Friday, December 20, 2013

Diet Experiments

Back in the summer we made the decision to try some different "diets" for the children (mostly for William) to see if it had any impact on behavior, learning, speech, digestion... anything really.

First we started with Gluten free. I'd done research, talked with other parents, read up on message boards and was aware of timelines and probable outcomes. Some people said results should be seen in 4 weeks... others said 6 weeks. We went 7 weeks. Both of us were vigilant to see if any changes happened.

It sucked. Going gluten free is hard. And the kids had a difficult time with the transition. In the end we didn't see any change. The only real difference was that Will's oral sensory seeking increased but then in plateaued and dropped off.

Our next experiment was going completely casein free. That, I think, was even more difficult. The kids were on that diet for 5 weeks. At first we were going with mostly soy replacements but we believe Alanna and I were starting to have some negative effects. So the children were switched to Almond milk and I returned to dairy.

I should say that with both of these diets, Ryan and I didn't follow with the diets for ourselves completely. We were impacted by the changes though. Many of the common snacks were replaced by the appropriate ones for the kids... and my dinner recipes were altered to account for the special eating requirements.

Going casein free didn't really make a difference either. There was something we discovered -- a week or two after getting off gluten free and going casein free Will seemed to have gained weight. But in the end we summed it up that it probably happened because of all the carbs he had been denied before he was suddenly allowed to eat again. No other major weight or growth increases occurred during the casein free diet.

And after all the diet trials were over and the kids were allowed to eat regularly it seems Will is having a bit of a growth spurt. His oral sensory seeking behavior is still present, but he's not chewing holes in his clothes any more. He is doing amazing in school also. We did discover the crazy amount of apple juice the kids used to drink caused some changes in the children so we've cut that out. They still drink almond milk instead of regular and both like to drink more water now.

Overall I am glad that we tried out these diets. It was worth a shot. Nothing noticeable came from them but we can say that we did pursue them fully and took on appropriate time tables to see results.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you tried the diets to see if they might have helped. Going GF/CF is REALLY hard - we did both at the same time for about 12 weeks and Sophie had horrible GI side effects. I'm glad it helped you see other stuff though - like how much juice they were drinking. And it's a bonus that they're drinking more water now. :) Did you try coconut milk? The kiddos and Mike really like that. :)