healthy

Fussy Eating!!! And how I overcame it.

This is something that has been coming up a lot in coaching practice lately and I thought that if this is the case for my clients, then many others are struggling with it as well.

So I thought I’d share with you my personal experience.

To start off, I cannot tell you how much I understand the concept of fussy eating as I sometimes truly believe that my son defined FUSSY eating and I’m yet to find a kid as challenged as he was with eating.

Some context and background

By the time he was 15 months of age he was already referred to a child psychologist as he was not responding to any of the prescribed techniques by the pediatric dietician. Oh my, writing this brings back so many memories of that car trip! My husband and I were just in disbelief that we were actually making this trip for our young baby boy....but sadly we were! Then by the time he was 5 years old had already seen 4 pediatric dieticians – and NOTHING worked.

I consider myself to be a fairly diligent and conscientious person and did everything I was told as PERFECTLY as I could – but to no avail. Every time I did not make the anticipated progress, I lost a little bit of hope,  until I felt ready to keep searching again for something or someone that would help us help him eat a more varied diet.

The Change

So what I’m about to share with you is NOT psychology approved techniques, double blinded placebo control study tested etc......it’s just what worked for me – and I think I just about tried everything if you catch my drift.

I will also preface to say that it was a combined approach not just 1 thing. I truly believe what really propelled us onto the other side was actually a change in me, not him! And I say that again, the change was in me and not him.

I distinctly remember the day I drew a line in the sand and said no more – THIS WILL BE DONE I vowed. I was able to do this for a number of reasons:

  1. I knew what the underlying cause of the problem was- FINALLY
  2. I knew EXACTLY what I needed to do to resolve the issue – HALLELUJAH
  3. I felt guided an supported - PRICELESS

I can say that in ALL of my prior attempts I have never had all 3 of these pieces together.

The Solution:

I too needed to change, and that was predominantly my mindset

  1. I had to let go of any past failed attempts and feel confident in the way forward, which I was for the first time no knowing what the REAL problem was
  2.  It was NOT my role to make him eat, which I often tried to do or play silly games only for him eat 2 spoons and refuse the rest. I needed to choose what was on offer to eat, but it was his responsibility to eat. – this was a massive shift in thinking for me. I used to stress so much when he refused to eat anything new, but this new mindset literally saved my sanity.
  3. I felt confident- so when the boundaries were pushed (which he did often try to do) I no longer crumbled, and he energetically felt this. Soon, he had no choice, but to join the party so to speak as I no longer gave his refusal the attention he wanted.

Techniques for him:

  • EDUCATION - I explained to him what was going to be happening and why the food we ate would be changing. It was very important to use language that he could understand.
  • FUN - We made meal times together an event – it was a time of coming together, talking about the day and sharing and taking the focus off eating per say. If this was successfully achieved, he was rewarded
  • REWARD - I found his hot button which was a reward based system using points, 1 point = $1. One of his love languages is gifts. To know this information about your child is just priceless. Speak to them in their love language. We all have at least 2 dominating ones out of 5. We had a treasure box with smaller gifts such as pencils, hot wheel cars etc, and when he reached a certain number of points, he could choose a gift from the treasure box. And once he had sufficient points, 10 or 20 he could have a bigger reward to that value – this was golden for him and kept him motivated. We still utilise this concept today....except the reward value is little higher...eeek. The beauty of this is that you get to use choose what behaviours you want to reward and give them the control to make the right choice
  • BOUNDARIES - What was on the table, is what was on offer to eat – NOTHING else. It was his choice to eat it or not and nothing else was provided if he chose to not eat.
  • CHOICE - Sometimes I provided 2 choices and he could decide which one he would like – this also worked really well as he felt some form of control.
  • POSITIVE AFFIRMATION - When he did eat something he had not eaten before or at least tried something before refusing – the praise was enormous – sometimes over the top – because that is what worked for him

My mindset, these techniques coupled with a healing with wholefoods approach is what took him from a ridiculously fussy eater to a champion eater today.

