My sweet Cameron is a prime example of the power of food and how it can build health!
Cameron is a full-term twin born in great health with no major concerns as an infant. As Cameron grew into the toddler years we noticed that he was highly intelligent and very intuitive. But, reserved in social situations.
Cameron loved his twin brother and the two were pretty inseparable. Developmentally, Cameron was right on par with his peers. The only red flag was mild eczema on his upper thighs and arms which appeared around the age of two. He also developed an odd, sporadic rash called urticaria which we thought at the time, was a contact rash.
When he was in preschool Cameron was very reluctant to sleep in his bed alone. At the time, I was following the advice of someone who I thought I should and slept outside his room to keep him in bed at night. In hindsight, my efforts to keep him in his room and “normalize” the situation just made it so much worse! Now I was starting to correlate eczema and urticaria a couple of years prior to his behavior.
When Cameron was in kindergarten his behavior at home began to become quite erratic and he was having a VERY difficult time in school concentrating. At home, Cameron was having serious meltdowns which I believed were highly abnormal. Although it is not a clinical diagnosis, Cameron’s kindergarten teacher said he was most likely somewhere on the spectrum and definitely ADD. She said that if Cameron did not eat as well as he did, he would be in a much different place.
We started going to family counseling during this time and Cameron did play therapy. Although I am sure the play therapy did something, I feel like I benefited the most as I was able to identify reactive patterns in myself which I corrected at home. For example, Cameron’s amazing counselor simply told me, “behind every behavior, there is a feeling driving it”. Well, that was HUGE! Every time there was a “behavior” I would just slow the pace down and ask what he was feeling. Then, more importantly, I would let him work through the feeling while I sat with him. This was a BIG learning curve for me and still today an invaluable skill set!
Cameron has eaten a Paleo-ish diet ever since he could eat solid food which is why I think the symptoms we were seeing and still sometimes see today are significantly less than where they could be without the proper nutrition.
Although I have a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, I did not learn the truths about nutrition until after I graduated from college. I started studying everything I could when I had the boys in order to help me fuel them properly!
When Cameron started in first grade we went to a functional medicine doctor who ran food sensitivity and genetic testing on Cameron. We learned he was sensitive to eggs and did not methylate well. We rotate the eggs in and out of his diet and use methylation support daily. These two things helped with some of Cameron’s symptoms.
My goals with Cameron’s nutrition inside our home and at events where I can add input are no gluten, food dye, refined sugar, pasteurized dairy, or inflammatory seed oils! Although this rule holds true for all of my kids, Cameron definitely shows behavioral symptoms first when exposed to processed foods.
My Cameron is an amazing kid who has fought through adversity and knows his strengths as well as his weaknesses. He loves the garden, crafts, and organizing anything! He also is usually my early morning workout buddy!
He knows the importance of detoxification (he loves to work outside and sweat) and hydration. Put this kiddo on a bike in the woods and WOW! He is incredible! There is an amazing difference in Cameron every time he gets a good sweaty workout!
He also knows that he will not feel well if he chooses to eat processed food outside of the home. In my view right now, that’s a good thing! Ultimately, he has to choose, I can’t hover over him anymore after baseball games or at birthday parties as that does more harm than good. All I can do is keep encouraging him to learn the tools that can keep his brain healthy for the rest of his life.
The mission behind this post is to encourage you to keep going with your pursuit of real food for your kids. Behavior is only one symptom that can be powerfully impacted by diet. Remember, lifelong health is built during these early years!
Keep going! I am here to support you!!