How could YOU tell it was Time to try a Gluten Free diet for Your Child ? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-11-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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 And once you started, what recipes or cookbooks did you find the most helpful ?

 

 Is it best to have my child tested first before I change her diet, or should I simply do a month long trial and see if it helps ?

 

 Should you gradually introduce a GF diet to a child who is used to regualr/ non gf foods ?

 

 Where do you start, redoing your kitchen ?

 

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#2 of 10 Old 12-11-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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Well, it wasn't my kiddo; it was me.  I finally had to nix the gluten.  I had ongoing tummy troubles.  I began to bloat after my meals... think 7 months pregnant.  Then I was hospitalized for ischemic colitis.  My celiac test came back normal, but I was desperate for something to work.  Cutting out gluten changed everything.  No more loose bowels, no bloated baby belly, and no more bleeding.  I thank my lucky stars that I tried the gluten-free diet.  I cannot explain how I 'passed' the celiac test.  I have read that the blood test I had is not always 100% accurate.  But, hey, I'm no doctor.  

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#3 of 10 Old 12-11-2010, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.

 

 I have just started reading about gluten sensitivity, so I am just not sure what to do 1st, what foods to buy, what recipes to make,e tc.

 

How do you do substitiutions ?

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#4 of 10 Old 12-11-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I actually don't do substitutions.  Oh, wait, occasionally I will have brown rice pasta.  Since I make my family's bread and pasta at home, I just can't be bothered with making separate GF things for myself, so I just go without.  I have noticed that I make more mexican-inspired dishes, because I have a newfound appreciation for the corn tortilla.  If someone else in the family were GF, I would be more likely to pursue substitutions.  With dishes that have a bread component (chicken and dumplings, for example) I either make the component separately, or I set aside my serving(s) before adding the gluten.  The first few GF weeks were tough, but around the one-month mark I suddenly stopped thinking about bread and pasta.  Looking back, it seems my love of all things wheat/oat was an addiction.  I craved whole wheat bread like someone else might crave chocolate or a glass of wine.  

 

When I first made the change to GF, I read how some people go GF and don't look back.  It's like their 'gluten switch' was turned off.  All things bread and pasta suddenly lost their appeal.  I read these accounts and thought to myself, "There's no way in h*ll that will be me.  I'll be mourning my loss of gluten forever."  Little did I know that it would happen to me, too.  

 

I generally eat whole foods, so don't have to worry too much about sneaky gluten-family ingredients.  One 'oops' I had in the beginning was soy sauce.  I didn't think to check the label.  Not 30 minutes after finishing my sushi, I knew something was up.  My tummy was aching and swollen!  This little learning experience taught me the importance of reading EVERY label.  I now buy Tamari soy sauce.  It is fermented soy sauce... the old-fashioned kind.  

 

I have always eaten a VERY healthy diet.  I tend to rely on traditional foods, organic veggies from my garden, and pastured meats and raw milk from the local farm.  Believe it or not, I think my diet is even healthier now that I am GF.  I replaced the gluten with more veggies, healthy fats, fruits, beans, and rice.

 

That's just my experience, though.  Your experience may be different.  I even know one family that is GF that will 'cheat' for special occasions with minimal effect.  To me, this would be torture.  One slice of traditional pizza is just not worth the tummy pain to me!

 

An unexpected, though much appreciated side effect?  I don't get that sluggish, brain-dead feeling much anymore.  I noticed it really only comes around if I take in processed sugar.  Maybe I just have a sensitive little system.  shrug.gif

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#5 of 10 Old 12-16-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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I started out doing it because DD had bad constipation, and I suspected dairy was the culprit.  Then I read that gluten and casein intolerance are often related, so I figured, why do one and not the other?  So we cut both from our diet.  Then I realized that I wasn't bloating anymore either, or have alternating constipation and diarrhea (I had chalked it up to pp hormonal weirdness).  I also used to get the bloating after every meal.  I thought it was normal!  Then I wondered if that was the  reason DD had almost dropped off of the charts after starting solids.  We fed her lots of bread.  All the time.  :(

 

So we just stopped eating grains except for the occasional tortilla, bowl of rice, or brown rice noodle.  I bagged all wheat and dairy products up and gave them to a friend.  It seems to have done the trick.  I am hoping to add homemade long fermented sourdough bread eventually.  We have started to drink some milk kefir, too.

