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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jack vs. Food

This has been an ongoing battle with Jackson and food since umm....always. We know he's had some food allergies, but along with the allergies he seems to have some intolerances (not official allergies, won't come up on allergy testing but clearly, they don't sit well with the boy). I guess we can't be too surprised. Tom's mom and sister both have a lot of trouble with food and don't eat gluten, dairy and other foods that they have allergies to. Jack seems to be the "most Pepka" out of the 3 kids, so obviously, he would get the allergies from that side of the family.

So a brief (ish) back history. Jack was diagnosed with reflux at about 4 months old. No shocker, it's common with preemies. At 6 months old we started to give the twins food and Jack did not tolerate it well at all. It would take us another 3-4 months to get him to eat more than some very soft purees. He was getting mostly breastmilk so I cut dairy, nuts, and eggs out of my diet to help him. His reflux improved and everything seemed fine. As he started eating more, he started sleeping poorly, getting fussy, and turning into a wild child. He wasn't throwing up anymore though so we didn't think food was the problem. We thought the sleep was affecting his attitude, teething was affecting his sleep, and on and on. We got a stomach bug last July (13 months old) and we went to a bland diet. I noticed Jack had calmed down a lot but thought it was because he was sick, not food related. Then there were a few other colds and illnesses. Every time Jack went on a bland diet (bananas, rice, apples, toast...then we slowly add back easy foods like chicken, green beans, etc. No dairy, no fatty foods, lots of fruits and veggies, some protein, not the junk food stuff) his behavior would improve. His appetite also seemed to improve and so did his sleep. Well super!

But now WHAT EXACTLY makes Jack's stomach upset? Well we gave him dairy the other day for the first time in over a week. He slept terrible and was a hurricane the next morning. Clearly dairy is out.  Sugar also seems to trigger the wild behavior. I've read that processed foods can be a factor in things like ADHD (I'm not saying Jack has ADHD), so could the "kids food" junk he eats be a factor in his crazy behavior, bad sleeping, etc? I don't know, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

For awhile I've been looking for ways to lose weight, get more energy and feel better in general to keep up with my children, live longer with my children and raise them with good, healthy eating habits. It has been a struggle to balance foods that they'll eat, the obvious need for calories since they are so skinny, and getting in lots of fruits and veggies. I think this will be a challenge we'll face for some time. They're obviously not old enough to really pick out their meals, but they are certainly old enough to tell me what they don't like! I've really spent many many months working hard to figure out Jack's diet and what works for him. I've spent many sleepless nights and stressful days worrying about his weight, what he eats, how he feels, etc. I'm hoping by switching our entire family over to a diet with less processed foods and keep dairy and sugar away from Jack, that I can finally get Jackson to a happy place with food and myself at a happy place with my weight and eating habits.

I'd love for you to share any blogs, books, stories, etc. that you have! If you've experienced something similar, I'd love to hear your story and maybe how you coped with it! I'm really hoping to make long term lifestyle changes to our diet to make things healthier for all of us and make Jack a happier kid with no more tummy trouble. I've had some friends make similar lifestyle changes so hopefully we can all support each other! I've started a facebook page called How We Got Our Pep Back and I'd love for you to join and follow us along this journey!

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