In reality – HE was not a fussy eater, which was a label we put on him. Fussy eating was a symptom of an unbalanced gut microbiome along with nutritional deficiencies. Once we remedied this through healing wholefood nutrition, his body cried out for more food, and soon I had the opposite the problem..........he would not stop eating. I then a problem of a different kind....keeping up with the demand.....lol.

Today I still feel so much gratitude when I watch him eat as I know that was not always the framed picture I looked at.

If you would like help addressing the heart of the issue with fussy eating, get in contact with me and schedule your FREE Health Mapping Session or check out my Healing with Wholefoods Program.

 

Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach that specialises in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums heal their children with wholefoods using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.

How do I know if I need gut healing?

Well, just about ANY physical symptom of dis-ease will be the result of a gut and/or cellular function imbalance as the root cause. That means about 97% of the population can be of benefit to healing their gut, including you!

Treating anything else is just a band-aid solution and symptom management.

According to Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride (Author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome), adults and children with gut issues display the following symptoms to various degrees:

  • Digestive (colic, reflux, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, feeding issues (fussy eating – limiting food to white starchy carbohydrates))
  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Food sensitivity/intolerance
  • Behavioural issues
  • Weakened immune system – constantly getting sick and not recovering quickly, chronic infections
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • IBS (abdominal pain, bloating, stool abnormalities and flatulence)
  • Auto-immune disease

She goes on to explain that a healthy adult carries 1.5-2kg of bacteria in the gut and that they are all in a well organised system. The number of functions that the bacteria fulfill in our bodies are so vital, but if we made our gut too sterile, we would probably not survive.

Dr McBride also mentions that 80-85% of our immunity is located in the gut wall and that the bacteria within us outnumber human cells in our body by 10:1. In essence we are more bugs than cells. These numbers alone demonstrate the importance of GUT HEALTH!

So how do we get out of balance with our gut in the first place?

Thankfully the list of culprits is not too long and the factors that affect it are within our control to remedy so that we CAN alter the health of our gut.

FACTORS THAT AFFECTS THE MICROBIOME:

  1. Antibiotics - there is absolutely no question that there is a time and a place for the use of antibiotics, but not at the levels seen today. The truth of the matter is that most sickness, if nipped in the bud early using age old remedies, can be resolved without the use of countless courses of antibiotics. See my workshops page for Managing Your Child's Health Naturally
  2. Pharmaceuticals - The use of ANY pharmaceuticals will have a negative impact on the gut microbiome. If there is a need a consume a pharmaceutical, then suitable follow-up care should be employed
  3. Diet- This is 100% in our control and it can have the single biggest impact on the health of the gut. A diet that is rich in packaged, processed, colours, additives and preservative laddened food will put the gut flora out of balance and have a detrimental effect to the health of the gut.
  4. Stress - This is quite often the elephant in the room and is actually the TRUMP card when it comes to your health & well being. A stressed mind and body will outweigh a healthy diet any day.
  5. Environmental toxins - We need to be aware of the environmental factors that surrounds us on a daily basis and how they could be/are affecting your health. By this I mean, the quality and source of your food, the products that you are using to clean, the products that are applied to your body and being absorbed by the largest organ, i.e the skin and the electromagnetic fields you are exposed to.

How to heal the gut?

This is something that does NOT happen overnight and requires patience, perseverance and most importantly flexibility. There is definitely is no "One Size Fits All" approach, but the fundamentals remain the same regardless of the type of healing protocol you need to follow.

  1. Get back to basics  - a wholefood nutrient dense diet is NON NEGOTIABLE. Health is not found in a box or convenient, I checked :-). It's about what is important 80% of time and the remainder 20% is with no guilt (if your symptoms allows this level of flexibility)!
  2. Include fermented food and drinks in your diet - Start this slowly and with caution as some individuals can be very sensitive to the die-off reactions when starting to include this daily. Also add a quality broad strain probiotic daily.
  3. Include broth and grass-fed gelatine - This needs to be consumed daily and multiple time a day for a therapeutic effect.
  4. Stress Management - This is the key to the puzzle. We cannot avoid stress, but we can definitely learn how to handle it better. Find a way that sits well with you and more importantly teach your offspring to do the same. This is one of the best life tools you can provide them.

