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Having gluten-free Food Brought Over Postpartum


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Sweetfudge

 
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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:28 PM

Hi all,

I'm expecting my first baby in January. I do all the cooking in our household (my husband is in grad school, and has very little time these days. Plus, he kinda sucks at cooking...). I know I'm looking a bit far into the future, but I am worrying about how to deal w/ people bringing food/offering to bring food over once I have my baby. We don't have a lot of freezer space, otherwise I would just pre-make a million meals to reheat and eat. I do plan on doing as much of that as I can. But I'm assuming most of the food we eat once our baby gets here will either have to be freshly prepared, or provided by others. I have a decent network of people (church community, family, friends) who I'm sure will offer to bring stuff over.

My question is, how do I ensure that I am not getting food that's going to make me sick? #1 - How do I deal w/ cross contamination issues from those not familiar w/ gluten-free cooking?! #2 - I have multiple foods I am intolerant to, so even if they get the gluten-free concept, how do I convey that I ALSO can't eat any dairy, beans, potatoes, onions, etc.

I don't know if I should just make some sort of blanket statement (post on FB/my blog/make handouts for anyone who offers food) saying, "These are the things I can't eat, and these are some ways to avoid making me sick." I suppose I could provide a list of ideas of things that we like/can eat that are simple enough to prepare...

Or should I just gratefully accept the meals, and if I feel like it's trustworthy, eat it, otherwise, let my hubby take care of it? The main issue w/ that is, he's slightly picky...so if it's not something that fits into his "comfort" zone, he won't eat it, and it will just go to waste.

Or do I just plan on making all of our food once the baby arrives?

I don't want to seem ungrateful or entitled by asking so much of people. I don't want to offend anyone who is obviously trying to help me out. But I also don't want their efforts to be wasted, if I can provide a way to make it beneficial for both them and my family.

Any suggestions, advice, and/or comfort would be much appreciated :)

Thanks!!
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Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT
Gluten-free since June 2006
Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991
Dairy-free for good since summer 2008
Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008
Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(
Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

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#2 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:54 PM

In my case, I asked people not to bring over food, unless it was prepackaged gluten free stuff (like Udi's bread or muffins). You do NOT want to have a glutening right after having a baby. Childbirth does enough of a doozy on your intestines, and you don't want to encourage anything "on that end" immediately afterwards! Not to mention you need to regain a lot of spent energy after the process, and need to be able to sleep and spend time with baby, and not do much of anything else. It's just not worth the risk.

You can ask instead that people come over and help out around the house. Ask them, instead of a food delivery calendar lasting the first month, that they come over and do chores (clean dishes, do laundry, clean toilets) and so on. Or even just hold baby while you sleep.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
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#3 eatmeat4good

 
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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:42 PM

Yes, I definitely agree with declining any and all food except maybe pre-packaged gluten free. I don't trust anyone without Celiac to grasp the concept of cross contamination no matter how well intentioned they are. They would use their gluteny pans to cook your gluten free food. I usually tell them that if they have ever used wheat flour in their kitchen then the food wouldn't be safe for me. I use this when people offer or insist that they want to cook or bake gluten free for me and it usually ends there. But you could just say we are sorry that we won't be able to accept any offers of food due to our food sensitivities, however, we would welcome help with A,B,and C. That covers Celiac AND your husband being choosy. :D
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#4 sa1937

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:53 AM

Do you have friends or family near you who might have a bit of extra freezer space so you could prepare a few meals in advance and have a place to store them until needed?

Also if you have a crock pot, you could plan some simple easy meals, prep them in the morning and let them simmer away all day so dinner would be a minimal effort.
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#5 1desperateladysaved

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:02 AM

What if you were to have people come to cook with your ingredients in your kitchen?

I know all of those feelings your having. Now, I have children that can cook for me in a pinch. That has worked the best of anything since my first daughter was about 6 years old. I would lay on the counter and tell her how to do it. A couch in the kitchen would have been nice.

Diana
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#6 kareng

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:46 AM

I wouldn't let them feed me. I like the idea of them helping with chores.
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Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare.  They are consumed in 12 minutes.  Half-times take 12 minutes.  This is not a coincidence.  - Emma Bombeck
 
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#7 alex11602

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 06:10 AM

I'm just curious if this is a regional thing since people where I live wouldn't even think of bringing meals over, when a person comes home with a new baby people will bring over outfits or other necessities for the baby and if there was an older sibling they would bring a toy or other little something. Also (again maybe a regional thing???) if there were an announcement like that that kind of makes it sound like you are expecting people to bring stuff and that could be considered extremely offensive.

Like I said some of this maybe regional, I live in the NE now and when I had my oldest moved right away to GA and while I have heard of people bringing food and all I have never seen it in practice. Either way congrats on the little one and hope that everything goes smoothly for you.
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#8 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:13 AM

At least here in the NW, it seems pretty common. It is NOT expected based on an announcement at all! (Not to mention the announcement goes out to A LOT more people than you'd want to bring you food.) I know some churches do this just as a matter of course (people want to chip in), but even without churches, often friends' groups will organize it.

