Both of my kids have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that makes their bodies react to gluten. The only treatment is a gluten free diet. As my husband has taken to saying to restaurants when ordering food with the kids, “This is medical-level gluten free, not Hollywood gluten free.”
When my daughter was diagnosed just before she turned 3 1/2, we decided to heed the advice of experts and avoid a completely gluten free house. We didn’t want her to be in a bubble; she had to get used to being a minority in a world that eats gluten. This philosophy mirrors the one I grew up with; my parents decided to raise my deaf sister and I to lipread and speak so we could function independently in society. I was taught to advocate for myself, and am trying to instill that skill in my children as well.
We did make our house a safe place. We have a GF counter, toaster, shelves in the pantry, shelves in the basement freezer, and clearly marked items in the fridge. Making dishes like GF pasta and gluten pasta in separate pots with the same sauce (GF food is expensive!) is second nature to me now; I have the GF pot and spoon on the left, the gluten ones on the right, and never the twain shall meet.
I think this is a large reason why my kids are healthy and comfortable with their celiac disease. As GF products expand and improve, food has gotten easier as well.
But it’s still hard. Samara and I agreed yesterday that if there was a pill that would make me hearing, of course I would take it. Similarly, if there was a pill that allowed her to eat gluten again, she would take it. Hopefully such a thing will become reality in her lifetime.
Until then, she said she has a list of Best Gluten Smells. This includes bread, lasagna, bakeries, and animal crackers. I reminded her that there’s a GF bakery in town that smells amazing, just like any other bakery. She agreed and said that every time she walks in, she thinks, “Wow, I can eat anything in here!”
Luckily there is a GF alternative for everything on her list, though it’s not quite the same. There’s always her Best Smells list, which has on it “real hot chocolate, not the Swiss Miss kind.” That would be on mine too.
What would be on your list? And please don’t say Pumpkin Spice…