Smoking kid 123rf

Got your attention, didn’t I?

Well, is it safe for a child, sneaking around behind the barn or school bathroom, to quit smoking cigarettes? Of course it is. In fact, it is a wonderful thing for child, and later adult, health.

Similarly, parents sometimes ask: Is it safe to remove wheat and grains from my child’s diet? To help you understand, let me restate the question: Is it safe to remove wheat and grains from a child’s diet, foods not consumed by humans for the first 99.6% of our time on this planet and we are thereby not fully adapted to digesting, made worse by the manipulations made by agribusiness? Is it safe to remove the behavior-altering, gastrointestinally-disruptive, inflammation-provoking, and autoimmune-triggering effects of the seeds of grasses (“grains”) from the dietary experience of a child?

Of course it is. Just as adults experience transformations in weight and health, so do kids. They may, of course, experience more in the way of preventing or avoiding later health problems experienced as adults, but kids benefit just as adults do by eliminating this toxic “foodstuff” mistaken for healthy food.

But beware: Just like adults, children can experience the opiate withdrawal syndrome when the gliadin protein of wheat and related proteins of other grains are removed, showing itself in your child as misbehavior, crankiness, sleepiness, nausea, and anger. But the effect, thank goodness, is transient, but reflective of how awful the stuff was in the first place. And it’s also important to understand that, if your child has been wheat- and grain-free for more than a few weeks, the partial (NEVER total) tolerance that he/she had acquired from prior grain consumption will be lost. It means that any re-exposure, intentional or inadvertent, to wheat or grains will trigger re-exposure reactions: misbehavior, nausea, bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, skin rashes, anger. Any parent knows that is impossible to completely control a child’s diet while they are, for example, at a sleepover or birthday party. But it is important that 1) the child understands that he/she may become ill with any exposure, and 2) how to recognize what foods will make him/her sick. In other words, education of your child is the key. There will be mishaps in younger children, but the lessons will be learned as they get older and better able to navigate diet safely on their own.