 

We now eat fruit, eggs, fatty meat and/or veggies at every meal.  I use lard, pan drippings, or the fat skimmed from my bone broth to cook the eggs and veggies.  DD seems to be thriving and I feel great.  My boyfriend dropped a bunch of weight, and I've started building muscle mass.  I don't know if it was that DD was actually intolerant, or if all those paleo people are right and grains just arent that good for humans.  :shrug  But it seems to be working.  I feel way healthier eating this way than I have felt say, being vegan, or even accidentally veggie.

 

Some  typical meal at our house might be:

 

Cabbage stew made with left over potroast and bone broth, onions, and garlic, dill and allspice.

Beef borscht made with bone broth.

Bacon, eggs, carrots, and onions.

Carnitas on corn tortillas.

Pears and salami and tomatoes.

Rice, kimchi, and korean BBQ

 

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#6 of 10 Old 12-17-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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I made the change in an effort to heal my kids' cavities. A friend mentioned removing gluten as a possible path to healing, and that it might also help with my arthritis-like pain. It took a month after her suggestion before I finally took the plunge, and within a couple of days I saw big changes in my body - my pain was gone!  DS1's behavior changed from very volatile and uncontrollable to much more easy going and agreeable. That clinched it for me. We had a few slip ups that first week and ever since then we've been quite diligent. 

 

We haven't had any testing done. I've read that most testing requires going back on gluten and I won't do that to us. I may try to spring for genetic testing at some point if it becomes necessary (though I can't think of a reason it would be "necessary" other than my curiosity.)

 

I made the whole house a gluten-free zone. Our biggest issue in the beginning was sandwiches, which the kids had been practically living on (picky? my kids? never! ha.) We wound up subbing corn tortillas for bread in many ways. The kids LOVE quesadillas, and we even make peanut butter and jelly "quesadillas" using corn tortillas. You might want to take it easy on the corn though. I think for a while we were eating way too much and unless it's organic it's pretty much guaranteed to be GMO which it seems can trigger some sensitivity.

 


We do use some subs. We occasionally enjoy rice or corn pasta (the kids love spaghetti noodles.) I really like Bob's Red Mill GF pancake mix, and the Betty Crocker cake and brownie mixes are really good too.  I haven't done much with "gluten-free" recipes because they always seem to call for a bunch of exotic flours. Instead I've had really good luck with the mixes, and with just avoiding gluten foods. 

 

We've adapted many recipes to serve over rice or with potatoes instead of on bread or over pasta.  Favorites include bunless burgers and fries (Ore Ida fries say Gluten Free on the label - yay!); chicken or beef stir fry (I use frozen stir fry veggie mixes or just chop whatever I have on hand) over rice; baked chicken with veggies; shepherd's pie; black or red beans over rice... the possibilities are actually pretty endless.  My kids are really grazers by nature and eat a lot of fruit throughout the day, plus nuts and beans and cheese and yogurt, and they love to eat frozen peas as a snack.

 

I've become pretty obsessive about checking labels. I've found that DS and I both react to trace gluten so I check for "made in a facility that processes wheat" on the label and we really don't eat out much anymore. 

 

Watch out for hidden gluten in foods you wouldn't expect. Most soy sauce is made with wheat, many condiments and candies have wheat in them. Did you know Twizzlers are made of wheat?? Yeah neither did I.

 


Mama to two crazy boys (8/05 & 9/07) and happy wife to one wonderful hubby.
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#7 of 10 Old 12-18-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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My DD had been very sick for about 5 months with a lot of respiratory problems.  After the pediatrician, allergist and pulmonologist all told me that they had no idea why, I started cutting out foods.  I took a bunch of stuff out (dairy, eggs, gluten, etc) and after she got better in just a couple of weeks, started putting them back in until we found the culprit--gluten. Honestly, I don't know if the problem is wheat and/or gluten because we didn't trial non-wheat gluten foods like spelt or rye.  But we just cut it out all together.  She did really well for about a year and a half and then we tried it again.  She seemed to be doing ok with little bits of it here and there so we let her have more and more and it all came crashing down and she got really sick. Gluten came back out again.  

