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9 Successful Elimination Diet Strategies (even for Families with Children)

Tips for starting an elimination diet with kids

Figuring out how to do an elimination diet can be confusing. Why are there so many different elimination diet meal plans? (Here’s my elimination diet recipes.)

Paleo, keto, GAPS, Whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free, elimination diets and more…all designed to help you figure out if your family has food sensitivities, if a food is causing inflammation or weight gain, or perhaps to heal your gut.

But life is complicated, and so is dinner and meal planning — already on a normal week! How do you embark on this journey successfully, especially with kids??

Let’s clear the confusion so you know how to do an elimination diet that actually works for your family! These 9 practical tips will give you the planning success without stress that you’re looking for. But first? Why I’m qualified to help…

Our Elimination Diet Experiments

After ten years on a healthy living journey, one thing is for certain: Nothing will stay the same.

Research and recommendations keep changing, and as a family, we’ve tried all sorts of different elimination diets to try to learn about our bodies and what they like.

  • In 2010, I heard Jordan Rubin speak and came home announcing to my husband, “Starting tomorrow, you’re not eating grains, dairy, sugar or legumes.” He had been experiencing symptoms of Crohn’s Disease after 7 years without them, so he was motivated to try it, but that was a rough start with no prior planning!
  • In 2011, our whole family went without grains for the first half of Lent and remained gluten-free for the second half, because we wanted to do something to prevent Crohn’s from rearing its ugly genetic head in our kids. The adults have continued this tradition in various ways every Lent since then, including doing our first Whole30 in 2015 while I also tried to heal my cavities and a full Gut Thrive in 5 diet, which is very restrictive, in 2017 (here’s how it went).
  • In 2013, we considered going full-blown GAPS diet for the whole family to see if it would help my husband’s Crohn’s and my kids’ cradle cap/eczema. However, we had low motivation for a massive diet change since none of our symptoms were severe. Instead, since the adults were grain-free (and I always go sugar-free) for Lent anyway, I decided to take 7-10 days for a pseudo made-up GAPS attempt. (Day One: no grains, legumes, corn, dairy, potatoes, nuts, sweeteners, raw fruits, or veggies. Day Two: add fermented dairy and some raw fruit and veggies. Days 4-10: Allow dairy, nuts, and potatoes. Emphasize bone broth as much as possible. Bring back lentils first, then other legumes, then gluten-free grains.)
  • In late 2018, two of my kids omitted dairy for a month, which we had not done with the kids before. My daughter figured out that she definitely has a dairy sensitivity, so we continue to work through what that means and how to heal her gut, hopefully.

RELATED: What is the Perfect Diet for YOU? Listen to Your Body! & Why Kids Shouldn’t Eat White Sugar.

Why we Went Grain Free

grain-free pumpkin pancakes

At first my mother-in-law worried my kids were going to starve, but after a few explanation attempts she eventually understood why it’s so important:

If gluten could have been the cause of my husband’s pain and chronic disease, I would do anything to prevent my son from experiencing the same.

There were so many layers of knowledge she had to understand:

  1. Gluten is an allergen for many people, even if they didn’t notice it their whole lives
  2. Gluten sensitivity is on the rise, and it may affect 1/3 of Americans
  3. Gluten is often tied to Crohn’s (which my husband has and I would do anything to prevent my son from experiencing it too)
  4. Two days of grain-free for my husband reversed his chronic diarrhea when prescription medication didn’t touch it.
  5. Gluten is tied to eczema, which is what we saw increase in my son that got me wondering about him
  6. Eczema can be linked to autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s
  7. Gluten is everywhere!
  8. Humans don’t need grains to survive – my kids are fine without it
  9. And most important, what we eat does affect our health!
  10. If the body creates antibodies to gluten (i.e. treats gluten like an invader), it continues to do so for up to 90 days after gluten ingestion – there is no “cheating” on a gluten-free diet that doesn’t hurt you…I think this was a turning point for my mother in law, along with my statement: “If we can spare Paul from what my husband had to go through, wouldn’t it be worth giving up some cake and bread as a kid?”
source for many facts above: podcast with Dr. Tom O’Bryan
zoodle salad

Elimination Diets with Kids? Start Small.

