When my husband and I first began exploring the idea of food freedom – allowing our kids to make their own choices with regard to food – it really helped me to hear about other people’s experiences. Early on, as our kids began to experience that freedom, they made some choices that caused us to cringe. We started to wonder if this philosophy would actually work in the long run. It was great to have a collection of success stories to shore up our confidence.
In a blog post, I’ve already written about my daughter Faith’s food story. On this page, I’d like to share short snippets from my own kids’ experiences that demonstrate how moving toward food freedom can work.
If you have a story that you’d be willing to share on this page, please share it in the comment section. It would be wonderful to have a page full of stories not just from one family, but from many!
Story Number One
All of my children have an intolerance to gluten. While it doesn’t make them violently ill, it does affect them, including tummy aches, headaches and acid reflux. As we’ve transitioned to a mostly gluten-free lifestyle, we talked a lot about the reasons behind this. When the kids have made choices to eat food containing gluten, my husband and I have helped them to be mindful about how they feel afterwards. Still, it’s not always easy to live gluten-free in a country overflowing with gluten-filled choices, and there have been times that all of us have felt a little bit deprived. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I overheard this conversation between my eight year old son and his friend a few days ago:
Todd (eating a snack bag of mini-muffins…as gluten-y as it gets!): Thomas, are you sad that you’re gluten-free?
Thomas (munching on gluten-free potato sticks and strawberries): Well, sometimes, but mostly not. Because I feel yucky after I eat gluten, so it’s not really good for my body. When I eat gluten-free, I feel better. So being gluten-free is a good thing for me.
How exciting it is to know that Thomas is so competent at reading his own body that he doesn’t need me monitoring his every food choice or filling him with fear about what gluten does to him. At eight, he knows about himself what many adults still haven’t figured out: which foods not only bring him pleasure in the moment, but make him feel great, too!