Friday, March 13, 2009

Telling My Five Year Old She Couldn't Eat Gluten

My daughter went gluten free in April of 2007...This is the story of how I told her.

After seeing my daughter gluten free for a few weeks, then having her do a gluten challenge (which I don't recommend) and a ton of testing (which I do recommend) in which we found out she had two genes for celiac but negative blood work, it was obvious to me that my five year
old needed to NEVER eat gluten again. I sat her down in the morning before school and told her "Remember all that testing we did? We found out you have an allergy to wheat and in order to be healthy you have to stop eating the foods that contain wheat. This is going to help you to be the best YOU you can be. It's going to be hard at first, but it will get easier and I promise I will do everything I can to make it easier. I will make gluten free versions of all your favorite foods and there are a lot of foods you can eat. The good news is that you will feel better and you won't get those _________ (I listed all her particular gluten intolerance symptoms) anymore." She cried a little and I think I let her eat some gluten free cookies that morning. It was a hard moment and she was sad, but she totally adjusted. The testing I was referring to was the test I had witnessed--her being sick on gluten and healthy off. Later on I explained it in more detail about how being gluten free wasn't just wheat. Today, another mother told me her gluten eating daughter is begging her to go to the health food store and buy gluten free food because she thinks my daughter has the best food. I think she was coveting my daughter's Kettle Salt and Vinegar chips--which aren't the healthiest but certainly make a lifetime of gluten free eating a little more fun.


Tamara said...

It is amazing how well kids adapt isn't it?? My oldest was the hardest to get to go gluten free, especially since he wasn't sick like his sister, and he knew what he was missing out on, lol. But he came around quickly, and doesn't fuss about it at all.

Everyone always asks me what I'm going to do when my other kids, who don't get violently ill with gluten, become teenagers and want to eat "normal". I figure we'll cross that bridge when we get there...but at the very least, they'll be armed with the awareness of how what they eat effects how they feel. They may cheat as teenagers, but I think they'll come back to a healthier lifestyle as they mature.

Or they'll just gorge themselves silly on McDonalds just to make me cringe,lol.

Print this post
Cathy said...

Our kids are amazing! I have sent gluten free pizza and a dessert to parties and heard other kids saying, "Hey, why did she get the good stuff?" We have also been amazed at how many parents have gone out of their way to provide gf alternatives.

Print this post