Here’s another thing that’s certain: Starting a new elimination diet or restrictive diet always takes good planning!! 

When eliminating foods as a family, helping the kids understand what will happen is a key step.

Our very first time, the kids were so young that I was still in charge of what they ate anyway. Plus I didn’t really understand that they would need understanding, so I did a poor job of it.

The second time, we told the kids this was going to be our “weird food week” – yes, weirder than usual. 😉

That was 2013 when the family cut out gut damaging foods like dairy, sugar, and grains for about 10 days. We also focused on nourishing foods like probiotics and bone broth. If you want to know more about gut healing elimination diets, what to eat, what to skip, and why, then check out these keys to gut health.

Even though we didn’t go full out GAPS, I learned a LOT about how to make an elimination diet successful in our home.

It’s like training for a 5K. Folks say as long as you’ve run half the distance in practice, you’ll make the whole thing when the rubber hits the road.

If you’re considering a very restrictive diet, you might try a “2.5k training” with something less intense. Then you’ll know if you can make it!

With these tips and learning from my mistakes, I feel sure you will. 🙂

How to Do an Elimination Diet With Kids

Tips for starting an elimination diet with kids

Here are the tips and tricks I came away with from our little experiment for how to do an elimination diet successfully… even if you have kids.

#1 Explain Everything About the Elimination Diet to Your Kids

Starting an elimination diet with kids should be a long-term plan.

We mentioned on and off for several weeks our family was taking a week to skip the grains, sweets, and corn – so family members were ready for, “No, crackers aren’t an option with your egg salad,” and “We’re not having any desserts this week.”

My kids were pretty cool with the idea, which surprised me. I thought we were ready to go.

What I learned on Monday (the first day of our diet) was I didn’t prepare them nearly enough.

Next time, I need to explain every part to the children:

  • We’re drinking bone broth all week, even for breakfast, and how it’s important they finish it all.
  • There will be no milk or yogurt or raw fruit for an entire day.
  • I’ll still say no to milk the second day.
  • We will get to eat applesauce – this was very exciting for the kids because we haven’t had a jar open for a while, so it was a fun treat.

They were shocked when I said yogurt wasn’t a choice for snack, because our homemade yogurt is always a choice for snack.

I needed to be more specific with the kids about what we were going to eliminate from our diets and what we would eat — to allow them to imagine what it would really be like.

Think 3-minute movie trailer, not one-sentence critic review.

#2 Start the Diet on a Saturday

Lunchbot lunchbox

It was hard to plan and pack lunches for my husband and second-grade son.

I quickly realized for the first few days of an elimination diet that it’s a ton easier for the whole family to be together all day long. Especially for an elimination diet like GAPS when you’re eating soup all day!

I’d highly recommend Friday as a “transition day” and Saturday as the first “real” day of your elimination diet.

#3 Meal Planning is a Lifesaver when Cutting Foods!

A little recipe organization and meal planning are great for any family, but it’s even more helpful to have an elimination diet meal plan. This way you know exactly what your family is eating at each meal, no scrambling around for last-minute meals looking for allowed ingredients you don’t have.

I visited a friend and remarked on her chalkboard with the week’s meals listed. She told me how much her family likes to see what’s coming, and then got more excited as she described the benefits of meal planning she discovered:

  • Less food waste because you can think about what’s in the refrigerator and plan to use it
  • Use food from the freezer more consciously and regularly
  • Get in and out of the grocery store faster
  • Use more meat yet spend less
  • Save money by shopping only once a week since you know exactly what to buy.

I was so happy my friend discovered the joy and freedom of menu planning.

Whether you use a chalkboard or something more techy, trust me — make a meal plan for your new restrictive diet!

Elimination Diet Menu Planning

You gotta write it down. Once you do, you’re more likely to stick to your plan. Have fun with it!

I’m a paper and pencil person, but only because I say I can’t do one more thing on the computer. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Use Pinterest to collect recipes.
  • Write a simple list on paper or in a notebook.
  • Buy a cute chalkboard, whiteboard, or bulletin board
  • Write it on the fridge with magnetic poetry (ok, maybe that’s a stretch)
  • Use an online meal planner

I didn’t try many new recipes, just cut out the bread when we had soup, offered eggs often, and survived on my recipe for homemade yogurt like we always do. I did make some grain-free granola which was a total lifesaver and is so tasty it will continue to be a staple no matter where our family’s diet lands.

When you work so hard to make changes, you have to be kind to yourself and know what you’re cooking and eating each day, or you probably won’t make it.

RELATED: Does Your Child Need to Go Dairy Free? (from an MD)

#4 Plan for Everything That Might Happen

Nope, we’re not talking about global disaster preparedness!

It is very helpful to plan every single snack and beverage, not just the main meals. Down to the morsel!

I was personally surprised on day one when I failed at this point: What in the world do you make for snacks on an elimination diet? Seriously soup all day???

I found by day two, I’d made a few things we could eat, but I wasn’t prepared for all the things we cut out on day one — you can do better. 🙂

RELATED: How to Go Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free with Kids

#5 Make Snacks and Meals Ahead of Time that Fit the Dietary Restrictions

Make some basic soup the day before – a huge batch if you’re smart! Then you don’t need to worry about lunches.

Black Bean Soup

We also stocked up on elimination diet-approved snacks for your meal plan.

My husband loves beef jerky, which is one of the few snacks he could pack for work when raw fruit and nuts were off the table. Plus I made things like coconut flour muffins with date sugar instead of honey and Butternut Spice Bars from Healthy Snacks to Go, without the maple syrup.

Here were our common snacks:

• a piece of fruit
• cut apples with peanut butter for dipping
• cheese (sometimes with an apple, sometimes not)
• the occasional “meat stick” from Paleovalley – a special treat! (Get 10% off with that special link!)
homemade beef jerky ( this often supplemented a packed lunch)
• hard-boiled eggs (again, more often for lunch)
• yogurt and frozen fruit – luckily my kids could eat this twice a day and never complain!
• grain-free granola with milk
• grain-free muffins (apple flax or coconut flour)
• nuts and raisins
• power bars (like Larabars) and Popeye bars from my Healthy Snacks to Go eBook

Healthy Snacks To Go eBook

If taking real food on the go is a challenge for you, you’re not alone.

Join thousands of other happy owners of Healthy Snacks to Go, an eBook that is helping real foodies everywhere keep their families nourished (and kids happy) even when they need to pack a snack — without resorting to processed junk food or expensive health food store treats.

With over a dozen different “bar” recipes alone, including many that are grain-free and contain zero refined sugar, I guarantee you’ll find a new family favorite in Healthy Snacks to Go.

Although it looks like a ton, I pretty much said, “yogurt or nuts and raisins?” 75% of the time. Thankfully, my kids love those options, so it wasn’t a big deal. Note: Obviously this was just for a grain-free elimination diet recipe experiment, and when my daughter had to go went dairy-free, it all looked totally different. That’s where the PLANNING comes in! 

#6 Ditch the Leftovers that the Family Can’t Eat on the Elimination Diet

Simple Veggie Fried Rice

All the food you can’t eat, like cut fruit, leftover suppers, open cheese, etc. should be given away, frozen, or put away somewhere well before the diet begins.

Better yet, avoid off limit leftovers period. Plan your shopping trip the week before you begin so you don’t have a bunch of food staring at you that goes to waste. This comes back to that long-term planning…

You will appreciate having a “transition day” or two as you begin the diet to absorb any mistakes you’ve made in shopping or meal prep the week before.

#7 Brainstorm Activities That Don’t Involve Food

…or don’t make people think about food.

For example, if my kids watched a show in the morning, they often munched on a before-breakfast trail mix, so I had to come up with other activities that didn’t include the habit of eating.

  • Board games and card games
  • Going for walks and playing outside
  • Doing hands-on crafts
  • Field trips to a zoo or children’s museum (unless you have a family tradition of a special edible treat in those places — stay away from good smelling food!)
  • Bubbles and sidewalk chalk
  • Learning a new skill: sewing, painting, origami
Family playing a card game

In “What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS” GAPS expert Cara has a shopping list, exact meals to  eat, and ideas for what to do as a family that won’t make you think about food. I relied on her book to help me out, but I only cracked it open last week for 5 minutes to help me shop for veggies.

I didn’t really read it until the night before we started the elimination diet, so I learned the hard way why I should plan ahead.

