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Overwealmed
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My 6yo son has not officially been diagnosed yet(Pos TTG - IGA AND IGG were positive and negative I can't remember which one was negative and a negative biopsy) All tests except the biopsy are being redone with a few more added in then effective June 1st we are going on a one year gluiten free diet to see what hapens.

I have appointments next week for the tests, we have to do a 72 hour stool collection this weekend with a high fat diet and next Thursday I see the nutritionist.

We have been going back and forth on this for a few months and I have bought the ROCK book and the recipe book.....

BUT

I am just overwealmed. First off I live in NW NJ and there's just not much out here in the way of stores. We do have a health food store but they offer very little for gluten-free products and our local supermarket has some stuff like pasta and cereal but not much else. (Flours etc) DO I have to shop online? This stuff is so expensive!!!!!! :*(

I just don't know what I am going to feed my kids(we're all going gluten-free -DH and I and our 3yo daughter - youngest is only 7 months) I work full time at home so lunch is usually a sandwich, easy mac, chicken nuggets, pizza, fish sticks, frozen pizza, Canned Ravioli(Sounds like I'm never going to win that mother of the year award huh? LOL) etc. What am I going to feed them? Also what can I do for school lunches? I bought soem gluten-free bread and it was just horrible :( It broke coming out of the package and when I tried hetaing it up as suggested it broke and then when I spread peanut butter on it it broke again - I had ap plate of crumbles by the time I was done and cried for 10 minutes over it.

WHat my son will eat is very limited as it is. - He has HORRIBLE teeth and cannot eat hard and chey things like meats he also has oral sensitivities so things liek pudding, applesauce etc he will not eat......

I'm just lost - What can I do to prepare for this? :*(

Maryanne

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First thing you need to do is stop what your are doing and take a deep breath...

Okay, now you need to get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side of the paper make a list of all the things the kids and you normally eat. Include all the fruits, veggies, meats, desserts and prepackaged items. Then start crossing out the ones that you know are off limits. This might seem a little overwhelming at first as you start crossing a lot of things out, but it will get better. Now, next to the items you crossed, on the next column, put the gluten-free item you can replace it with. There are a lot out there. You should be able to replace almost everything.

Now as for bread, I only use Kinnikinnick breads. You keep them in the freezer. When you want a piece you take it out of the freezer and microwave it for about 10-15 seconds per slice. Then you can either use it moist for a sandwich or toast it. It will be a bit chewier than regular wheat bread, but it does NOT fall apart like the other gluten-free breads and it it much lighter and tastier, too. Your son would probably like it toasted, that is how my kids like it. It makes great cinnamon toast with a little sugar/cinnamon mix sprinkled onto the buttered toast. Some health food stores carry it, but it is pretty easy to order it online. They charge $10 flat shipping fee no matter how much you order. It is about $4.50 a loaf, but I find it lasts a while, since we don't eat bread every day. The flavors I have tried that I recommend are the Robins Honey Brown Rice Bread , Sunflower Flax Rice Bread, and the White Sandwich Bread. The Candadi Yeast Free Multigrain Rice Bread is also very good, and the donuts are a little heavy, but taste very good. About 1/2 a donut fills me up. They also make hotdog and hamburger buns, but I have not tried them yet.

I recommend that you try to stick to eating the gluten-free alternatives of the same foods you had before, since this makes the adjustment so much easier. And start switching things little by little now, so that when the time comes to go completely gluten free, you already have the foods you will need. Below is a list I put together using Danna Korns suggestions plus adding some of my own and a gluten-free candy list. These are all mostly dairy free as well, since my family is dairy free right now, too.

Gluten free kids snack foods:

* All kinds of fruits & vegetables

* Chips (we use Lay's original, Lay's Stax (like Pringles, but gluten-free!), Frito's corn chips, and Dorito's Salsa Verde flavored. and plain Tortilla chips)

* Corn Nuts (original flavor)

* Raisins and other dried fruit

* Pretzels (Ener-g or Glutino brand)

* Popcorn (to make it dairy free pop plain kernels and "butter" it with Nucoa dairy-free margarine.)

* Lettuce wrapped around ham, cheese, turkey, or roast beef

* Rice cakes (check with the manufacturer; not all are gluten-free, we use Quaker Apple Cinnamon mini rice crackers, and Sunny Select brand Plain & Apple Cinnamon flavored)

* Hard-boiled eggs or deviled eggs

* Hot dogs (We use Louis Rich turkey franks, but Bar-S brand, Ballpark, and Nathan's hot dogs are gluten-free also)

* Applesauce

* Apples dipped in caramel or peanut butter (if you're sending apples in a lunchbox, remember to pour lemon juice over the slices; that will keep them from turning brown)

* Jello (check on the ready-made cups, I know the powdered mix is gluten-free)

* Fruit cups (individually packaged cups are great for lunchboxes)

* Fruit snacks/fruit rolls (like General Mills, Kelloggs, Nabisco)

