Where do I start with an angry 3yo


little_muffin

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Can anyone help please?...

My 3 yo daughter is very strong willed but equally she is very angry, shouting/screaming all the time, very moody, constantly in time out for smacking me and calling names etc. She has been suffering with a cough when she lies down for about 5months and we have finally taken the step to cut out milk [just milk but i'm wondering whether to do all dairy]. We also don't have bread in the house but I do know that she has some toast at pre-school and a lot of the diet t school is bread based; scones, bagels, sandwiches.

I am half way through 'It starts with food' and am convinced that Harriet's anger issues/moods are to do with diet but I have absolutely no idea where to start in changing parts of it. I don't want to go cold turkey with her as I thinkit will cause more issues for her, but baby steps are the key I think.

In your experience which foods are the key ones to start with? Also, how long until I can expect to see some change as we have been off milk for a week now and at the moment, things seem to be getting worse?

Thanks in advance for any advice

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I think cold turkey is the best way. It may be rough at first but it sounds like you've already got it pretty rough. You will have to talk to the school and let them know she is on a special elimination diet to address behavior issues and that she must only eat food you bring from home. I believe gluten and grains with sugar and dairy being next, is the worst for kids moods and the school diet will derail any progress you make at home. It has to be 100%. She is probably reacting to so many things. If the regular w30 doesn't give the results you want after a month, consider further eliminations of eggs and nuts and nightshades which many people react to as well.

My kids have been on w30 for a month or so and I have noticed their moods stabilize, less fighting, crying and yelling and they are just generally happier and calmer. We reintroduced rice once and it was a nightmare. We view this as a long term eating style and they have adapted very well. They received a goodie bag earlier and took the toys out and threw the bag over to me to dispose of the cookies inside without me or my husband having to say anything. They were at a birthday party yesterday and didn't even look at the pizza or cake and when they were ready to eat got in my bag for some cashews and their water bottles. They learn quick! ISWF talks about the psychology of drastic changes being easier for the psyche to adapt to and I must agree. This is just what they know now and I couldn't be happier with the results for or Whole family.

Please report back on your progress. I'd also love to share any ideas to help you so feel free to ask- and there are lots of people doing this with kids that can help.

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I very much second the cold turkey approach. I think this is just easier for kids to adjust to. It will likely be a big struggle for a little bit, but like implementing any new rule or routine, if you stick to it, they get used to it faster and more easily.

Cutting milk out and leaving other dairy products in isn't going to show you whether or not dairy is an issue. If a type of food is an issue, then the entire food group has to go for there to be improvement. For example, I'm allergic to dairy. If all I cut out was milk and kept eating cheese and butter, I'd be just as sick and would see no improvement.

If you're not ready to do a full Whole30 with your child yet, then I would strongly suggest cutting out dairy, wheat and sugar first. These are big ones for a lot of people. But, if you cut them out, try to do it completely so that you can know for sure if these are the issue. Then, after 30 days, reintroduce one at a time very slowly so that you can discover which one(s) are causing the problem. If the problem still persists, then you really should just bite the bullet and do the Whole30 in it's entirety, reintroduction and all, to see what it could be. Some kids react to corn. Some react to certain food additives. It will probably be a lot of trial and error, but if you can manage to find out what foods cause what issues, you're doing your child a huge favor. And, also, write everything down so that if you pinpoint what it is, you can go to the doctor with it and maybe you can get the doc to back you up if you need that for school (now or down the road).

Also, there are a lot of good threads in this section about how to help get young kids interested in eating healthier foods. That might help you get some new ideas.

Good luck, and remember you're fighting for your child's health and well being here. That's always good to keep in the back of your mind on days you want to just give in to the crying and let them have the stupid cheese or sliced bread! :)

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CaseyD makes a strong case for cold turkey but with only one or two food groups. I like that approach an Im pretty sure Robin has a blogpost about that too. With all due respect though, I'd like to offer a slightly different take at the point of reintroduction. After 30 days full elimination of one or more of the food groups W30 recommends eliminating,if you see some improvements, rather than reitroduce one of them, why not take another group out? You are looking for improvements in behavior as well as sleep, digestion, energy, cognitive. If grains, dairy or sugar (likely it's all 3 and will be for a very, very long time) are causing a problem, a simple reintroduction could take hours, days or even weeks to recover from. I also think with kids it's a little trickier to pinpoint side effects and symptoms because they are often unaware of how they feel and less able to communicate. At the very least become aware of all the potential food triggers, keep an eye on them and tweak her diet until she is feeling great.

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Good advice above, for sure.

Your daughter sounds VERY MUCH like my oldest before we made the change (she was 2 1/2). We were at our wits end, to be honest, and felt like we had nowhere else to go. The primary culprit for her was High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is in EVERYTHING - even foods we think are "healthier" options. And, if she's eating at school, it's probably one of the biggest sources of her in-school calorie intake. If you do nothing else (even though I think you should) get that out of her diet NOW and give it one week. I will almost guarantee you see another child. The first time she had HFCS after we changed our diet, I could literally WATCH the transformation. Her eyes glassed over, her lids came halfway down, she stopped looking us in the eye, it was as if my child was possessed. Then the hitting and kicking and screaming and fighting started. Thankfully, without a continued "dose" she burned out in about 20 minutes, but I vowed NEVER AGAIN. She's 5 now, and when she does get some HFCS the reaction is more subdued, but it's still there. I am convinced it is from satan himself. There is some information out there to indicate that HFCS, food dyes and chemical additives like BHA and BHT are a significant factor in behavior issues like this.

Now, I think it's worth eliminating the other foods as well (dairy, especially), too. And I'm with Mo - if she improves, there is NO reason to reintroduce unless you reeeealllly want to.

I'd suggest talking to her school and explaining what you think is going on. Tell them she is NOT to have any food other than what you pack. If they give you trouble, call her doctor. Explain what you think might be going on and ask them for a note. Many doctors are willing to do this for you.

I really hope this helps, and that you'll give it a try. It will be hard at first, I'm not going to pull any punches there. But it probably won't be any harder than what you already experience. And we're here for help, support, troubleshooting, venting...

Check out this article (and the two follow up articles) for more info:

http://whole9life.com/2012/11/whole9-let-us-change-your-kids/

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Robin- I'm glad you mention about asking the Dr for a note- I always assumed we would have to undergo full blown allergy testing and celiacs testing to get a note- and frankly being self-pay has been a deterrent- especially considering I don't need any other test besides eliminanation/provocation to know how certain things affect my children, and testing is inconclusive in determining "intolerances" anyways. I'm going to ask my kids NP next time we go in.

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All I said was, "I think that Sophia has an allergy or sensitivity to HFCS and/or dairy that's manifesting in her behavior. Rather than opt for expensive tests, we'd like to try eliminating them." Worked a charm! Now, every year when I turn in their physical form I attach a sticky that says, "Please note: no gluten, dairy, hfcs due to sensitivities (behavioral, skin, etc.) Easy peasy!

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All I said was, "I think that Sophia has an allergy or sensitivity to HFCS and/or dairy that's manifesting in her behavior. Rather than opt for expensive tests, we'd like to try eliminating them." Worked a charm! Now, every year when I turn in their physical form I attach a sticky that says, "Please note: no gluten, dairy, hfcs due to sensitivities (behavioral, skin, etc.) Easy peasy!

Thank you thank you thank! My little one has an appointment for his annual next week so I'm going to try that.

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