Wednesday, January 9, 2013

FREE WEBINAR: Unlocking ADHD and Autism Through FOOD Choices.

I wanted to let you know about a great opportunity! Nourishing Hope is offering a FREE webinar this Thursday, January 10th @ 5:00 (PST) on Unlocking ADHD and Autism Through Food Choices-6 Keys For The New Year.

You will learn:
-Six Keys to helping your child improve through diet and nutrition.
-How diet and nutrition choices help children with autism, PPD, ADHD and other childhood     conditions.
-The scientific connections between diet and symptoms.
-Easy methods for starting GFCF or evolving your child's diet to the next level.
-Immediately available support tools to help improve and sustain your journey.

I am looking forward to it! If you plan to join me, please register here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Smart Guide to Food Dyes {printable}

Did you know that Mars has removed all artificial dyes from Starburst Chews and Skittles, and has begun removing all dyes from M&M's in the UK but not in the U.S?

Did you know that Kraft Lunchables do not contain artificial dyes in the UK, but do contain them in the U.S?

Did you know that synthetic food dyes are added not only to Fruit Loops and Popsicles, but also to butter, the skins of fruit and the casings of hotdogs?

You can read about this and much more in this great PDF, Smart Guide to Food Dyes: buying foods that can help learning.

I was so excited when I stumbled on this reference guide! It is one of the best I have seen. Besides great information, it contains a handy chart that breaks down different behaviours/symptoms and the dyes that are known to trigger those behaviours. (aggression, hyperactivity, eczema, insomnia, etc.)

I hope you will find this as helpful as I did. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sorry I Was Gone So Long.........

Wow! I can't believe it's been almost three months since my last post. I wish I could tell you that my computer crashed or I have been living on a remote desert island for the past few months...... but the truth is I have just been CRAZY busy with life! 

I wanted to announce the winners from our April Sensory Game Giveaway: Rachel and Annette. They each won a laminated copy of the sensory game. (I apologize for forgetting about this until just recently.) Please email me with your info so I can get those sent to you right away. 

Have any of you been struggling with consistency with your "difficult" child this summer? I know I do every year. This summer has been the best so far.....I hope to share a few summer secrets with you later this week. I am also in the processing of putting together a blog directory for moms just like us! This will be a way for mothers of "difficult" children to connect and find blogs that are encouraging and informative. 

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful summer! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Is It Rough? Is It Smooth? A Game for Sensory Play {free printable and giveaway}

While browsing through the children's section of our local library, I came upon the book Is It Rough? Is It Smooth? Is It Shiny? by Tana Hoban.

Unlike so many other sensory books that contain cartoon illustrations, the author used photographs of real life images to present a variety of textures for children to explore. I loved the book and was inspired to create a set of flashcards to be used as an educational companion to the book. (I'm sure this book is available at most libraries, or you can purchase your own copy by clicking on the above image.)

I have created a printable version of my game for all of you to enjoy! (This is my first printable attempt~please let me know if there are any technical difficulties:-) I have included an instruction sheet with multiple ways the flashcards can be used for fun sensory play with your child. These games can be enjoyed with or without the book, so print away and have fun!
Click Here to download Is It Rough? Is It Smooth? A Game for Sensory Play

I would like to offer a laminated version of this game to two of my readers! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment. 

~additional entries~

1.) "like" Hope for the Difficult Child on facebook. (leave a comment letting me know you did.)
2.) subscribe to receive our encouraging posts straight to your inbox. (please leave a comment letting me know you did.)
3.) share this giveaway on your facebook wall or blog. (please leave a comment letting me know you did.)

This giveaway will close Wednesday, April 25th @ 8:00pm. 

These Five of Mine

Growing Home

Are you encouraged here? I invite you to subscribe to Hope for the Difficult Child (it's free!) and receive our latest posts straight to your inbox.  Connect with us on facebook and receive updates not posted on our blog. 

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Berry-Banana Smoothies {or how to enjoy your daily dose of vitamins!}

Smoothies are regular breakfast fare around our home. They are so healthy and delicious! My children have no idea of all the healthy "extras" I sneak into their smoothies.  Virgin coconut oil, flax seed, powdered herbs and powdered probiotics are just a few of the healthy additions that can be disguised in a delicious breakfast smoothie. I always feel like I am giving my children a great start to their day when we begin the morning with a power-packed smoothie!

