Updated: Aug 30
Making dietary changes can sometimes seem overwhelming, so don’t walk this road alone. Working with a holistic nutrition practitioner or functional medicine doctor will be so helpful, so as to not feel alone or quite so overwhelmed. Your practitioner might want to do some food allergy & sensitivity testing in order to help narrow down which other foods might need to be avoided. Once you have your support team, here are a few other ideas to help you navigate this new lifestyle.
Join communities of those who are walking a similar road. I know, for me, it is such an encouragement to know others who can relate to my experience and are wanting to make positive changes as well.
Become educated about gluten-free and casein-free eating and learn the hidden sources of gluten, dairy and sugar. Make Pinterest boards with recipes that interest you and might be fun for your child to try. Keep in mind your child’s favorite recipes and try to find a healthy alternative. Keep track of his favorites, tweak the “not-so-favorites”, and throw out the utter-disaster recipes!
Get your kids in the kitchen to help plan the menu and prepare the meals. Consider removing snack or junk food from the pantry that might be a temptation and then use your meal plan to create a shopping list. Bring your children shopping with you and educate them on how to read labels and make “better” choices, sticking mostly to the perimeter of the store where the fresh, whole foods are. Purchase diet compliant flours, milks and other cooking staples to make the basics.
Keep in mind that many foods your child already enjoys are inherently gluten-free and casein-free; such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, beans, fats and oils. Add these to your meal plan.
Keep a food diary. Record everything your child eats and what symptoms occur, looking for patterns. You could use a notebook or get an app specific for this purpose.
Gather your family around the table to enjoy food and time together in a relaxed atmosphere. Talk about what you’re learning and share new ideas.
Don’t expect to have it all figured out the first day or even the first month. This is a journey, but one you’ll be glad you began.
Certified Nutrition & Cognitive Therapist
Homeschool Mother of 5
(Shannon and her 4 oldest children this past Mother's Day)