Ragu - Sos For 3 Yo
Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:11 AM
Here's the immediate problem: I think I found a pasta brand he'll eat (Goldbaums). But he's rejected several sauces (and the butter and salt approach). The only sauce he's eat is Ragu Old World Style flavored with Meat (and, sometimes, just traditional w/o meat flavoring)(this Ragu thing must be genetic - I grew up on it). But of course I can't tell if it's gluten-free. The label isn't clear. Nothing obviously bad but includes "spices" and "natural flavoring." I've checked all over the internet, including older posts here, and the most anyone can say is that the company, which won't specifically confirm or deny gluten, (merely) maintains that any gluten containing ingredients would be listed. I spoke to them today and got the same story. Not too comforting.
But since it's the only sauce he'll eat, I have to try to get an answer from people's personal experiences:
Is Ragu Old World Style, flavored with Meat, gluten free?
What about Ragu Old World Style traditional?
Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:29 AM
They (Unilever) said they would identify any intentional gluten on the label. They won't make a "gluten-free" claim because they do not test. I trust products by Unilever, Kraft, General Mills and ConAgra, among others.
Wheat must, by law, be clearly disclosed. No grain product, and thus no gluten, can be labeled as "spices."
Here's a list of companies that have a clear gluten policy. If you don't see "wheat, rye, barley, barley malt, oats" on the labels, its not there, or hidden in "flavors, starches, etc."
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)
Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator
Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:36 AM
It sounds like you're pretty on the ball already checking labels. While not an avid couponer I do carry a 3-ring binder with me to the store so I added a few sheets at the front of the binder with lists of things to watch for and my "trusted" brands. (Which is the list Peter so kindly shared.) I just like the reassurance that I don't have to remember every little thing.
Celiac DX December 2012
If you imagine the worst case scenario and it happens, you've lived it twice. --Michael J. Fox
Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:35 PM
And by the way I feel startlingly under the ball (rather than on it). Just about every "gluten free" food I've gotten for my son doesn't meet the nutritionist's exacting standards (actual certification or extremely well-known company with stated policy / practice on gluten free labeling).
So I told the doctor that Ethan may be his first patient to subsist on breakfast cereal alone. He said Ethan could make it on that for a while. Which makes me think that he thought I was kidding.
Anyway, thanks again.
Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:56 AM
Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:51 AM
Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:09 AM
Blood tested 8-11 positive, Biopsy 9-11 negative (long story, most gastro drs. are morons)
gluten-free 7-11, Dairy Free (mostly) 8-13 - Everything but butter. Can't live life without butter....
DS - negative blood test, just diagnosed with ADD and other learning disorders, DNA test positive - high risk
Issues related to gluten: depression, low iron, hair loss, positive ana test for lupus, low vitamin D, headache, sinusitis, environmental allergies, brain fog, GI problems, weight gain....the list goes on....
Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:47 AM
Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:48 PM
Ethan (again, picky 3 yo) eats (ate, until diagnosed 2 weeks ago): pasta, Ragu sauce, chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, pretzels, tortilla chips, chef boyardee pasta w red sauce and meatballs, occasionally mommy or grandma's meatballs, the occasional bite of yam, wontons (completely removed from the offending soup), an occasional fortune cookie. He has once or twice tried my home-made sausage pasta sauce (the best thing I cook, by far) and strongly prefers Ragu Old World Traditional w/ meat. I believe he once tried broccoli on a dare. Also, he eats bananas, dried apricots, and sometimes apple slices. And he eats bread and bagels and fruit spread and (very occasionally) peanut butter. He drinks milk, apple juice and water. Oh, and vanilla yogurt.
I know that seems like an insanely limited diet. Irresponsibly so. How could I have let him get away refusing most meat and nearly all vegetables? I don't have a good excuse. But what I tell myself is that I've been very, very busy with my boys. Ethan has developmental delays and has been getting therapy for years. His older brother had physical delays and then his diagnoses became more pervasive, plus ADHD. Things have been tough for the older one in school this year and, well, it just seemed like there wasn't any time.
So no, Ethan doesn't eat soup. And he might or might not eat home made Ragu sauce. (I snuck browned chop meat into Newman's Own Marina the other day and that seemed to go OK, but then today he wouldn't eat it,). He ate home made pork rib sauce the other day but seemed outright offended at the suggestion that he eat some meat.
And the there's the extremely strict dietician at the doctor's office telling me that my standard should be foods that are actually certified as gluten free. That's not too many pastas on the shelf at the local market ( now including 3 nature / health places and a few supermarkets). I told her about how Ethan loves Ragu and how hard it is to introduce new things to him and that I was thinking that while I'm introducing new pastas I'd just stick with Ragu -- her response was that if the company won't even say it's gluten free, it's too risky. But then I told her that Ethan likes la yogurt and that says gluten-free on the container and she said she wouldn't trust that unless it was from a big manufacture (which la yogurt is not). So I didn't bother telling her about the stop & shop yogurt Ethan loves, that also says gluten-free (bc I know what she'd say). And I contacted the company that makes stop and shop sprinkles (very good) and they said gluten-free full stop, but again now I'm afraid. (I also contacted stop and shop about their chocolate ice cream (excellent) but the manufacturer's answer felt like a food labelling "we're not really sure what's in our products" run around, so we switched right away to haagwn daz.
