First things first,
What is an Elimination Diet and Why Would Your Child Need One?
Negative effects of foods with people who are sensitive do not often show up immediately. This means finding the cause of a food allergy can be challenging. That is where an elimination diet comes in,
“The most common types of elimination diet involves removing specific foods or ingredients from your diet because you and your doctor think they may be causing allergy symptoms. Common allergy-causing foods include milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, and soy. Your doctor will supervise this diet over a few weeks. There are usually several steps to this diet.
1. Stop eating suspicious foods.
During this time, you will need to:
Carefully read food labels and ask how foods are prepared at restaurants so you can be sure to avoid possible triggers.
Keep a food diary to record the foods you are eating.
If you remove a certain food and the allergy symptoms go away while following this diet, your doctor can usually confirm that that food may be the cause of your problems.” WebMD
2. The next steps include slowing adding foods back in one at a time and monitoring symptoms. 3. Once again you will slowly start eliminating foods to be sure which are causing issues.
It can be a process, but the long-term health improvements are worth it.
In the case of your child, a pediatrician or registered dietitian can work with you to learn how you begin eliminating potentially troublesome foods while still making sure your child is receiving optimal nutrition.
Registered Dietitian Shara Wagowski, talks different Elimination Diets that may be recommended:
As Shara mentioned, there are different types of Elimination Diets varying in strictness:
• The “oligoantigenic” or “few foods” diet is strict, eliminating nearly all foods except a limited number that generally cause no problems. This diet is mainly used in research studies.
• The multiple food elimination diet removes foods that most commonly cause food sensitivities. My version eliminates dairy products, wheat, corn, soy, eggs, nuts, citrus, and artificial colors and flavors.
• The single-food elimination diet removes only one or two foods.
Attitude, Strategies and Support for ADHD & LD
There are signs of food allergies that you may not have considered. The symptoms can range from physical, such as rashes, to behavioral like ADD or ADHD.
“Eliminating certain foods from the diet can significantly help some children with ADHD.”
Sandy Newmark, M.D.
What About Your Child?
“Unfortunately, there is no easy way to diagnose a child for food sensitivity. In my experience, if a child has allergies, eczema, or gastrointestinal problems, he is more likely to have food sensitivity. Some kids who are healthy also respond positively.”
To determine if food sensitivities are occurring with your child, you will need to consult with a medical doctor or nutritionist.