behavior problems in our daughter. Her immune system has always been weak, but I only recently learned that this is likely the cause of her issues with grains as well. In consulting with our homeopath I've learned that, while most kids have a very strong immune system by the time they are 2 years old, some kids' immune systems don't fully develop until 8-12 years of age. My 5&1/2 year old daughter seems to fall into the latter category (given her history of illness and enlarged tonsils), whereas her little brother definitely has a more robust immune system even though he is only 2&1/2.
This means that my daughter's immune system is reacting to grains, which leads to a nervous system response that manifests as poor behavior. If she eats gluten grains, the next day my daughter will be overly emotional and have meltdowns repeatedly over things that seem trivial. She can handle small amounts of white rice and soaked oatmeal, but if we overdo those she has the same behavior issues. The homeopath says it's likely that her grain issues will spontaneously resolve on their own once her immune system develops fully. That is great news!
In the mean time, the homeopath recommended that we try a few other grains to see if she can tolerate them. Quinoa is one that we've tried before, but my daughter really doesn't like the flavor so we don't know whether or not it gives her any issues. One grain we had never tried before was millet, so I decided to give it a shot. My daughter LOVES millet porridge, and it gives her no behavior problems even if she eats it for breakfast every day! My husband and I also really enjoy the flavor of millet porridge. (My son isn't much of a porridge/starch/bread-eating kid regardless of what it is made of; he'd be happy to subsist on meat, pickles, fruit, and dairy. He will occasionally eat millet porridge, though.)
[As a side note, my daughter was on the strict GAPS Diet for over 18 months. It definitely improved her immune system and sleep, but over time her weight gain stalled. Given that she has always been underweight (as you can see in the picture with her brother who is three years younger), and that my husband and I were suffering worsening adrenal problems on GAPS, we decided to stop the diet. It seems that our health problems are too deep for diet alone to solve, but I'm hopeful that homeopathy will be the additional boost we need to regain health.]
Recipe: Millet Porridge
Millet has a very neutral, almost bland flavor that makes it a great base for porridge. It soaks up lots of liquid when cooking, so a little millet goes a long way. I like to make plenty of millet to last throughout the week, and then just reheat single servings in the toaster oven or in a small pot on the stove.
- 1 cup organic millet
- 2 cups of filtered water, for soaking
- 2 Tb raw whey (or substitute lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt)
- 3.5 cups filtered water, for cooking
- 1 tsp celtic sea salt
- 4 Tb (half stick) butter, preferably from grassfed cows
- Additional butter and raw honey for drizzling over each serving
- Optional add-ins:
- Chopped pears
- Chopped apples and a dash of cinnamon
- Sliced bananas, chopped crispy pecans, and a dash of maple syrup
- Blueberries with maple syrup or molasses
- Carefully sort through the millet, looking for small pebbles. I always seem to find at least one pebble each time I make millet, so don't skip this step!
- Combine the millet, 2 cups of filtered water, and whey in a glass bowl. Cover the bowl and allow the millet to soak for 8-24 hours.
- Pour off most of the soaking liquid, and then combine the millet, salt, and 3&1/2 cups of water in a medium pot. (If you want your millet to be tangy, feel free to cook it in the soaking water and just reduce the amount of additional water you add.)
- Bring to a low boil and skim off the foam. Add the butter and cover the pot. If you like, you can stir in some chopped apples at this point.
- Reduce the heat to very low. Set a timer for 20 minutes and allow the millet to cook, stirring occasionally. If necessary, stir in another 1/2-to-1 cup of filtered water towards the end to reach your desired consistency.
- Turn off heat and serve! Add a little dollop of butter to each bowl, and plenty of raw honey. If desired, you can also add fruit such as pears, apples, bananas, or blueberries to each bowl. This makes it especially easy to add in variety during the week when the leftover millet is consumed. When reheating leftovers, you may need to add some additional water.