One thing I am always sure to put in our smoothies is a few teaspoons of Daily Boost Herba-Smoothie from 

Daily Boost Herba-Smoothie

The Daily Boost Herba-Smoothie is a combination of Siberian ginseng, Hawthorn berries, Bilberry fruit, Ginkgo Burdock root, Horsetail/shavegrass and Oatstraw. It comes in a powdered form so that your body can easily digest and assimilate the herbs. You can read about the vitamin and mineral content of each of these herbs at the Bulk Herb Store. They also carry a Circulatory Herba-Smootie and Heart Healthy Herba-Smoothie, as well as plain powdered herbs to make your own combinations.

Here is a great basic smoothie recipe that I use to make my Berry-Banana Smoothies:

1 cup yogurt, kefir or coconut milk (I use plain whole fat yogurt)
1-2 cups frozen fruit (I used banana, strawberries and blueberries)
1 cup juice (orange juice or pineapple juice)
1-2 Tbls sweetener (I do not find it necessary to use sweetener if I use my frozen summer produce.)
1-2 Tbls coconut oil (optional)
1-2 Tbls flax seed (optional)
1-2 tsp. Daily Boost Herba-Smoothie

You can create a smoothie for virtually any diet with this basic recipe.  Don't be afraid to experiment with vegetables in your smoothies as well. I once made a smoothie using fresh kale and my children loved it! In fact, they have been asking me, "Mommy, when are you going to make that green smoothie again?"

Here's a great recipe and video tutorial from the Bulk Herb Store for some more smoothie inspiration! Enjoy!

We are linking up with

Growing Home

Are you encouraged here? I invite you to subscribe to Hope for the Difficult Child (it's free!) and receive our latest posts straight to your inbox.  Connect with us on facebook and receive updates not posted on our blog. 

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Josiah's Story

{A very big thank you to Leah from Practicing Joy for sharing her story. Please visit her encouraging and informative blog to learn more about their lovely family. I highly recommend her post series: Parenting a Strong-Willed Child.}

