We are following the GAPS diet (gut and psychology syndrome) to help them heal the gut so they can start absorbing all the healthy foods in to their body correctly and their brain can then follow with being cleared of toxins. A lot of parents have had huge success with the diet and a good supplement programme so we are of course doing it.
The boys have big food issues which relates to their sensory issues. They only eat foods which are completely one texture - nothing too lumpy nor chewy. It has to be either very hard and dry or very wet and smooth like yoghurt so you can imagine the fear as we were told we would have to get the boys to eat chicken broth, fresh fruit and veg and NO sugar, NO carbs, No processed foods. I always tried to get the boys to eat healthily but we used fruit flakes and other treats (yog coated fruit pieces) to bribe the boys to do anything so the thought of not having these was pretty scary! Leaving a play group to get in the car was done by bribing them with these treats, stop crying and you can have 'x', touch a piece of apple and you can have 'x', put your shoes on and you can have 'x', every step of their day was managed with treats so how on earth would we manage them without these!!
We cleared the house of any 'illegal' foods and filled it with fresh veg and fruit, chicken beef, pork and we made up their first batch of food. We made coconut kefir and bought fermented sauerkraut and beetkvaas, We cooked until late in the night and barely slept at the thought of the change that was about to come. How would the boys react to not being given their favourite porridge in the morning? Well...tantrums were of course there, as expected but overall it was a lot less painful than we thought!
We distracted the boys as much as possible with iPads and new toys we had bought especially for them and slowly but surely they started eating chicken broth for breakfast lunch and dinner. No snacks, no treats, nothing. After a day or two they started to detox - their energy levels dipped and they were whining all day. We both had time off work to help them get through the first week on the diet thank God - we would take them to a soft play area and they would just lie down as they were so depleted of energy. We would carry them everywhere and they would sleep a LOT.
We are now a month in and having completed the intro part of the diet with no hitches or reactions, we are on full GAPS. This means they can have a slightly more varied diet than broth but won't have any sugar, carbs, processed foods or even fibrous veg for at least two years. I was hoping they would start eating more varied foods like eggs so we could give this to them for breakfast but they are still just as tricky about food.
One thing about GAPS which I hadn't anticipated is the amount of prep it takes. We spend every other night cooking until late in the night, boiling meat for 3 hours then boiling the bones for another 10 hrs and finally streaming the veg in the broth is a long process! Never mind all the other trimmings we are trying to get them to eat alongside that. I spend a lot of time researching new recipes for things i think they may like - i spend longer cooking them and getting it wrong and then even longer getting it right only to find they won't touch it!
The first few weeks I was excited to wake up to see if there was any difference in their behaviour like I had seen to many times in youtube clips of children on the GAPS diet but we haven't seen any difference yet. We are looking in to having tests done to see what supplements the boys need as these can make a huge difference. Until then, we fight on!
Where do you take kids who love doors on a rainy afternoon? Homebase of course!