Toolkit Tuesday: Food, Mood, Sleep & Poop Journal
We’ve got a short episode today on the My Child Will Thrive Podcast, but it’s a good one! I’m taking you through the importance of the Food, Mood, Sleep & Poop Journal and why I think it’s one of the most powerful and important tools that you can use for your child (and that I used with mine.)
There’s often a lot going on in our lives, particularly as caregivers when we’re trying to maneuver through our child’s health. The Food, Mood, Sleep & Poop Journal is incredibly helpful on this journey because it tracks each and every part of your child’s day, which gives context and insight to your practitioner. We are doing our absolute best with our children, but this helps us understand if we’re missing something on their healing protocol or if we’re noticing slight changes in their temperament based on a snack.
There so much we can gain from the Food, Mood, Sleep & Poop Journal which is why I have it as a FREE tool in the My Child Will Thrive Toolkit. You can access that here.
The Toolkit includes:
- Researched and field tested guides, tracking tools, checklists and cheat sheets allow you to get to the root of what is causing your child's challenges. so that you don't waste time creating them yourself.
- Videos to walk you through some of the more challenging topics you will need to learn to help identify what your child needs.
- Using The My Child Will Thrive Tool Kit gives you a head start so you can focus on what is most important – your child!
I recommend watching the video on YouTube (see below on this page) to see the journal as I walk you through it. I hope you enjoy this episode!
- What the Food, Mood, Sleep & Poop Journal is for. (2:53)
- What the daily journal looks like. (4:23)
- Why we want to use the journal and what we can gain from it. (7:49)
- How to get the My Child Will Thrive Toolkit for free! (11:45)
Resources and Links
Sign up for the free My Child Will Thrive Toolkit
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Articles Related to Toolkit Tuesday: Food, Mood, Poop & Sleep Journal
00:01 Tara Hunkin:
This is My Child Will Thrive and I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, nutritional therapy practitioner, certified GAPs practitioner, restorative wellness practitioner, and mother. I'm thrilled to share with you the latest information, tips, resources, and tools to help you on the path to recovery for your child with ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder, or learning disabilities.
My own experiences with my daughter combined with as much training as I can get my hands on research I can dig into and conferences I can attend have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed, trying to help their children. So sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey. A Quick disclaimer, before we get started.
My Child Will Thrive is not a substitute for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. The information provided on this podcast is not intended to diagnose or treat your child. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before implementing any information or treatments that you have learned about on this podcast. There are many gifted, passionate, and knowledgeable practitioners with hundreds if not thousands of hours of study and clinical experience available to help guide you.
Part of our goal is to give you the knowledge and tools you need to effectively advocate for your child so that you don't blindly implement each new treatment that comes along. No one knows your child better than you. No one knows your child's history like you do or can better judge what is normal or abnormal for your child. The greatest success in recovery comes from the parent being informed and asking the right questions and making the best decisions for their child in coordination with a team of qualified practitioners in different areas of specialty.
Today's podcast is sponsored by the Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. In order to learn more about the summit and to sign up for free, please go to www.mychildwillthrive.com/summit.
2:05 Tara Hunkin:
Hello and welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I'm Tara Hunkin and I'm excited to be with you today to talk to you on Toolkit Tuesday. What is Toolkit Tuesday you ask?
Well, Toolkit Tuesday is the day that we discuss one of the tools that is in the My Child Will Thrive free toolkit, which you can find at www.mychildwillthrive.com/toolkit. And today we're going to revisit one of the most powerful tools that you can find in that toolkit. We've talked about it before on the podcast, but it is so valuable that it's worth mentioning again today. So without further ado, let's dive in. The tool that I want to talk to you about today is the daily journal.
And that journal is to track your child's food, sleep, mood, poop, and everything else that happens throughout the day. I say, it's like collecting golden nuggets when we are collecting this information within this tool because when you pull all this information together, it gives us amazing insights as to what's going on with your child and where the opportunities are for improvement, but also we can see better what's working and what isn't working when you put this type of information in front of a skilled practitioner that has lots of experience interpreting and analyzing this information and using the information in conjunction with your knowledge, deep knowledge of your child as their parent.
Many parents I know also will go through the preliminary at least of analyzing and interpreting the information and then taking that and taking it all and discussing it with their practitioners to find all those great opportunities. So let's start by taking a look at what a food or a daily journal will look like.
4:23 Tara Hunkin:
Now, if you're listening to this on a podcast platform, obviously you can't see what I'm showing right now, but you can later on either just go and download the journal from the free toolkit, or you can go and look on our website, on our Instagram channel or on our YouTube channel and you can see the slides that I'm showing in the video version of this podcast as well.
But for those of you that are listening, let me describe what we have for each day in terms of the information that we're going to be collecting. And then we'll talk about why and what you can gain and your child can gain by doing this. So in our version of this journal, you will have a column for recording all the meals, snacks, and supplements, or medications that your child may be taking at this particular point in time. That time of day they take them at, that's the next column. What beverages have they had at that particular point in time or throughout the day you'll record, you have several different lines to record the different time, the day that they're eating or drinking or taking supplements when they're taking or the supplements or eating or whatever it is they're doing, what is their mood like? What is their digestive system? Did they have any digestive symptoms that you can notice?
You also want to note did they just finish their therapy or did they just have some exercise or are they doing the different points in time and day they're having extra doing some kind of exercise and we'll talk about why that we wanted to have that.
