We are now 5 weeks into my son’s gluten-free elimination diet. The time is flying by! We’ve seen enough improvements to know that our 6 week trial has turned into a lifestyle change. At this point my son, Evan, is no longer suffering from constipation. That in and of itself has made this worth while! He is also not waking in the middle of the night screaming with stomach pains. I believe that he may have been in pain and discomfort for quite some time and of course being under the age of 2 he couldn’t express it in words. We have seen no change in some of the behavioral issues (such as stimming) but maybe we will in time. Then again that may just be part of Down syndrome and not related to gluten at all! In any case he seems much more comfortable and we know he must remain gluten-free!
I know I haven’t checked in with our progress in a couple of weeks so I want to share what has been on my mind!
Evan’s birthday! – Evan will be 2 on Monday! I can’t believe it! Birthday’s mean cake, right? Cake? Well that is gluten city! Off limits! Oh and there is the whole issue of sending cupcakes to preschool to share with his class! Do I send just one gluten-free for him and regular cupcakes for everyone else? That hardly seems right. He shouldn’t be excluded on his birthday! So I decided I would send gluten-free cupcakes for the whole class. The grocery store sells frozen gluten-free cupcakes BUT they are expensive and I need about 20! Oh and they aren’t birthday fun! Solution? I hit up trusty Google and looked for gluten-free bakeries is my area. I was delighted to see there are a few good options. I have ordered some custom cupcakes from a local gluten-free baker. I’ll be sure to snap some pictures and let you know how they turned out!
Easter! - Somewhere about the middle of the week it occurred to me that Easter candy may not be gluten-free. I suddenly had a big doubt that I could just go to my local department store and find a “gluten-free” labeled Easter basket. Hmmmm… Well I like to make homemade baskets for my children anyway so off I went to jump this hurdle! My son Evan is only 2 years old so that does knock out some options like hard candies because they are choking hazards. So I began by breezing through the Easter section at the department store. I didn’t see too many options readily marked gluten-free so I realized this may be a little more difficult than I thought. OK how about the health food stores? I had some success there but it became clear to me that this is one area I won’t find a lot of GF certified markings. I’m guessing it is pretty common for candy to be made in factories where wheat is processed. Probably even more common that Easter candies with their crispies and crunchies may contain wheat and/or be cross contaminated. I’m not defeated however! Maybe as I become seasoned this will be easier? Maybe someday I’ll just know what candies are safe? I’m also guessing that Play-Doh is not gluten-free?
These are options I have come up with for Gluten-free toddler Easter basket sweets thus far:
- Surf Sweets – gluten-free and dye-free gummy bears & jelly beans (although consider if your child could handle these)
- Enjoy Life – A variety of gluten-free and nut-free chocolate bars were available at local health food stores.
- Sun Cups – Gluten-free and nut-free sunflower seed butter cups
- GoGo Squeez – it doesn’t have to all be candy! These applesauce varieties are all natural and gluten-free! They also come in fun squishy packs!
- Pirate Booty – Individual portion bags of gluten-free cheddar puffs
- Gluten-free cookies from a local health food store
- Want more candy ideas? Check out this list: MyGlutenFacts Gluten-Free Easter Candy
- Or if you want to order gluten-free candy online (there’s still time) check out: NaturalCandyStore.com
- Of course there are always non-food items such as: Bubbles, stickers, musical toys, stuffed animals, books, socks, flash cards, party rings, sunglasses, water bottles, glow sticks, finger puppets
Sometimes it’s hard! – Sometimes I get frustrated! Sometimes after a long hard day ending a long hard week I just want to pick up fast food and call it a night. Just sometimes! Don’t judge! Here is a reality check… most of the items you love at your local fast food joint are NOT gluten-free, not even the french fries and Evan loves french fries. As a matter of fact fast food places have very little in the way to offer gluten-free diets! So yes, I have moments when I wish I could just make an exception. I have moments of wanting to give up and just give him the french fries that he loves, just once. Then I realize by doing so I am making a conscious decision to make him unwell or uncomfortable because I am frustrated. Sigh… that is not fair. He’s only 2, he can’t make that decision. What do I do? Well, I discovered that Five Guys Burger and Fries which we happen to have here locally is all GF (except for the buns) including the FRIES! Yeah, I know I could make GF fries myself but that defeats the purpose of taking it easy after a long hard whatever! I’m going to stop in soon and verify with the staff if their fries are GF (hopefully someone will know)!! For the moment plan B has been to get GF pizza delivery!
Finally I end with lunch! Served in my new Glit & Brillia 2 tiered bento container Evan’s gluten-free toddler lunch contains:
- Bottom tier – fresh strawberries, steam cooked green beans
- Top Tier – Van’s Cheddar Crackers, Hard boiled egg, potato carrot fritter (instructions below) cut into 4 pieces