Confession: I skipped over the “activities” page thinking, “Yada, yada, I don’t need that….” and then thought about it all day Monday after we started.

I was wrong.  Cara’s book makes the GAPS Diet practical. She even tells you which pages in the GAPS book you should read if you’re too short on time to read the whole thing. Love that!

Cara also has a GAPS Starter Package which rolls together all her resources. It’s the closest you’ll get to having a chef come prepare all your food 😉 You’ll have everything you need to get started in one neat package.

#8 Stick to Your Guns in Special Situations

boy eating cupcake

If you’re really committed to learning from an elimination diet, you cannot cheat!

The most difficult challenge was to be expected: eating out and eating with others.

Since you can’t cheat, you either need to cancel social events or figure out how to make them work with the diet.

It’s extremely hard for people to understand where gluten hides, and then to take a step to cut it out just for one meal to share with our family was tricky. Our extended family did an impressive job, even when we visited my sister-in-law for the weekend.

Paul was invited to one birthday party when we were gluten-free that first time, and it nearly broke my heart he couldn’t eat the pizza or the cake. I almost called the whole experiment off and let him have at it, but the kid had sacrificed so much for a month already.

I had to stick to my guns!

Our solution? We let him get Burger King French fries for a special treat and ate lunch at home (nachos, something he really likes) and then took him over half an hour late when the pizza was nearly gone. He was disappointed to be sure, but he handled it very well. He did miss the social time during eating, which is a tricky balance. 🙁

I sent a special gluten-free cake with homemade “yogurt cheese” frosting, but his biggest disappointment was there was cookies-n-cream ice cream and he was stuck with butter pecan. Understandable!

#9  How to Do an Elimination Diet and Still Eat Out

burger and fries

Whenever you cut something from your diet, it always comes into stark relief how common that food is in regular society. Most items on the kid’s menu in particular have gluten, from chicken strips to pasta to pasta.

Usually my kids had two choices if we were stuck eating out while eliminating gluten: grilled chicken breast or a hamburger without the bun. (I realized after the fact many burgers probably had funky gluten-laden fillers – which you notice when there’s no bun! Gotta ask questions!)

It helped my kids that the whole family skipped the bread during our gluten-free experiment. In short order Paul picked up the language, “Our family is gluten-free,” and learned to spot gluten wherever he looked.

I’ve picked up more ways to make going gluten free and/or dairy free with kids easier here, but my best tip if you’re trying a short-term elimination diet? Just don’t eat out. It’s not worth the risk of cross-contamination! 

Dr. Lauren Jefferis Weighs In On Elimination Diets For Kids

I had an opportunity to interview Dr. Lauren Jefferis and we talked about all sorts of things – you can watch the full interview here or this little snippet below is where we talked about where to start if you think your child has a leaky gut.

How Our Experiment Turned Out

The very first time we eliminated grains and gluten, I recorded the results:

My husband had a near immediate change in digestion and his almost chronic diarrhea disappeared during Lent. But by Easter afternoon with one piece of sourdough toast under his belt, the diarrhea returned. He experienced it almost every time – but not every time – he ate gluten in the next week.

For me … I was expecting that year, so my digestion was weird, no matter what. I didn’t notice any obvious changes or less constipation, but I also didn’t find anything negative (although I missed buttering my bread, so I ate baked potatoes slathered in homemade raw butter like a madwoman to make up for it).

Once I started eating gluten again though, I noticed I was more constipated. Once I saw the change back, I realized there was some difference during the experiment. Constipation has continued to be a problem for me and possibly related to why I’m now toxic for lead (and tackling my drainage pathways!).

How the Kids Did with an Elimination Diet

Poor Paul, age 5, got strep throat when we did our long-term gluten-free experiment. That exacerbated his eczema like I’ve never seen it before, so it was hard to tell if there was any positive change there.

With the weather changing and a trip to Florida filled with hours in a chlorinated pool, I figured we would need to see what happened on his skin when we reintroduced gluten.

With the bread back on the table on Easter morning, Paul zealously ate two pieces. He left the table with unfinished eggs and holding his belly, moaning about how awfully full he was. After that, he continued to comment on how quickly bread fills him up, in an “I’m uncomfortably full” voice.

