Top Tips for January
How we can support our little ones to adopt a gluten, dairy and soya free way of life?
We are all becoming more and more aware of intolerances and allergies and the affects they can have on our health and well-being.
When you or your family member are diagnosed with an allergy or intolerance, it can feel overwhelming at first. When both Little J and Big J were confirmed as having an intolerance to dairy, gluten and soya it certainly felt overwhelming to me. I just didn’t know where to start.
As a family, we have had to learn, adapt and accept things over the years and months which has been hard for the boys at times and difficult for me too.
So to help others who find themselves in this tricky position, I will endeavour to share my top tips and handy hints that I have picked up along the way. This month, I have concentrated on a couple of things that really worked for the boys when we started the new gluten, dairy and soya free diet.
I hope these regular posts will help you find the journey to a gluten, dairy and soya free way of life a bit easier just like they helped me and mine.
Incentivise your little ones
You know how your children work better than anyone else so use the incentive methods that are right for you and make the reasons you’re doing it meaningful to them.
Clearly and simply explain the importance of trying new foods, sitting regularly on the toilet, being on their best behaviour when seeing the doctors or eating more healthy treats. They are little people with strong minds so by describing the situation to them it should ultimately help to establish a clearer understanding and it will also improve their buy-in.
In our family, regularly sitting on the toilet, especially after meals, was critical in overcoming the tummy aches and soiling accidents. A simple ‘Poo Reward Sticker Chart’ worked wonders for us and the boys loved the fact that there was a ‘Poo Chart’ on the inside of the toilet door! They thought it was hilarious! By making the charts visible, it also created a bit of healthy competition between the boys which helped spur them on.
For us, the reward charts were brilliant but you could also try other approaches. Other ideas include using a pasta jar (where the little ones receives a pasta twirl), giving them 5 minutes of extra television or treating them to a magazine at the weekend.
Try to avoid rewarding little ones with sweets and chocolate as this promotes the wrong habits and encourages unhealthy eating.
The last one is very simple. Praise your little ones A LOT! Praise them for every little thing – for trying your special home-made meals, for eating their veggies, for sitting on the toilet, for completing their reward charts etc.
Do your level best to reassure them, be enthusiastic about their achievements and reward any positive behaviour. This way, the very process of adopting this new way of life and different eating habits becomes much more fun for them, easier for you and a nicer journey for everyone.
I would love to hear what you think about this month’s top tips. Just write a comment in the box below. Thank you!
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HAVE A HAPPY TUMMY DAY ?