Should You Feed Your Kid a Non-Traditional Diet? - Sybermoms Parenting Forum
Featured Articles and Topics Featured parenting topics in the community.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 6
 
Should You Feed Your Kid a Non-Traditional Diet?

Click here to enlarge

Fad diets abound – and even diets that have a legitimate use for those with specific dietary or medical requirements are taking hold as mainstream eating options for families far and wide. What might be good for an adult looking to improve their health or lose a few pounds isn’t always good for a growing child, so parents looking to make a change in their eating habits need to be very cautious when researching whether or not to feed their kids a non-traditional diet.

Be Informed, Talk to Your Pediatrician

If you’ve decided to switch over to a paleo, gluten-free or a vegan or vegetarian diet, one of the first things you probably did was research how your lifestyle change would impact your life and your health. The second thing you probably did (or definitely should have done) was discuss it with your doctor – especially if you decided to involve your child in this decision.
Before deciding to make a change in your child’s eating habits, you should read about both sides of the fence: the good and the bad. For instance, there are horror stories of infants starving to death because of their parents’ insistence that they follow a vegan diet. However, older children have been known to thrive on vegan diets. It is essential to research a child’s nutritional requirements and discuss and formulate a solid foundation in dietary health with a nutritionist or pediatrician.

Different Nutritional Needs

Kids are not miniature adults: they have specific dietary needs. For example, they need more calories and carbohydrates. Vitamins, minerals and nutrient quantities are different for infants, babies and growing children. In short, kids need more of everything to help their growing bodies. A non-traditional diet usually doesn't provide all of those things. Knowing what your chosen diet is lacking and being able to offer that or supplement it in a form that works with your chosen lifestyle change is crucial to the health and safety of your children.

Do Non-Traditional Diets Create an Unhealthy Relationship with Food?

Another concern is that a non-traditional diet can easily create an unhealthy relationship with food with kids. This should be a cooperative decision with a child’s physician and you, as the parent, on how to frame the change in food. A mother who lives gluten-free due to medical issues would not want to tell their child that “cupcakes are bad” unless the child had a similar medical condition. Why set a child up for a life-long battle with cupcakes as the enemy if it’s not necessary?

Framing a non-traditional diet as a lifestyle change and explaining why you and your family eat the way you do, can go a long way in helping your child form a healthy relationship with their food. However, don’t forget that a strict adherence to a non-traditional diet can create feelings of guilt, especially if a child slips up and eats that cheeseburger or slice of pizza at a friend’s birthday party. Don’t ever make him or her pay for that.

Focus on Health, Not On Specific Diets

Whether your family eats paleo, Mediterranean, gluten-free or DASH, the focus should be on living a healthy lifestyle and making good choices, rather than losing weight or not being able to eat certain things.

For example, telling your child “We don’t eat bread because it makes us fat” is a bad way to frame a gluten-free diet. Explaining “We eat other grains because our bodies can process them better” is a great way to explain having to start a gluten-free diet to a child who has to avoid it due to medical reasons.

Giving your child the power to make choices about their food is important, too. You can offer up a variety of choices that fit your diet without endangering your child. By helping your child make healthy choices, you lessen the probability of a non-traditional diet harming your child.

Look at the Big Picture

For younger children, the nutritional picture is framed over a course of days rather than just one day. If your vegetarian toddler decides to only eat broccoli one day but gets his fruits, dairy and protein on another day of the week, don’t sweat it.
Older children need a more well-rounded dietary picture daily, and a sudden decision on their part to switch to a non-traditional diet can mask a true eating disorder. So too, can non-traditional diets be unhealthy. While a smart vegetarian is getting all the proper nutrients, it’s totally possible to be a vegetarian who consumes only corn chips and soda. But that’s not a good diet for anyone.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of bringing your children up with a non-traditional diet, do your research and gather your resources, including consulting your family doctor or pediatrician. Keep an open and honest dialogue about food and making good choices. Don’t force your child to make a drastic cut back on foods that you might find personally unpleasant, but do introduce them to alternatives that are fun and interesting. As long as the lines of communication are open and the emphasis is on health and making healthy food choices, feeding your child a non-traditional diet may be a great decision.

Click here to enlarge
SyberMoms is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 09:22 AM
Wayward Wombat
Hard-Core Sybermom
 
nano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: 253 1/8 Elm St.
Posts: 37,480
Blog Entries: 12
           
When I was little, I used to eat the Liva Snaps that my dog would get at the bank drive-thru.

goobie grab her yuni eeek!

To err is human, so... uh... - Gary King
nano is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Sybermoms Parenting Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself. Do NOT use an AOL email address.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome