Sunday, April 22, 2012


Lizzy is a spaz. She is very high strung, appears to be addicted to pop and candy (which was an even huger issue when we first get her at 18 mo. old) and still has a hard time controlling herself in a way that seems to be different than other three year olds.

I am thinking about putting Lizzy on a gluten free, dairy free, white processed sugar free diet.

I am scared of how she will react to this. I worry that it will be a rough few days at first. I am trying to get myself ready to do this because I don't really feel like doing it, but it probably just needs to be done.

I am hoping that if I can do it for two weeks I will see enough of a change in her that I will want to keep doing it.
I guess the reason I am mentioning it here is to see if any of you have done anything like this and what difference did you see in your kids.


Rebecca said...

My 7-year-old foster daughter was *literally* bouncing off the walls, furniture, and fireplace when she was placed in my home. And this was with her on meds for ADHD. The meds ran out before her Medicaid was started, and I was scared to death that she was going to get even crazier. Funny thing was, in those first few days I had fed her a healthy diet--no soda, no candy, no sugary snacks. By the time the meds had worn off, she had started to calm down. So much so that when I finally got her in to see a pediatrician a week later, the pedi didn't think she needed meds at all.

She still wanted (craved) sugary treats, but any time I let her have anything sugary, she went nutty again. So after a few months, she was not even allowed to have them as a snack. EVER. She got toys and privileges as "treats," not candy or soda.

When she started having visits with bio mom, mom would fill her up with crap. Foster daughter would lie to me and tell me she had only eaten healthy snacks, but I always knew, because she would be hyper once again.

So, if you can't stick to the super strict diet you're planning to try, you might try just completely eliminating sugary treats of any kind from her diet and see if that helps enough.

acceptance with joy said...

I didn't throw out sugar --- yet.... but the gluten free, dairy free, healthy plant based diet has helped my kiddos so much. I'm about to throw out sugar. ;={ The twins have been gluten free/dairy free for a year and a half. Everytime I go back they suffer - and so do we. My kids are not hyper, but I really see a difference. I wouldn't do it any other way now.

Pam said...

Sugar and artificial dyes can do some awfulthings to kid's behaviors.
As an adult I have been gluten free for 2 years...guess what? My husband says I'm almost like a different person. There are many things that gluten free people CAN eat without having to buy all the expensive GF foods. Fruits, veggies, natural peanut butter....guess how much sugar is in the national brands! Tomato /spaghetti sauce also has TONS of high fructose corn syrup. Juice..yup sugar/corn syrup again in most brands.
Basically I do this....anything I make that has a pasta or wheat item as an ingredient, I try my best to sustitute cooked rice or corn meal for me, or I skip that part of dinner.
Kid "treats" that do not have gluten...chocolate (most) potato chips (some kinds have gluten in their flavoring) corn chips (think Fritos) most corn tortilla chips and salsa are gluten free. Rice Chex and Corn Chex and their wonderful siblings with the cinnamon and chocolate flavors are also gluten free and are good to munch on dry (although they have some sugar)
Can she get allergy tested for some of this? That might help you figure out how "harsh" of an elimination diet she needs to be on. Just a warning...if you price out all the "special" food you think she is going to need you will go into sticker shock. I am wayyyyy to cheap to buy the GF stuff so I have learned to substitute.
Food labels are now required to list allergens in BOLD PRINT at the end ofthe ingredient list, so that makes it easier to chek labels. You might be surprised to know that soy sauce and some drink flavoring packets also have gluten.
Lots to say, more helpful hints if you are interested...just PM me.

Justine said...

I have never done gluten free (am considering it now) but with one of my foster kids I eliminated all artificial colors and flavors and that made a HUGE difference. I went to the health food store and bought him candy that had vegetable coloring and natural flavors and sugar (rather than high fructose corn syrup) so he could have sweets, but only the ones I gave him. I also provided alternate snacks at school. I could always tell if he had something at school that had artificial coloring in it. He would get so out of control. I had to really read labels, though. Would you believe that white frosting in a can has artificial colors in it?

Allison said...

We cut sugar way back and avoid red dyes, but it doesn't seem to make much difference to our son--although that doesn't stop me. Another mom I know switched to the Feingold diet for her son with markedly good results.

