It’s one thing for an adult to have to live with a food intolerance. They have a sense of self-discipline and can understand the consequences if they choose to eat troublesome foods.
But what about children? What should parents and caregivers do when they are helping a child manage a food intolerance?
Here are four tips to help you deal with food intolerance in a child.
1. team up with a medical professional
The first thing you should do is find a medical professional that you can trust. Work with your pediatrician or a reputable food allergy doctor. They can help you diagnose if you’re dealing with a minor intolerance or something more serious such as a genetic condition.
You can also look for brands that work with you to help you get what you need. Intoleran, for example, keeps dieticians on staff to have professional, trained support ready to help you with any intolerance-related decision for your child.
2. explain things to the child
When a child is living with something as serious as a food intolerance, they shouldn’t be kept in the dark. Be open and honest with them regarding their intolerance.
Start by explaining what it means to have a food intolerance as opposed to an allergy or illness. Tell them how certain substances in their food can negatively impact their health and make them feel ill. The conversation may not be pleasant at first, but equipping a child with this information can help them process tough food decisions later on.
3. use Intoleran supplements
A food intolerance isn’t the same as a major medical condition. It doesn’t require strong pharmaceuticals or invasive surgeries. Often, all that’s missing are the digestive enzymes required to properly break down food in the digestive tract.
Most digestive enzymes are safe to consume in reasonable quantities at young ages. The bulk of Intoleran’s enzymes, for example, are safe for two years old and up (with a couple of exceptions).
In addition, our Lactase Drops can help with lactose intolerance for everyone, right down to an infant. If you’re curious about using digestive enzymes with your child, reach out to one of our dieticians, and we can talk through your best options.
4. tailor your diet wherever you can
Once you’ve consulted with a professional, diagnosed your child’s intolerance, and stocked up on digestive enzymes for when they’re needed, the last step is tailoring your overall diet. An adult can figure out alternatives to their meals on the fly. However, with a child, seriously consider making some house-wide adjustments to your shopping habits.
If you have a lactose-intolerant child, for example, switching to a milk alternative may be a safe way to keep everyone healthy and happy. Whenever you can’t tailor the entire home shopping list for the child, look for fun alternatives. If they can’t have their favorite snack, find something else to take its place. That way, they don’t develop a negative attitude toward effectively managing their intolerance.
managing food intolerances in children
When a child has a food intolerance, it can be challenging to keep them healthy and happy. However, if a caretaker invests in their child’s situation, they can ensure that they don’t suffer when they eat.
From keeping your child informed to using digestive enzymes to purchasing alternative food options, use the tips on this list to help your child enjoy their food without suffering after the fact.