August is “Kids Eat Healthy” month! With food allergies it can be even harder to make sure your children are getting in the needed nutrients for proper growth and development. Removing two or more significant foods can result in poor nutrition. So, it is important to meet your child’s nutritional needs with a balanced diet.
In order to do so, I wanted to give you five quick tips to help nourish your child when food allergies are a part of their lives.
1. Choose single-ingredient snacks.
Instead of reaching for that allergy-free granola bar, try an apple or a handful of baby carrots instead.
2. Focus on the foods your child can eat, not on what they can’t.
I remember when our daughter was first diagnosed and I was buying every allergy-friendly option that I could get my hands on, but I forgot the most important ones… whole foods! I lost myself in the frenzy of thinking about all the foods she couldn’t have instead of the abundance of foods she could have. Take your child to a local farm to pick their own fruits and veggies. Chances are they are not allergic to these foods and they are so healthy!
3. Get your children involved.
Let your children have a say in what you are preparing for dinner and what you are packing in their lunches. When they are included in the process, they are more likely to try new things and experiment with different tastes and textures. Bring them to the grocery store and have them pick out a new fruit or veggie to try. Teach them how to read food labels, so they have more independence as they get older.
4. Keep a food diary if your child has multiple food allergies.
Our family lives with five out of the top nine food allergies and then some. It was definitely possible that our daughter may not have been getting in all of her needed nutrients. Keeping a food journal to see exactly what your child is consuming is extremely helpful to see if they are getting in everything they need. In my course “Take Back Control from Food Allergies” I go through all the vitamins and minerals in each top allergen and what other non-allergenic foods have these same nutrients. This can be a game changer when you know exactly what your child is missing and what to substitute. I am currently looking for pilot testers to take the course at a significantly discounted rate in exchange for their feedback. Have questions about the course? Reach out!
5. Stay positive!
Food allergies are not something I would wish on anyone, but I live my life always trying to focus on the positive. This is extremely important when it comes to food allergies. Children with food allergies are more likely to have anxiety and if we, as adults, are always focusing on the negative and complaining about food allergies our children are going to feed off of that and possibly become anxious or depressed. If you can’t think of the positives, let me help you! I have a laundry list!
Children with food allergies can be healthier than their counterparts. Never forget that. It may take time and some help from a professional, but if you start nurturing a healthy relationship with food now, you will be amazed what this can do for your child going forward. Healthy habits need to be made early on in order for them to have a better chance of living a healthy and happy life!
Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your summer!