I wanted to add - I have a few set of friends that I do let cook for me. They do get it, and are not offended at all if I do a last minute "can I check those ingredients? oh, I can't have this afterall." But I still wouldn't let them cook for me (certainly at their houses) during this time. I didn't have the energy to check labels and this is a time where the relative "cost" of getting glutened is much higher than at other times.

A lot of people brought us just plain fruit. That was super awesome!
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#9 alex11602

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:33 AM

At least here in the NW, it seems pretty common. It is NOT expected based on an announcement at all! (Not to mention the announcement goes out to A LOT more people than you'd want to bring you food.) I know some churches do this just as a matter of course (people want to chip in), but even without churches, often friends' groups will organize it.


That answers my question then, thank you. I find it very interesting how actions can be interpreted so many different ways depending on where you live.

Again OP congrats.
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#10 JillianLindsay

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:42 AM

Glad you brought this up - and congrats! :) We're due in early November!

We're fortunate that we have a chest freezer in our basement, so we can pre-make and freeze a lot of meals.

It's helpful to hear other suggestions for people who want to help out though. We don't have any family here, so if friends want to help out I like the idea of asking them to bring pre-packaged food specifically labelled gluten-free, or to offer other ways of helping (clothing donations, helping with a cleaning task, or just visiting and watching baby while I rest).

It's a touchy one because I certainly don't want to seem ungrateful if people do bring food, but it's definitely not worth the risk of getting sick when there will already be SO much going on and my body will already be exhausted and trying to heal.

Best wishes!
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#11 kareng

 
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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:28 AM

When I had babies, the neighbors brought food.
i was thinking of some things I would have felt comfortable letting the neighbors do:

watch baby so I could shower in peace
run an errand (have a stash of cash to send with them)
drive me and baby for a brief erand so I could get out
walk the dog
vacuum
baby laundry
take other kids out to play
play with baby while I cooked or put away groceries
unload dishwasher
wash my car
yard work
take car to Jiffy lube
visit and talk about the world outside
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Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare.  They are consumed in 12 minutes.  Half-times take 12 minutes.  This is not a coincidence.  - Emma Bombeck
 
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#12 kota

 
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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:06 PM

Thank you so much for posting this question! I've been starting to wonder the same thing! I'm due in December, and I just know lots of very well meaning people, especially from church, are going to insist on bringing meals and want to set up a meal calendar because it's just what they do when someone has a baby. In my case that could work out alright for my husband and two boys to eat (they are not gluten free), but then I still need to make myself something that is safe.

Are there any restaurants in your area that you trust? Maybe you could ask that several people chip in for a gift certificate instead? That way you could also use it for take-out or something and on a night when you really might be extra tired.

I also like the idea of asking for only prepackaged gluten free food.

Good luck to you and Congratulations!
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#13 frieze

 
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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:31 AM

Do you have friends or family near you who might have a bit of extra freezer space so you could prepare a few meals in advance and have a place to store them until needed?

Also if you have a crock pot, you could plan some simple easy meals, prep them in the morning and let them simmer away all day so dinner would be a minimal effort.

you beat me to it, lol. Make your own and "rent" freezer space. Then they can return your own homemade stuff in series....everybody gets to "bring" something, and YOU are safe.
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#14 Juliebove

 
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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:00 PM

I would just tell people not to bring food over at all. Nobody brought me any food after I had my baby. My mom did offer to cook a meal when we first got home. She said she would make anything I wanted. Knowing what a lousy cook my mom is, I bought a jar of cheese sauce and some pasta. Asked her to fix that.

I did find that I mainly didn't eat too much at first after I had the baby. She was a very fussy baby. I wasn't producing enough milk and I was forced to supplement. We didn't find out about her food intolerances until she was 6 but milk and soy were among them.

Mostly I had to make do with whatever foods I could grab quickly when I was home alone with her. That would be some cut up raw veggies, a piece of cheese, cereal in a bag. I realize that you can't eat all of these things. But what you should do is stock your kitchen with whatever kind of grab and go type things you can eat just in case you get a baby like mine. Or you might be lucky and have a baby that actually naps!

Once my husband got home, I had no trouble making a quick meal for us. I would have him watch her while I made the food. Then he would eat. Then he would watch her again while I ate and cleaned up the kitchen. You learn to do things very quickly when you have a baby.
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#15 Juliebove

 
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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:04 PM

I'm just curious if this is a regional thing since people where I live wouldn't even think of bringing meals over, when a person comes home with a new baby people will bring over outfits or other necessities for the baby and if there was an older sibling they would bring a toy or other little something. Also (again maybe a regional thing???) if there were an announcement like that that kind of makes it sound like you are expecting people to bring stuff and that could be considered extremely offensive.

Like I said some of this maybe regional, I live in the NE now and when I had my oldest moved right away to GA and while I have heard of people bringing food and all I have never seen it in practice. Either way congrats on the little one and hope that everything goes smoothly for you.


I had my baby on Cape Cod. I have also lived in CA, PA, NY, KS and here in WA. Now granted we did have a lot of relatives in KS and they would help with the cooking. So that might be the difference. But really I have only ever heard of the food thing online.
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