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Gluten Free Whole Family?
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Im wondering how common it is for a whole family to decoide to go gluten free when one child in th family is gluten intolerant. Im getting good at this now- I mean, I'm learning so much from you all about everything from food prep, going out to eat, easy snacks, medical issues, and even having the ability to understand my six year olds physical feelings that she isnt able to describe yet. She is the only one that was tested. But, in so many ways, she is so much like me. Im wondering if I too have a gluten intolerance. It seems unfair to have her siblings eat other foods. Especially foods that she wants to eat. The whole cross contamination issue could be eliminated along with jealousy. If my other children do not have a medical issue with gluten, will it hurt them to to go gluten free?

Ive come a long way with this whole diet. My kids have never had (in our home) "white bread"- I used to buy whole grain 100% whole wheat bread. lol.

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If I had one child with celiac disease I'd never ask the others to go gluten-free. It would indeed help cut contamination but it doesn't seem fair to the others. BTW, I'm the only one in my house with celiac disease and I never considered asking my wife and kids to go gluten-free. Dinners are generally gluten-free because you can have perfectly good meals without gluten, but that's it.

richard

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This is a delicate issue! While you don't want your gluten-free kid to be jealous of non-gluten-free siblings' food.... you also don't want non-gluten-free kids to "blame" the gluten-free child for what they are missing. I think that the ages of your children will play a big part in how you handle things in your home. I would never expect a child without celiac/gluten intolerance to eat gluten-free outside of the home.

Here's what works for us:

Three out of five in our family are gluten free. My husband and 4 year old son are not gluten-free. Two children (age 8 and 6) and I are gluten-free.

Like Richard, most meals in the house are gluten free --- because it just makes sense --- no cross contamination issues, its easier, and you would never know the difference!

Also in our house all snacks tend to be gluten free... cookies, chips, ice cream, etc. I think when it comes to kids the snack issue is important... It was hard for me at first to watch others eating Oreos... I can't imagine how a kid feels! I know my two gluten-free kids deal with this every day at school, so I try not to make it happen at home... when there are so many goodies we all can enjoy!

Other than that, my husband and son who are not gluten free have regular bread, eat regular pizza, have buns on their burgers, etc.

We have one shelf that is for non-gluten-free foods all other places are gluten-free.

Good Luck,

Ruth

P.S. You really should look into having the whole family tested.

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Since I'm the one that does the cooking, I'm not going to make anything that isn't gluten-free. We don't have kids at the moment, so my husband still has his "evil" cereal, bread, crackers, and oatmeal. (That's all the non-naturally gluten-free stuff he eats anyway.) If we have a child who is gluten-intolerant (and I won't assume they are from birth, but will be watching closely ;-) ), then the whole house will be gluten-free until they are able to understand what they can and can't eat and won't go reaching for other foods. But it's hardly an issue in our house, because we have so few packaged products and I don't plan on changing that in the future either. Of course, I reserve the right to say "boy, was I stupid!" when we get there. :-)

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I agree with whoever suggested you get everyone else tested, too.

My entire household is gluten-free, though my husband is not intolerant (me and my three kids are,) he never eats what the kids can't around them even if we go out to eat. He does have his evil, shredded wheat and bran and raw mueslix cereals, but no one else ever liked them anyway. Those are the only gluten products left in the house. We did discuss this topic, however, before getting all the kids checked (and they were all just borderline on the positive side for the blood test, no biopsy.) We decided that in our house all would be treated the same. Just like people with a child who has a peanut allergy tend to keep their houses/meals/snacks/etc. peanut free, we decided we would all eat in a similar manner in our home. Maybe considering it more like an "ethnic" diet, it's just how we eat at home.

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lol... I loved shredded wheat and bran before I had to go gluten-free. :-) And muslei. :-)

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My brother and I both have celiac but he is away at school and I still live at home with my parents and little sister. I don't find it difficult in general to see my family eating things I can't but I'm older so I don't know if that makes a big difference. In general we also have gluten free dinners, sometimes with rolls on the side for everyone else. Nobody really minds. When we make big family breakfast they make me pancakes too and freeze the extras for me to eat throughout the week. Otherwise I just fix myself something gluten free and dig in. However, going completely gluen free wouldn't hurt your family, it is a very healthy diet. It would be pretty good for them, especially if they have sensitive stomachs. Wheat is one of the harder grains for anyone's system to digest.

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I'm the only one in our household who is gluten-free, my fiancee isn't, and his 7 year old daughter doesn't have to be, but she prefers a lot of my foods to the "regular" foods. I let them make the decision and if my fiancee wants something normal he has to make it, mostly because I don't have a clue how to make it and I can't taste it to test it. However, I've never asked Miranda (his daughter) to eat any of my foods but out of curiosity she has tried a lot of them and now eats almost the same diet I do - but she still eats oreo's and lunchables! I say give them the opportunity to try, but don't force it because they may resent the gluten-free child...

