Raising a child with galactosemia can be extremely challenging and it would be best if you were to seek the help and advice of support groups in your area. As your child grows, it may become increasingly difficult to enforce dietary restrictions as children have a natural sense of curiosity that also extends to food. It is difficult to watch all the kids around you eat ice creams and chocolates while you canít even have a glass of chocolate-flavored milk. In some cases, children may carry food from their home but trade it in school with other kids who donít have any dietary restrictions. This makes your job as a parent extremely challenging and stressful and being part of a support group will help tremendously. Parents of other children who have been through similar experiences will be able to share information that will help you guide your kids and may get them to stick to the diet, while it may also help you wise up to the signs that your kids are cheating on the diet!
Keep in mind:
- A diet for galactosemia patients will obviously be devoid of any and all dairy products, from milk and cheese to ice cream and butter. In addition, certain other foods also need to be avoided or restricted. These include foods like shellfish, organ meats like liver and bladder, as well as certain fruits, vegetables and pulses.
- When buying any processed food or medications, make sure to read the labels carefully.
- Look for alternatives that your child can enjoy. Dark chocolate made without milk and fruit ices are a good substitute to regular chocolates and ice cream.
- Be patient with your child as speech impediments may occur and growth and development may be slow. Children usually cope and learn skills if raised in a nurturing and supportive environment.