Let’s be honest. The holidays are a food festival that lasts two weeks. It’s a vacation of gluttony. Anyone who tells you they didn’t indulge is likely lying or from another planet.
Sweets, baked goods, food colouring and all that cheese, gravy and bread can spell disaster for kids with unique needs and have not-so-pleasant effects on their behaviour, sleep, focus and learning ability.
What to Do When Your Kid Has Been Following the Elf Diet – Sugar, Sugar and More Sugar
You know this – but the problem can be getting them back on track. If they were eating chocolate mint cookies for breakfast for two weeks – how do you convince them to eat their veggies?
If they are still eating that and their behaviour is worse than it has been in months – what do you do?
It starts with detoxing and resetting their system.
Ditching sugar and detoxing the cells is the first place to start to get back on track, end cravings and have calmer kids. Whether it is Halloween or the winter holidays, below are my top strategies to reset their system.
1. Water & Lemon
Hydration helps to curb cravings and detox the cells. Lemon water thirty minutes before breakfast has the added benefit of cleansing the liver and stimulating a bowel movement which is key to improving mood.
2. Activated Charcoal
If you haven’t started the detoxification process and your child is still eating their ‘holiday diet’, activated charcoal can be a great way to detox sugar and pull toxins out of the body.
Since it can cause constipation, have your child take it with magnesium citrate and vitamin C which helps to move the bowels and will ensure toxins are moving out of the body and not just re-circulating.
3. Substitute Sugar with Protein & Fat
A crash in blood sugar levels triggers carb and sugar cravings. The secret is to stabilize blood sugar levels with protein and fat to curb these cravings. Replace carb-based snacks with meat, nuts, seeds, lentils and healthy fats.
4. Increase Magnesium, Chromium & Minerals
Sugar is called an anti-nutrient because so many essential nutrients like magnesium and chromium are pulled from the body just to metabolize the effects of sugar.
Magnesium has around 300 functions in the body and promoting calm and sleep is among them. Chromium stabilizes blood sugar levels which results prevents mood swings and improves focus. Eat more foods with these nutrients to make the detox easier or take a supplement.
When children consume food that is consistently low in minerals, their body will pull minerals from other areas of the body to meet the needs of the vital organs. Taking a trace electrolyte/mineral supplement for a few weeks can help to curb some of the effects of sugar.
5. Green Juices
Give your child smoothies that are packed with nutrients that will nourish their biochemistry. Spirulina and chlorophyll are some of my favourites.
You can buy these from health food stores in the form of green powders or tablets. Certain coffee shops and even health food stores sell ready-to-go green juices packed with all sorts of super foods to help recharge the cells and reset the body.
6. Increase Detoxifying Foods
Foods that open the detoxification pathways are cauliflower, kale, broccoli, radishes, sprouts, arugula, grapefruit and berries as well as ferments. Try to incorporate these foods into soups, stews, salads, smoothies and more.
Spices like turmeric, ginger, cayenne and herbs like parsley, cilantro as well as dandelion tea all help to support detoxification.
7. Curb Cravings
L-Glutamine can curb sugar cravings by addressing a deficiency in neurotransmitters that triggers intense sugar cravings. L-Glutamine under the tongue can stop a sugar craving in its tracks.
When I used to specialize in Eating Psychology, I used to repeat over and over again the importance of focusing on comfort and nourishment rather than restriction.
Comfort your child’s cravings with healthy flavours like spices, sauces, seasonings, fats, nuts, fruits as well as non-food related experiences like baths or a night out at the movies.
To learn more about how you can help your child curb picky eating, and nourish their brain optimally check out my programs which offers one-on-one learning therapies that targets the underlying reason why learning, writing and reading is so hard for your child. Think of me as a personal trainer for your child’s brain.
If you’re not sure if these programs are right for you, set up a free 20-minute discovery session to learn more about how you can help your child improve their visual processing so they can become a fluent reader and a more confident kid.