Grains & PFAPA – What you need to know

Grains are one of the things that many people look at first when they are thinking there is a food connection to their health. Specifically we have heard a lot about wheat and gluten and primarily ALL of the clients that come to me have attempted or have completely removed these from their child’s diet. However, it is far more complex than that.

What are grains?

Grains include more than just wheat/gluten. They also include CORN, and OAT, and these items I see in the diet in replacement of wheat/gluten. But in some instances (personal differences) these are actually causing MORE harm than possibly a whole wheat. However, when it comes to inflammatory responses and inflammation grains are a MAJOR contributing factor, if not the first contributing factor in this process.

Are there exceptions?

Rice. Wild, or brown are great options that still contain nutrients, and are mild for everyone I work with (unless you have been told you have a rice allergy, although I haven’t met anyone yet with that). 

Quinoa. As long as it’s from a gluten free facility, this is OK. 

Non Grains but Starch

Potatoes. Most of the time any and all are acceptable for starchy carbs. However, there are certain rare instances that only CERTAIN types of potatoes will work. That is VERY individual and needs guidance from a professional. 

Starchy Vegetables – almost always acceptable. Again there are rare instances or specific vegetables that might be reactants for your child, but that would be determined by either testing at a physician office, or with a practitioner like myself.

What does this mean in terms of diet?

Your child gets LOADS of carbs from really great sources like vegetables, fruits, and other foods like meats. We do try to get in some rice, potato daily as well. But don’t be fooled into thinking there is a NEED for a processed carb source like pasta or noodles, or that your child NEEDS more than potato or rice. They do not. It is one of the biggest misconceptions today. I KNOW that noodles and pasta are easy, HOWEVER, they are completely devoid of nutrients. That means they are worthless in helping your child with their immune system. In addition they BECOME the meal, vs. being part of one. So when you combine something with NO nutrient value, and then nothing more to the meal – you get a completely useless meal. And NO there are not alternative noodles that are better than white, wheat or gluten. You will get the most nutrients out of RICE itself, and I can tell you rice noodles aren’t tasty or delicious. Just eat the rice. 

Get rid of your processed products – they are loaded with grain based items as well, including additional inflammatory chemicals that are hard for the body to process. Think fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts.

One thing I like to share with clients, and I have told you here, is that I have been at this a LONG time. My son started episodes in 2011. I had tried EVERYTHING you can think of to get control over his episodes (before the way I did and help YOU DO now), and I can say FOR CERTAIN there are no short cuts with this disorder. NONE. I have worked with dozens of clients with this disorder, and I can tell you, there are NO shortcuts. When they try a shortcut, they end up back at the drawing table and back with me starting where we left off from THIS place. You cannot outrun inflammatory foods with this disorder. Is there a tolerance level? YES! However, it takes a lot of time with none of these foods eaten daily to get to the point where you can have a tolerance level. And some kids it’s not just one thing, it’s a LOT of things in their life contributing to inflammation. Sometimes it’s far more complicated than JUST the immune response of a fever and its effects on the body. 

Your child should be eating a lot of vegetables daily, fresh fruit daily, limited to no dairy, NO GRAINS, and a starchy carb like potato or rice daily. There should be plenty of healthy fat and protein daily. More than you probably think. The specific guidance on all this comes from my intake to your child, but these are basic guidelines.

It’s time to let GO of the grains. They are just holding you back. The sooner you move to alternative flours, and you get off of white and processed sugars (go all natural), the sooner you LOWER that inflammation for your child. Is this hard – it is hard to start, but it’s not hard to maintain once you make the change. It’s a “this or that” situation. 

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