Later Paul had tiny bumps on his back (eczema flaring up in a new way?) and had a very loose BM, although most of his have been well-formed.

After our diet 3-year-old, Leah quickly had painful BMs. This happened the same way another time when she had about a week on low grains and then had oatmeal. The next day, she was constipated. She wasn’t bound up one time during Lent, even though she had the occasional piece of bread.

That’s another hot tip for you anytime you try a restrictive diet, gut healing, or food elimination: write everything down! I am lucky that I have written a lot down on the blog, because it’s literally shocking to me to read about some of our history. It’s far too easy to forget, even in a span of 4 weeks, what you actually felt and how your poop actually worked!

Hope For Healing by Cutting Out Foods

Those results were a bit depressing — not always fun to read about what the end of an elimination diet is like. But the HOPE found within is that if you can determine that a food isn’t kind to your system, you can continue to cut it out and heal! 

Check this out:

  • My dear hubby cut certain foods out of his diet and it’s been a lifesaver... quite literally! Since going on an elimination diet, the Crohn’s is reversed and he’s no longer a walking heart attack. The doctors removed his Crohn’s diagnosis entirely after a 2019 colonoscopy, and he doesn’t have to be grain-free or gluten-free all the time anymore.
  • My friend Amanda Torres reversed life-threatening obesity after she cut out foods like grains and dairy and is now a healthier, stronger version of herself.
  • Nikki drastically changed her diet and her breastfed daughter finally saw major relief from severe eczema and food allergies.

Time to celebrate the healing successes!

If you’re still intimidated by an elimination diet, mindbodygreen has a 60-day protocol that will walk you through the whole process to heal your gut and regain your health. Get started here!

The Hard Parts of Trying an Elimination Diet

It Works: But Now What?

If you determine that your elimination diet has discovered food sensitivities, your diet suddenly becomes long term, which can be very emotionally challenging.

Like Debra, you might cry tears over all that your child can’t eat anymore. Her post on what she wants you to know at the beginning of your journey with a child with special dietary needs is so touching and practical. A must-read!

If you do decide you want to stick to a gluten free, dairy free diet long term, here’s how to do it (without going crazy!).

It Doesn’t Work: A Next Step

What if you DON’T learn anything from the elimination diet?? That’s frustrating too.

If you can’t quite figure out WHAT to eliminate, you might need a different kind of kickstart called a rotation diet. This can allow you to “test” for many different food sensitivities without giving up each one for a full month and taking too long to get results.

It Works…and Then It Doesn’t!

A common refrain lately is that a certain gut-healing or weight loss diet works for someone, they see the results they want, or they determine they DO have a food sensitivity and carry on with eliminating that food.

And then…symptoms start to come back. They hit a weight loss plateau. New symptoms crop up!

People start to wonder if the elimination diet is right for them.

Mary reminds us that a gut healing diet may not be the place to start, especially for adults. And we must also remember that we are all extremely different people, and it’s not likely that one diet will “work” for the whole family. Bioindividuality is an important concept to understand, and it takes real detective work to unearth each person’s ideal diet and lifestyle.

Bottom Line: Elimination Diets are Tough, But Worth It

But it’s worth it! Every time our family tried an elimination diet, we learned something — even if it was just how to cook and eat vegetables in more diverse and interesting ways!

When you jump in, just remember these tips:

  1. Let your kids visualize what their days and meals will look like well before you begin. Tend towards over-explaining.
  2. Start on a Saturday with Friday as a transition day (i.e. cooking no new foods that are off-plan but possibly eating leftovers that would be off-limits).
  3. Meal plan every meal!!
  4. Also plan every snack and beverage!
  5. Make snacks ahead of time.
  6. Ditch the leftovers (transition day).
  7. Brainstorm activities that don’t involve food or make people think of eating.
  8. Be tough about parties and socializing – no cheating!
  9. Try not to eat out. For short term, it’s not worth it!
Have you ever done an elimination diet? What makes it successful and not so painful?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

19 thoughts on “9 Successful Elimination Diet Strategies (even for Families with Children)”

    1. Hi Jodi,
      Big step! At our house, lunches are mostly dinner leftovers anyway with yogurt (which is okay on GAPS depending on the stage you’re at). After you’re through the intro, there are good grain-free cracker recipes for crackers and cheese, and cold meats with a dip is a good child-friendly option, grain-free biscuits, and more. If a packed lunch, try some of these ideas, especially grain-free pancakes with nut butter as sandwiches: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/08/07/10-bread-free-packable-alternatives-to-sandwiches-for-a-healthy-lunch-on-the-go/

      Hope that helps! 🙂 Katie

  1. My two-year-old had issues with the no cheese part. We did carrot sticks cooked in broth if you are ever on it and need a snack. I took them out and salted them (add melted butter if you’re doing it for a dipping sauce). They were pretty good.

