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How to Manage Special Diets on Holidays? Plan for treats!
Special Diets can be extremely helpful for a number of conditions and complaints. Anything from acne to Autism Spectrum Disorders often benefit from Special Diets, which might limit food sensitivities or completely avoid specific foods like Gluten and Casein. And there is nothing more exciting than having a parent or patient return to the office now that they’ve done planning and cooking and tell me they now know the foods they are avoiding really were a problem. They really know that if those foods sneak in then the symptoms come back, their tummy feels gross or their child is doing their Tasmanian Devil imitation. Then comes the big question.. “but Dr Kellie, I know we need to stick to this but its Valentine’s Day and Grandma always has treats for the kids on Valentine’s Day!“.
So how do you manage a Special Diet on holidays? Because there really is nothing worse and nothing that’s going to make us hate our food challenges more than feeling left out or deprived. The answer.. planning. Yes, that’s pretty much the answer for every question diet related and its especially true here. Knowing that there is a treat-worthy holiday coming up and planning for a happier alternative is the best course.
Parents may want to send out an emails out to other parents asking for a heads-up about birthday cupcakes so that a Special Diet friendly option can be send from home. And sometimes giving the teacher a small supply of kid-friendly treats for the days when you may have had no warning. For holidays when treats come in bulk (you know when there are bags and baskets involved) I suggest the Exchange Policy. Kids love to trade in candy or chocolate for a much desired toy or game or even a special family outing.
For Us Adults:
Again, plan for holidays. We’d love to think that our will-power has super-strength but in the face of treats everywhere its not hard to give in and then feel rotten for having done so. Consider keeping the house and your desk drawer stocked with a few friendly treats. Perhaps, do a little bargain with yourself. “Self, I know that you love those creamy Easter eggs. This year, let’s make a deal to choose a better treat and reward myself with an indulgent pedicure.”
We all hate to feel like we can’t have those lovely treats, especially when people around us are and when they are offering. Having a plan and something to indulge yourself or your family with will make all the difference.
Happy Valentine’s Day and please feel free to email if you have any questions you’d like to see answered in a future Post.
~~ Dr Kellie
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