Tips For Success With Your Child's Elimination Diet
The number of kids with food allergies seems to be increasing every year. Statistics show that food allergies affect nearly ten percent of kids. If you have any reason to believe that your child might have a food allergy, your pediatrician can help you test for and identify it. In some cases, a pediatric allergist may suggest starting with an elimination diet to narrow down the source of the problem. Here are some suggestions to ease the elimination diet process.
The Basics of Elimination Diets
An elimination diet is a straightforward method of identifying possible food allergies. Some common food allergies that it can help identify include wheat, soy, nuts, eggs and milk. The diet requires that you eliminate all of the potential allergy-inducing foods from your child's diet for a predetermined period before reintroducing one at a time to watch for reactions. Your pediatric allergist will tell you how long you should eliminate the foods for and may even have recommendations about what order to reintroduce the foods in.
Making an Elimination Diet Easier for Your Child
- Choose the Right Time – If you have to start an elimination diet for your child, make sure you consider the time carefully. Don't schedule an elimination diet while you're going to be on vacation or over the holidays. And, when you select the date to start it, give yourself plenty of time to clean out the kitchen, shop and get things ready.
- Clean Things Out in Advance – Before you start your child's elimination diet, take time to get rid of any temptation. Clean out the refrigerator and cupboards to remove anything that contains potential allergens. You want the kitchen to be a safe zone for your child, so don't keep anything that could be a temptation to deviate from the diet. Read labels carefully while you're cleaning things out. You'd be surprised where potential allergens can be hiding.
- Make Meal Prep Easier – Sometimes meal preparation can be the hardest part of managing an elimination diet, especially if you work full-time or aren't an accomplished cook. This can make take-out a tempting option. To avoid the potential allergen landmine that takeout food can be sometimes, make the most of the appliances you have to simplify meals. For example, if you spend an afternoon bagging and freezing slow-cooker-friendly meals that fit the meal plan, you can cook them during the day with little intervention on your part.
Don't let an elimination diet be an overwhelming task. With the tips presented here, you'll be able to approach it with confidence and may even narrow down which foods your child is having trouble with. For more information, contact a center such as Allergy Asthma & Immunology Associates.