And then we want to record the time of day when it is that they are having a bowel movement. So we're tracking their poop. We want to track the quality of their poop, the color, the smell, all those lovely things. If you aren't comfortable with all that and or you want a shorthand version, you can always use the Bristol Stool Chart, which you can find in many different locations and we'll link in the show notes where you might find one of those. You find the Bristol stool chart and that gives you a number ranking of what your child's poop looks like right now. And that will give us insights into so many different things as either for your clinician or you as a parent.
6:55 Tara Hunkin:
In addition to noting all these different activities and things that they're taking throughout the day and what time and how that relates to their mood, digestion and everything else, we're also going to note the time of day they woke up, what time they go to bed on that particular day and if the night before it, how many times they woke up in the night and if there's anything you noticed about that. And at the very bottom of the page, there is another section that just lets you write any notes, any observations you have throughout the day, if something's, there was a special event that you want to note cause that might've impacted some of these things.
If they had a bad day at school, if they had a fantastic day at school and why you think at that point in time that might be. All those details that you can then pull together with the picture of what they were doing throughout the day.
So why do we do this and what can we gain from doing this? Well, we can find, see so much from gathering this information and once again, as we say with all the tools in the toolkit, it is really important that we're gathering the most complete and accurate information we possibly can.
The old adage that garbage in, garbage out is that if you don't have, the quality of the data is going to impact the interpretation, analysis and interpretation of that data and the decisions that you're going to make from it. So we want to do the best job we can at collecting all the information.
Now, what it does for us though, is for example, we can say, if you have recorded what your child ate for a snack on a particular day and the time and then notice that their mood gets really bad and that snack, it looks like, might not have been the best in terms of helping them with their blood sugar balance. You don't have to be a diabetic to have blood sugar dysregulation.
It has a huge impact on many things, but in particular, on your child's mood. It could be the reason they're waking up in the night is blood sugar imbalance. So we can see from looking at the time of when they eat, what types of things they're eating, all these types of patterns. Also their mood obviously can be,
I mean, I'm sure you've heard the expression hangry when someone is both hungry and angry and that's usually a sign of blood sugar imbalance as well. We can also see from the information that you're gathering when someone might be having digestive challenges and what type of digestive challenge. The example I always love to give is when your child feels unwell after eating protein dislikes protein, that is a sign of poor digestion in particular likely a sign of low hydrochloric acid, because you need high amounts of that in order to, in the stomach, in order to start breaking down those proteins.
10:04 Tara Hunkin:
When someone says, or a child says they, they really dislike or don't want to have protein and that can show up in the food journal, maybe just that you realize that your child is very carb craving, which is a combination, could be a combination of things, of blood sugar dysregulation, and the inability to use other forms of macronutrients to produce energy. It could be that they have a digestive disturbance that doesn't allow them to easily break down fats and proteins so that they can then use those for energy as well.
So this is why all this information together in context makes a massive difference when you're trying to find the opportunities to help your child thrive. This journal is also our reality check because as much as we try really hard to do things, the way that we were asked to do them, or the way that we are personally have chosen and intended to do them, sometimes we don't realize that we've fallen off track and this will help us give that reality check.
Did we really make sure that our child was fully hydrated that day? Or has your child been just not as interested, but you've been giving them putting in front of them, the water or whatever it might be in order to hydrate them, but they haven't actually been consuming it.
So it helps us track all those things because often we think we have it all, we've done everything that we can do, but we don't realize how many interruptions in the programming might've happened for many good reasons that happens to us all. So that's other information that we get. I could probably go on about this for an hour, but I'm not going to, I hope you've gotten an idea of how powerful this tool can be.
11:51 Tara Hunkin:
You can access it in the My Child Will Thrive free toolkit. And in that toolkit, you're also gonna find cheat sheets that will help you with interpreting that information and analyzing it. There are cheat sheets in terms of the interpretation of the food journal and checklists as well.
These are all tools that I use within the RAIRE Method framework for helping you gather information, taking a look at what you're doing with your child and being able to make the best decisions along with your care team for your child, for where they're at right now. If you want to dive into these types of things further with me, I regularly hold workshops, live workshops, within the
My Child Will Thrive Knowledge Vault membership. The ones upcoming is actually on the food journal or the daily journal where we record all this information. We're going to walk through how I would go about interpreting a food journal, using all the tools in the toolkit. It's a live workshop where you can ask questions. You can submit questions in advance.
So if that's something that interests you in terms of diving into this further, make sure you download the free tool at the toolkit at www.mychildwillthrive.com/toolkit and start recording. And then take a look at becoming a member of the My Child Will Thrive Knowledge Vault so you can join us for that live workshop and ask your questions there too.
I have really enjoyed being here with you today. I hope this has been of help to you and I look forward to talking to you about other tools in the toolkit in the future. If you've enjoyed this episode, I would really appreciate it if you would share it with others you think it could benefit.
And if you are listening to this on your podcast platform of whatever choice, if you can rate and review, if that option is available, that's how we get to be seen by more parents like you and I, who are trying to do the best to help our children thrive. Thanks very much. We'll see you again soon. So that's a wrap. Thanks for joining me this week on My Child Will Thrive. I'm so passionate about giving you the tools and information you need to help your child recover.
And as they say, it takes a village. So join us in the My Child Will Thrive village Facebook group, where you can meet like-minded parents and stay up to date on everything we have going on at My Child Will Thrive. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next podcast or over at www.mychildwillthrive.com.
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