Family support is critical to success

It’s so important that everyone in the family is on board. Since I was the main parent responsible for feeding my son, I would drink the smoothies with him so he didn’t feel alone with his new diet. His 3 year old sister would drink them too (mostly). We would clink glasses, and down our smoothie’s together. I made 3 smoothies per day for a long time, then tapered down to just one, which he drinks daily now. The smoothies got better tasting after the first week. On day 7, I started adding a small amount of berries to his green smoothies, and from then on I never heard a complaint. We made all sorts of delicious combinations with mostly veggies, and some fruit to sweeten.

When we sat down for family meals, I didn’t put anything on the table that my son couldn’t eat. We all got use to eating vegan alongside Cole. It really wasn’t so hard for us considering there was a variety of different vegan meals we all enjoyed like lentil soup, black beans and rice, veggie chili, pasta with vegetables, just to name a few. We first introduced a processed food, pasta, on day 52. The first pasta he tried was made of garbanzo beans. Pastas are made out of various beans and grains. Cole wasn’t a big fan of this kind, so we quickly moved to 100 percent brown rice pasta. When your child can tolerate a few processed foods, there are so many gluten free options of bread, pasta, and crackers to choose from. It just takes a little time and effort to find the brand your family will like. My entire family likes flavors from various cultures, so it was easy to go Mexican, Asian or Italian using herbs and sauces to spice up the recipes. The Paddison Program has some wonderful healthy vegan recipes you can follow.

When it was time for Cole’s 6th birthday, he had only been on the Paddison Program for one and a half months. At this point his blood work was normal but his swelling had not improved. I didn’t know what I was going to do about making a cake or cupcakes since I always baked using dairy, eggs, and wheat flours. I wasn’t much of a baker. Only baked for family birthdays and holidays. But I found some wonderful recipes online that were vegan and gluten free. And if you find a recipe you like that includes an egg, it’s so easy to replace. You can soak one tablespoon of flax or chia seed in 2 tablespoons of water until it becomes gelatinous. For those of you that never baked gluten free, there are flours made from almond, coconut, tapioca, arrowroot, buckwheat, rice, and more. I would avoid almond and coconut in the beginning until you know those foods are tolerated. Like I mentioned before, I assumed nuts were fine for my son because they were vegan and included in the paddison diet, but Clint is very clear to state that you must test foods first once you get beyond a certain point in the diet. I just had no way of testing foods because my son didn’t have pain or stiffness after day 2. I started making baked goods for Cole for every birthday party he would go to. I didn’t want him to feel left out of the celebration when he couldn’t eat the birthday goodies. He was perfectly happy with his own special treat. He soon had his favorites and would ask me when he knew he was going to his next party.