It’s back to school here and our daughter has started pre-school. A new school, and no doubt new problems as far as carbs and dairy are concerned. What would their attitude be to her dairy issues and carb consumption in general? As it turned out, we were to be pleasantly surprised!
Day 1 at pre-school: Sure enough, after the long summer holidays and ZERO dairy at home all that time, our daughter comes home after Day 1 with her classic dairy intolerance symptoms. Her entire nether regions, from front to back, were inflamed bright red and sore. It was so bad that even going to the shower was painful for her. Unfortunately, I can’t post any photographic evidence without running the risk of having this site closed down permanently but take it from me, it was bad! Our worst fears were coming true again. So, it was time to sit down, have a family meeting and decide what to do next..
We discussed our options and decided on the following course of action:
- We would broach the subject with the school, as we had previously done with our daughter’s day care place, and see what their reaction/ attitude would be. Would they be sympathetic or dismissive? This would then determine what exactly we should do next.
- Tell our daughter to refuse to eat any dairy outright when offered. Same for large amounts of carbs such as bread, etc. With her day one experience still fresh in her mind, she is now old enough & fully capable of making the connection between her personal pain & discomfort and dairy.
And so that’s what we did. The next day we told the teachers about our daughter’s dairy problem and sure enough there was the usual sucking in of air through the teeth and mention of mandatory doctor’s notes to get a “special no-dairy” dispensation for our daughter. However, this time there was some sympathy and the words “we’ll see what we can do..” were used. Some hope at least!
That very same week, the first week back, a teacher came up to my wife when she was picking our daughter up to take her home. “Your daughter is refusing ALL dairy and margarine”, she said. “We think that you guys actually know best and so we’ve made arrangements with the kitchen for your daughter to have dairy replacements such as soya yoghurts, etc”. For the rest of that week and indeed ever since then, our daughter has suffered no symptoms whatsoever. Result!! I made sure that I gave our daughter a massive hug and praise when she got home for her active role in all of this. Without her refusing dairy herself, this could have been quite a different story I’m sure..
But what about the carbs?
Yes, she is still getting carbs through her lunch and snacks at pre-school. As a result, on particularly high carb days (pancakes & jam “snacks”!), she does come home with a bloated stomach but no other symptoms. Since these tend to be the exception rather than the rule we can live with that. For her the occasional bloated stomach is way better than continuous dairy intolerance symptoms. Since she’s getting full-on LCHF at all other times this seems to be working out nicely i.e. she’s growing nicely upwards and NOT outwards, unlike some of her peers. Further, on days out, when the children go for a class trek, we supply our own packed lunch for our daughter and sweets are NOT ALLOWED, by school decree!! Even better 😉
Tips & Tricks: Make Treats Last
One other thing we’ve learned with kids is to make their treats last. Treat them as something special rather than an everyday staple. Our daughter recently bought herself a small jar of jelly beans with her own saved-up money and she is allowed one or two of these per day after meals. For her it REALLY IS something special, to be savoured. This jar should easily last a month at current rates of consumption. Another small victory..
- Never give up on your child’s health. Do whatever it takes to ensure they get the best diet possible that suits them and their intolerances.
- Educate, educate, educate your kids and encourage/ teach them to say “NO” for themselves.
- Always engage with teachers & the authorities. Discuss openly and honestly. DON’T be aggressive, it will get you nowhere. Try to reach mutually acceptable compromises.
- We treat this as a war on our child’s health and the secret to winning the war is to keep winning those small battles!
Onwards & upwards as they say..