 

We do some GF substitutes--like pancake mix, rice pasta, etc.  But really we mostly avoid foods that would be gluten-heavy and just eat other stuff.  Dinner is the easiest--it's pretty much always meat, fish or beans with either rice, potato, sweet potato or squash and a green vegetable. Breakfast is probably the time we rely on substitutes the most--GF bagels and cream cheese or GF english muffins are big hits with DD.  Otherwise it's oatmeal or eggs and bacon. Lunch is often snack-like--some of this and that: yogurt, nuts and/or seeds, cut up veggies, fruit, GF crackers and cheese. Sometimes we make pizza bagels on GF bagels or quesadillas on corn tortillas. 


Mama to DD (06/30/07).
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#8 of 10 Old 12-18-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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GF pancakes and rice pasta are the primary subs here, too.

I just don't bother with bread. It's just not worth it. (We don't do dairy or egg, either.)

We do tostadas - flat, crispy corn tortillas with refried beans, ground meat, tomatoes, salsa, lettuce and whatever other veggie I can squeeze in there. (You can hide winter squash in refried beans, fyi.)

Trader Joes' wheat free waffles are the best waffle. But, I don't know if they are technically GF. DS is allergic to wheat, so I feel ok with them. It is NOT worth it to me to try to make a GF waffle from scratch. Toaster waffles are an easy breakfast about once a week.

 

I do Amy's gluten-free/dairy-free pizza once a week.

 

There is a great cake recipe in a thread in the allergy forum. That's our go-to cake for times when others are likely to be having a cake.

I buy GF cookies about once a month, more for me than DS.

 

DH still has gluten (bread, mainly) in the house. DS knows that bread is for daddy, and he might be able to eat it when he is bigger. DH wants to get him used to avoiding foods in the comfort of his own home. I still maintain a GF diet, depsite that DS no longer nurses. BUT, our meals are primarily GF. DH was used to cooking and eating like this because he's done Atkins-like diets in the past.


DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#9 of 10 Old 12-20-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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My son has had diarrhea since he was one.  When he was a little over 2, we went to a ped GI who blew us off.  About 2 months after he turned 3, we went GF to see if it would help.  It didn't.  But his speech articulation cleared a little (he's been in speech therapy since 17 months old), he gained a couple pounds quickly, started eating more and sleeping better.

 

Then we went to a grain free, dairy free, sugar free diet and he stopped having diarrhea and gained height.

 

Now, we're back on gluten for testing.  We saw another ped GI at the end of November and trying to figure it out.  You have to be eating gluten for more than 6wks for testing to be accurate.

 

As for subs, the only ones I did were brown rice pasta, Vans GF waffles and almond flour pancakes.  Gluten free bread products do not taste good and are very expensive.  Ds LOVES pizza but wouldn't touch the GF ones.

 

Edited to add that for birthday parties, ds likes coconut ice cream.  The brand we buy (I think SoDelicious) is dairy free, soy free and gluten free.


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#10 of 10 Old 12-22-2010, 08:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmh23 View Post

My son has had diarrhea since he was one.  When he was a little over 2, we went to a ped GI who blew us off.  About 2 months after he turned 3, we went GF to see if it would help.  It didn't.  But his speech articulation cleared a little (he's been in speech therapy since 17 months old), he gained a couple pounds quickly, started eating more and sleeping better.

 

Then we went to a grain free, dairy free, sugar free diet and he stopped having diarrhea and gained height.

 

Now, we're back on gluten for testing.  We saw another ped GI at the end of November and trying to figure it out.  You have to be eating gluten for more than 6wks for testing to be accurate.

 

As for subs, the only ones I did were brown rice pasta, Vans GF waffles and almond flour pancakes.  Gluten free bread products do not taste good and are very expensive.  Ds LOVES pizza but wouldn't touch the GF ones.

 

Edited to add that for birthday parties, ds likes coconut ice cream.  The brand we buy (I think SoDelicious) is dairy free, soy free and gluten free.


Interesting. DS1's articulation became much clearer after dropping gluten as well.

Mama to two crazy boys (8/05 & 9/07) and happy wife to one wonderful hubby.
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