Three Year Old Adjusting to Diet


kalechip

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I am new to this forum, seeking help and support for issues with my three year old. We are on Day 7, and things are not going well. I wanted to do a whole 30 because I have Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid issues. I am trying the AI suggestions (no egg, nuts, etc). I`m having my son do this with me since he has never had a solidly formed poop (sorry to be graphic - his are all these big mush piles) and he tends towards whininess and meltdowns often. He had IgG allergy testing about a year ago that indicated issues with LOTS of foods, including nuts, soy, egg. We have experimented with elimination diets before, but generally only last days to a couple weeks before falling off the wagon completely. I also have a 9 month old, so life with an infant has been part of the issue in actually committing. My husband is supportive, but has basically said this Whole 30 is the last thing we`re trying, and if it fails, we will be gluten free but no other restrictions.

Anyways...as of Day 7 my son is a MESS!!! Still poor BMs, whiny, argumentative, meltdowns over everything! He seems exhausted too and just overwhelmed. He is not a big fan of meat, so there have been issues with getting him eating enough of it, but he eats sweet potato or squash with almost every meal, both of which he loves. One compromise I have made is to give him white rice cooked in bone broth (the only way to get bone broth into him). We eat 3 meals and a couple snacks a day. I know that it can take time, but I feel horrible - not only are my days awful dealing with constant tantrums and fighting, but I feel like maybe this just isn`t working for him and I`m putting him through this for nothing. And everywhere we go other kids are stuffing themselves with processed junk and he's watching this and wondering why his mother is so insane...

Is Day 7 too soon to tell? Should I stick with this? Or throw in the towel?

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Poor little guy...we'd all be crabby too if we had the runs for 7 days! Are you feeding him the potatoes in a mash or sliced with skin? I'm asking because the fiber in the skin can help bulk up the bm whereas sometimes a mash will come back out as, well, a mash :( You could roast a big pan of root vegetables to keep in the fridge for convenience....get purple, white and orange sweet potatoes and throw a few pieces of broc or something just to get a little green in there. Or make baked french fries out of them. Raw carrots and lots of bananas are great for bulk as well and kids usually love them. Some farmers markets have really fun colored carrots in the fall like white, purple or just get your basic orange and sticks he can dip in sunbutter or you spread it on and serve ants on a log style. Raw sliced red and yellow peppers are also sweet so kids usually like them and they've got some good fiber. If all else fails, and many may disagree with me here, I'd switch to brown rice and add in some oatmeal or lentils just to get some fiber and bulk going so he can normalize a little bit and his mommy can get a little peace :) Good luck!

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HP has a good suggestion in the Timeline. It's a fun piece, but it's an honest one. Our kids aren't able to articulate their feelings through these phases, but they do have them. Be sensitive, be patient (oh, I know how hard it is I promise! Mine are 3 and 4),and offer him whatever compliant foods he'll eat. Right now he's mad because you're taking away some of his favorites and not giving him a choice, so let him choose his own foods whenever you can. Look for veggies that will give him that fiber and bulk, be liberal with bananas, and get him as much rest as you can.

This will pass ;0)

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We've had some progress :) His mood has been somewhat better and we've had a few well-formed poops. Is it normal to go back and forth between well-formed and mush as he heals further? When should I expect consistent results? Also, he is putting back tons of meat! Which is really exciting since he wasn't into the protein at all before, but last night he ate about 3/4 of a pound of grass-fed ground beef. Yay!

Another concern - should I be trying to balance his meals, or just let him eat what he wants? If he only eats sweet potato, or berries is that ok? I've been worried about protein and fat, as those seem a lot harder to get into him, but will it all balance out in time?

Anyways, Day 13 now and it is seeming much more positive!

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Good for you for sticking this out. Let him eat what he wants from the variety you are offering. Your job is tor prepare and present; his job is to eat. Over several days, he will naturally choose a balance of nutrients that is right for his body. Keep offering bananas, and applesauce (without peels) also helps firms things up. My oldest had very mushy stools for his first few years as he had some chewing difficulty and ate huge volumes to compensate, but he has outgrown it and settled down now. Keep up the good work! You are doing great.

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Stick with it. It's hard work, but it sounds like your son needs you to do this for him. If he has known sensitivities or allergies to food, you have to get those out of his system because they are making him sick. I have a dairy allergy, but suspect I had it years before I found out what was going on. I was sick all the time until I stopped exposing myself to dairy (when I finally found out what was wrong). I can just imagine what your little guy feels with his food issues. :(

I would do everything you can to make this dietary change a priority. If it means spending one day a week cooking meals for the week until you develop a better system or get used to all these dietary changes, then so be it. If it means exhausting fights at meal time, then that's what has to happen right now. But, it will pass. It's probably just a big adjustment for him and you know little kids don't take too kindly to big changes. Also, 7 days is just not long enough to really get a sense of whether or not this is working for him. Definitely give it 30 days before you may any determinations on that.

As far as you feeling he is being left out in social situations because of food differences, remember, he has known issues with foods. That is your ticket out of this guilt, right there. I get that feeling, though, and it's just you trying to be a good mom. Moms are so bad about worrying, aren't we? ;)

One thing that might help is to just always be prepared. If he's going to a birthday party with pizza and cake, bring a pizza-like paleo meal (pizza egg muffins? pizza toppings on cauliflower crust?) and paleo muffins for him. It is extra work sometimes, but it is so worth knowing you are doing the best for your child while making them feel included. And, chances are, his interesting food is going to draw lots of attention from curious kids. My daughter has turned other kids on to new healthy foods because they wanted what she was having, and liked it better than the unhealthy food that was being served. And, I notice the other parents will suddenly keep their mouth shut when they realize this is happening. Oh, except to ask for the recipe!

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