

The one thing that I came up with was the ingredient common to all of these “natural” foods…

Natural Flavor

Since then I’ve been doing more research. Both experimenting with diet and reading any information I can find. I really want to know…what is natural flavor??

Not surprisingly I came across article after article that said natural flavor is basically the same thing as artificial flavor. The only real difference is the ingredient(s) it starts with. Natural flavor starts with real food. But it still undergoes various chemical processes which result in a product not much different than its artificial counterpart.

The Technical Term

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, “The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors, include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants.”

Per dictionary.com enzymolysis is: “Chemical change or cleavage of a substance by enzymatic action.

So, natural flavor can come from a chemical change of bark and it’s still within the guidelines. Interesting.

It's not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods...but of higher quality. But just what is the natural flavor in your "natural" foods?

What Others Are Saying

According to dailyburn.com:

“Natural flavors are coming from natural sources — the original ingredient is found in nature and then purified and extracted and added back into the food.

But, that doesn’t necessarily mean the “natural flavors” in your blueberry granola bar are simply…crushed-up blueberries. Rather, they probably consist of a chemical originally found in blueberries, enhanced and added into your food in a lab.”

“Added flavoring, both natural and artificial, could contain anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients. And all of the extra ingredients in flavors often aren’t as innocent as you’d hope they would be. The mixture will often have some solvent and preservatives — and that makes up 80 to 90 percent of the volume [of the flavoring]. In the end product, it’s a small amount, but it still has artificial ingredients.”

NaturalNews.com states:

“Regulations for the word “natural” only apply to flavors; anywhere else you find it on food packaging means absolutely nothing regarding quality. Secondly, the FDA definition of “natural flavors” and “natural flavoring” allows for the substance to be extracted from plant or animal “matter.” So when you buy something that’s organic, vegetarian, or vegan, and it has “natural flavoring,” you could be eating a pig, cow, turkey, chicken, or lamb which was shot up with growth hormones, fed GMO pesticide-laden corn and grain – probably mixed with other animals of it’s same breed, then shot up with antibiotics due to infections and diseases from living in confined quarters on slats covered in feces.

Monosodium Glutamate is a neurotoxin that can be legally hidden from you and/or be labeled “natural flavors” in the ingredients list. MSG is not a natural flavor – in fact, it can cause brain lesions, neuro-endocrine disorders, and neurodegenerative disease in humans, but you won’t hear any doctors of Western Medicine mentioning that at your next extreme migraine emergency visit. There are more than 25 names for MSG, so sometimes you find it spread out a little, just in case the manufacturer gets “checked out” by anyone other than the FDA.”

Foodbabe.com says:

“With the words “natural flavor” food chemists and companies can put whatever they want in your food that is “generally regarded as safe” including excitotoxins. Natural flavor can legally contain natural occurring “glutamate” bi-products like MSG – which are known excitotoxins. These excitotoxins are some of the chemicals that cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food. Excitotoxins overexcite your cells literally until they die or are damaged causing “injury” and “incapacitating” you with disease. When consumed over time, excitotoxins can cause nerve disorders resulting a myriad of diseases from stroke to Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. And lots of other side effects too – like obesity, migraines, fatigue and depression.”

Remember what I said about “natural flavor” acting like a brain-altering drug for my kids? It’s not so far fetched when you really do some searching. My observations were spot on.

Straight From The Source

None of it sounds very appealing and certainly doesn’t put my mind at ease.

But I know you can’t trust everything you read. So I set out to do my own investigation.

I called some popular organic food companies and some conventional food companies to ask them about the ingredients in their food (I’ll be kind and won’t name names). Sadly most of them had no answer for me.

I told them I was a mom of kids with tons of allergies. I need to know a full ingredient list or I can’t give it to my kids. Simply avoiding the top eight allergens does not cut it.

These are the responses I got:

“Natural flavor is listed so we can keep the full ingredient list from our competitors. The natural flavor in X product contains apple, corn, black raspberry, cherry, cranberry, lemon, lime and strawberry. I don’t know how it’s processed, but it does contain those ingredients.”

“The natural flavor is outsourced. The ingredients for each flavor can change by the season so we can’t tell you what’s in it. It is made from fruits, vegetables and/or spices. And they can’t be modified. There are no major allergens.”

“The natural flavor comes from a natural source. I don’t have a specific list of ingredients.”

“It is a proprietary formula that I can’t tell you. It is an all natural food or something.”

“The Natural Flavors in our products will follow our same Brand Promise to be Gluten-Free and Free-From the top defined food allergens. We have only aligned ourselves with business partners and ingredient suppliers that can adhere to our strict allergen requirements.”

One website directly stated:

“All our Natural Flavors in our certified organic product are Organic Compliant Natural Flavors and conform to the regulations of both the FDA and the very strict National Organic Plan (NOP) by the USDA.These natural flavors do not contain anything we would not be proud to put in our family’s mouths.  