  2. We started GAPS intro on Christmas. HA to me.my 16 mo has been gaps since she started solids at 9mo so no change for her but the 3yo was very upset. After being on intro for over 45 days it gets boring! And how do we continue to afford the meat? hmmm.. we have begun slipping lately. sourdough crust pizza. oops. but still no sugar except a tsp of honey when I bake coconut bread. we eat a ton of ferments too. my 3yo developed a massive staph infection rather than healing her eczema and overall I am very tired of cooking so I am not sure if this was the “cure” its touted to be.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Leah,
      I’m so sorry it sounds like you’re h aving an awful experience! You’ve really put a lot of time and energy into this, and I hear you on the meat thing. Hear. You. Phew.

      Did you see the comment above about NAET? Maybe that’s something to look into instead? I hope something good comes of your dedication when you look back on it!!
      {hugs}
      Katie

  3. Jenn @ A Simple Haven

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I want at least some of my family to go on GAPS for a while, but am so intimidated!
    I decided to just ease us into it, so we’re going grain-free this month. Even though we eat a “real foods” diet anyway, the grain-free feels drastic enough for now.
    I’ll be referring back to your blog and the other resources you mentioned as we continue on our little journey! 🙂 Thank you for the tips!!

  4. Hey Katie! My two kiddos also have cradle cap and mild eczema. After trying all kinds of things and making myself miserable after restricting diets, I finally broke down and started with allergy/sensitivity testing this week. We are going through our chiropractor who is certified in NAET. Have you heard of it? It’s a pretty comprehensive list of allergies and sensitivities that they are tested for. My kids had a TON of sensitivities even to things like calcium and egg mix which includes chicken. I never could understand why we weren’t getting anywhere with elimination diets and bone broth. I couldn’t figure out their allergies because there were so many and still included in the foods we were trying to heal them with, like kefir and broth, etc. I do not have any interest in cutting out foods for good. That is not sustainable for us and frankly not very healthy, in my opinion. I don’t want my kids to learn to resent food or have negative feelings towards it. Food is food and should be nourishing. Anyway, with NAET, you go through treatment over a 25 hour period and your body is “cleared” of that sensitivity. Yeast was my 4 year old’s first clearing. She had a major detox (runny nose, slept for 2 hours when we got home, slight fever) and was fine the next day. My son was even reactive to his own body, which makes sense because he is always throwing fits and sleeps horribly at night. After his treatment, he is now sleeping much better, fits have decreased, and said 5 new words the night of his treatment. I’m excited to see the progress we make from the therapy. I asked out doctor how one develops so many allergies/sensitivities. She said most people have a lot and just don’t know it. They just think that’s how life is. It is usually passed down from previous generations, like from grandparents. What they ate and their lifestyle as well as bad gut flora, gets compounded in future generations. Like epigenetics. It was all very interesting. Just wanted to pass this along to you and see if you had ever heard of it or had experience with it. I will admit, it seems very strange. It’s not modern medicine, that’s for sure, but it does seem to be doing something. God bless you, Katie! Keep up the good work on the blog! Your heart for people and your family shine through your writing. 🙂

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Tara,
      I’m totally fascinated. I have heard of NAET but have never done it. Someday, we’ll probably get there! I can’t even believe how many different ways there are to tackle sensitivities and general digestive issues. The trickiest part is figuring out which one!! And plenty of people ahve great success with just vitamin supplementation, chiropractics, etc. Phew! Lots to learn, lots to learn – thank you so much for sharing your story! 🙂 Katie

  5. I am gearing my family on the GAPS diet. My 10-month-old baby has eczema and it has gotten pretty bad the past couple of weeks. I am also putting my 2-year-old on the diet because he is eating way too much carbs. I would like my husband on it, too, but he will be the hardest to convince. I would love to stop eating gluten, because I know I will benefit from it in the long run. But I know I will miss it! I’ve been off of dairy for the past two weeks and I also miss it, especially since we switched to raw milk not too long before that and my 2-year-old loves it.