Anticipating the birth of our third child was a sweet time.  I looked forward with excitement to baby days filled with nursing, holding, and rocking a little one again.  It had been almost 6 years since I’d held a newborn baby, and I couldn’t wait to meet the precious little boy God was knitting together in my womb.
What I most remember from the day I met Josiah was the crying.  From the beginning, he was more sensitive and cried more often and more intensely than my first two children.  He refused to be rocked and only let me hold him standing up.  By 5 weeks old the pediatrician confirmed her early suspicions that he was suffering from GERD and she prescribed an acid reducer which gave only slight relief.  For the next 8 months eating became a battle.  He began vomiting my milk, and by 3 months he had weaned himself by refusing to nurse.  We put him on soy formula since he didn’t seem to tolerate milk and hoped things would improve.  They did—he didn’t throw up anymore.  Other than that, eating was still a fight.  At 5 months Josiah was hospitalized and tests were done that medically confirmed his pediatrician’s diagnosis, but the information did little to help his symptoms.  He would go for hours and refuse the bottle, then become so hungry he would eat ravenously to make up for his missed meals.  This kind of eating only made his GERD worse, but there was little we could do to change his eating patterns.  The ever-moving Josiah learned to walk at 9 months of age, his crying stopped, and the GERD symptoms disappeared.
After a few months reprieve, new issues developed.  At age 1, we switched Josiah over to whole milk and celebrated our escape from soy formula.  Within weeks, he developed his first ear infection after a bout with RSV.  For the next year our son was constantly fighting off ear and sinus infections and went through several courses of antibiotics.  We suspected a milk allergy but testing was negative so he stayed on milk.  That year he had two sets of tubes and his adenoids removed.  We breathed a sigh of relief when the final surgery gave way to good health.
The terrible twos came and went.  They were more intense than with my first two children, but by this time we knew everything was more intense with Josiah so didn’t give it much thought; we just felt exhausted.  However, by the summer after his third birthday, Josiah’s behavior was unmanageable.  He was constantly hitting his siblings, yelling, throwing fits, and interrupting.  Toys did not interest him; the way he kept busy was by bothering others.  He had very little impulse control and cried at the littlest frustration.  My husband and I grew more concerned when he began plugging his ears and yelling.  But mostly, I was discouraged, not knowing what to do with this child I loved so much but could not control even though I did everything I knew to discipline him.  I did the only thing left to do, prayed and begged God would intervene and give us wisdom to help this precious little boy.
In desperation, I took Josiah to his pediatrician.  She sent us for psychological testing and because of my background in special education, I suspected he would be diagnosed with ADHD.  While we were in the process of having Josiah evaluated, I began to research the Feingold diet I had read about in college during my teacher training.  My son was 3 ½; if he was diagnosed with ADHD I wanted medication to be our last resort.  After visiting Feingold’s website, I ordered materials and began to read everything I could about managing ADHD with diet.
Our first days of Feingold added more tension to an already tense situation as we walked on eggshells over what Josiah could and could not eat.  We made quite a few mistakes at first.  But within days, we knew there was a link between food and Josiah’s behavior.  By the time his ADHD diagnosis was given to us, it was not devastating because we had hope.  Josiah had been meeting with a social worker at that time, and she noticed a change immediately after we implemented Feingold.  “What are you doing different?” she asked us.  When I told her about the change in diet, she encouraged us to continue.
Our first step in diet changes were in removing artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, along with many fruits and a few vegetables that also seem to cause behavioral issues in sensitive children.  The changes were wonderful.  I kept a food diary and quickly spotted other foods that were causing reactions in Josiah.  We removed corn sweeteners, chocolate, and MSG with good results.  During this time we were dealing with many mysterious digestive issues in our older children that had doctors baffled, and watched in amazement as their symptoms also disappeared on Feingold.  After a year of these diet changes, a regression in Josiah’s behavior led us to remove milk (casein), gluten, and a few corn derivatives.  A majority of children are helped by Feingold alone, but it seems Josiah needs to follow a GFCF diet (also sometimes recommended for children with ADHD symptoms) to get the most benefit.   
Looking back, I can see signs of Josiah’s food sensitivities from birth.  His intolerance to cow’s milk is most likely what made him vomit when he was nursing (since I consumed dairy in my diet), and he probably had sensitivities to ingredients in his formula that continued to aggravate his GERD.  Many children with milk intolerance also have chronic ear infections—that is what had made us test him for a milk allergy in the first place, but intolerance does not show up on a blood test.  While investigating Feingold, I learned that one symptom of salicylate sensitivity was ringing of the ears; is that why he covered them and yelled?  My prayer now is for healing in his gut so that perhaps someday these sensitivities will fade.
It took over a year and a half of diet tweaking, but today Josiah shows very few symptoms of ADHD.  I never get over the wonder of watching him play with toys, something he rarely enjoyed as a toddler or early preschooler.  He loves being with his brother and sister and can play with them happily for hours.  This little boy who once seemed so strong-willed and defiant now responds well to discipline.  In our home school he is learning to read, write, and loves math.   His frustration level is much better, sensory issues have faded, and he is very accepting of his special diet because he knows it helps him feel and act better. 
It’s hard to know what the future holds, but every day with Josiah is a miracle to me.  After 5 years, I am finally getting to know and enjoy who he really is.  It reminds me of a verse in Joel 2:25-26, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you.”  God has restored our little boy to us, and we are in awe of the ways He can transform lives, not just physically but also spiritually.  We hope our story will encourage others to persevere in praying and looking for natural solutions to help children with ADHD.  But more than that, we hope Josiah’s physical healing will help point people to a spiritual healing that can only come through knowing our true Savior, Jesus.
We are linking up with:
Creative Juice Thursday @ Momnivore's Dilemma

Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling

Growing Home

These Five of Mine

Are you encouraged here? I invite you to subscribe to Hope for the Difficult Child (it's free!) and receive our latest posts straight to your inbox.  Connect with us on facebook and receive updates not posted on our blog. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Highly Recommend...........

Healing Autism and ADHD is a great site I recently discovered. This is a mom who has certainly done her homework and her site provides a wealth of information on healing through diet. Her recent article Artificial Food Coloring is Evil is a must read for mothers of difficult children. I hope you'll check it out:

Since this study, the U.K. banned artificial food dyes in 2008 and demand manufacturers use natural ones. U.S. companies use natural products in the U.K., while continuing to use artificial dyes in the products sold in the U.S.  Here’s something to chew on:
  • Aunt Jemima Blueberry Waffles contains no blueberries. The blue “bits” are Red 40 and Blue 2.
  • McDonald’s strawberry sauce, well it’s actually “McRed40″ sauce. (The U.K. gets real strawberries)
  • Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats Blueberry Muffin has no real blueberries. Their “blueberry crunchies” are made with corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and the colorful combo of Blue 2 and Red 40.
  • Kraft’s Guacamole Dip doesn’t get its greenish color from actual avocados. It gets it from the dye combo of Yellow 5 & 6 and Blue 1.