Please note that we consider our Natural Flavors to be secret recipes so we do not reveal the contents of our Natural Flavors.  We are aware that some people may not be able to eat some of our flavors because we are unable to reveal the secret recipe and we are truly sorry for this inconvenience.”

Digging Even Deeper

Since I was getting nowhere with the food manufacturers I tried contacting some natural flavor manufacturers directly.

No surprise…I couldn’t get any response from them!

I Need To Know

As a mom of kids with allergies it concerns me greatly that I am not allowed to know what is in just about every packaged food. Even simple foods like canned tomatoes and salsa. It also concerns me that these “natural flavors” are so common that nobody questions them.

The word natural has no real standard. It can mean just about anything. Don’t let it fool you too. If you are conscious of avoiding artificial flavors and colors, you might want to add natural flavor your list.

If it is so “natural” why don’t you just tell us what it is??

Now what?

Don’t feel discouraged! You can still live a natural lifestyle. And it does NOT have to be complicated or involve convenience foods with suspicious ingredients.

You can learn to replace store-bought products with DIY options that actually work (like homemade fruit snacks and granola bars) and are easy to make. You feel better (and even look better, too). Healthy living becomes less stressful and more enjoyable.

Our family has felt so much better by making changes to the way we eat, the products we use, and how we take care of ourselves. It’s made all the difference in the world and I want the same for you.

The use of natural flavor has been my biggest “natural food” complaint for many years. It really has no place in our food. And food companies that make quality, whole foods should be more than happy to tell consumers exactly what ingredients they use.

 

Skip the “natural flavor” that is a mystery ingredient. Keep your family well nourished and feeling their best.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

No more fights. No more allergies. Learn how to get your kids on a rotation diet.

How To Get Your Kids On A Rotation Diet {With No Resistance}

When it comes to allergies diet is key, especially rotating foods. Wondering how to get your kids on a rotation diet…and avoid the resistance? Let them have control!

No more fights. No more allergies. Learn how to get your kids on a rotation diet.

One of the hardest things about an allergy diagnosis is taking food away from your child.

For real. Who wants to say, “Sorry, no more apple slices”? Or “Your sister is having cheese, but you can’t have it now”?

Then you break the news. You also have to rotate your food. The raisins you like to snack on every day? Now you can only eat them every four days. I hope you enjoyed that banana. You can’t have another until later this week.

This may sound like a joke, but it’s not. Using a rotation diet for allergies is one of the most important things you can do. It certainly does not make dealing with allergies easier. But it will help in the healing and prevention process. By rotating the food you eat on a four day cycle you allow the body time to heal. It also prevents the development of new allergies, which is so common. Eating the same foods day after day when you have allergies is a recipe for disaster.

No more fights. No more allergies. Learn how to get your kids on a rotation diet.

If you have never heard of or tried a rotation diet be sure to read about how it works and why it is critical for those with allergies!

So just how do you get your kids on board with this new way of eating?

Today I’m at Kitchen Stewardship sharing fun tips for getting kids of any age on a rotation diet.

—>>> Go check it out!!

I’ve also got a super cool FREE printout to help you get started. Get your copy now.

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I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Food Allergies | Just Take A Bite

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies

I’m so excited to finally share my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!. I’ll tell you our story and give lots of tips for feeding children. One of the most important things to understand is how a rotation diet helps with allergies.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Food Allergies | Just Take A Bite

“You should try a rotation diet.”

I first heard those words when I went through a whole assortment of tests a few years ago and the results showed a lot of latent food allergies.

My first thought: “You want me to not eat the same foods two days in a row?”

I love leftovers.

I am a creature of habit and the queen of repetition. I could eat the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for a week and not mind one bit. And if I really like something I often do eat it every day. Plus I LOVE leftovers. I’m odd but I like cold leftovers better than freshly made food. So the idea of not eating things two days in a row was crazy to me.

My second thought: “How is that going to help?”

Turns out it helps a lot. Though I didn’t fully realize it at the time.

why won't my child eat 728x90

Let’s get started!

I went home, did more research and got started. I only had one child eating solids at the time. So it wasn’t that tough to modify meals for the family and work around my new diet. I stuck with it for a while and had fun experimenting with new recipes.

Then life got busy. I gradually fell back into old habits. I had a one year old that was always on the move. And a very smart four year old that needed lots of stimulation and always wanted to learn something new. Plus I was tired and struggling with adrenal fatigue. Back to eating the same foods all the time and feeding my kids the same foods.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies | Just Take A Bite

Time to get serious.

Fast forward a year and my son was diagnosed with lots of food allergies. All the allergist told us to do was avoid the worst offenders. That was it for advice.

Ok. We can do that. No dairy, eggs, rice, beans, peas, grapes, pears and a few other foods. Not fun. But we’ll manage.

Six months later we went for a retest. The allergies were worse and new ones had popped up.

It was then that I learned how a rotation diet can help with allergies and just how important it is.

Can you guess what foods my son now reacted strongly to?