If you need help with you or your child’s gut healing journey, book in for a free 15 minute call, email me or check out my work with me page to see if one of my programs are a suitable fit for you.

Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach who specialises in working with stressed and overwhelmed mothers of immune & digestive challenged children to heal their child’ gut by implementing a wholistic personalised step by step plan.

 

My Top 10 Gut Healing Pantry Essentials

Your gut healing journey does NOT have to be an ALL or NOTHING approach, but instead can be a journey of small progressive measured steps to an ultimate destination. That destination will be different for everyone, but do know that at some point in that journey, for a period of time, ALL known inflammatory/trigger foods will need to be removed simultaneously in order to achieve an environment that allows the body to heal the gut. This is not meant to be long term, but enough to achieve healing.

So with this in mind, is it really beneficial to have a few pantry staples on hand so that you are always including a gut healing food in some way in your diet on a daily basis or even multiple times a day without out even thinking or making it a big deal.

There are a stack of others that can be included, but these are my top 10 to have on hand.

 My top 10 pantry staples, in no particular order:

1.  Good Quality Oils such as Olive oil & Coconut Oil – these are a great source of fat that can be added to make salad dressings, marinades, add to tips and included to bliss balls and smoothies (maybe not the olive to a bliss ball and smoothie, I’m not game, but feel free to try:-)).

2.  Gelatin (Collagen & Hydrolsed). This is an absolute MUST to any gut healing protocol and is so easy to add to the diet on a daily basis. Ensure you are sourcing an organic pasture fed brand.

a.       Collagen Gelatin – this is great to make gummies, marshmallows, puddings, jelly, panacotta etc

b.      Hydrolysed Form– this is fabulous to add to just about everything. As it is un-flavoured and dissolves in both hot and cold liquids, it's so versatile. I add it to my tea, smoothies, blissballs, dips etc

3.  Powered broth – great for when you don’t have of your own on hand and a little goes a long way. Add it to scrambled eggs, stews, casseroles, or a crumbing mixture for chicken strips/nuggets

4.  Tamari – a fabulous alternative to soya sauce which is also wheat free and gluten free with a much more subtle flavour the kids like.

5. Vinegar – Apple cider & Balsamic – Used for salad dressings and added to cooking for a great depth of flavour. Ensure the Apple Cider is organic, unfiltered with the mother. Also great to use as a digestive aid before meals.

6. Nuts & Seeds –Any fresh variety that tickles your fancy, great for snacking, making nut milks and flours for baking. For optimal nutrition & digestion ensure they are properly prepared by soaking and dehyrdrating.

7. Desiccated or shredded coconut – Must be organic with no preservatives added. Can also be used to make coconut milk, the left over pulp can then used to make coconut flour and coconut butter if you have a high speed blender. Good source of protein & fibre.

8. Cocoa or Cacao – Get the best quality possible, great for making bliss balls, slices and homemade chocolate milk.

9. Nutritional yeast flakes – This little number is packed full of nutrition, especially B Vitamins, which are essential for energy production and the nervous system, and has a nice savoury flavour. Some even used it as cheese substitiute. I like adding it to savoury muffins, stews, casseroles or crackers. Easily obtained from a good health food shop.

10. Seaweed – Dulse flakes or nori seasweed sheets- Another great addition that is jam packed full of vitamins and minerals. I often add these to stews and seeded crackers. The seaweed sheets are great for making sushi rolls at home.

So get shopping and stocking that pantry with the essentials to start you on your journey.

If you need help with you or your child’s gut healing journey, book in for a free 15 minute call, email me or check out my work with me page to see if one of my programs are a suitable fit for you.

Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach who specialises in working with stressed and overwhelmed mothers of immune & digestive challenged children to heal their child’ gut by implementing a wholistic personalised step by step plan.