Back to School: Attention Moms & Dads
Written in collaboration with Katie Maguire, PKU Adult and 2nd grade school teacher
I don’t know about you, but it was stressful for my parents sending me off to school in September knowing that I would be making many food choices on my own without them present.
ALL children should be able to make healthy food choices. Children with PKU, MSUD, TYR or other metabolic disorders are no different.
Learning healthy choices can begin at a young age when you grocery shop and prep food in the kitchen together.
10 Low Protein Lunch Tips for Back-to-School
Pack lunch in fun, creative containers in all different sizes.
Use an insulated lunch tote with ice packs to keep food and formula cool.
Make lunch colorful with a small amount of different veggies, such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow peppers, etc.
Prepare, weigh and measure food ahead of time to speed up mornings.
Give your child a low protein “surprise” snack like homemade cookies or a cupcake.
Write a special ‘good job’ note or include a sticker 2-3 times a week.
Send formula in a fun re-usable drink container or sports bottle.
Plan ahead with a 5-day menu to ease grocery shopping and food prep.
Try a ready-to-drink formula if unable to mix formula at school.
Involve your child in shopping, prepping and weighing their own lunch.
Ask your clinic about Ready-to-Drink Formula for school children
Periflex® LQ is a great tasting, ready-to-drink that provides 15 g of protein equivalents with 0 mg of PHE. (For PKU Only). Great for school lunch!
Nutricia also offers the Lophlex® LQ line of Ready-to-Drink formula options for Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), Tyrosinemia (TYR), Homocystinuria (HCU) and Phenylketonuria (PKU).
Lophlex LQ is a low volume, quick and easy way to get 20 g of protein equivalents.
As always, check with your dietitian if these products are appropriate for your child prior to making any changes to their diet.
Ask your clinic about Periflex LQ or Lophlex LQ Today!
Periflex LQ is a medical food for proven Phenylketonuria (PKU). Lophlex LQ is a medical food for proven Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), Tyrosinemia (TYR), Homocystinuria (HCU) or Phenylketonuria (PKU). Must be used under medical supervision. Please consult a metabolichealthcare professional prior to making any changes in your child’s diet.
©2018 Nutricia North America
What to say to your child
While your child is not old enough to manage their metabolic disorder alone, it is valuable for them to begin to better understand their diet and treatment. When speaking with your child about their metabolic disorder, the following tips may be helpful:
- Use simple examples to explain ideas
For example, when explaining to your child why their metabolic diet is important, it may be helpful to relate the diet to that of a food allergy. Speak with your metabolic team who will also have information about books to read to your child to help him or her understand special diets.
- Let your child know they can say “no”
If you haven’t already, teach your child to ask you before eating unfamiliar foods, and that it is OK to say no to anyone who offers food that is unfamiliar or off limits.
- Tell your child it isn’t his or her fault
A child may not understand why he or she has metabolic disorder when others do not, and may think that he or she did something to ‘deserve’ it. Explain to your child that everyone is born with different qualities, such as hair and eye color, and a metabolic disorder is something that people are born with, not something that anyone causes. Reinforce to your child that he or she is special, and that this special way of eating is to keep him or her healthy.
- Stay positive.
Sending the right message about foods and treatment is important. It is better to talk about off-limit foods as “high-protein,” “no,” “red” or “stop” foods rather than “bad” or “naughty” foods. Help your child accept and manage their metabolic disorder as he or she grows. Never say anything negative about the food or formula to your child. This special way of eating is to keep him or her healthy.
- You’re not alone
Talk to your child about other people you know who are on a special diet, even if they are adults, so your child knows that he or she is not the only one on a special diet. Get involved! Go to a local metabolic or National event.
Click here to view upcoming events and metabolic support groups across the nation.
*Reference Source:Adapted from – My PKU Binder. National PKU Alliance. Chapter 5: Ages 3 to 6 Years, Page 41.