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Help! request from Liz:

We have been failsafe for about 8 weeks and my daughter is doing amazing. She has lost over 10cm in bloating on her waist and can finally sleep through the night without constant sinus problems. She passed the sals challenge no problems and we are waiting until after Christmas to do the next one.

The problem is school holidays 😩 we are going away with 4 other families for over a week. I definitely don’t want her to miss out on what all the other children will be having (ice creams, trips to the bakery, restaurants, popcorn at the movies….) but I also don’t want her to miss out because she is feeling sick. I guess I’m struggling to get me head around how I can find balance.

Do I throw caution to the wind because it’s only a week or do I try to stay on track and help her make the best of the situation? What is everyone doing over this crazy period?

Supportive answers:

We stay on track. It’s not worth it for us. We have failsafe treats available etc - Carie

I'd stick to it and keep going with the challenges rather than having to go back to elimination for another 3 weeks. If she passed sals may pass another one easily. Just have lots of Failsafe treats available and give her those instead – Brin

Keep with it. Have plenty of alternatives on hand. Explain to her that even though she can't eat everything they do she can participate and that is so much more fun than being unwell and left out. Good luck 🍀 – Karen

I'd keep at it, but perhaps there are sals treats she can have? Eg new fruits and gelato, or naturally coloured jelly snakes? - Celia

At the movies she might be able to have plain chips depending on what ones they sell. If the others are getting icecreams get her a lemonade icypole (some non-strict fs ingredients but not too bad) or a dixie cup. Schweppes lemonade for soft drink. Maybe make some fs treats you can share with the other kids. Buy fs pre-packaged biscuits, lollies – Angie

Easier to keep going. If you make it ok to eat the wrong foods, why would she avoid them later, if it is something she really can’t have. Even the adult in our house, when on fs elimination, kept saying ‘can I have this’, so often, trying to push the boundaries, it nearly drove me crazy - Lisa

I would just keep going. It took my son up to 6 weeks to be back to baseline after some mistakes and challenges – Steph

We just bring FS treats wherever we go that I know my youngest can tolerate. He’s been strict to moderate for 4.5 years - Maria

We always stick to it. My kids still bring up the times their dad said have whatever and that was several years ago! They push boundaries. But I always have our treats etc made up to go away – Mollie

I try to find a new treat or two, or even stop using one now so it's more exciting in a couple of weeks when we start using it again. Treats that she can share with others are a big hit, because then others are eating what she is. Current go-tos for that are milk bottles, Pascal marshmallows, French fries chips and Parkers pretzels. I always have mini packets of foods, as then it feels the same if other people have packets, and the packets add colour. All the best! – Amy (more below)

  • Homemade icypoles (I just bought the Cherub Baby reusable icepole pouchs to use since they have coloured prints), while on holidays you can water down Heinz pear jar and freeze that.
  • Choosing the right dinners I find more important than lunches/breakfasts for my daughter. Chips and bring homemade nuggets or just poach chicken pieces, served with Heinz pear as dipping sauce. Current favourite is self serve meals, e.g. wraps and toppings, rice bowls etc. She doesn't mind missing some choices if she can make her own from 4-5 of the available toppings (though we never put her old favs up like pineapple).
  • In terms of treats, like if the others are sharing lollies or chocolates, I have her lollipops or the milk bottles, but I also have a swap box that has stationery, little cars, balls, mini lego sets etc. So she accepts the food that's handed out, excitedly gifts it to her dad and then gets to choose and item or two from the swap box. I'll be packing the box for our camping holiday.
  • Just be aware that if you choose not to stick 100% and stray too far, it might take you weeks to hit baseline again and therefore longer to be able to do another challenge (speaking from experience!) so I'd stick as close as possible to it, and choose treats wisely, e.g. only every second or third day, from the next column up, but definitely avoid anything in "very high" category.
  • Only other piece of advice is be pre-emptive. See or hear other people getting food ready? Offer to add something to their Platter so she has something she could have. Or if it's something she'll struggle knowing she can't have, then it's the perfect time for you guys to have some family time and go for a walk or something so she doesn't know what she's missing out on. Also making sure they aren't hungry means less likely to be tempted to eat stuff or get caught out and have them eat a big serve of risky food. So we make sure any meal we have control over is full failsafe and filling, so that her bucket is as empty as possible so other things *hopefully* don't fill her bucket up.
  • Also make sure all meals and snacks are done on time, and offered even if she doesn't ask (e.g. busy playing with cousins) means she won't be hungry plus higher chance I can offer the rest of the kids what she's eating.

See also blog Holidays are a good time to do the elimination diet

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