Now Handle Social Events When Your Children Food Restrictions. You force a smile as fear fills you inside. Gluten- and sugar-laden sweets, allergen-laden snacks… social events are a veritable minefield for kids with dietary restrictions.
After dealing with this myself and coaching many clients in similar situations, I’ve learned some very important lessons about what works and what works when it comes to dealing with complex food restrictions and social events. What doesn’t work?
Children Food Restrictions
With some forethought and a little advanced planning, you and your child will grow rather than dread social engagements. Here are six strategies we use with great results.
Bring your child something special:
Going to a birthday party? If your child cannot eat birthday cake, bring a special cake for them to enjoy and share with other children. He will not feel as if he has got something special of his own. In our experience of life, everyone wants to try the “special cake for child” our daughter has so more it actually makes her feel special, not isolated.
Read Also: How to Get New Back on Track When Your Diet has Derailed
Involve your child in preparing for “something special:
There’s no better way to get your child to buy into what they’re eating than to involve them in its preparation. Sia was recently invited to a party and she and Papa had a lovely afternoon making her special cake. She was so proud of him, she couldn’t wait to bring him to the party. She didn’t even notice the cupcakes she didn’t have because she was so excited about it.
Warn your host ahead of time:
You always want to respect your hosts and give them a bit of situational awareness. Explain why you’re showing up with your “special food.” Most hosts are up-to-date on your child’s nutritional needs and the fact that you are taking responsibility for them.
Ask your host what she plans to serve so you can make sure your child has something to eat. Don’t make assumptions – you want to make sure your child has tasty options that work for him.
Explain to your child that there will be things she cannot eat and there will be things she can eat.
Children are not stupid – they know when something is up. So instead of trying to hide the situation and make it all easy for your child (who usually responds in amazing ways), sit him down and tell him what’s going on. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as: “We’re going to Johnny’s birthday party and the cake he’s having is going to hurt your stomach. I don’t want your stomach to hurt so we’re going to have our special cake.” going to make. Wouldn’t that be fun? Would you be willing to share it with the other different kids?”
I have found that the more we involve Sia in the process and explain in simple terms what we are doing and why the more she cooperates because she understands what is going on and is Doesn’t feel like we’re trying to push it. of that
Don’t make a big deal about it:
Your baby needs energy, and if you’re worried about what he can or can’t eat or worry that he’ll feel deprived or left out, you’re setting him up for failure. Setting up He will understand that something is off and will likely start acting up.
If, on the other hand, you don’t make a big deal about it and are actually very important – “that’s the way it is” – without emotional attachment one way or the other, it becomes a non-issue. Even if he struggles for a while, the less emotionally upset you are, the sooner he will calm down.
When we’re at a party and it’s time to eat, instead of focusing on the foods Sia can’t eat, we focus on the things she can eat. Obviously, we need to make sure she doesn’t eat anything she’ll react to, but we put most of our energy into things she can do to keep her as positive as possible.
Be your child’s companion:
If your child cannot eat gluten and you bring a special cake, by all means, don’t eat regular cake in front of them. Show her you’re on her team and eating the same way she does. This will help him feel included.
Don’t make the party about the food:
Parties are about more than just food, we make food the focal point of things. How do you help your child focus on other aspects of the party – the activities, the people, the games, the joy of the celebration? Food can be secondary if you let it be.