Hello. My baby girl (19 months) was completely average size until she dropped to 3% at 12 months. This diagnosed her as FTT and she's still in that percentile this week at her 18 month well-baby visit. The Ped called in for blood work - thinking it was thyroid issues as I had thyroid cancer and my husband is hypothyroid. Turns out her celiac test came back at 100+ (when it was supposed to be under 4). I'm waiting to receive a copy of the blood work so I'll know the name of the test. She has an appointment with a Pediatric GI in 1.5 weeks.
So, now, where do I start? I get that I'm supposed to remove all wheat and gluten from her diet, but HOLY CRAP, that sounds scary!! We have healthy diets in our house, but I have no issues with snacking on pretzels and cheeze-its and enjoying junky food every once in a while.
I'd really love to hear from some of you that have BTDT with kids. The youngest should be easy enough to switch her diet, but I'll eventually have to work the whole house over, right? I'm not sure the 7 y/o and 3 y/o will be thrilled with not seeing bread and rolls and cereal and other things.
Basically, I need both reassurance and a game plan. I am 100% committed to helping my baby girl and absolutely willing to change everything in our house, but I don't know how as I've always been a "fly by the seat of my pants" meal maker.
Thank you for any guidance you can provide. :)
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
Well, hoping that things in general improve from here for you (and your kiddo).
We have 1 kid with several food allergies (nuts/peas/green beans). These are certainly less pervasive than wheat but we do sometimes have peanut butter or nuts in the house. I keep those things separate and in a designated spot (where dd2 - the one with the allergy) won't accidentally get them herself. She also knows to ask if foods are safe for her or not (particularly certain kinds - like cookies/baked goods, and she doesn't even eat the cookies set out at her nut-free preschool unless she's specifically told or asks about them - so proud. I do think kids growing up with these issues young do fine and do well being vigilant themselves because they're used to it.).
I was just thinking that the reverse of what we do might be a good option - have a basket or cabinet for the safe/gluten free stuff for your kid (keep the breads/cereals for other people elsewhere -- so they don't get confused. I suspect it's okay to keep them in the house, but yeah - not my own BTDT). If you only have the one person needing the gluten-free foods - freezing stuff (gf bread loafs, other special foods, etc.) is a great help. My friends with these need for their kids definitely do that themselves, so it's easy and always around.
Allergy boards might also be useful for ideas on getting things in order or finding info. Lots of things that are probably usual (fruit/veggies) will still be safe.
As daunting as it may seem it's 100% possible to give ur daughter yummy foods that are gluten free. Almost every recipe can be made without gluten. It takes a lot of dedication and meal planning, And one thing to keep in mind is that you're always better off not eating out or eating at guest's homes.. I speak from experience. So many restaurants give the gluten free menu option but their staff is not properly trained to serve/handle gluten free foods. Technically if a utensil even so much as touches something with gluten and then is used to make something gluten free, the food is technically no longer gluten free. We ran into this issue at a fam member's house where they offered to make a PB "sandwich" (using a rice cake) for my dd.. Not thinking, i agreed and said sure. My poor dd was sick for days and had a horrible rash. Stupid me. The PB jar is contaminated with bread crumbs from every time someone makes a sandwich on bread with gluten! Also, another time we were at a house where the host understood food allergies in regards to cooking/preparing food.. And then mistakenly put dd's gluten free chicken on a serving platter with fried (gluten) chicken.. Yep, not good. Didnt risk giving it to dd and thank God i'd noticed it!! Also- I am gluten intolerant and I am only able to eat grassfed meats.. I am also dairy intolerant BUT if I did have dairy it'd have to be from grass fed cows/goats because I am soo sensitive to gluten that even if the cow/chicken/turkey ate gluten then it will upset my stomach. Sooo, those are just some things to keep in mind. It becomes easier if your whole house goes gluten free and that way you dont have to worry about cross-contamination.
As far as meals go- we love brown rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, and corn meal as substitutes for wheat flour. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's offer a TON of gluten free products such as bread crumbs but they can be a bit pricy. Good to try though and see what you like and then order on amazon for cheaper prices. Chex makes gluten free cereals but we avoid them bc they are GMO.
For sandwiches we use Rudy's brand bread, bagels we use Udi's and I make 99% of our dressings/condiments so that we can assure no gluten (or in our case, no gluten dairy or soy)...
For meals we eat the same meals we did prior to being completely gluten/dairy/soy free.. We just use substitutes for the foods we cant have. It can be challenging but is doable and like i said meal planning and extra effort planning ahead really helps! Best of luck!
You can do it. It just takes some getting used to.
My 12 year old was dx with Celiac Disease by a GI doctor at age 7. She was malnourished and broke her long arm bone simply by falling down on the grass. Finally we were able to get answers. Within a short time after the diagnosis she gained a LOT of weight, looked and acted better, and a lot of the behavioral issues were gone, too.
Because it runs in families we were all tested and turns out my dh has it, too. He had a mild form and also started putting on weight once he went gluten free. ;-)
We are vegetarian, gluten-free, and my dh has diabetes so we try to be diabetes friendly for him, too. And it's doable.
Tinkayada pasta is the best. Believe it or not our local Walmart sells it but you can also get it at Whole Foods. Amy's Kitchen makes a great mac and cheese microwave meal that your child will probably love. Pamela's cake mix (chocolate) tastes like the real thing and I have fooled people many times into thinking it was a "real" cake, not gluten-free. We do a lot of rice, potatoes, and corn tortillas to keep the budget down.
Thanks so much for all the replies. Since I posted this we got a full-on diagnosis for the youngest - the oldest also tested positive (middle kid and I are negative, husband hasn't gone in for his blood work yet). I've also 100% deglutened the entire house and my car. We're on the complete diet and doing well. I'm still struggling with getting meals ready. I really need to meal plan, but I've been saying that for years and never gathered up the motivation to do it...now is my time!
The kids are all doing really well with the food. My oldest (7 y/o girl) had a few tears over really wanting spaghettios (her comfort food) after a bad day at school...so I found a recipe online and need to just make it. I wonder if I could freeze portions?? The middle kid (3 y/o boy) begged for cheese-its and couldn't understand why he couldn't eat them anymore. We will get through this.
Thatcoolmom - will you share your recipe for salad dressings?
USAmma - do you do baked potato meals (as in that's the only thing)? My kids would love that, but I'm wondering what different toppings we could do to make it interesting.
Do you guys pack every meal to take out? It just sounds so...daunting! So far I haven't taken my youngest to a meal anywhere else. I'm missing "take out Tuesday" and "family date night Saturday"!!
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
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