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At home, we are all gluten-free just because it is easier and eases my mind about cross-contamination issues. Plus, I probably need to be anyway too. It certainly won't hurt DH. But, I am finding I can replace most of our food with great or better gluten-free alternatives. We ate mostly whole organic foods prior to going gluten-free. We just opened doors in one direction and closed them on the gluten behind us.

Now, away from home, DH eats whatever strikes his fancy. I had planned to be completely gluten-free by September 30 but a medical crisis (or two) with my in-laws has delayed that.

Michelle

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I was actually really relieved when all my kids came back positive, because it saved me from having to consider this issue. My husband is the only one who is not gluten-free. Our house is primarily gluten-free, and all the meals I cook are gluten-free. When my husband wants something with gluten he prepares it himself in his own set of cookware with his own utensils. He has a small amount of gluten foods in the house (mostly sauces and gravies, a frozen loaf of wheat bread, oatmeal and some left-over wheat pasta), but they are kept away from the kids and we have gluten-free alternatives for all those things anyhow. He also has his own plastic containers for storing food (the reusable Gladware is reasonably priced so this is what we use). We use different sponges for washing dishes and the designated gluten-free cookware, utensils and gladware are washed seperately from the regular dishes. The only things we replaced when going gluten-free was the toaster, the teflon pots and pans, the metal bakeware (which really needed replacing anyhow) and the plastic utensils. My husband uses our old stuff.

At first we had the problem of my husband offering bites of his food to the kids without thinking about the fact that it contained gluten. I quickly trained the kids to not accept any food from anyone (even dad!) other than me without first checking if it was safe. My husband has gotten better, but still doesn't seem to understand why it upsets me when we go out to eat and he sits eating bread and rolls while we all have to wait for our gluten-free dinners. I have tried to explain to him that if is a food we previously liked and can't have at dinner, then it makes us feel bad to watch him eat it in front of us. If it is a food that I can duplicate at home, then I don't mind him having it at home because I can make some gluten-free for us. He just has to be careful about crumbs.

A similar issue came up the other day at Costco when he wanted to buy croissants. I said that that was just cruel! He didn't understand why I can't just make some gluten-free croissants! Now I certainly wish I could, but gluten-free flours just are not that workable for things like that!! He did not buy the croissants, so that showed me that he is starting to realise how hard this is for us. He was actually going through restaurant withdrawls since we haven't been eating out very often since last winter! We had to go to Red Lobster for dinner, just so he could have some Coconut Shrimp! We had a good experience, thanks to a very dilligent manager who was willing to read all the labels and he even took notes of all the things to look for on the labels and then coordinated with the waitress and the cook staff to make sure our meals were prepared exactly as we needed them, since many of the seasonings that are normally used were not safe for us.

Sorry for the rambling,

God bless,

Mariann

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All I can say is: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. It is expensive to buy gluten-free foods. there are people who will say that there isn't a difference in expense as long as you stick to mainstream products. This is true, but the problem is that you're not going to want to cut all breads, pastas, cookies, and 80-90% of the mainstream products in your supermarket out of the family diet. The only person that needs gluten-free foods is the one with celiac disease.......if you can afford to buy gluten-free breads/pastas, etc. for the whole family, then that's good, but buying gluten-free brownies/mixes/pastas/breads/bagels for those who don't need them can start to add up......when you have to make that sacrifice that's one thing, but..........you get my point......

Mariann, sorry to hear about your husband not being more understanding. I was really fortunate to have everyone in my family trying to make it easier for me. My parents didn't eat foods I loved in front of me, my brother didn't eat pizza in front of me and hid his gluten-containing treats from my view......etc......it probably helps that your children are on the diet, though, cause then your husband is doing this for his entire immediate family.

-C

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I think whether or not you care to cut out all the processed "normal" food depends A LOT on your previous diet and your other health concerns. Cutting out bread, pasta, and cookies isn't a big deal if you find other foods you enjoy eating, but it's true you might not want to. If you choose not to cut out these items, if you already eat them, it will be more expensive to take the whole family gluten-free.

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First, I think this an individual decision for all families. There is no right answer. For our family, we choose to go gluten-free for everyone. My daughter, 3, is celiac. Daughter, 5, me, and husband are not. I find it simpler to prepare one gluten-free meal and not worry about cross-contamination. My not gluten-free daughter gets to eat gluten stuff at school, restaurants, and I try to take her out once on weekends for pizza, pastry, or something. My husband gets not gluten-free lunches at work and I occasionally grab a gluten treat while kids are at school. My 5 year old is very understanding of her sister and excited by all the "new gluten-free treats". My 3 year old is comforted by home having all safe foods- she has to deal "special snack" at preschool. I think she is better at dealing with preschool, restaurants, etc. because she doesn't have to deal with it at home. Maybe when she older we will think about switching but right now this is easier and safer for us.

Tania

Greenville, PA

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