Do you have a child with both food allergies and autism? If so, it can be doubly challenging and overwhelming at times. However, it is possible to manage both without going nuts. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this:
1. Take inventory of what kind of help and resources you need. I recommend hiring a health coach, or nutritionist to help you with the nutrition and meal planning part. You can of course hire me as a health coach. Check out what I offer on my coaching page. Otherwise I can provide you with referrals for a nutritionist or pretty much anyone or anything you might need.
2. Take time to breathe and focus on your needs and health as well as those of your child. Too many parents who have a child with health issues and or special needs don’t do this and you really must or you will crack and lose it.
3. Get support from others who have been there, done that. You can find groups on Facebook, blogs and other online places for support as well as offline groups. I have a group on Facebook that you can check out as well. You can also search meetup.com or ask for recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, your church and doctor.
4. Take things one step at a time. If food allergies are causing more problems than the autism or sensory issues, then focus on learning to live with and manage those first. If sensory issues are a bigger problem than work on those first.
5. Plan ahead on Sunday night for the week to come. Do meal planning, gather snacks to use throughout the week, and be prepared for any situations you will encounter throughout that week.
Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course
Do you have a toddler who has food allergies? How do you know? Well for some it can be obvious because your toddler will have a severe reaction and need an epi-pen. However, how do you identify the symptoms of food allergies in toddlers when the reactions are less severe? Here are some tips on how to identify food allergies in toddlers when it isn’t obvious.
1. Does your toddler get ear aches a lot? A lot of people aren’t aware of this but food allergies and specifically a dairy allergy can be one of the root causes for frequent ear aches. If your toddler or child gets frequent ear aches, it is worth trying to have your child give up dairy products.
2. Does your child have trouble sleeping through the night? The food that your toddler is eating may be causing him or her problems. If sleep and your toddler is a chronic problem, I recommend you consider using my Sleep Journal to figure out if food allergies are causing sleep issues.
3. Does your child get frequent heart burn or have an upset tummy regularly? If so, then your child may have food allergies. Consider changing up your child’s diet and using a food journal to track and eliminate foods that may be causing your toddler trouble.
4. Does your toddler refuse to eat certain foods? If so, he or she may have allergies and that food may be bothering him or her. Yes, it’s possible that your child may not like that food or foods but he or she may also not feel good after eating that food and therefore may not want to eat it.
5. Does your toddler have unexplained rashes, or skin issues? If so, these may be food related.
6. Last but not least, does your toddler get a lot of hay fever and or what you think are seasonal allergies? Many doctors won’t admit this or don’t know this, but seasonal allergies can also be caused by or made worse by food allergies.
Need help? Let me help you with my Healthy Eating for Kids Program. I can customize this program to help you with any food allergies or diet restrictions your child may have.