Growth Spurt! (And GAPS Pumpkin Pudding)

There’s no point in even replacing his clothes yet! As has been noted by everyone in contact with him, my son has experienced a series of physical growth spurts over the past several months. If you’ve read my book, you know that this is the same kid who literally didn’t grow from age two to age three -one of the many terrifying symptoms he showed before we learned about how conventional “nutrition” just doesn’t cut it for so many kids.

Here are the strategies I’ve been implementing to support him through the physical aspect of his growth spurt:

1. The bin – Actually, this is always there, but now I make sure it’s stocked even more -and with a wider variety of protein and fat, to encourage higher consumption of both. The bin is a tall, clear Rubbermaid filled with foods he can choose freely from all day long. Yesterday I added to it foods we’ve never before eaten -canned sardines and canned oysters.

2. The troops – Because I needed two kid-friends to teach me to eat eggs, and I imagine I might be squeamish about oysters, I’ve asked a friend to come over this evening and “teach” us how to eat the canned sardines and oysters. Like his two kids that taught me how to eat eggs (man, did I ever despise eggs!), I trust he will bring technique and enthusiasm that will win us over to these slimy foods.

3. The puddings – Knowing he would come out of his shower crabby from growing, while he was in there I whipped random amounts of the following together: eggs, coconut oil, butter, pumpkin puree, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, honey, salt. (Because he no longer needs to be on strict GAPS, I also added to this batch molasses -for the gingerbready taste and for the additional minerals.) Sometimes I serve this to him raw, as “pudding”. Today is chilly here, so I baked it until he exited the shower. He loved it. He ate almost the entire mixing bowl full. (In my book, I emphasize not restricting the amount of dense nutrition you offer to your kids, and to yourself when you are in an intensive healing phase like Intro. You can see that I’m still gung-ho about that.) Emergency dishes can be other than puddings, too -the point is to put lots of fat, protein, and other nutrients into an easy-to-consume form. In GAPS Guide 2nd Edition I present an approach for shakes following this same concept.

4. The sleep – I make sure he has even more opportunity for deep rest, as this can do wonders to help a body assimilate the benefits of all that nutrition, to focus on what it needs to do, and also to help him feel stronger and more peaceful during a challenging physical transition.

Because we homeschool/unschool, he always gets lots of opportunities for fresh air and exercise, allowing him to stretch that body and wiggle into its new size.

Now, the emotional aspects are something else. On a spontaneous trip to Ikea last night for an hour of dreaming, my son learned that he is now too tall to play in their ball pit. He was devastated. Later, he sobbed and sobbed over this loss. We talked about what happens when we grow up, how we become ineligible for some activities and behaviours, but newly able to access others. What he doesn’t yet know is that next Tuesday (I like to give him time to feel and process a loss) he will receive a gift honouring his new level of physical, emotional, and intellectual maturity. A relatively small thing, but one that will hopefully support him emotionally and psychologically through the losses experienced as one grows.

In the meantime, I’m off to replenish the bin!

4 Replies to “Growth Spurt! (And GAPS Pumpkin Pudding)”

  1. Hi Baden,
    I am also no longer strictly following GAPS with my son (now 10 and almost my tall height), but like you rely on it more heavily time to time.
    He still fights me on eating eggs, so I am wondering what, if any, tricks you learned in your egg “tutorial.” (Or is there another post about this topic?)
    I also wonder what foods/snacks you load into the bin and whether it sits in the fridge or out. I have had trouble implementing this idea, but see that it would be helpful on many levels. We also continue to homeschool/unschool, and food is still at the top of the list of reasons why. Having my son get closer to being self-directed with GAPS-legal foods would be great progress in our daily lives together.
    I’m off to make a pumpkin custard! Cheers!

    • Hi Seanain,

      Great to hear from you!

      For the eggs, I was highly motivated to learn to eat them and that was key. When I first met them, my boyfriend’s kids were unwilling to eat very much besides boxed macaroni and cheese and grilled-cheese-on-white. While they were learning to eat nutritious foods, eating the food that most disgusted me (!) was my good faith act. I was already willing to have them raw in ice cream and smoothies, and eventually as very dry scrambled eggs and omelettes, but I really wanted to learn to eat boiled eggs and fried eggs, as one was so portable (and their dad usually carried these on their trips) and the other so quick. With boiled eggs, I just had to mash them up with lots of salt and pepper. With fried eggs, I thought about something else while chewing them and followed each bite with something I like, such as bacon. (The kids then applied tricks like these to their own learning curves.)

      My son’s bin sits inside the fridge (takes up 1/6th of our shelf space!). In it generally is: yogurt, pepperoni, a “treat” like coconut chips or a Larabar or an Elevate Me protein bar, seaweed, a can of tuna, cheese, sometimes nut butter, ginger candies, Vitamin C, any of his leftovers from meals. He’s also welcome to all the veggies in the fridge and all fats around the house. With the nut butter, I put a sticker on the jar with the date it needs to last til (i.e., when I am willing to buy another one), so that he is learning how to proportion his favourite food into reasonable serving sizes, rather than rely more on it than on a variety of things. Occasionally I throw in something totally conventional and he is tickled.

      Does that help at all? It really is great and helpful that he can grab himself stuff whenever, and he really enjoys the independence. He and I are just starting to get him cooking and making shakes.


  2. You sound like a wonderful mother.
    Just bought your e-book and looking to start GAPS on Feb 1st.
    Can you please tell me where to find a GAPS friendly bread for school sandwiches?
    Also, I’m picking up I should be avoiding Tapioca? If you have the time could you please let me know why?
    Thanks so much,

    • Hi Anna,

      I apologize for responding so late: My website stopped sending me notifications of comments, so I missed a whole bunch!

      Thank you so much for buying a copy of my book!

      For school, most of us phase out sandwiches and instead provide hearty, savoury foods in a Thermos, or wraps made of lettuce leaves, etc. You will find a list of school lunch ideas in my book, as well as on several blogs. However, for those who want a bread, each family makes their own. I used an almond flour bread recipe from If you Google a phrase like GAPS sandwich bread or GAPS bread, likely more recipes will pop up, too.

      Yes, please avoid tapioca while doing GAPS. It’s starchy, thus aggravating for the gut until healing is complete.

      All my best,

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