All the foods he ate frequently and foods we used to replace his allergens. Oops. Mom fail. Lesson learned. Sort of.

Why Won't My Child Eat Banner Image 400x335

Too many slip-ups.

We’ve gone through this up and down cycle of sticking to food rotation and then getting busy and slipping back into old habits many times. And almost every time we pay for it by adding new allergies.

Knowing just how important rotation is, I’ve been pretty strict about enforcing it with my youngest from the start. You can see how I plan meals around her allergies in our weekly meal plans.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies | Just Take A Bite

Back to that rotation thing.

That’s a little background. I hope I didn’t lose you at the mention of a rotation diet.

It’s kind of a strange concept. Basically you eat foods on a four day rotation. So if you eat an apple on Monday you can’t eat an apple again until Friday.

How does that help? And why four days?

Allergies can start or worsen with repeated exposure, especially in allergy-prone people and those with leaky guts (which includes many of us). So if you are consuming the same food day after day any reaction to that food will gradually intensify. It’s kind of like picking at a cut. The more you pick at it the worse it will get.

When you eat a problem food your body produces “masking” antibodies. After four days those antibodies are gone (if you aren’t eating the food). So you can better assess if a particular food was bothering you. If you eat the same food every day those antibodies do not clear out and you’re left guessing and having reaction upon reaction. Been there, done that.

Tailor your rotation.

Ideally you should rotate food families. But this is not always possible. My youngest does not even have enough safe foods to span four days with rotating families. So we stick with rotating individual foods and try not to have food families span more than two days. You have to do what works for you.

An added bonus of rotation is that it forces you to have variety in your diet, which leads to a broader spectrum of vitamins and minerals. This is beneficial for the whole family, not just those with allergies. So get everyone on board!

I can’t do that.

Sound like a good theory but impossible to implement? It’s not. I promise. It just takes some planning.

Here are a few simple steps:

  1. Make a list of all of the foods you can eat. You can do this for the whole family or just for the individuals with allergies.
  2. Group the safe foods into food families.
  3. Now start filling in four days, including foods from each food group (fruits, vegetables, grains/starches, fats, proteins) in each day.

I also like to group foods that we commonly eat together. For example, beef and tomatoes are good on the same day for making spaghetti with meat sauce or tacos with salsa. I include peppers and onions on those days too. Rice tends to go well with chicken or pork. I put lettuce and a few favorite salad toppings on the same day.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies | Just Take A Bite

Making life easier.

Play around with it until you find a rotation that works for your family. Then start planning! Oddly enough a rotation diet can actually make meal planning easier. A lot of the decisions are made for you. The other day I was planning a meal for a day with pumpkin, rice, lettuce and cucumbers. So we had pumpkin pasta (rice noodles) and salads. Perfect!

I even manage to use leftovers by making my “day” go from dinner one day to lunch the next. So dinner leftovers can still be eaten for easy lunches. Then we start our next day with dinner again.

One down side to a rotation diet is that it can be hard to eat seasonally. It just depends on how restricted your diet is. We’ve been eating asparagus all year because my daughter likes it and tolerates it. Normally we only eat it in the spring when it’s growing in our garden. But having food options wins over eating seasonally. Not to mention on a rotation diet you can’t eat cherries every day for two weeks straight while they are fresh. The rotation is more important.

The results.

Since starting a rotation diet with my kids it is a lot easier to keep new allergies to a minimum and to spot an offending food right away. Sometimes people think I’m crazy when I say I can pinpoint food reactions in a couple days. But I can. It is because we use a rotation diet. This is also very helpful when re-introducing foods. It easy to tell right away if my child is still reacting or not. So we can try one new food a week when I think they are ready.

Before dealing with allergies my diet was about the farthest thing from rotated. I ate the same foods day after day after day. And I paid the price with a long list of latent allergies now. And I have seen firsthand how not rotating foods has negatively impacted my children.

Top priority.

Using a rotation diet is one of the most important things you can do for someone with allergies. And it is just one of the many topics I cover in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!. I’ve got tips on how to observe your child for food reactions and how to deal with picky eating. I’ve even got a tried and true method for feeding a child that refuses to eat anything (I’ve been there…for months). Plus lots more.

Get your copy of Why Won’t My Child Eat?! so you can take the guess work out of behavior issues and picky eating and start enjoying meal times again.

>>  Order your copy of Why Won’t My Child Eat?!  <<

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

And don’t forget to download your FREE guide to meal planning and picky eating with two weeks of rotated meals laid out for you! It’s a great way to get started and learn more about how a rotation diet helps with allergies.

>>>>  Get your free guide here.  <<<<

Meal Planning, Picky Eating and Travel Guide Cover

Do you have kids with allergies? Do you use a rotation diet or are you stuck in a rut with a handful of safe foods?

Get out of the rut and get on the road to healing with a rotation diet. Then take the next steps to having great eaters with the tips I share in Why Won’t My Child Eat?!.

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