    I am going to grab “What can I eat now?” right now! and also break open my water kefir grains from Cultures for Health. I also will be roasting chickens and making bone broth tomorrow.

    Baby steps! I hope this will get rid of the eczema once and for all, and replace my family’s diet into something healthier.

  6. My family eats a primal diet. No grains and no added sugar with the exception of high quality dark chocolate, and we have seen significant benefits. Different benefits for each of us. My son who is 10 has a much better temperament since we switched over 11 months ago. Both my kids had cradle cap since they were babies and after eating primal for a week or so I found that the cradle cap released from their scalps. It was kind of gross for a couple days but we combed it out of the hair and even though my daughter eats grains when we eat out or at a friends we have not seen the problem return. My husband has suffered with dermatitis for decades and since cutting out grains and switching to wine instead of beer his skin is so much better. I have had ibs and other stomach issues for years but have found I only have problems if I accidentally eat something with gluten in it. So after 11 month we have it down pat. I bake grain free items on the weekends (most have dates as the sweetener or I use a very small amount of honey or maple syrup). At one point a few months ago my kids were bummed out about being primal because all their friends had great snacks in their lunches so I decided that baking grain free, low sweetened snacks was a must, to keep everyone happy and on track. I pack up meat about once a month so I am prepared to cook each day. I boil eggs on sunday night and I make sure to always have a variety of fruits , vegis, cheese sticks and nuts on hand. I do not make separate meals for anyone. I just find that more often then not the kids end up liking most meals after a few tries, or at least not complaining about them. It is a lot of work but I feel the benefits out weigh the work. I hope anyone trying to eliminate things from their diet that make them feel bad will really give it a shot because it may cure what ails them and give them a whole new way of life!

  7. I cut out dairy for lent. I’m trying to be fairly strict with myself. (But I did give in and have some cookies that may have come into contact with dairy.. and certainly were pretty processed)
    The thing that it taunting me is Pizza. Oh man!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Becky,
      No, I haven’t yet tried fish broth, so we just didn’t do the soup part. We’ve had a lot of eggs, fish, cream of potato with veggie broth. ??? Not really GAPS, so I make my own rules! 😉 Katie

  8. Just on a tangent– it’s a really bad idea to do a race, whether 5k or marathon– having never run more than half that distance recently. You may make it to the finish line but it’ll be painful. If you want that 5k to be easy (or fast) you’ll be running a lot further than that most days…

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Don’t worry – I hate running even a 1K! 😉 This is just what a friend who was doing her very first 5K told me was in the race prep packet.
      Katie

  9. When we did GAPS intro for my 2-year-old son, I billed it as “Super Silly Soup Week” to my older kids, 5 and 4. Each kid got a new mug, bowl, and straw for soups, and we made sure to clear out or hide all non-legal food before we started. We did not have severe symptoms, so my plan was to stick to intro for a minimum of one week (basically a stage a day) and we made it about ten days, which I thought was pretty good! Activities were definitely key – we had a lot of special outings planned, and the applesauce and ginger tea were a big hit for snacks. I also shamelessly bribed my older two, and told them that if they stayed positive about the food and did not complain for the first half of the week, then they could go on a special outing with Daddy and get a treat while their little brother was napping (my older girls had no food-related symptoms as far as I could tell). It worked, and the whole week was a *lot* less traumatic than I had envisioned, and helped my son a lot. After intro week, all the new foods as we transitioned to full GAPS seemed like Christmas! We stayed with full GAPS for about 8 months, and are now slowly reintroducing some properly prepared grains etc. Overall, not a single day has been “easy”, but the work was well worth the results.

  10. The biggest thing I’ve learned when on a diet like this is to make sure I am still eating enough. When restricting foods it is easy to accidentally restrict calories as well! Even if you eat the same stuff over and over, a full tummy makes everyone happier, have more energy, etc. Hope you get the results you are wanting!

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