I wasn’t really a great eater when I was growing up. I was very picky about what I would try, would say I didn’t like something even though I had never had it, and I didn’t enjoy a lot of the meals that were made for the family.
My mother is an amazing cook and baker, so it was nothing to do with the food itself or how it was prepared, but I never understood what my issue with food was until I was 25-years-old and I’d given birth to my second child.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Suddenly it became clear why I was such a picky eater and didn’t care to try new things. Eating wasn’t supposed to hurt the way that it had been hurting me. It wasn’t supposed to make me feel so tired and I wasn’t supposed to have a stomach that bloated and bones that were so brittle.
I didn’t have to manage this food-related disease during my childhood and I imagine it would have made things more difficult for me in one way if I had, but it also could have had a positive impact on me if I had been diagnosed earlier.
Raru, my 6-year old daughter can’t eat gluten either. We noticed an issue when she was only 14 months old and she has been off the stuff ever since. There are times though that she comes into contact with it — at school or a family member’s house — and she’s accidentally contaminated and she feels the pain.
Feeding her when she’s been “glutened” (which is what we call getting cross-contaminated with gluten), can be quite the struggle. I totally understand the feeling because I have lived with the contamination myself. It plays havoc on your intestines and it makes all foods painful to eat. She tends to stick to food that she is comfortable with — much like I did when I was a child — but this can make dinner time difficult. I want her to be able to feel safe while she is eating, and while everything I make is strictly gluten-free, she still has the “Safe Foods” that she likes to stick with in place of everything else.
There are really only 5 things that Raru will eat without any struggle:
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Do you have any tips for me on how to encourage my child to try new foods? Does your child have food-related health issues that hinder them from being more adventurous when it comes to their diets? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Photo credits: iStockPhoto
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