at home, at least.
Restaurants are about indulgence and great taste for us. And, thankfully, Boe’s and DH’s reactions to wheat are not life-threatening so we can afford fun food when we choose.
But here at home, we’ve decided that gluten-free may be good for us. It’s hard!
Much more difficult than cutting out hydrogenated oils and high fructose. We began that so long ago but I know that it was not this difficult! Eliminating artificial colors wasn’t this hard, either. But wheat is in EVERYTHING! And we snack so much on foods made from it. It has been a challenge!
Thankfully, as with the Feingold diet, folks have been at this for awhile now, so there are convenient substitutes. However, they are really expensive – more so than all our non-hydrogenated oil and high fructose-free snacks.
But I bit the bullet and spent a Sunday morning perusing the Gluten-Free section in a local alternative grocery store. So far, I’ve found granola bars (EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Berry Blast) that Boe likes – well, I guess I could say LOVES; he finished his dinner last night (including the veggies) in order to have one of them for dessert. And that was in place of his favorite cookies!
I’m glad that he likes them so much but they aren’t cheap. So, for once in his life his food is being rationed b/c of price not ingredients.
These bars also got him to finish his sandwich which is now made with gluten-free bread (no, I didn’t make it – I’m not there yet). He didn’t like it but he finished it for one of those bars. He misses his “smooth” bread sandwiches and asked if he could have one when he finished the new sandwich (yep, he loves his PB & Honey on Whole Wheat sandwiches so much that he considers them treats). Amazingly, he didn’t have a fit when I explained that we’re going to try this new bread for awhile. But, I immediately offered him one of his new bars so that may have helped.
We also tried a new cereal – also by EnviroKidz (Gorilla Munch). He likes it so I can use it as snacks (he’s not huge on cereal with milk (another common allergen)). Terrific! Cheaper than the bars and portable!
I found some GF animal cookies. I think they taste like cookie dough (which I can eat with ease) but Boe doesn’t hum when he eats them and he left some on his plate so I don’t think that they don’t rank up there with the bars for him. They are good for travel so I’ll keep those on my list of new snacks. He also likes his new graham crackers (S’moreables by kinnikinnick) – again, these hit me hard in the wallet.
I did buy all the ingredients I need for Boe and I to bake some bread and muffins so that’s on the agenda for this week. I hope the bread is softer than the store bought.
I’ve been to a few gluten-free websites and, frankly, this GF baking does not look promising for me. I’m rarely successful with baking anything (even boxed cakes) and the general message to newbies on these sites was “just keep trying”. Not good. But, we’ll do it. It’ll be just another science experiment for Boe. If it ends up that we get to eat it, super!
I’d be thrilled if he’d eat cream-of-wheat style cereals (b/c there are lots of inexpensive GF options with that) but he is extremely picky about textures so I’m not expecting much.
I am using another elimination diet book as we adventure through the world of gluten-free. “Is This Your Child?” by Dr. Doris Rapp is so educational! It’s an easy read, the plans are easy to understand, and the tables of info are really helpful. I like this one as much as the Hersey book.
I’ve learned more about food reactions from Dr. Rapp’s book. The Feingold book dealt mostly with behavior but did mention illnesses caused by foods. This book deals mostly with illnesses caused by food allergies but mentions behavior issues. It has been very enlightening. As with the Feingold plan, the goal is not to eliminate the “trigger foods” forever, but instead to build up a tolerance. In some cases, forever is the deal but that is all determined through the steps outlined in the book. It’s a large book and full of information which I’ve only begun to get into but I’ve learned enough so far to start this GF endeavor.
A few things that I learned from this book:
I have been without wheat for 3 days and I have seen marked improvements already. Being that I’m not an all-or-nothing type person, I am reducing the amount of wheat that we eat, opting for without when there’s a good-tasting option, being more aware of the amount that we are consuming, and noting any changes that I see in Boe. Once I find good-tasting, not-too-expensive alternatives, we can go GF (at home) permanently.
I’ll be listing some of our new gluten-free snacks as I find alternatives to our gluten-full favorites.