Saturday, February 21, 2009

Reader questions from Laura

Laura commented and asked, "I'm raising my 5 year old grandson. He is so intelligent but is struggling in kindergarten. He was just diagnosed with ADHD combined type and childhood antisocial behavior. I ordered the Feingold program to try to help him. I spent 3 hours shopping the other night to purchase foods he could have.

What do you find the most challenging about the program?

Do you share recipes?

I appreciate your blog as it certainly gives me encouragement and hope."

Laura, good for you for making the change! Shopping will get MUCH easier. I think that one of the most challenging things was actually the beginning shopping. Looking at the food list and looking up every single item that was prepackaged was a bear of a job. I think my first trip was about 3 hours. I was very glad that I didn't take my kids. Here's a couple of tips to make it easier.
Study the food guide at home. Pick out some foods that are brands sold at the local stuff-mart or wherever you shop. Highlight them with a yellow crayon. As you get more familiar with the brands that you like you can use orange to underline them or make a checkmark. I rarely use my food guide anymore. I just bring it along in case of a great sale to check the product.
Second, use a lot of always acceptable ingredients. Not only will this save money but it is much easier to shop when you know you're picking up fruit and veggies, beans, meat, eggs, and whole milk.
I do keep some easy packaged stuff on hand but mostly we eat basics.
I think it took me about a month before I knew which brands I wanted of what and what was really safe. It was about 4 shopping trips. In the beginning we're all excited about the huge food list and we buy tons of "safe junk" just because it's safe.
I'd buy chips once every 6 months before but when we started Feingold I bought 4 different kinds every shopping trip!

We've been doing this for a while now and I honestly don't even think about it anymore. It was only a challenge for the first 3 months. We keep some pre-packaged snacks around for that spur of the moment birthday party or long day, we have homemade beef jerky and fruit roll ups and approved suckers in the car. Our taste buds are used to water so it's very easy to refuse that special drink that someone makes. The kids know that if I don't happen to have an approved treat in my purse that it's easy to wait an hour till we get home and then I'll substitute their treat. And, there's always the fast food guide for real food when we're out. We don't feel like we're missing out on anything...well, Andrew will still sneak sometimes but he's getting TONS better at knowing that I have things at home.

I don't quite understand what you mean by, "do you share recipes?" I think you mean do you share them with friends or those who need to feed your child so I'll address that and if it's not what you mean please let me know otherwise.
Since the Feingold association is a non-profit organization we do not copy the food list or discuss in detail (on a list or blog) the approved foods. They put so much time into research and they need the funds to keep that going. We encourage others who are interested in the Feingold diet to get their own food list. I copied the "Dear Grandma" letter for my family and those caring for my kids (including church workers and friends who watch them) and created my own list of simple foods, and some packaged treats that my kids could have. I also share a product or two on this blog to encourage people that worry about everything being health food and expensive. I want people to know that there are plenty of everyday foods on the list. I share plenty of recipes with those caring for my kids.
There is also the Feingold discussion board that you get a password to when you register. There are many recipes there and since everyone is a member they use brand names to make it easier.

I hope that answered your questions. Feel free to ask more. It helps me know what readers need to hear. That's why I answer all questions online and not privately.

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