So how do you know if your child can tolerate starches at all? The enzyme test results will be an indicator as to whether any starch will be tolerated. Once your child is symptom free and at a healthy weight, then the following “starch tolerance test” can be conducted under the supervision of a dietitian.
1. The child (or individual) must go 3 weeks without any starches at all. Even trace amounts can skew the results. Stick with Group A foods– primarily berries, non-starchy vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. No almonds or peanuts allowed.
2. The child must not be underweight, or have had any diarrhea or vomiting for 3 weeks as well..
3. You will need a box of saltine crackers and a notebook.
DAY 1– note child’s weight and the date. Start with 1 saltine cracker in the morning and write down the time you gave it to your child. Aside from a few sips of water, do not allow child to drink excess fluids when they eat the cracker.
Each square cracker contains approximately 2 grams of starch. Note any symptoms such as bloating, gas, complaints of stomach pain along with the time they occurred. If none, write this down as well and continue with DAY 2 below..
If symptoms do occur, be sure to write down additional liquids and food the child had throughout the day.
Repeat Day 1 again, adjusting other foods and liquids to determine if symptoms were due to a food-combination issue or a starch-tolerance issue. Do not continue to Day 2 if after several tries, a single cracker creates digestive distress. Your child is not ready for starch at this time. If no symptoms occur, move to DAY 2.
DAY 2— repeat Day 1 and add another single cracker at lunch time. Again, if symptoms present themselves, notate additional food and liquids and try to give the child 1 cracker in the morning and at lunch time again. If no symptoms occur, move on to DAY 3.
DAY 3— Add a third single saltine cracker to dinner. Note symptoms if any. If none, move to DAY 4.
DAY 4 — Beginning on this day, you will increase crackers to 2 per serving, 3 times per day. If no symptoms present themselves, you will continue to increase the number of crackers per meal, per day until your child presents symptoms. Once symptoms present, the total number of crackers tolerated on the previous day is the total starch tolerance level.
Day 4 (2 crackers per meal, 3 times per day) symptom free = Total Starch Tolerance Level of 4 grams per meal.
Day 5 (3 crackers per meal, 3 times per day) symptom free = Total Starch Tolerance Level of 6 grams per meal.
Day 6 (4 crackers per meal, 3 times per day) symptom free = Total Starch Tolerance Level of 8 grams per meal.
Day 7 (5 crackers per meal, 3 times per day) symptom free = Total Starch Tolerance Level of 10 grams per meal.
This may seem daunting, but it is the best method to determine exactly how much starch your child can tolerate.
You may add non-starchy toppings that do not require Sucraid to add flavor and keep your child interested in eating the amount of crackers needed. Toppings may include cream cheese, pure fruit raspberry jam, plain yogurt with sliced blueberries, avocado slices with sea salt, peeled cucumbers with tuna (if canned, make sure there is no broth or soy flakes added).