And then there's the gluten free pasta fiasco. Pasta is, again, the main staple in ethan's diet so it's very important that it be actually gluten free and edible. So I've tried many different brands and types and of course the few that Ethan is willing to eat are not certified and, in the case of one of the manufacturers, clearly a local-ish brand. But he likes them and, with respect to the local-ish brand, they go to great lengths to say that the facility is gluten free, etc. So do I not feed him this because they're not national yet? That seems a little strict.
But, and finally, I don't have a great gauge for when ethane's eaten something containing gluten. In the few weeks before bloods and biopsy he had stomachaches, but they were intermittent, not directly responsive to any one food, and he had no symptoms like some I've heard where immediately upon ingesting gluten the person's innards begin to spasm.
So. The short question is still about that g-d forsaken Ragu w meat. But the broader one is about what standards to use in determining what's gluten free. I'll refer to the above-redden Ed lists, of course, but any further insist would be most welcome. Thanks!
Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:13 PM
If I were you, I would not lose my mind about certification. It's good that your dietician understands that not all celiacs tolerate traces of gluten, but there are many, many people with celiac disease on gluten-free diets doing perfectly fine on mainstream food. I was a student when I figured out I needed gluten-free and I sure couldn't afford certified gluten-free food! I ate whatever brand of pasta sauce was on sale and sometimes had it over a potato rather than gluten-free pasta to save money. Your son has antibodies so you can monitor his improvement with blood tests to be sure you're doing OK on the diet.
By the way, try Glutino pretzels. They're very good. Also my hyper-picky nephew shocked me by declaring my rice cakes edible when I came to visit. Put a little jelly on them. Ore-Ida Tater Tots are a nephew-approved gluten-free food. Amy's frozen gluten-free macaroni and cheese might work too.
The Ragu will be fine as long as there are no wheat ingredients. Feed him the local pasta. It sounds like they are taking good care. I agree with your choice of Haagen Dazs over Stop & Shop when you had a choice and got a better answer from one manufacturer over the other. With the Ragu w/meat, Ethan is not giving you a choice and you have to get some protein into the child. Trust your common sense - you seem to have plenty.
You might have a look at GAPS diet for the long term. It's one of the diets that's supposed to help kids with developmental problems, especially when done gluten-free/casein-free. Another issue for some kids with ADD is food chemical sensitivity. http://fedup.com.au/ There is a chapter in the GAPS book on helping picky kids transition diets if you decide to go that direction. A lot of parents find the pickiness improves when they can get the kid on a diet that suits them better, since it's often partly sensory in origin.
Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:04 PM
Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:33 PM
Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:49 PM
I second this. You control the ingredients.
What about making your own? Would your son eat that?
When our lives are squeezed by pressure and pain, what comes out is what is inside.
Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:58 PM
I know it's not easy, getting a healthy 3 year old to eat is a huge task. Many years ago my one son would only eat mac and cheese the occasional chicken cutlet. Children's appetites change and so will his. All you can do now it stick to gluten-free.
You don't have to make excuses (your saying) or beat yourself up, running a household and caring for several children is a task in itself. If you have the time, try and experiment with homemade tomato sauces with and without meat, homemade mac and cheese and sneak in some veggies. If he won't eat it so the rest of the family will and on to the next meal. If he likes the gluten-free pastas try different homemade sauces.
Van's make a delicious gluten-free waffle, try it with any of his favorite toppings. Keep making his favorites, gluten free but try fresh homemade and not jarred processed. Like I said his appetite will change with age, and remember your doing your best. Good luck Mommy.
Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:19 PM
It turns out the answer to whether he'll eat my homemade Ragu sauce is no. I even browned the meat and out it in a blender before adding it to the rest of the sauce, lest there be offending chunks to contend with.
I now own the vans waffles and the tater tots. Also some rice cakes. He hasn't tried those yet. I bought some chicken-FREE nuggets by mistake the other day and he actually ate them! (Actually i tried them and they were pretty good - health is wealth brand, of course gluten-free). Today I bought many more (so I'm sure he'll never eat them again). And supposedly my housekeeper got him to eat lentils w rice today but, even though it was really good, I'm positive he only did it for her and she's not here frequently enough (or, even when she is, cooks enough) for that strategy to work.
So, we're making a little bit of progress but are still limited to yogurt and pasta w Ragu sauce for lunch and dinner. He doesn't like pizza. Doesn't like meat.
As for the not giving him any choice option: yes, in theory, but think it's to some extent child specific. Of course no child should be able to reject any food without trying it. Mine certainly aren't. But I don't make Ethan eat something he doesn't like b/c (a) it's impossible and ( seems mean. But what I don't do, that you're right, I should, is to repeatedly expose him to the rejected items. I need to do more of that.
But in the meantime I need to get something other than yogurt and pasta w Ragu. Maybe hot dogs...?
Anyway, thanks for all your thoughts. I'm going to keep checking in.
- Mommy (or, if you were reading the "I hate mom" note on my 8 yo's door tonight, apparently demoted to "Mom")
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