Help, nursery not very happy


little_muffin

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Mmmm so much for positivity! Now I'm stuck so please help...

The nursery manager spoke to me again today and in a nutshell said that she wasn't very happy eliminating gluten, dairy, legumes and sugar from Hattie's diet all at once. She has spoken to the nutritionist who is on the catering team and she (and the chef) have said that it is extreme, especially for a 3yo. From there, the manager has spoken to our health visitor and mentioned that this is to do with behaviour [it is a little but mainly for health & lifestyle] and asked for support for me, an appointment with a dietician.

Where do I go from here? I am more than happy with Harriet at the moment and this 'drastic' change in diet doesn't really seem to have affected her adversely too much. I am adamant that we will not follow the crowd and get sucked back into bread, milk, and cakes just to suit them but I am really stuck with how to handle it. I feel like I don't have any scientific research to back up what I am saying . I am old enough to make these lifestyle choices for myself but Harriet isn't and I think that is the problem.

I feel like this health visitor/dietician will try to force me back to the conventional poor way of eating and I want to be able to have answers for her but I'm stuck. Can anyone help as I feel totally lost

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I can totally understand why you're afraid. My best advice to you is to be prepared:

Bring in your copy of It Starts With Food - that's packed with science!

Share with them your experiences with Hattie and the specific reasons you're willing to do this with her (and emphasize that you're ALL doing this with her - she's not being restricted while everyone else eats treats).

Do a little Google research about those specific conditions. I like to search "dietary correlation ___________ study".

Bring in a copy of the shopping list to show what you all WILL be eating - there's really no argument against broccoli and oranges :)

Try to anticipate their questions (again, that FAQ post will really help). Show them that Hattie won't be missing any vital nutrients (gluten is in no way essential to, or even beneficial to, everyday function).

Point out that it's only 30 days and that you're going to be working with her teachers and at home to evaluate any changes.

I hope this helps!

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Oh gosh what a pain.

Some thoughts.

First, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. It's not the same as dietician. I'd want to know exactly want qualifications this person has, where from and what continuing professional development they do.

Second, you've already made the change and she's doing fine. What's the issue?

Third, what nutrients do they think are suitable for a three year olds diet? What are the minimum and maximum nutrient levels they would want you to achieve in vitamins, minerals etc. what diet do they recommend that meets theses? What nutrients will she miss out of if she doesn't eat cake, bread, and dairy. Would they be open to exploring other ways she can get nutrients and suitable calories?

I'm being a bit faceicius here, but ask them if they really think your daughter is having her health compromised because she isn't getting sugar? Seriously I cannot think of anyone who thinks that is healthy. So long as she is getting carbs in the form of fruit and vegetables she does not and never will need table sugar.

They're obviously trying to blindside you with appeals to authority and science. You need to be prepared. I'd recommend the book "wheat Belly" on the evils of gluten. (also satisfies their appeal to authority as it is written by a cardiologist.

It sucks that you have to go through this, but you're spearheading the way for everyone else's children too.

good luck

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You might want to log what foods she eats for a given period of time to appease their fears that you're starving your child but and if all else fails, pull the Mother Card. You are Hattie's mother and ultimately you decide what's best for her until she's of an age and has the reason to do so for herself. Are you providing her food while she's in their care or are you asking them to purchase and provide the food?

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I am more than happy to provide her food and have told them this on countless occasions but they insist (at the moment!) on feeding her. Something to do with their liability and how the food has been stored/prepared at home and if the child consequently gets sick and they have technically provided it. Blah blah!

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Also- the school needs to understand that Hattie needs 30 days of elimination of all POSSIBLE irritants, after which point each individual group will be systematically reintroduced BY YOU according to a schedule to observe for possible side effects. Only after reintroductions would you be making long term decisions about her diet going forward. There is nothing extreme about 30 days an elimination diets are well documented in the medical community. Parents have the right to make these kinds of choices for their children and should not be subject to bullying by the school.

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As far as I'm aware they are not on a government subsidised program. The frustrating thing is that right now I feel that my judgement is being called ito question all the time. Regardless of my reasoning, Hattie should follow whatever "diet" I wish to put her on. Oddly, if I was over feeding my child chocolate, bread, crisps, fizzy drinks etc, that wouldn't be in the slightest bit cruel but somehow, trying to ensure that she gets proper, wholesome, nutritious real food is?!!!!!

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Oddly, if I was over feeding my child chocolate, bread, crisps, fizzy drinks etc, that wouldn't be in the slightest bit cruel but somehow, trying to ensure that she gets proper, wholesome, nutritious real food is?!!!!!

It is crazy isn't it. We are so fearful of the unknown and things that seem different that sometimes we miss the obvious. Our kids are eating SO much healthier this month, yet the relatives are "concerned". Would they really prefer we fed our children teddy grahams and rice krispies?! Dealing with daycare and an entire staff of people feeding off each other sounds so challenging and frustrating. It annoys me to no end how many people believe that milk is a necessity for children, but I too, dont really know the reasons to defend our choices. ISWF is on its way in the mail and I'm looking forward to reading it. For now I'm taking photos of our meals because I think those will help our relatives see that we're not doing some crazy new dietary fad. I'm now off to read those links from Robin. Good Luck this week!!!

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I would just provide food for her. I think that not only are people in general miseducated about proper nutrition but also day cares and things liek that seem to not want to make anything too different/special.

My daughter has life threatening allergies and it has been a total pain to deal with schools and trying to get them to understand what's acceptable and what isn't. Even when there are options she can have at parties and school events they don't think about or consider her.

My advice going forward would be to simply say that your child can't those things for health reasons. I wouldn't lie and say she has an allergy or anything but feel like "health reasons" is an appropriate answer where you don't have to justify or defend your food choices for your child. Also, if you follow that by saying you're happy to bring their own food, snacks and treats then usually people don't care too much for the details as long as it's not more work for them.

Another suggestion to make sure that there are always treats available at the school for birthday parties and special events. I try to leave boxes of fruit leathers and other things that are okay for my kids to eat so that way there's always something they can have.

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Ugh. It's SO stressful dealing with these things. My son was/is having major bahvior issues in pre-K (hitting, throwing things at other kids) and the teacher--with whom I have tried many times to establish some kind of human connection with no success--would give me a new list of complaints every time I we t to pick him up. Her only solution was that I needed to take a more hard line discipline position with him and that was it, end of discussion.

You just feel so helpless and without any allies in your position and it turns very day into a battle with the "authorities." And yes--everyday your fitness as a mom is called into question so much that you start to doubt yourself. But don't. You are right.

I can't offer much on the diet thing but I give you kudos for sticking to your principles on this. I agree that people get really scared. I was *not* prepared for how defensive people will get about grains. "But it's gluten-free! But it's organic quinoa! But Jillian Michaels says we need whole grains!"

And it is totally mental that you can give kids sugary juice, 22g sugar flavored "yogurt," or eight servings of junky snacks a day without causing anyone to blink. But take away those grains and watch out!

I hope going in armed with the book helps. Stay strong.

And, yes, EandK, they would be happier if you were giving your kids Rice Krispie treats! Because then you wouldn't be calling into question everything they are eating. Ya know?

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