Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Should the Whole Family Go GFCF?


This is a common question. Here's what we did...

We Are All GFCF . . . For the Most Part
I switched the whole family to the gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) and soy-free (GFCFSF) diet for the most part. By this I mean that the majority of the food in the house is GFCFSF. My husband does have some plain yogurt in the fridge (he can't seem to live without it). I usually have a block of cheese in the fridge and put some in my daughter's lunch everyday (she's not the one who is officially on the diet). I have some half n' half sometimes for coffee, although I've switched myself to soy creamer for the most part because I was thinking I might have a milk issue. We have a few other things here and there like some fancy frozen croissants we got for Xmas that hubbie and I prepare for ourselves on those very rare weekend mornings when we wake up alone because kids are sleeping over at the in-laws. Other than that, our house is GFCF.

Breakfast and Dinner Are GFCFSF
We make GFCF dinners for the whole family (except when my hubbie adds some yogurt to his meal or dips some "regular" bread in there -- although this has changed this week since we now have Anna's bread, so we all eat that with dinner). On the weekends, our breakfasts are GFCF. Snacks, lunches, etc for both kids are GFCF.

On the Weekend...
My husband and I tend to get Subway or Chipotle or some other take out sort of thing for ourselves on the weekends, but we usually eat when the kids are sleeping.

When at Work...
My husband and I both work, so we are "allowed" to eat whatever we want when at work. We both have noticed, however, that we feel better when we eat GFCF. My hubbie also takes digestive enzymes by Houstons now with every meal and swears they have helped his GI tract immensely. (we had never heard of digestive enzymes prior to the diet).

It's Easier
I find that is MUCH easier to have the whole family GFCF becuase you don't have to worry about making separate foods, etc. You also don't worry about the GFCF kid feeling left out or deprived or different or whatever, since everybody's eating the same thing.

We Waited 5 Months...
We were, however, careful not to have any non-GFCF food at the table around my son until we were about 5-6 months into the diet and my husband started bringing some "real" bread to the table to eat with his dinner. The first few times, my son asked if he could have some. We explained it had gluten, and he seemed bummed out. But now it's not a problem anymore and he doesn't ask. If he does ask about something he can't have, he accepts our explanation that it has gluten, casein, or soy, and he's fine with it.

My 3-Year Old Knows He's GFCFSF
I started explaining things to my son a couple months into the diet when he was newly 3 years old. I first just told him that something would make his belly hurt. From there I started specifying "diarrhea" and "the itchies" and stuff like that. Then I introduced the words "gluten, casein, and soy" and he seems to get it now at 3 1/2.

Spousal Support Is Key
I think the key to this is having a spouse who will go along with GFCF. My husband had suspected for a while that he himself had issues with gluten/starches/yeast/possibly dairy, so he was up for trying the diet. Once he saw the gains my son was making, that was all he needed to support it for the long-term.

Eat the GFCF Stuff You Would Normally Eat
I also think it helps that many of the foods we like and would be eating anyway are already GFCF. Because my husband is Turkish, we do lots of Turkish cooking, and it's all GFCF anyway for the most part, so that wasn't a huge switch for us.

The Challenges of a Busy Family on GFCF
Our biggest challenge, I think, was not being able to "fall back" on ordering a pizza or something when we had had a rough day or didn't have anything planned for dinner. We do a better job at planning ahead now, and my husband is more eager to stay up at night cooking a GFCF dish for the next day if he knows it means he will actually have something of substance to eat the next night as opposed to my serving him a single GFCF hot dog. ha ha!

Freeze Stuff and Buy in Bulk
I freeze our leftovers and also have built up quite a store of shelf-stable GFCF stuff in our basement -- stuff I've gotten in bulk from Amazon and Allergy Grocer. With all this GFCF available, we no longer have nights when we have "nothing" to eat -- there's always at least something frozen we can heat up or some Tinkyada pasta in the basement we can throw together. It helps make GFCF easier for a busy family.

1 comment:

janemaruca said...

Great article! Your family's eating style sounds a LOT like mine, down to the Subway treat that me and hubby sneak every so often LOL I would describe our family the same way - mostly GFCFSF.

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COPYRIGHT. All words and images on "Tori's GFCF Blog" (unless otherwise credited) are (c) 2007-2009 Tori's GFCF Blog (http://gfcfblog.blogspot.com).
DISCLAIMER. I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I'm just a mom who has been implementing the GFCF diet since October 2007 (and soy-free about 5 weeks thereafter). Please do not rely upon my blog as your sole source of information or advice. I only offer my personal experiences for your consideration and can not be held responsible for any adverse reaction or experience you or your child may have should you choose to try something I have tried. Remember that every child is unique, and what works for mine may not work for yours.