Friday, February 08, 2008

Struggling to help my child learn to make smart food choices

Life was so much easier when Andy was smaller. I just sent all of his food to daycare and he was watched like a hawk and never touched food that wasn't sent from home.

I still send all of his food from home, but trading parts of lunches is a big part of the social structure of second grade. I love that he has friends to trade foods with. I just want him to make the best food choices he can. After all, I want him to grow into an adult that can do just that.

Yesterday there was a false alarm at school. He had a tummy ache in the afternoon so after he used the bathroom he went to the school nurse and told her he thought it might be something he ate. He has yet to understand that sometimes we just get tummy aches and they have nothing to do with "special diets" - but when you have celiac, it is a good place to start.

So the nurse called me and we discussed everything he had eaten that had not come from home. Grace gave him her fruit cocktail and Sylvester shared a few potato chips. The potato chips were suspect - Andy had gotten some Pringles (not gfcf) from the same boy a month ago. So we questioned him and he had made sure they were not the "red can" kind and they were plain so he made some good choices in deciding whether they were safe - since most plain chips (except Pringles) are okay. A quick call to Sylvester's grandma confirmed that they were indeed okay (they were Lay's).

So, I think we are doing okay in this. I don't want to tell him not to trade foods - I want him to be able to enjoy lunch. Luckily we are not dealing with a severe food allergy that can kill him immediately. I know the gluten can still cause a lot of harm and I would rather he never make a bad food choice and get glutenized (is that a word?) but truthfully a tummy ache or two may make him learn to manage his food choices wisely.

Now, I just need to convince him that while we still want to investigate all tummy aches - that if we don't find a clear cause, it is okay to just let it go - it may have been nothing.

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