When I started Caleb’s Cooking Company, one of my goals was to provide an outlet for Caleb and other kids to express themselves. Whether it’s through Caleb’s Club and just sharing funny pictures, or through blogs and videos where Caleb and other kids talk about their frustration having Crohn’s and being on a special diet, expressing these feelings is important to their growth.
What Other Parents Are Saying About Their Kids on the SCD Diet
I belong to a number of Crohn’s and SCD Support Groups online and read about so many parent’s concerns about their children…their isolation, chagrin, uneasiness and humiliation around being on the Diet and different from their peers. Just the other day, a parent posted on our support Facebook Page, trying to get a sense as to how many other parents’ kids might feel like hers. Here is her post:
Remarkably, over 123 parents responded, indicating the name of the child, when they were diagnosed and how long they had been on the SCD Diet. Each answer varied, but the sheer number of posts indicates just how many parents are using the SCD diet as a part of their treatment plan. It also showed that as much as the diet is working for most kids physically, there is much that we still must do to support our kids emotionally, socially and psychologically.
Being a Teenager on the SCD Diet
Caleb, too often feels ashamed and embarrassed having a chronic illness and being on a special diet. At 14 years old, his social life has become the center of his being, and the last thing he wants is to stand out or be different from his friends. In addition, his friends poke fun (all in jest) when he makes videos and write blogs. I tell him what any parent would – to ignore it, stand above it etc., but for him, he still feels embarrassed. Caleb also feels embarrassed to bring and eat his own lunch at school. Every day I pack a lunch for him and every day, he refuses to eat it. My guess is that he is probably one of the few in his class bringing a lunch and he feels uncomfortable taking it out. He would rather not eat at all, than be different than his friends.
Besides providing food for our kids that looks and tastes like traditional food that the kids are used to, I also hope the company will empower Caleb to not only accept his illness, but help dissolve some of the shame he feels around his new diet.
Every time he looks into the camera and makes another video, telling his story, sharing his feelings or another recipe he loves, I see his confidence growing. Every time, he interacts with another child on Caleb’s Club (especially the younger ones), I see the leader in him developing and flourishing.
Today’s video features three kids who share some of their insights and frustrations about the SCD Diet. The more we understand what our kids are feeling and experiencing, the more we can help support them. You have met these children before: Caleb, Johanna & Matthew.
If you have a child with a chronic illness who might feel alone or like an outcast, send them our way to Caleb’s Club, where he or she can hang out with other kids just like them.
Or, if you haven’t checked out our line of gluten, grain, sugar free pizzas, chicken nuggets or enchiladas, maybe sharing some traditional food with their pals will cheer them up.