Anonymous said...

We noticed the same thing with our son (adopted through foster care), now four as soon as 2 years old. We are still learning what sets him off but isn't it amazing how wild they can get? If you try to explain it to people many will exclaim that our son can't be anything different than more 3-5 year old boys....until they give him something on his "no a good idea to eat" list. We have found sugar is bad but corn syrup is much worse. Food dyes are out as much as possible and we do our best to get LOTS of protein into him everyday as well as foods/supplements with DHA and essential fatty acids. The protein/DHA additions have made a large impact. Good luck!

StarfishMom said...

Eliminated any type of Red dye from a bio childs diet...immediately saw a HUGE improvement!! Soda has a TON of sugar and chemicals so we only buy 100% fruit juice. Hope that helps...

Loosey said...

I started with just reading labels and eliminating high fructose corn syrup. That was great for the whole family! My kid was cheese and natural yogurt only anyway from a milk protein allergy; the protein had to be denatured for her to tolerate it. She drank rice milk; soy is not good for people in huge amounts.(Plant estrogens)
We never kept soda around the house and after birthday parties, whew.
I have had to do a bunch of elimination diets and I've found that added protein, local honey, and dark chocolate help with cravings. Dropping one category at a time helps too. It takes two or three weeks to "detox" from sugar, longer for wheat and dairy.
Good luck with your diet challenge!

Our Journey said...

I would also suggest you look into the Feingold Diet. It's so often all that fake stuff that hypes our kids up. If you see some improvement, but think eliminating gluten/dairy would help, then I would continue on with it. My kids do great with all natural stuff (nothing processed) but I see greater behavioral improvement with the GFCF as well :)

Anonymous said...

I would probably start with one thing to cut out and see how that goes. Then you will know exactly what was the most successful and it won't be so hard on you. I never keep sodas or sugary snacks around and my kids have been fine with it. It isn't there so it isn't an option so they are okay (when bio parents send candy home with them...whole different story). I think a healthy diet makes a huge difference. I also gave one of mine a DHA/essential fatty acid supplement and felt like that helped his behavior alot.

Anonymous said...

We experienced the same with our foster-adopt daughter. She was 3 when she came to us and is now 5. We discovered that her hyper-ness was due to the fact that she was not eating enough. She was tiny and should have been calorie-wise eating around 1400 cals a day! Besides limiting the sugar intake, we added a protein-vitamin shake (Ensure) that we added additional milk to. Our daughter settled down alot and has now grown to be "average" size for her age. Much of the hyper-ness has gone away. The other thing I have done is make sure she is getting enough protein - she naturally

Unknown said...

You've gotten some really great comments so far. I'll just add that Vitamin B, in all its forms, is really important for the nervous system. Usually a symptom of not having enough Vitamin B is a sugar craving. I've seen chewable Vitamin B supplements for kids, but they have sugar in them. I'm not gluten free with my kids, but I am dairy- and mostly sugar-free. It helps their behavior so incredibly much. When I do see my kids acting up, that's usually my cue to give them some Vitamin B. I'll just open a capsule and mix it into a fruit smoothie. They don't get the full amount that way, but they get enough to give nourish their nerves and brain. Wishing you the best. :)

kate said...

We eat mostly whole foods. And, we don't keep candy in the house. Coming back to the US this has been harder,there seems to be candy everywhere for every holiday and we've been inundated with corn syrup. That's our dietary challenge. No high-fructose corn syrup. It's in everything!

I notice a HUGE difference when my daughter (internationally adopted) has red food dye (usually in medicine--when she most needs to rest!) or sugar. It's almost immediate and you can see it taper off as it's processed.

We also do an Omega-3 supplement daily. I think this helps with all sorts of regulation...and I don't think it can hurt.

(I was really interested to hear the pp's experience with vitamin B. Thanks for that!)

Anonymous said...

We would cut out sugar from most of our foster kids. While they got it at visits, at least the tantrums wouldn't last as long.

You might want to read the out-of-sync child.

Endless Foster Love said...

I cut out cokes for all of our foster children. Sugar in very very small amounts. I notice major changes in their behavior everytime!

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