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Help With Grandparents

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Hi all-

My 7 yo daughter tested (+) and is awaiting her endoscopy for confirmation.  We (5 of us) share a home with my parents.  I have discussed with my mom about the changes that we will need to take place to keep the home gluten-free.  This news is not popular and she is worried about my dad, since he is older and "likes what he likes"


So if anyone can post links to articles or posts on:

1-keeping a kitchen gluten-free  - cross-contamination

2 - Why being 100% gluten-free is so important (they seem to think "a little" is ok)

3 - health consequences of not maintaining gluten-free.  


I am already worried, since he brings home donuts every Saturday and takes them out to fast food places several times a month.  they are also my kids caretakers 3 days/week, so I need to really get them to understand this.




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First, I don't think the whole house has to be gluten-free. There are ways to have some gluten food in the home and keep things safe. But that assumes that everyone wants and is able to follow the procedures.

There is lots of info at http://www.cureceliacdisease.org. And there are other national organizations a and celiac medical centers with info. Because celiac is genetic! your other kids or you may test positive! too.

If this is their home, it is up to them what rules they want in their house. In your home, you can make the rules. You definitively make the rules in what your children can eat, even when a grandparent is babysitting. If you think they will not be able to keep your child safe, you may have to make other living or babysitting arrangements. You are the parent, so that is your responsibility. Sometimes, just mentioning that is enough to get them to cooperate.

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It really will be up to them whether or not they want the entire house to be gluten free. That said, there really can not be debate about whether or not your daughter is 100% gluten free. They need to understand that it isn't an upset tummy or a little C or D, it is actual physical harm if she has any.


The outings will simply need to be changed to places that are safe for your daughter to eat. If you live where there is an In N Out, it is by far (imo) the single safest place to get a meal. Order a burger with no bun, tell them it is for an allergy and you're set. The burger will come lettuce wrapped, they never use the fryer for anything but fries and the drinks and shakes are safe. If you don't have one near you, you'll have to research what is safe or he'll have to find something else to do with them.


Unless you are making your entire family gluten free, I don't see the problem with the donuts... if he is considerate. He needs to think about the fact that it isn't fair to bring home donuts for everyone else and leave a single child out. He should make sure he can find a gluten free treat for her also. Maybe that means buying a box of frozen gluten free donuts. Maybe it means going to a local gluten free bakery and getting her a cupcake. At any rate, if it is a ritual everyone enjoys it can be modified without taking it away from everyone.


Remember, you're asking for a big change from your parents. You live in their house. While they do need to be considerate of the health of their grandchildren, they don't need to entirely turn their lives upside down. This is going to be difficult for them, even just learning to live with gluten free people in the house. Asking them to outright give up what are rituals for them with their grandchildren will be emotionally difficult for them, possibly as much as it is difficult for you and your daughter to get this diagnosis. (And I'm not just preaching off a soapbox here... I live with my MIL and did at the time of my diagnosis so I'm somewhat familiar with how difficult this can be for everyone involved. Even when it isn't the person who has to "deal with" the issue.)

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University of Chicago is my favorite place to get information. You can get answers to very specific questions that someone has almost certainly answered before. They also have a pamphlet type thing you can print out. Spending some time getting around their site should net you a lot of information to share.

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