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Sls1115

Holidays

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This is my first post. My son, who is 10, was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac. I am stressing myself out to the Max about the upcoming holidays. We have to travel out of state to family so I don't have the option to host. How do I manage his Celiac? When family doesn't understand? Cross contamination is inevitable but he is a Silent Celiac so I would never know. That makes it so much worse.

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I would say that you really don't have to leave your home for the Holidays unless its flooding or on fire. That is an option. Maybe your child is too sick to go where people don't understand and will harm him? I think it would be really hard to be 9, not really used to Celiac yet, and have people eating lots of things he can't eat. It will be hard for him to say no when he is offered these things for the 5 th or 25 th time. It really is your choice.

If you decide to make that choice, you will need to carefully prepare all his food. Make procedures that will keep others from double dipping in his PB, etc. You may need to keep him away from family members that will make fun of him or try to hurt him with food. If you think they are nice people and have his best interests at heart, you could give a basic explanation.

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I would say that you really don't have to leave your home for the Holidays unless its flooding or on fire. That is an option. Maybe your child is too sick to go where people don't understand and will harm him? I think it would be really hard to be 9, not really used to Celiac yet, and have people eating lots of things he can't eat. It will be hard for him to say no when he is offered these things for the 5 th or 25 th time. It really is your choice.

If you decide to make that choice, you will need to carefully prepare all his food. Make procedures that will keep others from double dipping in his PB, etc. You may need to keep him away from family members that will make fun of him or try to hurt him with food. If you think they are nice people and have his best interests at heart, you could give a basic explanation.

Agreed

 

Are you traveling by car? If so, you could pack a cooler with stuff he could have.

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I suggest staying home for the first holiday season until you get one under your belt.

 

I'm an adult and I had a hard time the first Thanksgiving and Christmas at my sister's house.

 

But it's your call, of course. We do not know your family situation so we can't really say.

 

To this day, I am more comfortable hosting the big holiday parties.

 

But, travel is do-able!! No worries.

 

I use a Koolatron cooler (plugs into the lighter) and bring lots of food with me.

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Your first obligation is to your son.  His health and well being is your responsibility.  I am a mother first and a daughter second now.

 

I know your anxiety.  I travel both summer and winter to stay with my family for weeks at a time.  My husband's been gluten-free for 12 years, so my family's been pretty much on board, but now I've been diagnosed.  My family has been pretty supportive, but it's still hard for us and we are adults!  Luckily, my folks have two kitchens in their house, so I do have the option of cooking separately.  

 

I just got back from a weekend get-away with my daughter and friends.  Found only one gluten-free safe restaurant for me to eat at, but I brought a cooler full of food.  Had to go back out to the car to eat for all other meals.  I had to sit at one meal and watch them eat while I pulled out a "Go Picnic" box -- not fun.  I can't imagine a child having to do that!  I have to admit, I had lots of fun on the trip (it's just food) but it would be especially hard on a child.  Normally, we travel in our RV, so eating's a breeze!  

 

That said, I've dealt with a gluten-free husband for 12 years.  It made for a much easier transition for me.  But, being in a house of relatives who think they know what gluten free is very rough!  Yes, I ate at my parent's but I can't eat at my sibling's home.  It's just too risky.  

 

We missed last Christmas.  I was just too anemic and stressed out to travel (pre-diagnosis).  It was very hard on my parents but they accepted it.  We compromised by skyping on Christmas day.  We all got to watch everyone open gifts (that we shipped) and the kids still managed to put on their annual Christmas variety show using Skype.  It can be done!  After Christmas, my folks came out for a month!  It all worked out and my daughter got her grandparents all to herself!

 

Kids first -- parents second.

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I was diagnosed in my 20's and did my first holiday on my own with a gluten free friend (it was Thanksgiving and I cooked a wonderful meal all by myself). Holidays are hard, and each time I travel to a different place for a holiday I always have to be on guard. I'm still learning about the best way to talk with people about my needs.

 

My advice - holidays are crazy enough, and with your son being so young, he may feel left out and not fully understand why he can't have all of the great holiday comfort foods that the rest of the family is having. If it were me, I'd stay home for the first holiday and learn how to make all of his favorite holiday foods gluten free. Give him a good memory of his first gluten free holiday. He'll probably have a better attitude about it next year, and it would give you a chance to either host next year yourself or learn how to make gluten-free options for him safely. 

