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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Kid-friendly Cooking (Baby Food on up to Teens) / Need Ideas - Stomach Problems
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    Need Ideas - Stomach Problems

    CindySe
    Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:39 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    5yo DD has had some stomach issues and a high fiber diet with lots of fruits & vegetables has been recommended. We are also going to try and limit her dairy and see if that helps too. Just looking for some meal ideas especially for dinnertime.
    Thank you!
    somebodys_sweet_pea
    Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:50 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    What kind of stomach problems? My DH has stomach probs that were so bad at one point he was throwing up (undigested food) every morning icon_cry.gif . After going in circle after circle doing trial and error, trying antacids, visiting specialists, etc. we were directed by one of my coworkers to look into PH balances in the body and how ours might be with our diets. He also said to try to eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies to encorporate more natural enzymes in the body, which help break down food naturally (DH strictly wanted a non-medicated fix!). We had already tried everything so figured we might as well.
    We looked up a lot of info and it turns out on top of already obviously acidic foods, like tomatoes, meat is really acidic. We stopped eating meat and I tried more and more to work less canned things in and reduce sodium whenever possible. We started eating salad or fruit with every meal. I also tried working in specifically low-acidity foods, like tofu, and watching the dairy intake (DH would go through 3 gallons of ice cream a week if he could!). The final cut was to try to cut out as much sugar as possible (for DH, a framer, it was Mt. Dew!). It was a little strange at first adjusting, of course, but it was not hard to switch at all and I am now quite used to eating without meat - and I was raised a meat eating farm girl! The hardest part for me was knowing HOW and WHAT to cook without meat as the "base" of the meal.
    We have been mostly meatless now for... I guess almost 3 years and it has done wonders for his stomach. Now he doesn't have to watch every little thing to avoid upset as he did before. Occassionally I'll buy meat or we'll have it at a friend's house or something, and it doesn't bother him but once in a great while.

    I would suggest, if trying more fiber, to replace a lot of meats with beans and/or add more beans into meals. Try more bean burgers, bean instead of meat chili, etc. You can easily work it in.

    Also, I'm pretty sure there's more fiber in wheat products vs products made with white flour. Try buying more wheat bread, tortillas and pastas - you have to experiment based on your tastes. Not all wheat products taste "wheaty". I have found the cheap/bottom of the line wheat pastas usually aren't that great, but I can get a box of wheat pasta for around $2 and it lasts two meals since it's so much more filling than white pasta. Sometimes with dinner I'll cut up some fruit and throw some nuts in there; or a little dollop of yogurt/cool whip. Eat more salads - this is a GREAT way to work in fresh veggies AND fruit. I myself like a spinach salad with various fruits (any will do) and poppyseed dressing. I don't like fruit in many recipes, but this is a good way to go! Don't forget nuts on the salad icon_smile.gif .
    I would also look at what she's eating for snack time. Perhaps look into OAMC instead of buying those expensive hot pocket type of things.
    You said you're trying to cook with less dairy. I will often buy rice milk (I prefer it to soy but it IS a little sweeter than soy) and just work it into recipes. I never did give up milk or cheese - I couldn't! A tall glass 'o' soy just isn't the same icon_smile.gif . BUT most often if you just need a little bit of milk in something, you can't taste the difference by subbing in some soy/rice milk. Also look at subbing in tofu for some of milk in your recipes. For example whenever I make an alfredo or like sauce, I'll blend 1/2 a container of silken tofu and will replace 1/2 the milk with it (there's recipes out there for this sort of thing; you'll have to look based on your tastes). You can also freeze tofu, so break yourself in by buying a container, 1/4 it, and freezing. That way you can pull just a little out at a time and try it out (it goes bad fairly fast in the freezer). PS - don't fret, it changes to a yellow color in the freezer, but it's OK!
    I would also buy more juice. IDK about your house, but in mine we used to have milk with every meal. Now, I buy juice instead - only 100%, no sugar or splenda. It's a little costly nowadays at $3+ per bottle BUT compare it to milk and/or fresh fruit prices. It's worth it esp if you're trying to cut dairy and work in more fruits/veggies. I have also noticed DH gets sick far less since we drink so much good juice. We literally go through about 4 bottles a week!

