Information is invaluable. Because each person has unique food and health needs, no one can know better than you what your food needs are. Taking the time to figure out what your and your families individual needs are, is the first step towards healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle. Children are very intuitive and perceptive. The earlier they start to pay attention to their body’s signals, the easier it will be.
– Observe – Paying attention to your reaction to different foods is the first step. Do you feel tired, energized, fuzzy, clear, headachy, or do you have a stomachache or gas right after eating? What about a couple hours after eating? Keeping a food journal for a week can be of great benefit.
– Common Allergens/Food Sensitivities – There are a number of foods that are common sensitivities and/or food allergies. Each person reacts in his or her own unique way. Symptoms can include headaches, constipation, diarrhea, unclear thinking, dizziness, cramps, fatigue and more. The most common foods people react to are: wheat, milk/dairy, fish/shellfish, soy and peanuts/tree nuts.
– Test for allergies – It can be helpful to be tested for allergies by a doctor who specializes in this. Another option is to avoid a food that you think you may be reacting to (i.e. dairy) for three weeks. During those weeks observe yourself. How do you feel? After three weeks eat some of that food and notice how your body reacts.