It’s hard enough preparing special food for a child with a health condition that requires a special diet. It can often be expensive, and sometimes favorite foods have to be given up by the child. It’s always a worry that the child may inadvertently be given a food that will harm him.
Planning a nutritious diet around the foods that will keep your child healthy takes a lot of time, but once it’s prepared, the single mom shouldn’t have to worry that it’s not being eaten or that it’s being traded for unhealthy foods just because the child wants to fit in.
Once your child becomes more social at school, they don’t want to seem different from all of the other kids. An illness or food intolerance can often make your child stand out in a group of children because of special requirements. When the need is a special diet, take steps early in the child’s life to give him the understanding that may keep him from jeopardizing his health in order to be just like other kids.
There is no such thing as a single diet for all people, and the quicker your child realizes that every family follows certain diets unique to them, the easier it will be for him to accept his own special diet. A diet is, after all, the word that is used for the daily intake of food.
Once the child realizes that diets are often chosen by healthy individuals according to personal preference and lifestyle the more normal his own special diet will seem. Discuss nutrition with the child when the opportunity presents itself. Explain that there are people who choose diets without meat or even wheat simply because they believe it is a healthier diet. Some people go on diets to lose weight, while others use diets to gain weight. There are diets for athletes and diets for acne.
When your child starts school and eats with other kids, ask him about the food preferences of his classmates. Point out that some moms sent sweet snacks in the lunch bag while others send fruits and vegetables. It’s all just a matter of dietary preference of the family.
By no means teach the child that his diet is of little consequence. Make sure he understands the need for his special diet and the problems it could cause if it wasn’t followed. The important thing is to let the child know that even though his diet is based on health issues, a special diet doesn’t set him apart from everyone else.