Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gluten Free Food for Kids

Gluten free.

It sounds like dirty words to me... Well, it used to anyways.

The gluten-free eaters and Celiac sufferers I'd been around before Miles, lived a weird existence. I had no understand of Celiac Disease and thought these people were simply "allergic" to "wheat".

Then Miles was diagnosed Diabetic, and a week later, Celiac. I began to understand a little more from talking with Christina and Bryce that it wasn't just "wheat". It was "gluten", which is in a lot more than just wheat. Barley, Barley Malt, Bran, Bulgur, Couscous, Farina, Orzo, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt, Tabbouli, and Wheat all contain gluten.

Then there's all the stuff that has gluten added to it, for one reason or another.

This is the part that threw me for a loop - all these words are code for gluten. Stabilizer, starch, flavoring, emulsifier, hydrolyzed, and plant protein. I cannot begin to tell you how often I see stabilizer, starch, flavoring, and emulsifier on stuff I buy.

Of course, then there's the stuff that is processed on the same machines as gluten products. For example, just because your rice crispies say "rice", doesn't mean it never came in contact with gluten. Non gluten foods become "contaminated" with gluten if they touch the same machines! Or fry pans. Or toasters. Or plates. Or even silverware. I had no idea!

So the easiest way to say this is... Miles life has changed drastically in the last year. And top that off with being insulin dependent, he's taking 4 shots a day and countless fingerpricks. He is such a good sport though, most days he doesn't give Momma and Daddy hassle for all that and he's taken the change in foods pretty well [from the outside looking in perspective].

Anyways, all that to say...

I love this cookbook. We made old fashioned [think Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy] donuts and soft shell tortillas from it. The donuts were incredibly yummy, my sugar rush says so. And the tortillas [shame on me] were much better than mine. Now I've just got to figure out how to make them with gluten flour and I'll be alright. :) I can understand why Christina loves this thing! The recipes are incredibly tasty. The whole "getting used to xanthan gum" thing is strange, but aside from having to use a combination of 3 flours [rice, tapioca, and potato are Christina's tried and true's], the baking's pretty similar.

Anyways, wish I had some pictures of the yummy food we ate, but all I have is a picture of a [from a box] GF cake. But that was delicious too, in case you were wondering! :)

Thank you Christina for rolling with all our silly questions and curiosity. We had a fantastic time at your house, and the food was fab! Can't wait to catch up with you all again!

*This is not a paid advertisement, but if you'd like to pay me, please feel free [grin]*


  1. My son Christopher who is 2 1/2 is allergic to all forms of corn, corn starch, modified food starch, corn syrup, etc. He got sick and had an allergic reaction to pedialyte. Corn is added to almost everything. I can relate to having to totally rework all my cooking. I have to cook everything from scratch-A reprint of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook helps. Corn is a less common allergen so they are not even required to label it. Corn oil is used for the carrier in the Vitamins added to milk and cornstarch is dusted on meat packaging and paper cups to keep them from sticking. It's added to baby food and almost all baby formula's have corn syrup(good thing I nursed). I'm also a diabetic with four generations of diabetics behind me, I know about four shots of insulin and finger pricks multiple times a day first hand. You get used to it because have to because that's they way it is. Hopefully they can get Miles on an insulin pump soon. It makes type I diabetes much easier to manage and fine tune.
    Laurie in Washington State

  2. Celiac is not fun! Ughh! My son was diagnosed with it when he was 2 years old. A year later, it turned out to not be the case, but it was a tough thing to do. The food is very healthy though. I've learned that the choice to live on a gluten free diet is drastically different than having Celiac and being forced to do so since gluten makes the person so sick. Too bad we did not stick to the gluten free diet as a way of life. I wish we did, but it was so hard for us and doesn't bring back very good memories.

  3. My friend and her family are GF. She has to watch everything. Did you know that gluten is in most shampoos AND make-up? There is a great magazine here in the States, not sure if it's International or not. It's called Living Without. It's an allergy free magazine.

    My 4yr son was having HORRIBLE temper tantrums from about age 18 months to 3 1/2 yrs old. A few of my friends suggested I get him off of corn syrup because they've heard how that can cause tantrums (think of those demon children on television-that was my son!). Sure enough, it worked. Corn syrup, like gluten, has different names; high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose and glucose.

    Life with a food allergy or sensitivity isn't *that* challenging. You learn how to manage and cook mostly homemade foods. I'm surprised at how many people are shocked that I make most of our food homemade. Homemade is SO much better than store bought any day.

    I hope your friends family adjusts well and that their little guy lives a happy life.

    Allison in Baton Rouge

  4. this post is awesomeeee.... Christina sounds like the bestest most awesomeest mommmy "like" everrrrrrrrrr, she must also have gooooooooooood friends......... ((haha, guess who??))

  5. I've had celiac disease for at least the last 2 years (was officially diagnosed 1/1/07 - but I'm sure it was the cause of my stomach issues long before that). It's a pain in that you have to read every label all the time - even things that you're "used to" have to be read because formulas get changed to save companies money (out goes the sugar - in goes the barley malt).

    Thanks so much for posting this! Even though my kids are omnivorous in the "don't have allergies" sense, there are some kid-friendly staples that *I* miss! I may look into this book for me =)

  6. Hey, Susie! I've read your blog for a while....and posted every now and then (but not regularly)....I have gluten intolerance (in order to have a true diagnosis of Celiac Disease, you have to have a biopsy of your small intestine...but in order to have the biopsy you have to actually be eating gluten....I didn't have the biopsy before I stopped eating it, but since my awful symptoms basically disappeared my doctor and I agree that gluten was the culpret...long explanation, sorry! ;))...and have been doing the GF thing for about 15 months now. It was a crazy transition...I started a blog (I am not as good about regularly updating as you are! ;)) with tips/recipes/rants/etc. ;) Feel free to share it with your friend who has the son who has Celiac disease!
    Have a great day!

    Rachel Brunner

  7. I am a very long time lurker. My 3 children all have Celiac disease. It has really turned our way of eating around.