Top tips for toddlers on
restricted diets

In this section, you will find guidance on how to provide your toddler with a healthy, balanced diet whilst avoiding certain foods as well as practical tips on getting the most from your healthcare professional. You can download our Parents Guide to Seeking Advice from a Healthcare Professional for some top tips.

Living with food allergies
and intolerances

Food allergies and intolerances are both managed by avoiding the food your toddler is allergic/intolerant to, whilst making sure their diet remains healthy and balanced. It is important to talk to your healthcare professional before removing any foods from your toddler’s diet as during the early years of life, balanced nutrition is essential for growth and development.1

Reference

  1. NHS Choices, 2012: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/food-allergy/Pages/living-with.aspx Accessed 24th February 2014.

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Back to top

RXANI130244c Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244e Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244f Date of preparation: February 2014

How to get the most from your visit to your healthcare professional

When you and your toddler visit your healthcare professional for a suspected food allergy or intolerance, your appointment will probably begin with a physical examination and a review of your child's medical history, which will include questions about family history of allergies/intolerances and their symptoms.1 Your healthcare professional is likely to ask you when your child’s symptoms began, which types of foods your child ate around the time the symptoms started, and what other changes they may have experienced in their environment.

To help your healthcare professional, make a note of when your child had symptoms, capturing the date, time of year and how long they lasted. Write down what your child ate, drank and what activities they were doing, to give your healthcare professional a clear picture of the situation.

To help prepare for your visit with your healthcare professional, why not consider coming prepared with the answers to questions such as:1

  • What are your child’s symptoms?
  • When did you notice your child’s symptoms?
  • How old was your child when you first noticed their symptoms?
  • How quickly did their symptoms develop?
  • How severe were / are their symptoms?
  • How long do they last?
  • How often do they happen?
  • At what time of the day / after what event do the symptoms appear?
  • Do the same symptoms happen every time your child eats / drinks a particular food?
  • Do you suspect a specific food is involved? If so, how much does your child need to eat / drink before symptoms appear?
  • Have you consulted another healthcare professional about this previously?
  • If so, what was their advice / course of action?
  • Do you or your family have any known allergies / intolerances?
  • Do you or any other family members have asthma and / or atopic dermatitis?

To prepare for the consultation with your healthcare professional, consider keeping a record of your toddler’s diet. Why not use our Parents Guide to Seeking Advice from a Healthcare Professional?

Reference

  1. NHS Choices, 2012: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/food-allergy/Pages/diagnosis.aspx Accessed 28th February 2014.

Back to top

RXANI130244c Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244e Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244f Date of preparation: February 2014

Coping strategies for mums and dads

When you find out your child has a food allergy or intolerance, it can take some adjusting. Making sure that everyone in the family is getting the nutrition they need can feel like a full time job, so embracing a restricted diet maybe a little overwhelming, but there are simple ways to make it less daunting:

  • Knowledge is power – the more you and your child understand about your child’s condition, the better
  • If you feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts or concerns about your child’s special nutritional needs, it is important to contact your healthcare professional who will be able to provide you with guidance to help you work through your anxieties and to make the situation feel more manageable
  • When talking to your child about their special nutritional needs, take the time to educate them about their condition. A healthy understanding of their own individual dietary needs will encourage them to accept and follow their special diet, as well as developing a sense of independence which is an important stage of growing up
  • Be positive by focusing on what your child CAN eat, making mealtimes, as well as school or nursery snacks and birthday parties, fun
  • Make sure your wider family members and friends are clear on the precautions they should take with your toddler by keeping necessary information to the point and being mindful not to ‘scare’ others into what may happen

We have worked with a clinical psychologist who works with children who have cow’s milk allergy and their families, to develop the CMA – Practical strategies for parents. Here you will find tips and techniques for parents to help you manage and cope with your child’s food allergy and intolerance.

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

Back to top

RXANI130244c Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244e Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244f Date of preparation: February 2014