Help for Kids with Food Allergies
Prepared by Meredith Deasley, BA, R.H.N., ACC | theresourcefulmother.com
In today’s world, food allergies have become an epidemic. We have the sickest generation of kids to have ever existed in the history of mankind. Sadly, the majority of parents don’t even know that their kids are reacting adversely to food.
Why is it crucial to find out if your son or daughter is adversely affected by food?
Kids with food allergies may have challenges with sleeping, behaving well, or concentrating in school, each of which are necessary for reaching their optimal potential. Kids with food allergies may experience colic, constipation, recurrent ear infections, eczema, asthma, or ADD, to give a few examples. All adverse reactions to foods cause inflammation in the body, and inflammation is behind all illness. Specifically, food allergies cause the intestinal lining to be inflamed, which subsequently makes it hard for vitamins and minerals to be properly absorbed, eventually leading to illness. Kids with food allergies, such as chemicals and sugar, can end up with ADD because, with repeated exposure to their problematic foods, they become deficient in minerals, particularly magnesium and zinc.
An adverse reaction to a food becomes a symptom; continually ignored symptoms turn into conditions, which often turn into disease in adulthood. You see, our bodies will keep communicating with us whether we listen or not; the earlier you are able to uncover the culprit food(s), the better.
What are kids with food allergies most commonly reacting to?
Kids with food allergies are most commonly reacting to inflammatory foods such as dairy, wheat, sugar, soy, chemicals (chlorine, food dyes, additives), tree nuts, peanuts, chocolate, egg, caffeine, tomatoes, citrus or strawberries. But they can react to any food adversely. And usually, the food that is craved the most is the worst culprit!
What is the most accurate way to determine the food(s) to which your child is reacting?
Keeping a food and symptom journal over an extended period of time is the only full-proof method for determining the culprit food(s). This involves recording what your child has consumed (on their own or in their mother’s breast milk) and any resulting symptoms within 24 hours of consumption. The journal will help uncover any patterns, for example, every time your son has pureed strawberries, he gets a rash on his cheeks. If you feel that you are unable to determine the culprits by keeping a food and symptom journal, electro-dermal screening machines test over 200 foods against the body.
So, how do you help your child prevent, manage and eliminate food allergies?
- Cut down on feeding them inflammatory foods in general.
- Cut down on or eliminate the individual foods to which your son or daughter is allergic, once you know which ones they are.
- Speak to a holistic nutrition professional to learn which supplements heal the intestine, how much is needed of each, and what the most effective brands are, starting with probiotics.
- A holistic nutrition professional can also help you determine if hypoglycemia, parasites, candida or low stomach acid are contributors to your child’s adverse reactions to foods. For example, if your son or daughter is reacting to thirty foods or more, there is likely a chronic fungal infection (candida) that needs to be brought under control (antibiotic use is the biggest cause of this but there are many others).
- Teach your family the steps to optimal digestion, which include chewing your food until it is a paste, relaxing while eating, refraining from drinking with meals because liquid dilutes our digestive enzymes, refraining from drinking cold liquids as they freeze the stomach glands and inhibit digestion, having smaller meals more often, avoiding eating after 7pm each day, and taking a digestive enzyme.
- If you have done all of this and allergies are still a challenge for your son or daughter, their emotions will need to be addressed. For example, stress is a leading cause of food allergies.
As you can see, there are so many ways to help kids with food allergies. Make sure that your son or daughter gets the help they need to be their healthiest and happiest possible.