* Nuts & Nut butters - Peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts

* Marshmallows (Jet Puffed are gluten-free)

* Andi bars - Chocolate shake flavor protein bar

* Gluten Solutions - Chocolate Mint flavored protein bar

* Gatorade, Kool-aid Jammer puches, Capri Sun pouches, Sunny Delight

* Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, Mug Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, 7-up, A & W Rootbeer, Squirt, Canada Dry

* The occasional candy treat. I have a list of mainstream gluten free and dairy free candies that I use when shopping for candy for my kids. I got it from the Gluten-free Casein-free Diet Support Group for Autistic kids and they are very strick when it comes to putting products in their booklet each year. Still read all the labels, since manufacturers change their formulas far too often:

Nestle: Sweet Tarts, Spree Chewy Candy, Regular Spree Candy

Farley gummy bears & Haribo gold-bear minis

Willy Wonka: Gobstoppers, Bottle Caps, Pixy Stix, Nerds, Runts

Mike & Ike: Zours, Jelly Beans, Hot Tamales

Starburst Fruit Chews (NOT Starburst fruit twists!)

Necco: Necco Wafers, Sweethearts, Conversation hearts (Valentines), Necco Candy Eggs (Easter), Candy Stix, Talking Pumpkins (Halloween), Peach Blossoms (Christmas), Necco Ultramints, Canada Mint & Wintergreen Losenges

Rock Candy (made from pure sugar)

Ce De Candies: Kidz Rings, Candy Fruits, Candy Lipsticks, Smarties

Mars Inc: Skittles, Jelly Beans

Sunkist: Fruit Jems, Jelly Beans, Orange and Cream chews, Super Sour Stars

Sorbee International: Lollypops

Jolly Rancher: Hard Candies, Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly: All flavors of Jelly Beans EXCEPT: Cafe Latte, Buttered Toast, Caramel Corn, Buttered Popcorn, Chocolate Cherry Cake, Chocolate Pudding, Strawberry Cheesecake

As for chocolate, I found that the Scharfen Berger chocolate bars are very yummy. They are gluten and dairy free by ingredients. The small bars are wrapped in a different facility where they also wrap other chocolates that do contain milk, so as a precaution they put a milk warning on the label. I am very sensitive to dairy reactions and have never had a reaction to these bars. They are a bit pricey and not available everywhere (I got mine at Whole Foods) but they are very nice to have when you are craving chocolate. There are also a few kinds of baking chocolate chips that are gluten and dairy free.There is a gluten-free cereal available at many grocery stores or health food markets that's just like Chex--make the mix as you would Chex mix using gluten-free pretzels and seasonings.

* Chex mix style snack using gluten-free cereals (unsweetened) and gluten-free pretzels(Ener-g or Glutino brand) and nuts. Use the chex mix recipe for the seasonings. Make sure the seasonings are also gluten-free.

These are gluten free, but not dairy free:

~String cheese

~Taquitos(some Delimex brand in store freezers are gluten-free), quesadillas, tacos, tamales (made with corn tortillas - they travel well

~Nachos

~Cheese cubes with toothpicks in them and rice crackers

~Individually packaged pudding

~Yogurt

~Trail Mix- Combine peanuts, M&Ms, dried fruit, chocolate chips, and other trail mix items for a great "on-the-go" snack.

(Beware of commercial trail mixes--they often roll their date pieces in oat flour.)

~High-protein bars (e.g., Tiger's Milk, GeniSoy)

I hope this helps a little bit. I put together a snack box for each of my children that they keep in their classroom with them. This gives them something safe to eat in the event of a class snack or party where their might be foods they can't have. It has really come in handy.

Hang in there and make sure you ask a lot of questions and get as much information as possible. It will make it so much easier and you will become more confident as you get going with the diet.

God bless,

Mariann

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Do you have Trader Joe's near you? I am pretty sure there is one in West Field (I live in PA and a good friend drives there once a month to get their gluten free things). THey have some awesome gluten-free things that are REALLY well priced. Their gluten-free frozen waffles taste exactly like Eggo's and are only like $2 a box. When/if you go, ask for a gluten free list. Also, their brand of rice milk is REALLY cheap (like 1.29) and is gluten free, if you're not doing dairy.

I will add some more ideas later, when I have more time. I know this is a really hard time. I just started a gluten-free diet for my family a week and a half ago and it has been really hard, but I feel much better about it now (rather than a week ago and I thought we would starve!).

Mel

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You won't feel like this forever, but there's just too much information to process at first, and you spend a lot of time worrying that you're contributing to the problem not the healing! The advice here is excellent. I would only add that you can keep it simple at first -- plain fruit, plain meat, plain veggies are all effortlessly gluten-free. If you are doing simple things, it gives you a little breathing space to figure out the rest. We also had our son make a list of his favorite non-gluten-free foods, and we slowly worked on substitutes, and grieved for the rest. That's a real part of becoming gluten-free.

gluten-free breads vary a lot, -- we try a lot of things, don't like some of them, do like others. My son loves EnerG Brown Rice Bread, which you can buy at Wegman's-- but I know many other celiacs don't like it at all! Emphasize all the things you CAN eat, and eventually you will get the hang of it. Make too much of something for supper, so you can eat it for lunch the next day. Think outside the bun! You can do this!

