Feingold Diet Mom - Valentine's Day

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I’m so glad I have a resilient, intelligent child. 

My biggest fear has been her sticking to this “diet”, but I am amazed at how easily she passes up candy and treats because she is not allowed to eat them.  I was really afraid of what would happen at the temptations at Valentine’s Day and I have tried very hard not to be “that” mom that makes a fuss about the treats other kids (parents) bring in to pass out since my child can’t eat them.  But I have to admit, I was disheartened at her loot from the class party.  Of the treats from 33 other kids, my daughter netted three pencils and an eraser.  Everything else went in the trash because she couldn’t eat them (well, almost everything.  Hershey kisses went in the freezer to feed my chocolate addiction). 

I wrote down a list, which I accidentally threw away, to share what came home.  I think there were four tootsie pops, three other suckers, two packages of Fun Dip, a couple random fruit rolls ups, fruit pops, the aforementioned Hershey Kisses and other various sugar filled candies.  Fortunately, since we aren’t really sweets people, my daughter didn’t miss them.  But I felt really bad for two reasons:  1)my daughter couldn’t enjoy the spoils of a childhood right of passage, and 2)other people spent good money on those things for me to throw away.  I wouldn’t be the least bit disappointed if they “banned” treats for this reason.  I know others would be and I wouldn’t dare take that from 33 other children just for my daughter when it is easily overcome.

If you’re asking what I sent in – homemade pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate made from ingredients my daughters can eat.  And on the little treat bag I attached an ingredients list, including the brand name of pretzels and chocolate used in the event another child has a similar issue or possible allergy.  I also had to send in a substitute treat (homemade chocolate cupcakes) so she wasn’t left out of a class treat.  I’m fortunate the teachers are cooperative with her diet and allow me to keep a stash of frozen cupcakes in the freezer at the school for her to have as an alternative to the weekly class treat.

But I’m also the mom that brings her child’s own food and treats to birthday parties because I don’t know what they are going to have.  And yes, I get funny looks.  But the change in my daughter is soooo worth it.  And I know how she feels – I was always the kid who had to bring my own hot dogs to cookouts or Girl Scout events.  I have a new appreciation for my mother because of the work she went through to keep me on the diet and she did it without the numerous resources I have from Feingold.  I understand why our meals always seemed like a repetitive schedule – she knew what was safe and stuck to them.  The reaction wasn’t worth the risk.

 So far we are having luck with introducing Stage 2 foods.  Tomatoes went well, but we discovered she can’t have them frequently, so my meal planning has to take that into consideration.  It seems the overall build up of the salycilates from frequent tomatoes makes her a little nuts.  It is a trial and error game.  Apples and applesauce were OK, but I had to peel her off the ceiling with apple juice (even watered down).  We are on grapes and so far so good.  Hopefully she can tolerate grape juice – I think she’s getting tire of pineapple juice all the time.

 And call me crazy, but I have found that I enjoy cooking new meals and recipes when I have the proper time, which is limited to the weekends.  I have gotten in touch with my inner Betty Crocker thanks to this adventure.

Amy B.  is a mother of two girls, ages 5 and 3, who is following the Feingold program to help control hyperactivity issues in her 5-year old daughter.  Amy was on the Feingold program as a child when it was first introduced in the 70’s and knows its success first hand.

Amy is a financial analyst for an automotive finance company and a volunteer firefighter/EMT, where she also serves as President of her fire department.  She lives in Zelienople with her husband and two girls.

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