 

But it is your choice. If you choose to go, parchment paper, toaster bags, and a sharpie for labeling will be your best friends. 

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Because of the time of year you have received this diagnosis, how you choose to spend your holidays may shape your son's attitude toward his diseases for the rest of his life. The holidays are supposed to be full of love and joy, magic and wonder, especially for children. You can stay home and make it that for him, teach him how he can still truly enjoy it. Or, by forcing the visit and putting him in a situation where he will be surrounded hour after hour, day after day by people indulging in everything he can't have but remembers fondly he may very will end up with a heart full of resentment for not only his diseases, but the holidays as well. Not only that, but many adults here have fallen to lesser temptation. Don't expect to go and to have him actually stick to a gluten free, carb appropriate diet.

 

There are a lot of good ideas here on how you can still make the holidays wonderful and enjoyable for your son and the rest of your family. There are many ways to be together without putting your son so directly in the line of fire. Something that has been repeated here over and over is that if family doesn't understand that medical need absolutely has to outweigh their wants and whims and if they are willing to make no concessions to someone with such serious need, the family obligations may need to be rethought because they obviously don't value the person with need the way they should. Or, in other words, if your family gets all mad because you tell them you want to put your son's health first... they have some pretty messed up priorities of what "family" is.

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Because of the time of year you have received this diagnosis, how you choose to spend your holidays may shape your son's attitude toward his diseases for the rest of his life. The holidays are supposed to be full of love and joy, magic and wonder, especially for children. You can stay home and make it that for him, teach him how he can still truly enjoy it. Or, by forcing the visit and putting him in a situation where he will be surrounded hour after hour, day after day by people indulging in everything he can't have but remembers fondly he may very will end up with a heart full of resentment for not only his diseases, but the holidays as well. Not only that, but many adults here have fallen to lesser temptation. Don't expect to go and to have him actually stick to a gluten free, carb appropriate diet.

 

Exactly what I was thinking, but you said it better :)

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Well, I certainly understand how important it is to be with family during the holidays but this will no doubt be a challenging year for you and your son. I was recently diagnosed and don't plan to travel this year because I am still learning and it would just be too difficult to "stay clean" at someone else's home.

 

That said, if you are going to travel, the tips already mentioned are very helpful. Hopefully you are driving and can take along your own supplies and perhaps a cooler too.

 

It might also be helpful to write something up for your family to read in advance....Information that stresses the importance of preventing cc and how that actually can happen. Also emphasize that it's just not bread and pasta that contains gluten. People who do not have celiac disease or an intolerance, often don't understand this important fact.

 

You might also want to consider having a frank discussion with them now about your son's needs and find out if they feel it is doable or if it is too much for them to take on during the holidays. Grandma may not understand why her traditional casserole can't be everyone's main course or perhaps Uncle Joe is notorious for sneaking the kids extra cookies no matter what parents say. Families are usually well meaning but just don't have enough information about celiac disease and gluten at their disposal and most won't research like we do.

 

It will be extra tough on you to try to provide substitutes that are just as good as the gluten version (to your son). If you're up for the task though, go for it and enjoy your holiday!  :)

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I think that sounds wonderful. You'd be surprised how much easier it is to host a holiday dinner than go to one. 

 

If it does work out, a few quick tips off the top of my head:

 

-Ask that no one brings food with them. Only alcohol.  :P

 

-Use an oven bag for the turkey - no basting! I don't know why I didn't use an oven bag all along (and make sure the turkey is gluten-free)

 

-Last year, I made a chocolate mousse dessert with whipped cream and berries rather than pie, and it was easy and lovely. You can buy gluten-free pies online, too.

 

-I find that if you're new to the diet, making things that are naturally gluten-free is a great way to go, compared to getting the occasional person who rudely comments if they find a slight difference in taste/texture/ect in gluten-free baked goods.

 

-You can buy gluten-free stuffing mix online, but I know of a lot of people who have done rice dishes, too

 

-Many vegetable side dishes are naturally gluten free

 

 

Hope the family likes your idea!

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Someone reminded of this!

 

There's Jules' E book-- on Thanksgiving.

 

just a suggestion.

 

http://www.julesglutenfree.com/product-p/book-hdy-tg2.htm

 

I like this stuffing in a crockpot. Very moist!

 

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/11/perfect-homemade-stuffing-crockpot.html

 

In fact, she has tons of holiday crockpot ideas. take a peek!

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