gluten free kid

I remember hearing about people who were gluten free. I used to think “that would never be me”, not in a judging way I swear (okay maybe there was just a little judgement). I just never thought I could.  I should have just slapped myself right then.

When my oldest son Miles was 2, he used to have constant pain in his knees whenever ambulant.  I thought he was making it up to get out of having to walk (I know, I am a terrible parent).  Doctors didn’t seem concerned at any of his check-ups and all in all, he seemed like a pretty healthy boy. A “healthy” boy with on and off digestion issues, random hives around his mouth, sleep trouble and nearly constant leg pain.  When I look back I wish I could have shook myself and said, “wake up and LOOK woman!”

One day shortly after I had dropped him off at preschool, I got a call that he had just had a seizure. We contacted our pediatrician who recommended a pediatric neurologist. He went through extensive neurological testing only to discover no source or reason for the seizure.  Left with no answers and feeling distraught we started to look every where we possibly could for answers.  Months later we had a doctor who recommend testing him for a gluten allergy/celiac disease.  We finally had our answer, he has NCGS, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, for more info on that you can go the following website: www.celiaccentral.org. Miles needed to come off of all cow dairy products and all gluten.

It took about 1 month for everything to work its way out of his system.  Around the 2 month mark he said, “my body isn’t on fire anymore.”  When I heard that, my heart hurt and I felt like the worst parent in the world yet overjoyed that we had found our solution at the same time.

It’s been quite a journey over the last 5 years and I have learned so much about having a child in school who is gluten-free. The struggle is really real people.  Nowadays all 4 of us eat GF (well my husband mostly does).   Miles’ symptoms are gone and he is a happy and thriving 7 year old.

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I would love to help those of you who are new to the gluten-free world, especially those with children. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you might have.

For starters, meet my godmother: Carol Kicinski, magazine founder & editor-in-chief, TV chef, cookbook author, and gluten-free recipe developer and all around gluten free goddess. You can check out her website or subscribe to her magazine any time here: simplygluten-free.com

xo Erin

PS – I dream regularly of croissants and crepes.

10 Comments

  1. Love your blog Erin! Where did you get Miles tested? Was it a blood test? I’ve thought about getting myself and Zoe tested because I feel like I do better without gluten and dairy..but I’m bad about cheating…

    • erin

      Dr. Darla Booth is who helped me, I can get you her contact info. One thing about blood tests is you have to actually be eating the food to have the allergy or issue show up. I can totally go over this with you.

  2. Also, I’d like to know how you handle upsets if your kids are around other kids who aren’t gluten free and they can’t have something everyone is eating…I run into this a lot with Zoe and I end up letting her have it so she doesn’t have an upset.

    • erin

      Okay, this one is tricky. For Miles he ends up in so much pain if he gets gluten, it’s not worth it for him. It’s been years of learning by trial and error on this for both of us. However, Nolan who only has a very light sensitivity it’s different. I would say the key thing is planning (Steph is also really good at this). Before a party or school event, always ask if there will be GF options. If not, buy and provide your own. Both Miles’ and Nolan’s teachers have a stash of GF treats in their classroom for parties. So no matter what they won’t feel left out (I also ask to get a heads up on parties, so I can provide a treat similar to what the other kids are having). I also have GF cupcakes in my freezer as a backup for parties or other events. I once went to a birthday party at Pump it Up, and there wasn’t a single GF food item or treat, I hadn’t thought ahead and Miles looked at me with sad eyes, so we peaced out of there as fast as possible and I took him to Kara’s cupcakes. So it’s really a matter of planning and always trying to think ahead. Hope that helps!

  3. My child and I are gluten free. I made that decision because I read that gluten can worsen ADHD, which my kid could definitely be, I think. Also, I can’t tolerate it very well and I knew we’d be sharing food mostly. We have tougher time at birthday parties (more about etiquette than not getting the gluten-y food though). I simply pack him food and add in a GF chocolate “muffin,” which is practically a cupcake. We also just talk about how gluten could make him sick and that’s good enough for him at 3. He might rebel later, but the longer I can keep it mostly out of his body, the better he’ll be. It’s tough and I respect any parent who has to make these choices (either on their own or because of something) because it’s not just about the food…

    • erin

      Hi! Trader Joe’s sells awesome GF waffles and pancakes. There are also tons of GF cereal options out there. You can even make paleo pancakes, out of just egg and banana and they are so yummy! For cereal, I buy the Freedom Foods Proteen Crunch. Mainly because it has a low sugar and slightly higher protein content.

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