Your child is growing up quickly, and he or she needs essential nutrients to keep running and playing. Feeding a child, however, can be very tricky since you want to give your kids yummy, nutritious, and filling foods. Nutrition becomes even trickier if your child develops a food intolerance. Food intolerances are caused by inability to digest a certain food or ingredient properly, leading to symptoms including headaches, stomachaches, diarrhea, and bloating.
If your child shows signs of lactose intolerance, it is important to supplement his or her diet with other calcium-rich foods and drinks. Adolescence is when the human body does the most growing and strengthening. It is essential for children to have adequate amounts of calcium in their systems to build strong bones. The body often absorbs less calcium with age, so it supplements calcium-deficiency by taking calcium from bones. In bodies without weak or thin bones to begin with due to insufficient calcium intake during childhood, this can be very detrimental to bone health and can result in dangerous breaks or fractures.
Gluten intolerance can be more difficult to identify because wheat is prevalent in many types of foods from most breads to even some types of soy sauce. Mild cases of gluten intolerance are not very intense and will most likely result in occasional diarrhea or stomach ache. Celiac disease, however, is a very severe type of gluten intolerance that can cause asthma attacks and even be fatal in worst-case scenarios. A gastroenterologist can diagnose your child and determine if it’s celiac disease.
Sulfite intolerance can also be more difficult to pinpoint because sulfite is not an easily identifiable ingredient like milk or wheat. Sulfites are typically used as preservatives or flavor enhancers for processed foods. If you suspect or know that your child has a sulfite intolerance, make sure to meticulously check all food packaging for any variations of sulfites in the ingredients list. Another way to avoid sulfites is by preparing food for your own child using natural ingredients or ingredients that you know contain no sulfites.
As you become more aware of the food intolerances your child may have, you will have to be more careful with what you buy, cook, or prepare. Thankfully, food companies are becoming more accommodating to food intolerances, so there are many lactose-free, gluten-free, sulfite-free options for you to choose from. Being aware of your child’s needs and what food you provide will ensure your child’s health.
Check out this article on other common dietary restrictions that kids have!