No Gluten- No Cry

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk About Food

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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No Gluten- No Cry

This is a subject I should love.

Food.  I mean, come on- my name out here is “kitchenwitch” you’d expect me to love talking about food.  Food and I have a tricky history.  For a long time I was a BAD COOK.  The huz was a sweetheart, but there were times when the dinners I cooked were actually inedible.  I would burn things- all the time.  You know that joke about the dinner bell being the fire alarm?  In our house that is a true story.  Chicken nuggets and french fries, frozen pizza, and microwave dinners were the norm.  I found fresh vegetables intimidating- unless they were in basic salad form (and I’m talking basic.  Spinach was exotic and kale was something my vovo put in soup.  It is only in the last five years or so that I’ve been able to take interest, and later pride, in the food I feed my family.

When I was twenty-four, my second child was born- Patrick.  He was not a happy baby. He cried, constantly.  I was breastfeeding, and he would have to eat every hour, around the clock.  He was slow to put on weight.  He fussed and cried and spat up more than any baby I had ever known.  When he began eating food he would throw up ALL THE TIME and he had horrible rashes.  He screamed and cried.  He was the temper-tantrum king.  He never wanted to be held or cuddled.  He fought me with every single ounce of his little being.  It was so sad, but I didn’t understand how to help him.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.

When he was two, Willow was born.  At her first baby check up, I mentioned to the doctor (a new doctor) that I was concerned about Patrick- I made a joke about how foul his bowel movements were and that he had NEVER had a solid one yet.  Our old doctor didn’t seem concerned, but I was really worried.  The doctor suggested that he might have an allergy and he put Patrick on an elimination diet- no gluten, soy, eggs, nuts, dairy.

I had never heard of food allergies (no one in my family has ever had one) so it had never occurred to me that this might be the problem.  Within days we saw a change.  Patrick became calm.  He was sweet and happy.  I can still remember the first day he HUGGED me.  He had never done that before and I was so happy I burst into tears.  By the end of the summer he was a completely different child.  I think his poor tummy finally had a chance to settle and heal.

We slowly began to add back foods, one by one, and I kept a food journal for him.  Through trial and error we discovered that he doesn’t have a full blown allergy, but is sensitive to most foods on the no-no list.  As long as we keep his diet well-balanced and incorporate a lot of whole fresh foods, he does just fine.  This experience forced me to learn to make better meals and snacks for my family.

I’m glad it all worked out- he is ok now, and enjoys what I cook for him and his brother and sisters, but I feel bad when I think of that poor little baby.  I work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen again.  I spend quite a bit of time planning our weekly menus, trying to walk the line between well-balanced meals made with healthy, fresh foods and our limited budget.  We eat a ton of vegetables and beans- we have been slowly dropping meat from our diet and we are veggie about five days a week now.  We love the farmer’s market and I enjoy finding new things to make for my family.

The littles have fabulous appetites and every one of them is blessed with an adventurous palate- so they love to try new and interesting foods.  I’m so happy that they know dinner doesn’t have to come from a box.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)

Comments

  1. Beanma Twitter: thebeanma says:

    Ah, I have one of those babies too. It’s been tough but definitely has made everyone much healthier…
    Beanma´s last post… Growth-Spurt Soup AKA “Beannut Stew”

  2. I love it. I too have a really fussy little one and have found food sensitivities (along with a healthy dose of his mama’s stubborn disposition) to be a contributing factor. My house has to be gluten free and egg free to meet the dietary requirements of everyone in the house. I got tired of making some gluten, some non, some egg, some non and overall limited dairy. Great instinct with your son – glad you found him underneath those pesky sensitivities : )

  3. Damita Twitter: damita says:

    Aw bless him, glad you got it solved in the end :)
    Damita´s last post… Kitchen part two

  4. I’m the same way, not a full-blown allergy but am sensitive. Isn’t it great when you finally figure it out??? I would love to read about what kinds of recipes you use and what types of things you eat that are gluten-free! Definitely in a rut over here.

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