    Also, I would suggest "allowing" her to help with dinner. Kids like things more if they choose it vs having it chosen for them. Boys are like kids; this is what I had to do with DH icon_smile.gif . Make a rule that there must be a fresh fruit or veggie with dinner and let her pick it. I think she'd like picking something for the whole family, too, so she's helping with dinner. You could also let her pick something out that's good for her at the store when she's with you. Let her pick a different kind/shape of pasta, or pick out a strange/unfamiliar veggie to encorporate into dinner one night. Let her imagination go with this, but make sure she knows what her "limits/rules" are so she's actively involved with what you're doing.

    Just some thoughts that may help you. Like I said it took us a million "trial and error" episodes before we finally got on to something.

    HTH - let me know if you have any questions!
    **Jubes**
    Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:52 pm
    Forum Host
    wave.gif Hi Cindy

    I sure can relate to stomach problems myself. I saw a specialist allergist just after my youngest daughter was born (she's 5 on New Years Day) and he has changed my life. I now no longer eat wheat, oats, rye, anything with gluten in it and was fully lactose free until recently. I have a few other small things that I avoid as well.

    I'm in my early 40's now and thought that I felt normal. Boy was I wrong!!! I feel better now than I ever felt as a child!! icon_biggrin.gif

    Eating fresh fruit and veges are very easy for me.
    Does your daughter enjoy fresh fruits and veges???

    I often find that my girls will prefer to eat a bowl of fruit salad than cookies or sweets. I think the trick is to have it already prepared and available for ready eating.

    Veges will be better for fibre if you steam them rather than boiling. Also good to quickly cook by stir-fry method.

    The dairy issue is the hardest. There are many soy milks available. The trick is to find one that is fairly white and tastes more milky than nutty. There is a very large variety of soy milks available and the taste and colour varies a lot.
    Try adding some flavouring to it as a milk shake or smoothie -if she is not to keen on drinking it plain. Very nice with strawberries or even frozen berries, mango, bananas. Give it a whizz with a stick blender.

    You can purchase soy ice-creams or sorbets for desserts. Their are also soy cheeses and cream cheeses available that are dairy-free. Tofutti brand is excellent if you can buy it.

    FOr snacks you could use popcorn, a handful of sultanas or other dried fruits. Does she eat peanuts? My Holly (5) loves them.

    For breads move into whole grains or wholemeal. My kids will eat any kinds of bread. I think the trick is not to make such a big deal of it. It's very hard for children being told that they cant eat certain things. I really think it helps to be positive and look at foods that can be eaten.

    I've also seen pastas that have extra fibre added.

    If increasing fibre makes your daughters issues worse........... it really might help to have her tested for celiacs. There is a quick blood test that can be a good indicator (it's not 100%).
    If nothing else helps seek a referral from your doctor to an allergist or specialised nutritionalist.
    I really wish my problems were identified as a child

    I'll be back with some recipe suggestions.......but first just want to check if there are any other foods your daughter either doesn't eat or has been advised not to eat.
    eg. Can she have eggs, wheat, meat, chicken????

    I hope your daughter is feeling better soon.



    Julie
    CindySe
    Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:05 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    DD has been one to complain of "tummy" aches periodically, but in the past has been fairly short lived and resolved on its own. Recently we have been dealing with stomach "cramps" which come and go and can be fairly severe. Right now the Dr is attritbuting it to constipation. However, I'm not certain this is exactly the problem either as DD is fairly "regular". Sorry if TMI.

    Regardless, we will push the fruit, vegetables, and fiber and see if things improve. DD loves fruit. She is more picky about vegetables. However, right now she wants her stomach to get better so she wants to eat whatever is going to make it better. The other night she had a sweet potato and peas for dinner. Her choice.

    Tonight she asked for chicken noodle soup for dinner, which I plan to load up with veggies. She isn't crazy about green beans but likes baked beans. She likes squash which is easy to make.

    Part of the problem, is I am in a dinner rut anyway. Normally wintertime I like to make soups and stews but the kids weren't crazy about eating soup so I quit making it. Although DD specifically asked for chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight.

