Saturday, March 29, 2014

Concerns With Gluten-Free

DH and I decided to give a gluten-free diet a try for our kiddo.  We made the decision a couple of days ago and I've been getting used to the idea.  I asked for a week to try and get my bearings/plan a menu.  Today I broke the news to DD#2 and she cried.  She also cried when we told her we were trying out dairy-free and it only took her a couple days to adjust.  I'm hoping it will be the same with the GF.

I have really been wrestling with the whole idea.  I guess I have several concerns that I'm trying to reconcile:
  • The expense of GF/DF - Certainly alternatives are expensive, but I don't have to switch the whole family nor do I have to dump the contents of our existing pantry.  I can still bake our regular bread until I use up our bread flour and whole wheat flour.  I can bake GF bread just for DD#2 while we're conducting this test.  
  • Using any 'fake' food - I don't feel good about baking with margarine in order to avoid butter.  I don't like giving DD#2 'fake' cream cheese and 'fake' sour cream.  I have a lot to learn about what constitutes fake re. how altered are vegan or tofu foods.  I am not big on soy either so there's just a big learning curve here.  Ugh.
  • Finding new good meals - I've spent my entire adult life building a repertoire of great meals that I love to cook and am proud to serve to guests.  Now many of those meals are just not going to be options and I'm just plain sad.  It's also really disappointing to DD#2 even though I don't think she really grasps yet that I won't be making baked potato soup or macaroni & cheese pie for her because both would require too much 'fake' dairy.
  • Almost no eating out - I'll admit I enjoy running through the drive through when we're in a hurry or when we're on a road trip.  I am not looking forward to having almost no options with GF.  With dairy-free we could at least still have plain burgers, nuggets, or french fries.
  • My extended family disapproves - I think they understand that we're trying to help DD#2, but my close cousin has recently chosen a GF/DF diet and it's been inconvenient at family gatherings to say the least.  I just don't want to cause drama and I don't want to seem ungrateful/demanding when the kids all stay with extended family in a few weeks when DH and I have a getaway.  I'm hoping to make things as easy as possible for everyone, but I suspect I will hear about it . . .  
All of that said, I'm preparing this week.  I bought some GF flour at Costco.  I bought a dairy-free probiotic on the recommendation of DD#2's OT whose first degree was nutrition.  I am trying to find 10 dinners and 5 lunches that are DF & GF and not terribly labor intensive or expensive as a solid starting base.  I am searching for a good DF & GF bread recipe and will need to buy at least one box of GF Rice Krispies or Chex for our occasional cold cereal mornings.

So that's what's been consuming my mind lately.  I am thankful we can afford to buy alternates.  I am thankful that the increase in GF consumers has led to available and affordable GF choices as well as abundant resources to learn about it.  I am thankful DD#2s occupational therapist also has a 7 year old and had a career in nutrition before she became an OT.  I am thankful DH is so involved and committed to helping DD#2 be her best.  We can do this thing.


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