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MaryanneQ

Welcome. You have certainly come to the right place to get some support and great ideas!

As you catch on to where to buy the gluten-free products, and also how to maybe make some gluten-free foods, this whole ordeal will become much less overwhelming, and will actually like a matter of fact routine, second nature. I promise! I find myself reading labels now automatically, even if the itemis just for ME to eat, and I am NOT gluten-free! :rolleyes:

I would like to add a couple comments. I would advice looking for a Celiac Support group near to your home. They will be able to direct you to where to get gluten-free products and ingredients in YOUR area.

My next comment is that you are absolutely right.......gluten-free products are very expensive :( compared to mainstream groceries! For that very reason, I have chosen NOT to make my whole family gluten-free, but only my son who needs to be. How could I justify switching 6 people, multiplying my expenses by 6 unneccesarily? It doesn't seem prudent to me. You might want to double think that, unless others in the family are having symptoms that would justify switching their diets as well.

Of course that's just my two cents. To each their own, but I couldn't possibly financially afford to switch everyone if they didn't all need it!

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MaryanneQ: Mariann has given you so excellent advice and a great place to start. I agree that the Kinnikinnick breads (ready made) are quite good. I just do a big shipment and keep them in the freezer. The tapioca rice bread is also good (in addition to the ones already listed) and I like the hamburger/hot dog buns.

There are gluten-free chicken nuggets -- I can't remember who makes them, but Whole Foods has them (in addition to other stores).

Glutino carries individual pizza crusts (corn or rice -- I like the corn much better, which is odd, since I usually like rice) which you can make. Amy's sells gluten-free pizza already made. Last I checked, Kraft macaroni and cheese -- the cheese packet is gluten free, so you can make gluten-free pasta and then add the Kraft sauce.

Danna Korn has two books you might find helpful -- Wheat Free, Worry Free, and another about Raising Celiac Kids.

I would strongly recommend you find the support group in your area since they can be most helpful. Also, some of the gluten-free food manufacturers have websites - you can either order directly, or see what local stores carry their items.

Good luck.

Kim.

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O.K. guys, after about two months of expensive gluten free by ordering stuff over the web, I tried making my own bread products and it was hockey pucks for a while or the bread fell apart when I had a sandwich. Then I found a recipe by Hagman, in her first book I think, for tapioca bread. I ordered English muffin rings and a hot dog pan and began making English muffins and hot dog buns and freezing them. My whole household is gluten free and it was expensive to buy the suff as some of you have stated. I bake now once every three weeks. My husband bought me a small chest freezer when I first went gluten free. So I freeze these rolls and take them out as needed, with about 20 seconds in the microwave they are ready to be eaten and they don't fall apart. Also they taste a little like English muffins and make great hamburger buns. I have now been gluten free for 3 years and as long as I'm careful about eating outside the home, doing much better with the skin and intestinal problems. Shirley

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Wellshire Farms (formerly Yorkshire Farms?) is the maker of the gluten-free chicken nuggets that Kim mentioned. Many Whole Foods carry them as a regular item, but my local Whole Foods can't (or won't :angry: ) get them for me. They are dinosaur shaped nuggets. I would like to try them out on my kids before trying to get a whole case shipped to me!

Shirley, where do you order english muffin rings and hot dog bun pans??

God bless,

Mariann

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See if you can find some soft corn tortilla shells.. double check the ingrdients! Those can make good sandwiches.

Presumably as he is on a gluten free diet his teeth should improve and his sensitivities may lessen, but that is a real issue! Rice cakes do make great sanwiches and they are not too hard and not too soft! they should be just right!

I grew up in NW NJ and I know there isn't much in the way of health food stores out there.. you may just need to go east once a month to any store you find.. the

Have you located any ROCK or other celiac support groups nearby?

They will be of the most help to you locally.

Also try this site for some gluten free recipes.. they require a little more prep but with some planning ahead you could freeze portions for lunches.. www.pecanbread.com

Hope this helps!

Denise

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Marianne, Try www.bakerscatalogue.com and look for English muffin rings or just muffin rings. I ordered a couple of more sets (sets of four) a few days ago and they had to backorder. When I bake, I bake a lot of stuff and freeze so I can time my baking when the weather is cool. We live on the coast and are cool a lot of the time, but this spring has been very warm and we don't have air conditioning. We live on a canyon and get a breeze, most of the time, from the ocean. The Bakers Catalogue told me the rings will be in on May 28 and they will ship then. This really works for me and my family. Shirley

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