    The rest of my family is a 3 yo DS who is very hit & miss with eating at dinnertime. What he eats one day he may not eat the next. DH prefers "meat & potato" fairly simple type foods. I also have a 9 mos old who is starting to eat tablefood.

    Okay I feel like I am rambling. I guess I am just looking for some healthy kid-friendly dinnertime ideas.
    Amberngriffinco
    Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:07 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I have had GI issues for 3 yrs... at one point, I had to stay in bed for months with a heating pad on my stomach and bowels most of the time.

    After 2 yrs of different medications and TONS of testing, I still really don't have a solid diagnosis.. my gutman is calling it an extremely sensitive stomach/GERD, but the symptoms are really not classic ones.

    In any event, I make SURE I eat lots of fiber, by way of fresh fruits and vegetables. I drink lots of water to help eliminate waste and keep myself hydrated and keep my skin healthier;.. also, has kept my kidney stones from dropping to boot! lol

    I eat black soy beans a lot in chili and salads b/c they are SO HIGH in fiber, you don't have to count their carbohydrate at all!!! I have moved away from dairy a lot as well.

    Depending on what it is, and how her symptoms are, you might want to see a pediatric gastroenterologist.. I do HAVE to take 2 rx's a day, but I have been feeling quite well for the past 4 months.

    amber
    WI Cheesehead
    Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:09 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I don't have time to throughly peruse the thread, but will come back. I have a 14 yo DD with stomache issues for a long time. She is constantly sick to her stomach and can't eat. I'm going to get her to a GI specialist to start. Thanks for the thread.
    Chef# 616082
    Wed May 13, 2009 8:58 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Has she been tested for fructose malabsorption?

    It's a simple breath test and if she loves fruit and suffers from cramps that could well be it.
    WI Cheesehead
    Wed May 13, 2009 3:25 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Well, she had a bunch of tests done and finally found out that she has "rapid gastric emptying". Her food goes through her too quickly. That makes sense, since she would really get sick from soup. We're also going to treat for candida this summer (after school).
    Chef# 616082
    Wed May 13, 2009 3:38 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    WI Cheesehead wrote:
    Well, she had a bunch of tests done and finally found out that she has "rapid gastric emptying". Her food goes through her too quickly. That makes sense, since she would really get sick from soup. We're also going to treat for candida this summer (after school).



    From what I've read, Doctors are misdiagnosing this lots lately when they don't know what else to say. Unless your daughter's had gastric bypass or has Zollinger-Ellison syndrome this diagnosis is unlikely.
    It's more likely she's suffering from leaky gut syndrome as a result of undiagnosed food intolerances and should be on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet until she recovers.
    GG913
    Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:05 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    If you can afford the yogurt, the Activia really can be helpful. They even guarantee that if you don't notice a difference after consuming an 8-oz. serving each day for two weeks, you can get a refund. You can get 24 at Sam's Club for less than $11, which is cheaper per serving than buying the 4-packs elsewhere. The live cultures help the good bacteria that should be in her body. Unless she can't tolerate it, it would be worth a try. I had to use it for several months because of GI problems, and it really helped me.
    WI Cheesehead
    Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:45 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    We do buy the Activia from Sam's every week. All 3 kids like it and my DD has been eating it every day. Her stomach issues aren't so bad anymore, but we've put ourselves on an anti-candida diet regimen. She failed the spit test right away. We're mostly gluten free, going dairy free, very few fruits, no sugar, no yeast, etc. She feels horrible right now because her back is acting up again. She doesn't want to go to bed because it hurts worst in the morning. Someone said that mold can cause that and we did have mold in the bathroom (across from her room), plus she is allergic to mold. I want to have her (and another son) tested for allergies and see if any food ones come up. Since we've been off milk (except for occasional baking/cooking and yogurt/kefir - and now I made my own almond milk - and I'm trying to make almond butter without a food processor!) she forgot that we weren't supposed to have some and I, unfortunately, came home with a pint that I got with the kid's meal. She drank it and got really sick afterwards. My kids love milk and used to drink it all the time. I won't use any soy products (aside from occasional lecithin in bread, which I can't make right now anyways, and soy sauce), so I'm hoping the almond milk will work, at least for cooking. I have a recipe Carob Buckwheat Waffles or Pancakes (Gluten Free, Dairy Free) that the kids actually like!
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